Scholarships in name of Shortbread Man’s generous nature

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
This year’s winners of the Hollomby Foundation scholarship.
Camera IconThis year’s winners of the Hollomby Foundation scholarship. Credit: Supplied/Gary Warner

Joe Hollomby was a remarkably charitable man, donating $1.3 million to local charities over his 20 years of baking.

He made apple pies, cakes, fruit mince pies and lemon tarts, but he was best known for his shortbread.

Most locals simply knew him as The Shortbread Man.

His tradition of supporting charity is still going, with the Hollomby Foundation awarding $70,000 in another round of scholarships for students studying at the Geraldton Universities Centre.

“Mr Hollomby used to pop into the supermarket I worked in to drop off his shortbread. I have such fond memories of him asking how many had sold and chatting about the goings on in town,” scholarship recipient Philippa Rumble said.

The foundation has given $341,000 to 132 students since it was started in 2010 after the murder of Mr Hollomby.

In 2008, 94-year-old Mr Hollomby was stabbed in his Mt Tarcoola home by Eric Pedersen, who had broken in to steal firearms while high on a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.

Two years later, old friend Ian Wheatland set up the foundation in Mr Hollomby’s name.

“Many years ago Dad had helped Ian through a tough time and Ian just never forgot that,” Les Hollomby, Joe’s son, said.

“(The scholarships) have gone on to nurses, teachers, and many other professionals in our community.”

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