Billy de Belin

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Name: Billy De Belin
Birth Name: William George De Belin
Born: 1922-04-05
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died: 1996-06-24 (Age:74)
Hometown: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height: 5′ 9″   /   175cm
Reach: 70″   /   178cm
Boxing Record: click

Billy de Belin was born in Lidcombe, 5 April, 1922. His mother and father separated when he and his brothers and sister were very young. He was forced to live in Burnside Homes until his father remarried and was able to bring up the family together, although they did not like their step mother, "old Liz". He was brought up in Balmain where the rear yard of his house back onto Gipps Street, this was where his wife to be, Jane Cormick Swindail, lived. They both grew up together in Balmain. He played Rugby League for the Shamrocks and excelled as a player. He later became interested in boxing (his grand father, Oliver Williams was a champion boxer) and started as a lightweight. He won NSW Lightweight Title 1940, Best Boxer, 1940, and NSW Welterweight Title 1941. Undefeated in over 20 amateur bouts. Unofficial Australian Champion as no national championships held during war years. Turned professional 1942 with a record of 27 fights, 18 wins, 11 by KO's. Fought Vic Patrick 1942 for Australian Title but was defeated (Full boxing career contained in separate book). His brother Jack also a champion boxer, while brother Fred, a wrestler and Balmain First Grade League player and Australian Kangaroo Tourist.

His Army career spanned from 5/11/1941 to 7/4/1943 in Citizen Military Forces, and 8/4/1943 to 11/12/1945 in A.I.F. De Belin did not see overseas service but was mostly stationed in Queensland in the Transport Section. Because of his boxing career he received Army permission to move between states to have his bouts. He was doing sentry duty at Balmoral Beach when the Japanese attacked Sydney Harbour with midget submarines. He once said, "There were sirens and search lights everywhere and me on the beach with my bren gun!" His Army Service is also contained in a separate book.

He worked for Government Transprt. He was a tram cable greaser at Darling Street Wharf, Balmain. He transferred from trams to buses on 17 Oct 1954, where he was a conductor (ticket collector). He obtained his bus licence 11 Nov, 1958. He was working at Ryde Bus Depot, then went to Leichhardt 15 Jul 1963, then back to Ryde on 16 Feb 1964. He was driving the old green double decker buses. He suffered from a neck and a back injury which finally stopped him driving buses. He ended up retiring from the "buses" as a cleaner for Government Transport.

He moved to 24 Cressy Road, Ryde, 1955, with wife Jean and three children, Bill Jnr, Lorraine and Les. His father, Fred, also lived with the family at Cressy Road. Each year went away to North Haven, NSW, for three weeks of fishing. Also some weekends to The Entrance, camping. After the children married and moved out and his father died, Bill and Jean moved to 13 Melba Drive, East Ryde, mid-1980s. Jean died of cancer in 1989. Bill was operated on for bowel cancer a couple of years later and beat it.

de Belin was continually depressed due to the loss of his wife. On 24 June, 1996, it all became just too much for him and he took his own life by carbon monoxide poisoning. He was cremated and his ashes scattered in the same manner as his wife's, that is half in Gipps Street, Balmain, where he and Jean used to play as kids, and half in the grounds of St. Johns, Balmain, where they were married.

(written by Leslie John de Belin, 1998)