Noel James Tobin 29/12/1929 - 04/11/2018

Fr Noel Tobin died peacefully in his sleep at 3am at Nazareth House Geraldton, his home since March 2017.   He spent 21 years of his retirement living independently in the northern Perth suburb of Beldon.  He supplied for many parishes, most regularly at St Mary of the Cross Ballajura where he was affectionately known as “Fr Buzzword” as he frequently summarised the Sunday Readings and his homily with a “Buzzword”. He was also the Geraldton Diocese WebMaster posting daily updates and his three year cycle of homilies regularly recieving over 10,000 hits a year from around the world. Frequent funerals and chaplaincy to SACRI Bullsbrook kept him busy.

Born in Canowindra, NSW, the third child of Norman Tobin and Alma McCoskey who raised four children. Survived by brother John.

In 1946, to start his studies for priesthood, not for his home diocese where he was not welcomed, but with the help of his Parish Priest, was accepted by Bishop Gummer for Geraldton. Noel studied in Rome and was ordained with special dispensation because of his age of 22 on 15th July 1951. The next day he celebrated his first Mass at the Tomb of St Peter.

His first appointment was as Assistant priest at Geraldton until 1956, before serving the people of Leonora, Port Hedland, Mt Magnet, Exmouth as Parish Priest for the next twenty eight years. He returned again to the town of Geraldton at the request of Bishop Barry Hickey who asked him to put Geraldton on its financial feet as Administrator and Chancellor - which he did admirably from 1985 to the end of 1993. It was during this time that he took on the mammoth task of setting up the Catholic Development Fund in Geraldton.

While Parish Priest of Exmouth he single handedly put the parish on its financial feet, in an era when some priests experimented with becoming ‘worker priests’. At the altar on Sunday and at the office or fac- tory Monday to Friday.  If you flew into Exmouth, Noel refueled your Cesna. If you escaped the heat at the pub, Noel was there tickling the ivories and across the street your kids would be entertained at the ‘Tobin Movie Theatre’ run by his helpers. If you decided to settle in Exmouth, Noel could be mowing your front lawn when he was not serving as Chaplain to the US military base up the road.  He also truiumphed at being the Editor for the Diocesan newspaper - Cathedral Chronicle, (1952-57) & “The Sower” from 1989 to 1994.

Noel was always helpful to newly ordained priests.  In all of it - he never lost his sense of humour, right up to the end. He was kind to people seeking help, a generous host, a faithful friend - a decent human being!