A fairwell to Mr. Bob


I have dedicated this page to my good friend and past business partner who passed away on the 3rd of June 2015, Robert Mason Clowes.
Bob was a quiet man, reserved and yet very much involved in family, old machinery and family history research.
The following was read at his farewell ceremony.

A Farewell to Mr. Bob

How do you say a final farewell to someone who was close to you for many years.
It was hard for me to write down these words, it was final, Mr Bob had gone.
I wanted to share an image of this good man, a loyal friend and loving father and grandfather, cousin, uncle and much more, a quietly reserved man of great character.
It was when my sons were quiet young and it was fitting that they be respectful and not call an adult by their first name. He became .Mr. Bob.
Bob came into my life when he bought my carpet cleaning business from me. he had no knowledge of running a business, but had a huge desire to leave the Foundry and do something for himself.
I offered to continue to help and took phone calls and bookings until he was confident in doing it himself.
Well we just never came to that place where we went our separate ways, he became part of our lives and we helped each other both in and out of business.
I met his parents and was excepted into his life as a friend.
Over the years we joined our business ventures and as we sat in the office trying to name our business it was decided Buddies Cleaning & Maintenance Services was a fitting name. We worked together for many years through hard economic times and struggled to make ends meet, we faced challenges together and he would always call me Boss. I remember having a meeting with him about changes in our business and I put forward an idea and asked him what he thought, his reply was short and simply, ‘Yep’, that was Mr. Bob.
Then my family made a huge change and moved to Gympie to follow another path and he was there, he drove the hire truck and helped clean and pack, never a complaint, never a negative remark, always ready for a quick comeback, a joke or story to ease the moment. A true friend.
It may sound strange but he was best man at my weddings, twice, he did such a good job the first time. He welcomed my new wife and accepted her without question, he was in my life when my daughter was born, she calls him Mr. Bob as well.
Even after we finally went our separate ways in business, he too become a Rose Farmer and I continued on with cleaning, we kept close ties and whenever I needed a hand he was there, when he was in town and had a few minutes spare, he would call in and have a chat for a while, I looked forward to his visits.
Anyone who knew him would know he loved old machinery and would spend every spare moment out at The Woolshed at Jondaryan, then later at Merringdan Pioneer Village, giving his knowledge and spirit to help preserve the heritage of our ancestors.
He invited me to go the Warwick Machinery Show one January, we walked around all day, back and forth, I was ready to go home, I was tired, but Mr. Bob had another tractor to look at or stationary engine to check out. We stayed until the gates were closed for the day, I was beat. On arriving home I was greeted by a quandary of friends, it was my birthday and he had kept me busy while my lovely wife arranged a surprise party, he just smiled that big grin, that was Mr. Bob.
In his last few years he was bitten by the Family History bug, he spend hours researching his family lines, myself interested in it for years, would help him when he got stuck, share knowledge and contacts, we would spend lots of hours looking for Dead Relie’s as the joke would be. Bob became a good researcher and helped with the gathering of information for the recently printed book on the Clowes line.
 In March this year, he came to visit us and stayed for 10 days, it was great spending time with him, we took him to the Birdwood Car & Motorcycle Museum and The Irrigation Museum at Cobdogla, he had a great time walking around the old machinery, going on a train ride. He was truly in his element.
So his legacy lives on in all of us that he touched in some way or another. To me he was a good friend, confidant, business partner and I will always have a special spot for him in my heart.
Recently we purchased a large cleaning extractor/machine and strangely it is our old business colours, red and white. I have aptly named it, Mr. Bob and put signs on it.
So, whenever it is used i can still say Mr. Bob is helping me.
So here we all are today saying a final farewell to him and thank him for giving so much.
He made all our lives a little better in some way.

Farewell Friend, sorry i couldn’t personally be there today.

Until we meet again.

Keith & Christine Jones - Buddies Cleaning South Australia