To many, he will be best known for running Somerville’s Produce Store, which was first established by his grandfather James in 1902. The store was passed down through the family until it finally closed in 1988 upon Hedley’s retirement. Hedley’s most lasting contribution will always be the two books he wrote, A Taste of Ginger and A Bit More Ginger. His original intention was to write the story of his family and the produce store, but these were so inextricably linked to Hornsby’s history that the books became much broader in focus and give one of the best accounts of our community’s growth and development. Those titles for the books were chosen because Hedley’s father Charles was a boyhood friend of Jimmy Bancks, who is renowned for creating the iconic Ginger Meggs cartoons. It is widely accepted that the character of Ginger Meggs was based on Charles Somerville.
The Hornsby Shire also remembers Charles as a former president and the longest serving member of Council. There is a quote from Hedley that is well worth remembering, particularly as our community continues to move forward and it takes growing effort to maintain our links to our rich history: “Don’t let the past dictate who you are, but make sure it remains part of who you become.” Hedley Somerville was an impressive man, who will be greatly missed and fondly remembered. Council acknowledged the service Headley gave to our community in a Mayor minute at the 14th November Council meeting.