Vale Kevin Kirk
– 28 January 2013
The Dapto community has lost one of their best known identities with the passing of Kevin Kirk.He was much revered and well known throughout the entire Illawarra area due to his association with Rugby League, Bowls, Golf and the Club movement.
Kevin was born in Dapto in 1935 and spent almost all his life in the town until moving South to Howlong in 2004 and remained there till his passing. He is survived by his wife Ruth and their three sons Stephen, Tony and Peter and their respective families as well as his sister Heather and her family.
On leaving school Kevin was employed as an apprentice plasterer with his good friend and long time D.R.L.F.C.Life Member Bill Suckley.He later changed occupations to become an apprentice plumber. It was during this time he decided that mining was the job for him. He obtained a position at Wongawilli Mine and later moved to Huntly Colliery where he worked until retirement.Over all Kevin worked in the mining industry in excess of 30 years. He also served his country in National Service.
Kevin ‘s greatest love outside his family was his home town of Dapto and his affiliation with Rugby League. He played his entire career with his beloved Dapto Canaries achieving 100 First Grade games in 1963.He had been scouted by the Rabbitohs and was to become a long time avid Souths supporter.Kevin also represented Illawarra Division in 1964.Unfortunately he was forced to retire prematurely from the game due to a serious back injury.He had always given up his time to coach Dapto Minor and Junior League teams in the 1950’s until the 1970’s.His teams were often very successful and won numerous age championships. Many of his protegees progressed to become outstanding senior players for the Dapto club.Kevin was also to coach Illawarra Junior Representative sides for many years and those teams included notable players such as John Dorahy and the late Allan McMahon,Michael Clarke and John Lumsden.There were many others who went on to become household names in Rugby League.One of his special achievements was coaching his 3 sons in senior football whilst coaching the local Avondale Team.
It was a natural progression from playing and coaching to serving on the Board of Dapto Rugby Leagues Club where he served as a Director in excess of 25 years and was honoured by the Leagues Club Association with the 25 years service award.He also served on the Senior Commitee of D.R.L.F.C. and Junior Commitee where he became Chairman for 10years.
Kevin’s generosity for serving his town extended to being on the Grounds Commitee of the DaptoShowground complex where he served for 30 years.
Other sporting organisations that were recipients of Kevin’s undying support were Dapto Citizens Bowling Club where he was a foundation member,Dapto Social Golf Club (member over 40 years and President for 10 years), The Grange Golf Club and Jamberoo Golf Clubs.This dedication to serving Dapto saw him awarded several Life Memberships , being Dapto Leagues Club, Dapto Senior and Junior and Minor Rugby League, and the Leagues Club Social Golf Club.These achievements portray the outstanding service he so generously provided and are indeed a tribute to Kevin Kirk.He was truely a Dapto Icon!