Maurice James McCabe was born the third of seven children to Frederick and Annie McCabe.
A dedicated member of the Brighton parish, he was one of the first through the doors at St Joseph’s for Mass upon the church’s reopening from COVID-19 restrictions, the day before he suddenly passed away on May 27.
Raised on the family farm at Hamley Bridge (Pinkerton Plains), farming life was something that he treasured and kept up to date with via his brothers Raymond and Gerald.
After spending his primary school years at Pinkerton Plains, where he often rode seven miles to school on his horse, he spent three years as a boarder at Rostrevor College where he played in the First XI and First XVIII and excelled in track and field events.
Developing a passion for sport, Maurie continued his football journey at North Adelaide, winning a Senior Colts premiership with the club in 1948. Later in life, Maurie became a staunch Adelaide Crows supporter, a talented golfer, and developed a keen interest in horse racing.
In 1947, he joined the National Australia Bank where he would continue to diligently work for 42 years.
Working as a bank manager for the majority of his career, he excelled and was well respected. Maurie’s banking success came through his people skills and a natural intuition for lending, which earned him a promotion to head of CBC (Commonwealth Bank) when they merged with NAB in the early 1980s. Some of his clients became lifelong friends.
In the early 1950s, Maurie met Margaret Grainger of Prospect parish and in January 1954 they married in Rosary Catholic Church. Maurie loved Margaret unreservedly his whole life.
After their wedding, Maurie took Margaret to Yongala which was his first branch position with the bank. There, they had a wood heater for hot water in the bathroom and a wood fire for heat in the house.
The marriage flourished but Margaret never forgot Yongala – “the coldest place in the world”.
Another posting was Whyalla, where Ann was born, followed by Paul in Port Pirie. Anthony and Mary followed in 1960 and 1964 when Maurie was then happily working in Adelaide.
The family put down roots in Brighton and became members of St Joseph’s parish for the next 60 years.
The McCabes enjoyed many special occasions at St Joseph’s and the adjoining St Teresa’s School, which all four children attended.
They made close friends with families at St Joseph’s and Maurie always spoke fondly of parish balls and picnics which were enjoyable yearly events.
Maurie was also on the finance committee of the parish board and contributed in all areas he could when asked.
Retiring before banking became newly regimented, Maurie was able to take up golf more seriously.
He enjoyed many holidays with Margaret and his extended family; a special highlight being his trip to the UK and to Ireland where he met his son-in-law Patrick’s family in County Cork.
Maurie loved road trips with his brothers, and McCabe family reunions where he took great pleasure in seeing the size of his extended family clan growing.
He went for lengthy daily walks and passionately engaged in robust and prolonged debate around the dinner table, with the subjects often being politics and religion.
Living next to the presbytery for many years meant various parish priests were often involved in these discussions over a glass or two of red.
As a valued member at the Vines Golf Club in Reynella where he played for 40 years, Maurie was recognised when the club flew the flag at half-mast in his memory.
A deeply spiritual man, the Church was of great comfort to him throughout his life, during the loss of his parents, his siblings, and particularly during Margaret’s long period of care.
Maurie McCabe was a one-off. A true gentleman, a good bloke, and a kind and wise man.
Respect and kindness were mantras he instilled within his family and I am proud to say he was my grandfather and a role model like no other.
Maurie is survived by his four children Ann, Paul, Anthony and Mary, his grandchildren Jarrad, Josh, Jack and Lucy, and his great-grandchildren Matthew and Hannah.Jump to next article