Huddo kicks goals with 'Greats'

To AFL legend Peter 'Huddo' Hudson AM, nothing matters more than spending time with his Greats and having them live nearby.

Hudson grew up in Tasmania with his parents Molly and Bob and his brother and sister. In 1967 he began his footy career with Hawthorn Football Club where over the next decade he made his name as one of the best full forwards in the League’s history. He still holds the record (with Bob Pratt) of most goals kicked in a season and has been inducted into both the Australian Football Hall of Fame and Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

Hudson moved to Melbourne when he joined Hawthorn FC and his siblings followed suit, settling interstate to pursue their own careers – one in Queensland and the other joining Hudson in Victoria.

The Hudsons are a close-knit bunch and everyone made the effort to catch up several times a year. But as Molly and Bob grew older and grandchildren arrived on the scene, the Tasman commute became more difficult. With the family no longer in Tassie and Molly and Bob’s friends passing on, Hudson and his siblings felt it was time to convince their parents to relocate to Melbourne.

The move

Hudson knew it would be hard for them to start over in a new state – especially after 87 years in Tasmania – but worried about them becoming isolated in their home town of Claremont.

“Mum and dad started off missing Tassie, which was normal. But we were very fortunate in getting them into a nice retirement village where they’ve really flourished.”

Now in their 90s and with seven grandkids and 11 great grandkids, Molly and Bob feel they’ve made the right move for their wellbeing.

“We wouldn’t have moved from Tassie but we were left stranded,” Molly jokes. “We missed our family and as you get older you don’t feel like going back and forth [between states] a lot, so we came over and have fitted in nicely,” she says.

“It was a very big move,” says Bob. “We love Tassie and still do. But you get tired of the travelling and it’s nice to be closer to family, especially as you get older.”

“Mum and dad started off missing Tassie, which was normal. But we were very fortunate in getting them into a nice retirement village where they’ve really flourished.”

New beginnings

At their retirement village, Molly and Bob have thrown themselves into the huge range of activities on offer. Molly is an enthusiastic member of their craft centre and Bob enjoys playing lawn bowls, a hobby he took up back in Tasmania.

“There are always things to do,” says Molly. “It’s important to keep your mind busy.”

“We’ve settled in very well,” says Bob. “There’s always someone to talk to and so many things to do. There’s plenty of entertainment here, no doubt about that. Sometimes I get a little homesick but we’re not lonely by any means.”

Hudson has seen a big change to his parents’ wellbeing since the move.

“They look the best they’ve looked and their quality of life is better than it’s ever been. We knew the move would set them back at first but that the profit would outweigh the loss.”

Outside their village social calendar, Molly and Bob catch up regularly with their family.

“Peter lives nearby and comes down every weekend, sometimes with the grandkids. We have get-togethers with our other children and spend quality time together,” says Molly.

Hudson is comforted by the fact his parents live only a short drive away.

“It’s so close that we can pop in for a cuppa – mum loves to make a pot of tea. Or we stay in for a home cooked meal. If we have more time, we’ll take them out for breakfast or have lunch with the extended family on site near the golf course.”

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