Ken Brims, aged 15, worked at the Connelly Sawmill in Chillingham. He got his nickname Friday here. YEAR: 1955
Ken Brims, aged 15, worked at the Connelly Sawmill in Chillingham. He got his nickname Friday here. YEAR: 1955 Contributed

Kenneth Brims remembered for a life spent on the Tweed

ON May 15, Murwillumbah lost one of its treasures.

Kenneth William Brims or "Friday", as he's known to some, died at John Flynn Hospital after a long battle with leukemia.

He was just shy of his 74th birthday.

Kenny, as family and friends often called him, was born on June 11, 1940, and raised in Murwillumbah.

He was the fourth child of May and Bill Brims of Chillingham.

During the WWII, in 1943, the Brims family, which included sister Joyce, 10, brothers Mervyn, 6, Barry, 4, and Leslie, 2, moved to Old Hines Farm at Zara.

A few years later Coleen and Neil, the youngest of the Brims children, were born which made two girls and five boys in the Brims family.

Life on the dairy farm was hard work, the family worked together to milk the cows, feed the pigs and chickens and do the housework.

But the boys still managed to make time to have fun on push bikes and horses.

Relative Harold Hines, who read Kenny's eulogy at his funeral, said one of the best family memories on the farm was signing around a piano and getting electricity in 1950.

Kenny attended school at Chillingham with his siblings, but Mr Hines remembers he didn't like it all that much.

"He did complete his primary schooling and left at 13 and a half," he said.

Friday comes from a family with a long pioneering background with more than 100 years on the Tweed.

"The men have engaged in hard work in the timber industry from bullock drivers to truckies, farming and banana growing... always with the idea that the harder I worked the luckier I got, and Kenny was no doubt in this mold," Mr Hines said.

His first job was with his uncle Alan Lowe on bananas at Burringbar.

"This was where he earned his nickname of Friday, as Alan said, the only day Ken would get out of bed on time and work well was on pay day, which was Friday," Mr Hines said.

He then worked at a number of sawmills until he joined Jack Connolly's Mill at Chillingham.

He worked there until 1960.

Ken loved his family dearly, and while not big on saying things like 'I love you' he always showed it in so many other ways.

On his 20th birthday in June 1960 he married Marie Quinn who was working at a restaurant in town.

Marie was 18 and the newly married couple them moved to Chilllingham.

In 1962 their son Mark came along, in 1963 daughter Leanne arrived and in 1967 daughter Tracey made her way into the world.

Ken also has three grandchildren from Tracey Jayde, 21, Jack, 14, and Ben, 7.

"Ken loved his family dearly," Mr Hines said.

"And while not big on saying things like 'I love you,' he always showed it in so many other ways."

After he left Connolley's the family rented, then eventually build their own home in Bray Park.

Kenny, throughout the next two decades, drove trucks for Holder Transport and others.

He then worked for Mills Transport hauling cane in season then to Bathurst to haul corn.

He left in 1988 and bought a nursery in South Murwillumbah.

He kept this business for awhile and eventually Kenny purchased his own truck.

The truck led to a bob cat and eventually an excavator.

In 2002 his brother Neil joined him to work driving tricks while ken drove the excavator.

The business supplied bush rocks which have been featured in the Polar Bear exhibit at Seaworld.

"They kept the business running continuously until Ken became ill last year," Mr Hines said.


I will always remember Kenny as...

"A caring man. He would do anything for anyone and he was such a kind and lovely person." - Wife, Marie Brims.

"The best and most beautiful soul. I loved him to death and he couldn't have been a better dad. He was my idol."-- Daughter, Tracey Brims.

"I worked with him all me life, I suppose he was easy going and cared about everyone. As long as everyone else was right he was happy." - Brother, Neil Brims.

"Just a big fun loving guy who loved his family, probably best uncle anyone could have. "- Nephew, Graham Brims.

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