Mateship is set in concrete

Michelle Hodges and her dog Buffy on the new concrete driveway.
Michelle Hodges and her dog Buffy on the new concrete driveway.

The Maida Vale resident said her husband’s death was a ‘tremendous blow’ to her and their three sons, Kallan (27), Lee (25) and Jordan (20).

‘On April 16, Duane went to work for a late shift at 5.30pm and he did not come home,’ she said.

But their hard times were eased this month when a group of Duane’s former friends and colleagues ” Jim Rovacsek, Steven O’Neil and Bruce Shoesmith and his sons ” pitched in to lay some concrete in the yard of their home, in a heartfelt act of community support.

Ms Hodges said she was overwhelmed by their generosity.

‘The area the men paved had been a problem for many years, with flooding and mud, and was a job Duane and I had put on the backburner while we did other jobs around the house’ she said.

‘Some of these guys are close friends and colleagues, but one had only met Duane maybe once. The love and respect this group of men had for my husband is beyond words.

‘On that morning (of the concreting) and throughout the day, I was brought to tears just watching what respect and determination can bring out in our community, when a group of dedicated men get together and get on with it.’

Ms Hodges said her husband was an active man who loved kayaking, art, bushwalking, gardening and music.

He was involved in a biker group called the Poison Gully Boys, who explore WA’s South- West and northern bushland.

One of the musician-songwriter’s works, Living in the Hard Times was played at his funeral.

An investigation into Mr Hodges’ workplace death is continuing.