Thomas Henry Iser

Thomas Henry Iser was the last of his generation of the Iser family when he died on December 9, 2018, four months short of his century.

Tom was born in Bendigo on April 20, 1919, and was educated at Gravel Hill state school before joining his brother Leslie for his secondary education as a boarder at Scotch College in Melbourne.

He returned to Bendigo to work with the family firm, Hume and Iser, and obtained his accountancy qualification after part-time study.

In 1940, he married Evelyn Mary McNaught, a marriage which lasted 73 years until Mary’s death in 2013.

Tom enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces in 1939 and served in the AIF from 1942 to 1945, including nine months in New Guinea and Bougainville in the 14th Armoured Regiment and the 24th Australian Infantry Battalion.

He was demobilised as a captain and returned to Hume and Iser, where he served as payroll officer and later on the board of directors. He remained as an honorary director and attended his last meeting only three weeks before his death.

Shortly after returning from war-service, Tom joined Bendigo Legacy and served as president in 1955 and honorary secretary for a total of 15 years.

When he and Mary moved to Ocean Grove, he joined Geelong Legacy where he was president in 1987 and treasurer for five years.

In all he spent 71 years in service to Legacy; this remarkable achievement is unlikely to ever be repeated.

In his later years, he also volunteered at the Bendigo Soldiers Memorial Institute Military Museum.

As well as enjoying time at the Bendigo and Barwon Heads golf clubs, and membership of the Sandhurst Club and Bendigo Swimming Club, Tom spent hours at his labour of love, carpentry, and made nearly 100 items of household furniture which he distributed among his five children, 16 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

He enjoyed good health to the end and spent his last year as a much loved resident of Carshalton House.