A steady procession of close friends, truly reflecting the measure of Kaye Nailer’s great love and empathy for people, are rallying behind the Nailer family following Kaye’s sudden passing at her home at the Bundoora Retirement Village on Tuesday morning.
Kaye’s death at the age of 77 was conveyed to the Old Paradians’
Association by her younger son Stephen (1987), a member of the Old
committee. Older brother Paul (1986) was amongst close family
members who have since shared their recollections of a lady whose links
with the College
can be sourced to the late 1970s when she gained work at the old
Edmund Rice Juniorate.
“Mum’s first connection with Parade was really through Edmund
Rice College at the back of the Bundoora Campus, when she was
interviewed by Br. Russell Peters for the housekeeping role. That was in
1975 and that was her first connection,” Paul said.
“Steve and I were always going to go to Parade – particularly so
after Mum worked for the Brothers at the juniorate. Most of the brothers
there were retired
– about 12 in all – while the younger brothers lived at what is now
the College’s administration block.
“Her role was part-time, helping with the cleaning and preparing the Brothers’ meals. She was always there because her work tied in well with her school hours . . . and she loved it.”
Kaye’s working arrangement with the Juniorate led to a connection
with the broader College community for the next 46 years of her life –
the Brothers domiciled at the Treacy Centre and Amberley, fellow
members of the College’s Ladies Committee and the many and varied
identities of the
Old Paradians’ Amateur Football Club.
Kaye’s connection even extended to Africa, where she crossed paths
with Brothers Cole, Lockwood and O’Shea, who were all committed to the
Born to Jack and Alice (nee Marshall) Collins on New Year’s eve 1943,
Kaye was the oldest of three children, preceding brother Jim and sister
Kaye’s great sense of community had a lot to do with her upbringing in the Latrobe Valley, as Jill recently explained.
“Kaye was born in Yallourn, but we all moved to Newborough in 1955 when Mum and Dad bought a new home,” Jill said.
“We lived in a strong multicultural area – lots of Dutch and Poles –
and the politician Matthew Guy’s family, who were Ukranian, lived next
“There was a real Eastern European presence where we were, and a big
Italian presence in nearby Morwell – and they were all terrific people.
“Multiculturalism meant nothing to us because we all grew up with it. Everyone knew everyone, Kaye included. She was just like our mother Alice – community spirited and very sociable.”
Kaye first attended St. Therese’s Catholic Primary School in Yallourn
and was later a foundation student at Moe’s Presentation College. On
studies, she found secretarial and sales work at Newborough’s Gub
Considine real estate agency – before embarking on the pilgrimage to
taking up lodgings at the Princess Mary Club – a hostel for young
women – near the theatre district in Lonsdale Street. There she boarded
for a few
months until the Methodists overseeing the premises learned that she
was of the Catholic faith and politely asked her to seek alternative
Kaye duly relocated to the St Kilda junction, where she shared a flat
with a few close friends - amongst them Bev Wheeler who later married
One world motor racing champion Alan Jones. She subsequently found
work with T & G Insurance in Collins Street, and in October 1967
vows at Newborough’s St Mary’s Catholic Church with the Indian-born
Gavin Nailer whom she had met at a party at her St Kilda flat.
As Gavin was an ANZ banker by profession he was regularly transferred
with his employment, and Kaye dutifully followed – initially to
Paul and Stephen were born in 1968 and ’69 respectively, and later
Wodonga where daughter Jenni was born in 1971.
Having become aware prior to Jenni’s birth that the baby would carry a
heart condition, the Nailers resolved to relocate to Melbourne where
be in close proximity of the hospital that would house the six
month-old infant up to and beyond her open heart surgery.
The family eventually settled in a new Bundoora housing estate,
specifically at No.54 Arthur Street. Gavin and Kaye put their children
at the nearby St Damian’s – and later enrolled Paul and Stephen at
Parade, and Jenni at Loyola. Jenni’s health remained a constant source
for her parents and she underwent major surgeries in the ensuing
years – all of which warranted many, many days of convalescence at the
As a means of helping her daughter maintain a positive outlook, Kaye
sought the support of the then Fitzroy footballer Paul Roos, whom Jenni
Throughout the years, Roos visited Jenni at Arthur Street and always
sought to check in on the young girl’s progress.
In 1991, Jenni, then 19, underwent an incredibly complex heart/lung
transplant. Tragically, she never really recovered from the complex
surgery and she
died in the Royal Children’s Hospital on Anzac Day of that year.
The devastating loss of Jenny impacted severely on the Nailers,
particularly Gavin, who tended to keep his emotions in check at a time
when grief counselling
wasn’t widely-practiced. It was here that Roos and his wife Tami
again lent invaluable support. On each of the subsequent anniversary
dates of the
young girl’s passing, the Roos’ made a point of talking to Kaye –
whether in person or via telephone from the United States where they
lived for a
time – and only last week the Sydney Premiership coach took Kaye out
Another great source of support was the Old Paradian Paul Healy
(1986) who with each anniversary of Jenni’s passing would always send a
card to Kaye.
In March 2016 Kaye lost Gavin, her soulmate of 48 years, as her close
circle of friends closed around her. One of them was her dear comrade
Di Vear, who
by virtue of her sons Michael (1983), Lucas (1986) and Matthew
(1987) attending the College committed her energies to the Parade Ladies
“I first joined the social committee when my boy Mick, who’s 55 now,
first joined as a student. The late Jean Flynn was involved on the
Shirley O’Rourke and Ann Kerr were amongst the originals,” Di
recalled. “Kaye came in a bit later when her boy Paul commenced at
Parade, and Paul was
the same age as my Lucas - but we already knew each other from St
Damian’s where the boys went to primary school.
“Kaye’s involvement with the social committee was huge. She was such a
great networker and she knew everybody. She was incredible personable
“Our connection endured for more than 40 years, even beyond the Parade days. The ladies who made up that committee continued to meet every three months or so for lunch, more recently at the Lower Plenty Hotel, and we also caught up at the Old Paradians Luncheons at the RACV Club – and Kaye used to round them all up.”
Parade Ladies gather for lunch at the Lower Plenty Hotel, 2019. Clockwise from left to right: Pam Wood, Kaye Nailer, Lyn Evans, Diane Vear, Marlene Bloom, Maureen Healy, Joan O'Laughlin, Danuta Farrell, Marea Way, Marie Harrison, Jean Smith, Maureen Ellks, Bep Thomas, Karen Arnott, Kerri Keating, Sandra Dimech and Veronica Amsing.
Son Stephen’s observations of her mother’s involvement with the College community are similarly glowing.
“Mum and the ladies as a group were probably more Paradian than most
OPs,” Stephen said. “They were all in the ladies auxiliary and they all
who went to Parade.”
In late April, Kaye received a letter from the Old Paradians’
Association President Paul Shannon, advising that she had been adjudged
this year’s recipient
of the Woman of Distinction Award, in acknowledgment of her
significant contributions to the College and the Association over many
On receiving the letter, Kaye called the Association to convey her
deep appreciation for the award, which was to have been formally
presented to her at
next Wednesday’s Association Luncheon at the RACV Club.
Though her health was failing, Kaye confirmed her attendance at the
luncheon, maintaining to the end that positive outlook on life. As she
said at the
time: “I am honoured, humbled and completely overwhelmed”.
Though fate has since played its cruel hand and the award will now be
presented to the Nailer family at another time, they take great comfort
in the knowledge
Kaye knew she was to be recognised in this way.
So too Di Vear. To quote Di: “That was a great high . . . and I felt so honoured for her because she deserved every bit of it”.
Kaye was the beating heart and soul of Parade College, and of the
Nailer clan. Younger sibling Jill, perhaps speaking for all, said she
her big sister as “the girl with the heart of gold, kind and
generous in every way”.
“When Mum died I placed a notice which read: ‘She loved people, she
loved life and she loved us’ – and you could say the same about Kaye,”
“She was a people person.”
Kaye Nailer is survived by her sons Paul and Stephen, their
respective spouses Kim and Kimberley, and five grandchildren – amongst
them Steve’s son Jack,
a Year 10 Parade College student.
KAYE NAILER FUNERAL DETAILS
SATURDAY, MAY 22, COMMENCING 10.30AM
1436 PLENTY ROAD BUNDOORA
(enter via main College driveway)
Please allow time for parking and entry to the
auditorium. Traffic controllers will be on hand to assist those with
accessibility issues. A wake will take place in the Greening Auditorium
immediately following Kaye's funeral: private burial to follow.
RSVP Steve Nailer via email - firstname.lastname@example.org or mob. 0403
KAYE PATRICIA NAILER FUNERAL SERVICE - LIVE STREAMING DETAILS
May 22 at 10:30 AM (Aust EST)
Please find the below link to the Live Streaming of the funeral
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If you have any issues please contact Steve Nailer m 0403 187 840 or e email@example.com