HOWES, Barbara


A life well lived

Barbara and Grand Daughter Jasmine

Barbara and Grand Daughter Jasmine

Barbara Joy Hodder was born on the 25th Dec 1945 to parents Eileen and Frank Hodder.  Barb was educated at Macarthur Street Primary School and then off to East High until the completion of year 4.  Barb was not that keen on school however her parents told her if she had a full-time job at the end of year 4 she could leave school, so the hunt began !!

Barb obtained full-time employment at I & R Morley Pty Ltd in Doveton Street North which later became the Lucas/Morely/Hilton Organisation opposite the Golf House Hotel.  Barb commenced her employment as a telephonist/receptionist on the switchboard but this job later led her to become secretary to the Director at Morley's.

Part of Barb's job which she loved very much was modeling bathers for the company and taking part in filming for the company at a Swimming Pool at Selkirks in Howitt Street.

Barb married Malcolm Gilbert in 1967 and they had three children Dean, Paula, and Janelle.  They later separated but continued to maintain a friendship throughout their lives in order to raise their children to adulthood.

After her employment at Morley's, she spent some time at home looking after her children until such time that Brian Nunn, the Operations Manager at Sovereign Hill, asked her to come and do a relief position as secretary for a couple of weeks in 1978.  This led to Barb working at Sovereign Hill for almost 30 years as a Personal Assistant, Secretary, or Executive Assistant (whichever fancy name you would prefer).  Barb loved her job at Sovereign Hill working for the Directors and Operation Managers including Ross Jones, Craig Fletcher, and lastly Jeremy Johnson's PA.  Barb and Jeremy had a fabulous working relationship and became very good friends.  Jeremy made Barb's working life complete as their friendship grew and their working relationship was perfect.  Barb retired from Sovereign Hill three times.  Eventually, Barb's daughter Janelle took over from Barb as Jeremy's PA so she knew Jeremy was in good hands.

On the 25th June 1989 Barb married an old school friend Ian Howes.  Ian had never been married so he was in for a shock.  He had to adjust to a life of Calisthenics, School Children, and anything else that was included for a stepdad.

Barb and Ian got along famously well and in doing so enjoyed lots of travel together to places such as New Zealand, the UK, and America (Including New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas).  They also cruised the Rhine river and traveled to Gallipoli.

One of Barb's passions was Calisthenics and supporting her daughters and granddaughters.  She was awarded a Life membership of the Hayde Calisthenic Club for her service.  Barb was a teacher with the Ballarat Calisthenic Club for approx.. 5 years so her daughters had no choice but to become calisthenic girls.  

Bar was also a member of the Rotary Club of Ballarat South and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow for her involvement with the club such as assisting with the forming, performance, and production of the South Star Stompers.  A group of 16 people under Barb's instruction raised money for various organisations.  These productions were performed to full houses at the Queen Elizabeth Centre, Lederman Hall.  Barb was involved in the sewing of the costumes which included the adding of sequence.

Another interest was Probus.  Barb was President of Probus in 2008/2009.  She was also a Royal South Street volunteer for many many years. 

Barb developed breast cancer in 2005, after several years of chemo and radiation, plus forever check-ups she was in remission after a few years.  Barb developed a brain tumor and sadly passed away on the 18th April 2022.

Thank you to Barb's family for submitting her eulogy to us.

Barb is buried at the Ballarat New Cemetery in Birdsong Gardens Section H Grave 23.  

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