PORT Fairy's hospital, council, community groups and festivals were all shaped in the second half of last century by the life of John Brophy, and his legacy still shapes the town today.
Mr Brophy, at 92, passed away peacefully in Melbourne last Wednesday, his family says.
A graduate of Kew Catholic school Xavier College, where his farther taught, Mr Brophy trained to be a hospital administrator in Sydney in the mid 1940s and was offered the opportunity to head Port Fairy's hospital.
He took the job in 1949, having never visited the town, but his near 50-year stay still benefits the town today.
In more than four decades at the hospital's helm, he founded the Moyneyana festival, which raised several million dollars that paid for hospital renovations, equipment and an aged care home.
Remembered by his son Peter for enormous and far-reaching community mindedness, Mr Brophy was a Borough of Port Fairy councillor for 33 years and mayor from 1956-57 and 1975-78.
"The thing I can say about Dad from a personal point of view, I was aware of all he was doing but he was confidential about everything," Peter said.
"He didn't trumpet what he was achieving. He was very humble, extremely supportive, very focussed, he was driven to just help other people."
Peter said as a volunteer for community groups and always on-call at the hospital, his father worked tirelessly seven days a week and was never known to take a holiday.
"Port Fairy at the time didn't have an ambulance and it was often the hospital manager who was called to the scene of the incident," he said.
"Not spoken about much is the amount of support he provided to many families in Port Fairy, where often there were kids going off the rails. He would represent kids in court, he would give them employment at the hospital, or find it for them in the town."
Mr Brophy was a well-known face at sporting ovals on weekends, as president and secretary of the Hampden Football League and through a long involvement with the Port Fairy Football Club.
Also a supporter of the arts, he was co-founder of the Port Fairy Folk Festival in 1974.
"He got his pleasure from all the activities he did and the people he was engaging with, and the people he was assisting. There was instant gratification," John said.
"That's why he didn't have to take holidays because it was just the wealth of generosity came back to him."
In Mr Brophy's latter years he moved with wife Betty to live in Byron Bay to live near both of his daughters.
The couple moved back to Melbourne in 2009, and Betty died in 2010.
"Betty was a theatre nurse at the hospital, who was a tremendous support fro John both at work and in the home environments," Peter said.
Mr Brophy leaves behind children Peter, Marianne, Paul and Fiona and eight grandchildren, he has five great grandchildren.
A service will remember Mr Brophy at Xavier College Memorial Chapel, Kew, at 11.00am on Friday.
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