WE REMEMBER: Graham 'Snow' Baumann 25/11/35 - 27/12/18
WE REMEMBER: Graham 'Snow' Baumann 25/11/35 - 27/12/18 Contributed

Tributes flow for beloved Blackbutt character

GRAHAM 'Snow' Baumann was born on Monday November 25 1935 in Nambour to parents Franz and Violet Baumann.

The 11th of 14 children, Snow was born into a large and loving family.

The family grew up in a modest two bedroom house with a verandah.

Mum and dad had one bedroom, the girls took the other and all the boys slept on the verandah.

Sunday nights were one of the highlights of the week as the kids always enjoyed a regular roast dinner.

During the week it was cooked corn beef and because they lived out of town fresh bread was not always an option so they would make fresh damper.

School wasn't the place for an energetic young man like Snow and he left before he turned 14.

As a boy, he loved helping his dad on the farm at Cooloolabin where they grew bananas, avocados and beans.

Snow was a mischievous boy and he once ate a whole bottle of Aspirin only to have his stomach pumped leaving his liver and kidneys wondering what had hit them.

Snow and his brothers loved playing rugby league and together the Baumann boys made up a good third of the team.

In 1973 he was part of the infamous Blackbutt team that won the A-grade championship.

Snow became a lifetime member of the Blackbutt Rugby League Club and when he was no longer able to don the boots, he became a much-valued strapper for the team.

All budding musicians, Snow and brothers, Ray and Ron played in a local band as young men.

Snow was a fine singer and knew his way around the harmonica and button accordion.

As a young man, Snow served his time doing national service and in 1954, was one of the many proud Australians lining the streets when the Queen and Duke visited the country.

Over the years Snow worked as a timber cutter for the Forestry Commission planting trees.

Not one to shy away from hard work, Snow and his brother Ronny cut and loaded cane by hand which was back breaking, hard manual labour.

Snow met the wonderful Marlene Turner in Blackbutt when she was renovating her family home and he did some work for her.

Snow enjoyed close to 20 years of love and companionship with Marlene.

"He was a romantic in his own bushy way," Ms Turner said.

Ms Turner said while Snow's death had left a heavy burden in her heart and a huge hole in her life, she remembers the man who would always put other's needs ahead of his own.

"He was a man with a heart of gold who was always looking for ways to help others," she said.

"Every word in the John Williamson's song True Blue reflects exactly who Snow was."

Snow became an important part of the Turner household and was always there helping.

Sometimes he would drive the children to school, which was more than an hour away, in his noisy old V8 sedan when Marlene couldn't.

"He loved his Blackbutt footy team and he would walk around town selling raffle tickets," Ms Turner said.

"When he couldn't sell them all, he would buy the rest of them himself and give them out to members of the community."

Snow eventually moved down to Laidley, to be with Marlene and then came along with her when she later moved south to the Hunter Valley to be closer to her family.

Snow was the kind of man who was always busy and always had a project on the go.

"Even as his health was failing, he was still there trying to help out," Ms Turner said.

"As his health deteriorated and he no longer had the strength to dig the holes on the land, he was still helping mulched around the trees."

Graham 'Snow' Baumann died on December 27, 2018.

Snow's funeral was held in Cessnock, NSW on January 7, 2019.

There will be a memorial event in Blackbutt to commemorate Snow's life and scatter his ashes.