25th Nov 13.
Kevin Smith called on Bruce this morning to take him to RPA on doctor's orders. Bruce was in bed and would not get up for Kevin under any circumstance. That means his visit
to Centrelink had to be aborted.
Last Thursday when Bill Scott and I visited he would not let us take any books, cutlery, crockery or other household items as John had asked us to do. He seems defiant
to the point that when I told him the doctor wanted to change his orange juice to apple, he waved his arms in a defiant way. He has dug in his toes on any changes.
25th Nov 13.
Just rang Bruce and he said he is ok I'm working tomorrow but will see him WEDNESDAY afternoon he may have been very tired I asked him to call me if he needed help
but with his family, Peter and John close by I think he may feel better.
Just spoke to Sue and Norm they are of the same opinion as I that Bruce is sicker than he likes us to believe Norn is going to be with him all day Tuesday. They are nice caring people
they have cleaned all the kitchen and books it is so hard to know what to keep and let go.
27th Nov 13.
Tried to pick up the king's bed but he won't get out of it Norm is not happy because it is holding everything up.
My uncle passed away early this morning, I don't think Bruce is really up to the move being sick is getting him down the pick up is about 8 in the morning so it may help him.
28th Nov 13.
Sorry to have to let you know but Bruce did not make his date with Cardinal Freeman Village yesterday.
He has been particularly stubborn in the last week and has refused to make visits to the doctor, see the nurse etc.
He has become progressively worse and yesterday redeveloped some of the ongoing symptoms that he has had for the last 6 months – particularly gastric. He refused to be taken to Cardinal Freeman as planned. His admission was rearranged for today.
He was very unwell today and was taken from home to RPA Hospital.
As of about 3.00pm today he was in ICU suffering from dehydration, renal failure and almost certain permanent kidney damage. The doctor indicated to me that without treatment he would have not lasted more than a few days. The doctor indicated that he is so unwell at present that she does not believe he has sufficient capacity to make informed choices about his own care. She is hopeful that he will recover this ability with further hydration.
Hopefully he will recover and enter Cardinal Freeman Village at a future time. I spoke with Elsie whilst taking some possessions there today and she is excited at the prospect.
29th Nov 13.
It is wonderful that you saved Bruce from himself and admitted him to hospital. You and the inner circle are doing a lifetime's worth of good deeds. Bravo.
All the best
29th Nov 13.
That's so sad. Thanks for doing so much to asssist and keeping us informed.
I saw Paul Dillon on Wed and his condition improving.
29th Nov 13.
Have just arrived home from Bruce's unit where both Kevin Smith and I have been helping Bruce's niece Sue and husband Norm try to finish the massive job of moving
furniture, clothing, household goods and memorabilia over the past two days.
We had the drama of getting the King to hospital yesterday and that outcome is reported in John Hardgrove's email.
The plea for help from Echidnas on 27 and 28 November apparently went unnoticed except for the usual few loyal members who had their own problems and work to take care
of. Out of our 60 members it was a call from Merv Dick that broke the silence.
It is hoped that the King can be found fit enough to move into Cardinal Freeman next Wednesday. It is his kidneys now that are the worry.
Note: Alan no doubt hasn't hear that a few Echidnas made contact ie; Rodney Marks, John Clegg. A special mention of Paul Martell who made the very kind offer of $250
to pay for professional clean up,
30th Nov 13.
I just left RPA the king has improved immensely he is in green ICU level three the nurse told me he has made a dramatic improvement so all the prayers have been
answered if you could please forward on this GREAT news
4th Dec 13.
The news is indeed great. You must have healing powers. Keep up the terrific work. See you Monday,
10th Dec 13.
I haven't been able to visit king been doing lots of other things but I have been in constant touch with RPA and his home hospital DR who is the most caring lady, I have numerous phone calls from her
regrading king he has improved so much since been put back in RPA that he is walking around ward he was that ill when he was forced to go back DR crozier didn't think he could recover but he is one
tough little bugger if people want to visit please call RPA first as he may go home to ashfield, not sure as he had test yesterday and they will get results back then see if any further progress.
I will try and see him today with Bill Scott and Ruth. I'll give a update on the king after that.
thanks Kevin Smith
10th Dec 13.
Medical staff at RPA asked that we give Bruce a miss for a day or two as he is having some tests to determine his situation.
Bill Scott and his wife were going to visit yesterday and Kevin today. I intend to make it on Thursday.
Doctor told Kevin yesterday that had we not been with Bruce last Thursday week and not called ambulance he would not have survived the next couple of hours. Lucky we were there!
his tests could wear him out mentally and physically so hence the pause in visits.
11th Dec 13.
Bruce has recovered sufficiently that he will make his long awaited entry to Cardinal Freeman Lodge this afternoon.
His room is ready, thank you in large part to Norm and Susan. I will deliver some of his valuables to him this afternoon. He will need to contact Centrelink regarding his and Elsie’s pensions. I don’t believe he has yet done this.
His phone number through the National Relay Service is 133677 and then 97983857. The phone is in his room so it is quite likely that he will not be there much of the time. His room number is 111 and Elsie’s is 118 which is only a few doors down the corridor
I have a request in with his surgeon, Dr. Elliott, to attempt to get an update on Bruce’s prognosis. If I receive any information I will pass this on to Bruce and the immediate family.
The doctor I spoke with yesterday indicated that Bruce is now infection free. There are some ongoing issues regarding the impact of his food on other aspects of his well-being however this is not likely to change.
11th Dec 13.
I can confirm the king has taken occupancy of his new castle at Ashfield.
Somebody said "he is a tough little bugger"
well surely this proves it.
13th Dec 13.
Rodney Marks came up with a worthy suggestion for you all to consider.
As Bruce is now at the Cardinal Freeman Lodge at Ashfield (Room 111) why not make an Echidnas visit on Monday 6th January. There is no meeting until February so let's try to cheer Bruce with our
A morning time would be suitable as the afternoon is set aside for rest. I am running this by all Echidnas through our website instead of our usual mailout which will be sent early January asking for
nominations for our annual general meeting on Monday 3rd February 2014.
Please answer with your thoughts on Rodney's
plan of action.
So far agreement from; Rodney Marks, Alan Dale, Doug McLauchlin, Bill Scott, Kevin Smith, Frank McQuade, Graham Cotter, Simon Bartlett,
Harry Griffith, John Charte, Bobby & Mary Bradford & Noel Clarke
17th Dec 13.
Hello Rodney and Noel,
Alan will arrange meeting room and times etc possibly on Thursday. Maybe an hour will be more than Bruce could take but that should be more apparent just prior to the day.
I dropped in to visit Bruce at midday today and he was virtually out to it, but after a few minutes he rallied. Kevin came in five minutes later bringing some washing . After a while he was sitting up and participating in some banter and general good hearted rambling.
When I arrived I entered through the common room and Elsie spotted me and came over. She said to those around her "he has come to visit Bruce". She was all smiles. That is very positive. She had her full faculties there. After lunch she joined us in Bruce's room and rummaged around and showed us a few photos.
Bruce lay down suddenly and we decided that he had had enough for a while. He was pleased to receive visitors, so don't be shy if you wish to call in. But play it by ear.
Kevin is going north for a week and Alan said that he would try to get there on Thursday.
Bye for now,
19th Dec 13.
Hi all echidnas,
It is amazing what medical science and a grit determination can do. I spent a whole hour with the King this morning. He only used the whiteboard once in that time. We had a good laugh over some memorable
moments in our show biz careers.
I had a dialogue with the head lady at the Cardinal Freeman over Rodney's suggestion for a get together on Monday 6th January 2014. There was an overwhelming welcome for us to use the common room and as
I asked could we have access to the piano, the reply was in the affirmative. They will make sure the piano tuner visits and has it ready. John Charter has volunteered his services for any music that may
I am aware that there will be other residents in the area at the same time so I said that they would be welcome to join the party. This was very well accepted. So I suggest that we make it a one hour gig
starting at 10 or 10.30. Bruce was delighted to think we were arranging the whole affair and it was his suggestion that we keep it to the hour only. Would you all please note that it is Bruce and Elsie's
60th wedding anniversary upcoming on Thursday 2nd January. They were married at St. Andrews Anglican Church at Summer Hill. It was the only Saturday that the King didn't have a gig. Maybe a card? The postal
address is Room 111, Gate 11, 4 Clissold Street, Ashfield 2245.
Spoke to Harry Griffith who is suffering a little vertigo with his illness but indicated that he intends to join us on 6th January as his wife can drive. Wouldn't that be great?
More information on the starters for this event will be posted on our website. Let's hope our members get used to keeping in the loop by accessing our exclusive domain which was created by Noel Clarke
who gave a lot of his own time in its creation.
20th Dec 13
As I was leaving the Cardinal Freeman after my visit to Bruce I happened into a resident who recognised me as an entertainer from the club industry. I proceeded to relate to him how I came to be at the facility and he was anxious to know about Bruce's situation. He could remember being an audience at many of his performances especially smokos. When I mentioned that we were planning a sort of mini-concert for Bruce in the common room he said "For Christ's sake don't let him near the piano! We've only recently purchased it and we don't want him taking it to pieces!"
20th Dec 13
Good one Al.
Methinks that Bruce should complete a few gym sessions for some time before attacking any pianos. Bobby Dennis could declare a dueling pianos event see who can take the Warsaw Concerto right through.
I look forward to the event.
20th Dec 13
We went to see Bruce and Elsie this afternoon, it is so sad to see them end up Like this. Dear, sweet Elsie, what a beautiful lady. At least they are both Together, and
Bruce has professional care.
Bruce indicated to me his toenails need cutting, and he also needs a haircut. Do any of the guys know anyone in the area who could do this, we Are quite happy To pay for it.
We took cards in, ours seemed the only one he had. Bruce also indicated he Wants his boxes unpacked. I can do this, but I didn't mention it to him as don't Like to
interfere when you have been doing all the organising which is Wonderful, he is so lucky to have you at the helm Alan.
Rex And I would like to wish you and your wonderful family best wishes for
The festive season and 2014.
Wendy and Rex Allison
P.s. we loved the piano story, had a good laugh at that.
Sent from my iPad
24th Dec 13
In response to Rex & Wendy's email re Bruce hair & nails, I feel sure the nursing home would have contacts with those services as a podartrist we go to does calls to
nursing homes. My brother had a barber visit him before he passed away so if nothing has happened I will try and organise same when I get back, maybe the Hargrove
boys may know a local person or persons.
28th Dec 13
Thank you for visiting the King for Xmas.
It is a lonely time for people like Bruce. Elsie would have loved the floral gift.
Yes I did get an email from you indicating that you would visit before New Year. I will put this out on our website for all to read.
Once again a reminder about January 2 (60th wedding anniversary).
The King was very chatty (on the whiteboard) about that particular date. It means so much to him and I do believe that it was a strong will to make sure he was here to
celebrate the occasion.
29th Dec 13
We visitied the King and Elsie today, he was bright and cheerful as was Elsie what a darling, we had a lovely time with them.
Bruce told me he knew Hal Wayne had passed away and he shed some tears.
They both seem very comfortable in their new abode I asked him about his needs re hair, shave and nails he said he had it organised, I offered to go over on
Tuesday to get these things done he said all was under control I told them Rae and I will see them Thursday 2/1/14 for their 60th Wedding anniversary Elsie said
Oh is it that long.
King is looking forward to the 6th he would like to see his mates.
1st Jan 14
Subject: Bruce & Elsie's Cake
Ruth and I went to see Bruce today and presented him and Elsie with a Diamond Wedding Cake to mark their 60th anniversary. Ruth made this cake and
the King was absolutely delighted with it. Elsie was thrilled as well but had difficulty remembering what it was for and why we were there. The King's
antics over all this was priceless. He was looking all the better for being in there.
we told the staff what this cake was all about and left instructions with them to share it with everyone tomorrow. We also left a large box of biscuits for
everyone to share. Big party tomorrow.
All the best,
1st Jan 14
I’ve put a small card together for next Monday (6th) for Bruce and Elsie.
A bit rough around the edges (done in a hurry) but the main thing is they get the message.
From all at Sidesplitters we send our love and good wishes and trust you will all have an enjoyable day.
Photo Thanks to Ian Franklin. (Ian I couldn't fit it all in)
OH, I almost forgot……….if Bruce happens to play the Piano, tell him “not TOO clever !!”...........
I followed him one morning at the old Balmain RSL Hall (Tommy Hanon) zonks ago and
when he started to pull the piano apart, I thought “how the hell am I gonna follow that !!??”
Enjoy your day.
1st Jan 14
I just now returned from a visit to Bruce and Elsie.
Bruce was excited by the visit by Bill and Ruth whose cake went over a treat. Much excitement.
It was about 4.50 when I called in. I spotted Elsie in the common room and we had a small chat but she was vague. Must be the time of day. She said she would come with me to Bruce but took three wrong turns. Luckily I knew the way. She told me she lived there somewhere but walked past her room without recognising it. I was there a few days ago and she was right on the money.
Bruce and I had a chat and he had two glasses of orange juice. He lay down and the eyes shut almost immediately. Twenty minutes is a long time for him beyond sundown.
2nd Jan 14
Hi just visited the King and Elsie for their 60th anniversary, Elsie thanked us for the flowers and for being there with them she is such a treasure.
Bruce is not having having one of his better days he said he didn't feel too good and I'm concerned about congestion and pointed it out to the head nurse, also
they are hoping shave him today and a barber tomorrow as not much in that department open.
I'm not around Saturday going to Wingham.
Talk later Kevin Smith
2nd Jan 14
Thanks for the update. Rex and Wendy took flowers and goodies also for the 60th. Rae's cake was sensational. Hope the King is up to our visit next Monday.
Have relations from Port Macquarie staying with us until Monday so am busy.
Happy New Year to you both.
5th Jan 14
visited King & Elsie today it was so heartening to see him looking so good he's had a shave and looking forward with great excitement to Monday I think it has
inspired him. I left feeling it was the best he has been for a long time.
See you about 10am toworrow
5th Jan 14
We are about to sail. So glad Bruce sounds good. Desperately tried to get over, But just ran out of time. He knows we are going away, but would you pass on
Our love to Bruce and Elsie. We return on 19th. Rex is so disappointed he Can't be there on the 6th.
Wendy and Rex Allison
5th Jan 14
All is set for the King's visit tomorrow with a 10 am arrival for 10.30. I will bring my sound and we have two pianists in Bill Scott and John Charter so if
there is a song to be sung it will well played.
Former King Harry Griffith called this morning and with all going well he will also attend. It depends on his health on the day.
There will be other residents in the common room but it is big enough to accommodate a gathering. We'll just play it by ear. The management is keen to oblige
which will help. Rodney's idea so let's make him MC! Enter from Victoria Street and don't get confused with the private hospital which is closer to Wests Leagues.
Just don't let Bruce get near that piano!
6th Jan 14
Well, what a day it was, we all had a great time entertaining the guests along with our beloved King and glorious wife Elsie at Cardinal Freeman Lodge arriving
around 10am the show got under way around 10,20am with Rodney Marks as our emcee.
Our little show started with Rodney telling the guests who the Echidnas were and what we did then he started with a few jokes that some how seemed faulter a
little but being the true professional he just kept on crashing.
Rodney then introduced Harry Griffith to do his thing which brought great laughted.... to the gathered Echidnes but seemed to miss the mark with most of the
guests until he gathered them in and finished with applause. I might add also that Rodney gained most of his laughter from we Echidnas as well, but it must be
Thanks to Alan Dale, taken at the Kings 80th
said he did a wonderful job on the microphone.
We were there of course to cheer up our King who was in great spirits even doing a round or two with Elsie on the dance floor. Who would have believed this a
couple of weeks back? A small man with giant size heart.
See special page of photos HERE >>>
7th Jan 14.
To see the smile on the King's face made it all worthwhile. The Echidnas faithful made it to the Cardinal Freeman Village yesterday to celebrate Bruce and Elsie's
60th Wedding Anniversary and to give the King a day to remember.
Acting on Rodney Mark's initiative to visit and entertain the King, Doug McLaughlin, Kevin Smith, Bill Scott, Graham Cotter, Frank McQuade, Bobby Bradford,
Simon Bartlett, Alan Dale and Harry Griffith turned on an impromptu performance with musical backing from John Charter. Harry gave the large audience a touch of
vaudeville with his telling of some of Roy Rene's antics.
Frank and Graham combined on a couple of nostalgic songs, Simon hadn't brought along his trombone so improvised with an impression of the King's trombone mimicry.
Bobby Bradford ripped into a medley of old favourites. John Charter soloed on Roses of Picardy and Bill thumped the newly tuned piano into submission with Winnie
Attwell's Black and White Rag. Alan told the legend of Ned Kelly in song. Rodney kept the pace of the show moving with his usual clever anecdotes. The highlight
was the finale with all singing the Anniversary Waltz while Bruce and Elsie danced the bridal waltz. The King hadn't lost his stage demeanour with a half pratt
fall to delight the audience.
Thanks to those that gave their best wishes as they could not attend. Both Warren Kermond and Ian Franklin were foremost in their congratulations.
The bottom line was that the King had made an incredible, some would say a miracle, improvement in his well being to enjoy his special day.
7th Jan 14.
Thanks Alan for that rundown.
A couple of Echidnas assisted with numbers by escorting their wives.
I reckon we could have charged good money for that performance. King Bruce could be threatened with exposure and definitely go to great lengths to evade punishment if threatened with publication of some of the great shots taken by our own publicist, Noel Clarke. He will probably download on our web site a selection of his visuals for the enjoyment of those who could not attend. Dressed in his best retirement shorts, Bruce would be the envy of many an emu: those legs may have been enough to have him barred from the Sydney Cricket Ground. (Referring to the lady lawyer who met that fate this week.) He has not lost his sense of display or enjoyment. Rodney went close to social and legal limits on his great impromptu ad libs. (Tautology?) I would love a YouTube copy of that.
All in all, congratulations to the spirit of the Echidnas on a fine performance.
2nd Feb 14.
I visited the king this morning and he looks well but has had a fall and injured his toe which became infected, he is on anti BIOTICS.
I asked would he like to go to meeting Monday night and he wants to go so I will call and bring him, I am sure it will be a pick up for him see you all Monday night.
2nd Feb 14.
Good work. Doug was asking about the distance you have to travel. Offered to help. Let's hope we get a good roll up for our AGM.
4th Feb 14.
The king felt very proud to receive the title he rightfully deserved and John Hargrove also was present and said it will be mentioned at the election of directors at
Wests Leagues tonight. His toe is still sore, I'm taking him to barber Friday at this stage. He was happy with elections of Echindas
7th Feb 14.
I visited king Emeritus today to take him for hair cut but he wasn't up for it, he didn't feel to good it seems when he becomes tired he takes a few days to recover. I told
him I would be away till about 20th Feb due to being in Brisbane with my family for my 70th birthday.
His toe is slowly healing I went to the office today and was informed podiatrist will be there today.
have a nice week all
19th Feb 14.
Visited king today he looked good but tired he was in common room but hurried back to his room he needs the walk and getting out of his room.
Elsie was at lunch she looks well, I Will be visiting again in next couple days. Any one visiting Bruce should make time to visit the coffee shop
within the grounds very clean and reasonable priced $10 lunch
21st Feb 14.
Visited Bruce this morning and he did look well. New haircut made a dashing figure. The shortest of short back and sides with a tuft of hair on top makes it a mohawk!
I gave him some 1980 Encore magazines which he gratefully accepted. I had found a picture of him from a show business directory with him pulling a piano to pieces. It was
over 50 years old and he loved it.
Showed it to nursing staff with that mischievous look on his face. I will bring it to the next meeting so it can posted on the website.
Left him after an hour while he was in good spirits.
Elsie had welcomed me when I arrived and insisted on taking me to his room. Got lost on the way so I finished up taking her! She also looked well.
Gave him a copy of the March meeting reminder. I think he enjoyed seeing his name with the Emeritus tag.
24th Feb 14.
This landed in my in box this morning hot off the Paul Martell gossip line. It tells its own story. Thanks Paul.
I recommend a look at the web site, www.echidnasclub.com log into home and there into reports on KING, at Echidnas please note, scroll right down to recent entries, (right column) and there is one there also a fresh one from Alan . It tells a story as well. Noel, could you pease place this one on soon?
Below from Paul Martell:
With Bruce Saturday night; the best I have seen him, he and Elsie in good order at Wests Golf Club presentation!
Pass on to Alan if you can or post for the Echidnas to see.
Paul, great to see King Emeritus looking so good.