ACRF Bequestor Story: Fred Kewley

Ninety-nine-year-old Fred Kewley sits in the lounge room of the Sydney home he and wife Norene moved into in 1956.   

“It was Norene’s Uncle who built this place. Before moving in here, we lived at her parent’s to save money, which was common back then. Over the years we’ve renovated a little, but basically, it is the same as when we moved in all those years ago. 

Their marriage spanned some 62 years before Norene sadly passed in 2009. 

“We met at a dance in 1943. That’s how people met back then,” says Fred with a laugh.  

Norene was a civilian working for the petrol company Shell and Fred was training to become an aircraft engine fitter with the RAAF.  

“We danced together then when I asked her to go out with me, she said no! But as it was close to Christmas and as I didn’t have any family in Sydney, she very kindly invited me home for Christmas lunch.  

Soon after that Fred was sent up to Darwin for 18 months where he worked on an airstrip. 

“We kept writing and I must have won her over with my letters, because when I was de-mobbed in April of 1946, she agreed to marry me! 

“We married in November 1946 – almost four years to the day we met.   

In 1981 Fred retired after 25 years’ service with CSIRO. He and Norene became avid travellers, enjoying many Australian trips as well and international. Fred said Europe was their ‘biggest adventure’ and Japan the most fascinating. Their last holiday together was a Pacific Island cruise which Fred says was memorable for many good reasons.  

As he approaches a century this year Fred reflects on a blessed life and shares his secret to longevity. 

“Keeping busy keeps you going,” says a thoughtful Fred.  

With a social calendar bursting with lunch dates, Fred says he enjoys keeping up social engagements as well as attending his RSL Sub-branch and Probus meetings.  

Fred also says it is important to give back. While neither Fred nor his wife suffered cancer, they have lost many friends to cancer, so he has included a bequest to ACRF in his will. 

“I did that because cancer is such a serious problem, but also because it is the right thing to do.   

“I support lots of good causes, but I think cancer research is one of the most important ones. I encourage others to consider a gift in their Will to cancer research. We really do need to advance research to make progress with this disease”, Fred says.  

Fred is a highly valued supporter of ACRF and the team are honoured he has chosen to support us with his bequest.  

To learn more about including a gift in your Will, or to book to attend ACRF Wills Days, please contact Lee Christian at bequests@acrf.com.au