BASKETBALL Victoria Country’s longest serving president, Bob Osborne passed away in his home town of Maryborough on Saturday night.
Osborne was elected just the fourth President of the Basketball Victoria Country Council in June 1981 and served in that role until June 1999, an amazing 18 years through some of the most important development years of the Council and basketball in Country Victoria.
Apart from 18 years as President, Bob served BVCC as a Council member for over 30 years and was awarded the prestigious Jack Terrill Medal in 1998. Bob attended BVC events in his role and also attended the Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup for BVC for over 20 years and was awarded an ACJBC Award of Merit by the ‘Cup’ Directors.
During his time with BVCC, Bob had a major hand in the development of BVC’s Intellectually Disabled Program, culminating in Vic Country developing its own ID State Teams and attended many National events on behalf of BVC. Bob was also Team Manager of the Vic Country U16 Men’s Team from 1974 to 1991.
Bob has been a player, referee, coach, manager and administrator within the Maryborough Basketball Association, an involvement that lasted over 50 years and was president on several occasions.
Maryborough Basketball Association has honoured Bob Osborne by naming one of their courts after him. Bob started in the early 1960s talking basketball on his local radio station and this continued right up until the last few years dedicating hours to the sport he loved.
Bob also served on the local Maryborough Shire Council and was elected Mayor on three separate occasions. He was a school Teacher in his working life and then became a marriage celebrant among many other activities in his latter life.
Speaking at a funeral recently for his dear friend, Noel Pollerd, Osborne said: “Noel and I were friends for over 55 years, we loved our time within the wider basketball family.”
It is sad to see both Noel and Bob passing within a month of each other.
Bob was awarded the Order of Australia Medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honor’s list in 2011. Bob was quoted as saying on that occasion that the first thing he decided to do on moving to Maryborough as a “rookie teacher” 50 years ago was to get involved in his new community.
“Too many people arrived at work at nine on Monday morning then left the town at 4 pm on Friday and then said there was nothing here,” Osborne said.
“I decided straight away that when you’ve moved into a community you’ve got to be involved in it.”
And just how involved Bob became in his community is clear on reading the long list of causes to which he has contributed.
Mayor and a councillor with the former City of Maryborough, Board Member of the Maryborough District Health Service, compered the Maryborough’s Carols by Candlelight event for 26 years and worked in executive positions for many service clubs including Probus, Apex and Rotary as well as his significant basketball service.
Bob was also involved in Maryborough’s Energy Breakthrough Event and in 2018 after 27 years, was became the events second only Hall of Fame recipient. Bob saw the Energy Breakthrough grow from just 24 team entries from a handful of schools at its first event in 1991 to more than 300 entries today.
Bob was made a Life Member of Basketball Victoria in 2012. The entire Basketball family in Country Victoria will feel the effects of the passing of one of the real legends of our sport.
Bob was a fixture at our events for many years and we would like to express our condolences to Bob’s family, friends and all who were lucky enough to know him throughout his exceptional life.
Bob’s funeral will be conducted at the Maryborough Town Hall on Wednesday 6 February 2019 commencing at 2pm.
Rest in peace Bob Osborne.