KEN Slatter was a gentle man. He was also a gentleman.
This is how his wife, Sandra Slatter, remembers him. Born into a farming family at Boort in 1942, Ken’s Mallee roots run deep.
“He was my rock,” Sandra said. “He was a grounding and strong presence. There is no way I could have achieved what I have without him.
“Ken enabled me to fly through life and reach my potential.”
The pair, who were together for 30 years, met at an agricultural conference, specialising in mohair goats.
“Ken was board member/president of the Angora Mohair Board Australia (AMBA). Whatever he got involved in, he excelled. He had a complete service mindset,” Sandra said.
In 1983, Ken was awarded a Life Governorship of Apex. Of the 200,000 people who volunteered through Apex between 1938 and 2005, just 48 people received this award.
Locally, Ken Slatter was a much-loved and highly respected member of Heathcote’s Car Club and secretary of the Heathcote Men’s Shed.
He worked as a rural financial counsellor and never retired. During his ‘spare’ time, Ken loved to race cars.
And between them, Sandra and Ken had seven children.
As the years progressed they welcomed 17 grandchildren. “Ken was a complete family man,” Sandra said. “He also loved to bake. It would not be unusual to see him in the kitchen at 11pm.
“Rhubarb and strawberry tart was his favourite. However he was a whiz with hedgehog. He had his own special recipe we called the ‘Slatter Biscuit Cake’. Ken was also an avid wine lover, especially from Heathcote.
The family dog, Angel, is also feeling Ken’s absence.
“Angel loved Ken and Ken loved Angel,” Sandra said. “Each day they would eat ice-cream together. It was like a little ritual.”
Ultimately Sandra remembers Ken as a person who always went above and beyond.
“He was never one for retirement; in that sense, he got his wish,” Sandra said. “He got into that industry (as a financial counsellor) because he saw close mates struggling. The aftermath of the fires also affected him.”
“Ken would always go above and beyond, never log overtime and never say ‘no’, even if someone called late at night,” Sandra said.
“If I got frustrated he would just say, ‘If it’s not me, then who?’ He was a supremely kind man.”
Ken loved his wife, Sandra. He is the loved father and father in law of Paul & Joanne, Helen & Sam, Mark & Sophie, Jason & Michelle, Chris & Gai, Ashley & Sharon, Peter.
Cherished Grandpa to Tom, Simone, Mitchell, Hugh, Emma, James, Will, Angus, Emily, Riley, Tully, Angela, Phannika, Rebecca, George, Mali and Jack.