Love of music will live on

VALE: Clive Ford Whitehead playing his beloved accordion, September 2016.

VALE: Clive Ford Whitehead playing his beloved accordion, September 2016.

Clive Ford Whitehead was born at Elliston on March 14, 1935 to Ruby and Roy Whitehead.

He was the youngest of five boys, Len, Roy, Max and Brian, and two girls, Gwen and Cynthia. He is survived only by his older sister, Gwen, from Port Lincoln.

Young Clive began school at Three Lakes School, a small one-teacher school near Elliston. At the age of nine the family moved to ‘Bonnibrook’, a farm near Port Lincoln.

Clive attended the Port Lincoln primary and high schools, where he was a prefect. He played football at school and for Wayback.

He went on to play footy for Carpa and was instrumental in their grand final victory in 1960. He won best on the ground that day.

At the age of 35 he made his final comeback to footy, playing for Cowell. In later years, like many blokes, he became an armchair player and umpire.

On leaving school, Clive worked on the home property without the guidance of his father, who died the previous year.

In 1954, at the age of 19, he went to work on the property at Carpa, near Cleve. During these years Clive developed his skill on the accordion to a level where he could start playing for dances.

Clive met Pauline when her brother, Maurice Beinke, hired him to play for his 21st birthday in August 1959. They were married in October, 1960 at Cowell – a marriage that lasted more than 58 fulfilling years.

During the 1960s Clive and Pauline had eight children – Jane, twins Jennifer and Josie, followed by Paul who died at birth. In 1965 Roy was born, and later Jacqui, Susi and Katie.

Clive is a grandpa to Jakob, Eleanor and Annalise, Isabella and Ingmar, and Rori and is a loved and respected father-in-law to Johann, Lisa, Bruno and Dominic.

After getting married, Clive was a share-farmer and had a water-carting contract with the Franklin Harbour Council. For five years he farmed independently clearing virgin land between Cowell and Whyalla.

Clive and Pauline built a house in Cowell in 1968, at which point Clive began shearing.

At the end of 1970, Clive joined the E&WS (now called SA Water) in Cowell.

A few years later he was successful in his application to be transferred to Maitland so in January 1975 the family moved.

His backyard was filled with fruit trees and he loved his apricot trees in particular. This meant he could not accept invitations to go far during the picking and preserving season.

Clive won many prizes for his preserves, chutneys and sauces at the Maitland Show and on a couple of occasions won the trophy for best exhibitor. He was often rewarded for his tenacity.

In 1980 Clive was back shearing until his semi-retirement in the mid 80s. He also drove the Maitland school bus for many years.

In 2002 he volunteered to play for Camp Quality in Adelaide, Enfield RSL Hall, playing until the organisers Ron and Margaret O’Riley wound up their fundraising event in November 2010.

In later years Clive played at the Port Victoria RSL Anzac Day breakfast event and prior to 1975 joined his brother-in-law, Maurice Beinke, playing at the RSL Anzac Day services in Cowell.

Up until a couple of years ago he was playing regularly at retirement villages and hospitals for ‘the oldies’.

They, and many others loved to hear Clive’s music as much as he loved to play and entertain people with his beloved accordion.

Clive is best known for his years as a musician playing for dances as far away as Clare and Napperby.

After 62 years of playing, his last dance was held on New Year’s Eve 2014 at Brentwood.

Not many people realise the hours Clive spent preparing for a dance.

His fun character belied the utter seriousness and professionalism he gave to each and every gig. He would always request a dance program so he could select tunes that always had the right number of bars to suit the dance - it was not an accident that dances finished at the logical spot in the music.

One of his last requests was, “Don’t forget to mention how much I like to play for dances!”

Clive passed away peacefully on December 18, 2018 aged 83, after a valiant fight with cancer. He was surrounded by his darling wife, Pauline and three of his children.