Dad was an incredible man who sporting talents were just one of many reputable traits.
At his funeral I read a short personal memorial to my father.
Girls and boys, ladies and gentlemen, Rosemary, John, Mum…….. of a thousand stories I have about my Dad there is one cherished memory I would like to share with you.
At about the age of six I spent the day with Dad at work, he was working at the Hobart teacher’s college up on the domain, not too far from here. Sometime in the morning, I accompanied Dad to the Tarlie School for children with intellectual disabilities in New Town.
On this day Dad was visiting the school to review the progress of a physical education curriculum he had specifically developed for these children. I was lucky enough to witness Dad working with the children but also clearly recall the pleasure and excitement when I too participated with over 50 of the kids in dance and movement activities he had developed.
In the car on the way back to the teacher’s college I distinctly recall the joy and adulation in Dad’s voice as he spoke about the progress and improvements these children were making. Ever since that day, whenever I happen to be travelling past the corner of Risdon Road and Brooker Avenue, the former location of the School, I recall this very special day I had with my father and the children at the school.
Dad was special for so many reasons, he had a positive impact on so many people from young elite athletes who have gone on to represent this great state and country to other who have also benefited from his devotion and ideals of being an inclusive educator. Lots of people have asked why Dad never turned professional, I think there are many, many more that would be grateful he never did.