Eric Kaye 1916-2004
Life Member of the Castlecrag Progress Association
Castlecrag lost one of its notable and longstanding citizens with the passing of Eric Kaye on 14 June.
The construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge during Eric’s teenage years sparked his interest in engineering. He joined the Navy and studied engineering at Technical College in the evenings.
Eric married Rita in 1942. They purchased a block of land at 325 Edinburgh Road in 1948 and got local architect and close friend, Chris Sorensen, to design their house. They then spent many years building this house – indeed, Eric was still working on it 50 years later.
Many, many wonderful memories were created at their home. From their deck perched above Middle Harbour, the Kayes were inspired by the magnificent natural landscape.
During his successful engineering career with the Australian Navy, Eric took possession of the Navy’s first computer in the United Kingdom, and spent several years in Washington DC where he and Rita made many close friends and became interested in the human rights movement.
Eric held an abiding love for Castlecrag and established a strong relationship with the whole Castlecrag community. He was a passionate advocate for the natural environment, and it was under Eric’s guidance as president of the Castlecrag Progress Association that the successful campaign against the extension of the Warringah Expressway through the bushland of the northern escarpment of Castlecrag, was fought during the 1980s.
In 1980, Eric was elected to Willoughby Council. He stated that his aim was to preserve Castlecrag’s quiet beauty for the enjoyment of Sydney’s future generations. He was re-elected in 1983, becoming Deputy Mayor in 1985. His role as an alderman was one in which he took great pride.
Eric served on the advisory committee that prepared an environmental study of the Castlecrag Peninsula for Willoughby Council from 1980. The report, released in 1982, established the basic guidelines for the future development of the suburb.
A natural leader but a self-effacing person, Eric will be fondly remembered and missed by those in the Willoughby and wider community who were fortunate to know and love him.