Pa in his later years
Pa does not need me or anyone else to tell you all how inspirational he was. Inspiring and challenging people was what he did best, and what he spent his whole life doing. He had an amazing mind that would happily recount how to set up an artillery rig, run a poultry farm, make a profit on trucking ash or a list of other materials, how to grow tomatoes, how to manage people or even how to repair the rising damp in my house. If I didn’t follow his advice, or rather instructions, then I knew he would check as soon as he saw me next. He was so passionate and engaged with everything that he did, and that passion rubbed off on everyone around him whether they liked it or not.
There are a lot of people here today, myself included, who list him as one of a handful of people who challenged them to be a better person. He loved challenging people too. He always did it with a twinkle in his eye that let you know he was one step ahead.
Even now he is still challenging me today and will continue to do so. His mind never gave up either, he was incredibly sharp right till the very end. He didn’t die wondering whether he should have said or done something, he did and said everything he wanted to.
His body simply could not cope with a 100th minute loss by the Tigers and Labor being sworn back into office that very day. We love you and will miss you Pa, but we promise to keep doing better.