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8 May, 2022

Generous gift helps others

A FORMER Victorian mayor, engineer and avid marathon runner has left more than $100,000 in his estate to be donated to three separate charities, with one residing on the Tablelands.

By Rhys Thomas

Bob Horman posthumously donated $40,000 to three separate charities including one here on the Tablelands.

A FORMER Victorian mayor, engineer and avid marathon runner has left more than $100,000 in his estate to be donated to three separate charities, with one residing on the Tablelands.

The late Robert (Bob) Horman was known for many things over his 102 years of life - a mayor, engineer, community figure, avid runner and as a man of charity, which has continued even after his passing.

Bob passed away in 2019 after spending the latter years of his life on the Atherton Tablelands, often see running on the road between Kairi and Tolga right up until he became a centenarian.

Always passionate about running, Bob started getting serious about running around 12 years old, joining the Geelong Harriers, and over his life, winning several world cross country and marathon championships, USA State College records, as well as recording world and Australian national records along the way.

He travelled around the globe, saw wars, marvelled at men landing on the moon, the onset of computers, mobile phones, and the world wide web.

Bob even worked in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive, in Iran during the Revolution and in Britain in 1962 during the “Big Freeze” – one of the coldest winters on record in the United Kingdom when temperatures plummeted and lakes and rivers froze over.

For many years, Bob held the post of being the local council member and eventually the top job as the Mayor of Ringwood in Victoria, when Ringwood was a separate township from Melbourne.

Through all of this, Bob never stopped pursuing his passion of running and would eventually finish in the top 10 for the Olympic games qualifying events, relegating him to B grade Olympic status and even running alongside gold medallists years later – the likes of Frank Shorter, gold medallist 1972 and silver medallist in the 1976 Summer Olympics, and Bill Rodgers who won the Boston and New York Marathons.

Bob continued to push himself to new heights, competing in marathons across the world and setting multiple Australian age records from the 1990s to the 2000s.

He eventually settled down in the far north and would continue to practice his running on the roads around Atherton and Kairi until he was over 100 years old, two years before his passing.

Now in 2022, as per his request, the remaining balance of Bob’s funds held at his estate have been equally divided into three payments and donated to separate charities.

The Fred Hollows Foundation, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association of Queensland and Trees for the Evelyn & Atherton Tablelands (TREAT) will each receive $40,217.19.

Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands secretary Doug Burchill said it was amazing to receive such a substantial donation.

“It is gratifying to receive a substantial donation toward TREAT’s aims and objectives of revegetating strategic parts of the Tablelands,” he said.

“Bob participated in some of the community planting projects we have done during his lifetime.

“This money will enable our organisation to fund an area of from 1ha to 3ha. We aim, with larger projects like this, to revegetate strategic corridors for wildlife migration and habitat in areas that are protected for the long term.”

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