Updated: Feb 24
As a small boy, born in Holland in 1938, Bill Hoogwaerts witnessed at first hand the devastation cuased by the Nazi's in World War 2. At the age of 16 his family moved to Sydney Australia in search of a better life. It was here that he played soccer and was a foundation member of the Blacktown "Spurs" Soccer Club. In 1974 at the age of 36 years, he moved to Redcliffe, purchasing a house in Clontarf, where he earned a living as a house painter. Married to Joanne, he joined the Redcliffe Coast Guard as well as the Redcliffe Swimming Club. The Redcliffe Leaues Club employed him to conduct their bingo fundraising activities in Margate, which kept the club viable, until the arrival of the pokies. This role earned him the nickname of "Bingo Bill"
When all the major banks closed their branches in Margate, Bill instigated the establishment and the launch of the Bendigo Community Bank and became its Chairman.
He was one the Redcliffe Bayside Herald's first recipients of the newspaper's Redcliffe Heroes awards. William Pierre Hoogwaerts passed away in 2007 aged 68 years.
Bendigo Bank annually honour their first chairman, with the Bill Hoogwaertz bursary. This is given to worthy recipients in the field of cancer research at UQ Thoracic Research Centre at Prince Charles Hospital.
Bill's grandson Sam Short, won a gold medal in the 1500m freestyle and silver medal in the 400m freestyle at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Bill Hoogwaerts is listed on the wall of the Redcliffe Wall of Fame:
A collection of portrait and information honouring the achievements of individuals who have influenced and shaped Redcliffe. The collection is in the Jetty Arcade at 139-141 Redcliffe Parade.
For a complete list of people who appear on the wall click on the following blog post: