Canberra man Lionel Moore has bequeathed his Watson home to children's charity Camp Quality, a final generous act from a true gentleman, according to those who knew him.
His home at 5 Harding Street, Watson will be auctioned on site at 11am on Saturday, June 23.
There is no reserve on the original 1960s Canberra red brick home, which means it will simply sell under the hammer to the highest bidder.
Mr Moore died on March 11 aged 87. He had lived in his Watson home for more than 50 years.
Canberra man Phil King, a friend of Mr Moore's, said the unassuming bloke had only hinted that he would give his home to charity.
Mr Moore and his late wife Mavis had two children, both with severe disabilities. Mr King assumed Mr Moore wanted to donate to a charity that helped children.
Mr Moore's son William was deceased and his daughter Veronica, now 50, was in full-time care. Mr King was her guardian.
Mr King said Mr Moore was a wonderful man who was born in Sydney and grew up around Hall.
"Very caring, very humble, very generous,'' Mr King said.
"He was just a great fellow to be around, he had a great sense of humour. And his knowledge of Canberra was unbelievable.''
Camp Quality’s purpose is to give every Australian child impacted by cancer every opportunity to thrive.
It does this by providing innovative programs and services for children (0-13 years) impacted by cancer, which help develop life skills and strengthen wellbeing, at every stage of the cancer experience.
Camp Quality CEO Kylea Tink said Mr Moore's generous act would make a difference.
“Lionel’s incredible act of generosity and heart came as a complete surprise to us at Camp Quality, and we couldn’t be more grateful,” she said.
“His bequest will have a huge impact on kids and their families impacted by cancer. It will enable us to be there, free of charge, for even more Australian families; in hospital, at home, at school and away from it all.
"What an amazing gift Lionel has left behind for the all kids of Australia facing cancer right now.''
Ray White Rural Canberra-Yass sales agent George Southwell knew Mr Moore well.
"Lionel was a longstanding resident of the Canberra community and saw Canberra grow from a town to the modern city that it is,” Mr Southwell said.
“He was one of the funniest blokes you’d ever meet and just a hardworking Australian. He actually had a long association with my family, even working on our farm at Lyneham back in the day but no one knows what Lionel’s connection was to Camp Quality.”
Southwell said the nature of a no-reserve auction means the property will sell under the hammer to the highest bidder.
“Unreserved auctions are a rarity and having the proceeds of the sale going to a charity is almost unheard of,” he said.
“The executor of the estate, along with myself, decided that this is the best way to attract the level of interest this property deserves.
"The property will be sold unreserved to the highest bidder without the use of a vendor bid.”
Another of Mr Moore's great loves was the Dickson Tradies Club.
Lionel Moore was a member of The Tradies for 50 years.
Cafe worker Bernadette Balmeo said Mr Moore would come into the club every morning for a cup of tea and a sandwich.
"He was the sweetest man you'd ever meet,'' she said. "He always made you smile and was very generous.''
Mr Moore's donation is expected to be considerable. His three-bedroom, one-bathroom residence is in a cul de sac of a quiet neighbourhood, which is growing in popularity, according to the agent.
“Watson is having a new lease of life as there’s been a large injection of enthusiasm into the established suburbs of the north due to their proximity to the CBD,” Mr Southwell said.
“This original Canberra red brick home is within walking distance to Watson shops, the Australian Catholic University campus, Majura Primary School and parks. It’s a home which would suit a variety of buyers ranging from a young couple starting a family, to an investor, to someone who’s wanting to secure a rare original property.''
The median price for a three bedroom home in Watson is $760,000, according to PriceFinder.
This artlicle was written by Megan Doherty and published in The Canberra Times.