A former business owner has been remembered as “a very special man for Kiama”.
Fred Addison, formerly of Addison’s Corner Garage died peacefully on August 21, aged 88.
‘Freddy’ Addison was a Kiama town stalwart of more than 60 years.
The boiler suit-clad Mr Addison ran Addison’s Corner Garage in Manning Street.
Kiama’s service station industry has undergone many changes from the days when Kiama had 11 garages. For many years, Addison’s was the only petrol station in town.
When Roy and Ivy Addison moved to Kiama looking for work in 1932, little did they know that their four-year-old son Fred would become one of the town's most respected figures.
Born in 1928 in Croydon Park, Fred Addison spent his formative years after the move living in a tent at Easts Beach while his father worked in Kangaroo Valley driving a lorry, returning when he could to check on his young family.
Fred Addison’s first break into the automotive industry came via an apprenticeship at Kiama Motor Works.
His first business was located at 4 Henley Avenue, and when the block of land diagonally opposite his business came on the market he snapped it up to open a service station and garage.
With the help of his father and his uncle, Arthur Wheeler, who was a bricklayer and builder, the building was quickly established and in 1952, a five-pump station was opened, serving Neptune petrol (which later became Shell) and selling Austin and Leyland cars.
Mr Addison started with a staff of just four, but it reached 27 in its heyday.
Mr Addison rented out the garage’s upstairs unit to a young midwife named Joan Collins, who had moved to town to work at Kiama Hospital.
Nine years later, she became Mrs Freddy Addison.
The couple were married in 1970. She died in 1994.
A few years ago, Mr Addison retired to live with his daughter, Lisa, in Queanbeyan.
He then moved into a Warrigal Care facility there, where relatives say he enjoyed the varied company and short chats with everyone.
He later relocated to Warrigal Care at Albion Park Rail.
The service station business and site were sold in late 2015.
The ‘Addison’s Garage Shed Cleanout’ Facebook page was inundated with residents offering their condolences.
“He was a very special man for Kiama,” one poster wrote. “I’m very sad that time eventually steals away all those wonderful characters. I think he is imprinted in the hearts of many Kiama residents.”
A service for Mr Addison will take place on Friday, September 1 at 1pm at Kiama Anglican Church.
Read more: 'Where's Freddy?': Kiama stalwart found