The working title for dad’s biography is, The Legend From Bruce Rock.
It’s not a title I came up with, though. It was the title of a poem penned by renowned Perth poet, Mick Colliss.
Mick read the poem at dad’s funeral and it was a beautiful gesture.
And here it is, The Legend From Bruce Rock.
Another Aussie icon. A West Australian great.
Chosen well before his time to walk through Heaven’s gate.
The man we all admired, respected and adored
Was placed into the draft and was hand-picked by the Lord.
He was passionate and humble, courteous and fair
Loyal and good-humoured, both on and off the air.
The consummate professional, a master of his trade
His reputation’s one that time itself will never fade.
A fiercely proud ambassador for all sports in our State
His easy going nature made him everybody’s mate.
Not afraid to have his say and give his point of view
He was the man that every West Australian felt they knew.
Olympic Games, Davis Cups and all things in between
He’d start with “I suspect…” and then go on to paint the scene.
His colourful descriptions made us feel like we were there
Without a hint of ego – which in roles like his – is rare.
He never chased the spotlight, he never courted glory
He always knew, no matter what, the athletes were the story.
Totally unbiased and guided by the facts
To callers he was welcoming, engaging and relaxed.
His anecdotes were famous and held listeners in a trance
Like when he used dynamic lifter on his indoor plants.
The way he hated mobile phones, despised those ATMs
Technologically inept, right to the very end.
The news that he had passed away – it came as such as shock.
I thought he was invincible. The legend from Bruce Rock.
And even now it’s something I find hard to comprehend
We’ve lost a colleague, workmate, mentor. And we’ve lost our friend.
And still our hearts are heavy and our tears are not yet dry
We wish we had just one more chance so we could say goodbye.
We’ll reminisce, remember. We’ll cry, we’ll laugh, we’ll grieve.
But most of all we’ll miss him. More than he’d believe.
Copyright Mick Colliss 2006