Bob Dight was a contributor to his community for all his life and from 1957 until 1981 much of that contribution was to umpiring with both the VFL and suburban leagues.
Born Robert Henry Dight on 15 July 1938 in St.Kilda, Bob grew up in Trentham, Footscray and Moorabbin. While in Moorabbin he played football for Bentleigh in the CYMS competition and later Glen Huntly in the VAFA. Success also came his way as an athlete where he held a junior 440 yard record.
Following his playing days Bob took up umpiring. Beginning with the VFL Second Eighteen competition in 1957 he was promoted to the VFL Senior list for season 1961.
Over the next six years he toiled in both the VCFL and metropolitan competitions served by the VFL. Two appointments that stand out are a solo VFL Reserve Grade match in 1962 and his only VCFL final – the 1964 Kowree-Narracoorte Football League Reserves First-Semi Final.
Retiring from the VFL at the end of 1966 Bob continued umpiring with the South East Suburban Football League until 1972. That year he was appointed Umpires Advisor for the league and continued in the role until 1980 when he moved onto the Umpires Appointment Board for two seasons. His contribution to the SESFL umpires also included a term as President of the umpires association and was rewarded with Life Membership.
In later years golf and lawn bowls took up much activity time but also community work. At the time of his passing Bob was Secretary of the Rotary Club of Yarrawonga/Mulwala having served Rotary for three years. He was recognised for his work on projects in the Solomon Islands (2006) & Tonga (2008). He was also involved with Rotary, St. Vincent de Paul, his local church, football and golf club activities.
One of Bob’s protégées was Ian Bennett who recalled, “He was my first coach and always interested in my progress. I used to joke with him that I would continue to coach just so that I would beat any of his records. He was a good man.”
Bob passed away on 29 April 2009 aged 71.