1933 - 2016
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”
I first met Keith and his wife Mary through his daughter-in-law, my cousin Tracey. Keith was born and lived his whole life in Araluen, about 30 kilometres down the hill from my hometown of Braidwood; first at Deep Creek then Araglen where he remained until he passed away in September of last year.
Keith was an orchardist. He began growing stone fruit with his father Pierre and brother Charlie under the name of Harrison and Sons, which consisted mostly of peaches and nectarines transported to Sydney for sale at the markets. The property was divided between Keith and his son Ken in 1987, which they then farmed alongside their respective wives Mary and Tracey.
Keith had a true passion for the farm, never taking time away for holidays, and taking pride in his work, something he has passed down to his grandson Troy who now grows his own vegetables on the property.
Nowadays the farm consists of a smaller peach orchard with the fruit sold to the local farmers markets, as well as running cattle and sheep and growing lucerne hay; and Mary is still there.
Keith married Mary Mundy on the fifteenth of September in 1956. Together they had two daughters, a son, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Keith was immensely proud of his family.
Keith and Mary were an integral part of the Araluen community. Keith had a great knowledge of local history, enjoyed playing cricket and football, having a “yarn” and pulling the occasional prank! Mary worked for the local church and credited this with providing her a full life.
In many ways Keith Harrison epitomised the ‘true Australian farmer’; he had a thirst for knowledge about progressive farming practise, his local area, and the world, he loved his ABC country radio and Slim Dusty especially, and he finished each day of hard work with a couple of beers.