I read these words on behalf of my brother Greig
To begin to write this doesn’t give justice to the great man whose life we celebrate today. I cannot express enough the anguish that I feel that such a man, whilst ill for some time, could be taken so suddenly. I guess as family you’re never prepared for such loss and shock, but in a way I think he knew his time was coming and at least he got to hit a few balls in his final days.
Golf was his friend and nemesis. I received many a lesson during our games together, not always welcome……. but always with great spirit and camaraderie. Obviously each game was celebrated, washed down with a couple of coldies….. he would say to himself after a mouth watering gulp “ Oarrr that’s bloody good, now just hit the ball Ross, you know what to do, just hit the bloody ball” and he’d usually say the same thing to me a number of times during a game.
Everyone knows Ross would chime in on any discussion worth discussing and this was no different back when I first met the family. This unruly, long haired rocker, whom became smitten with his only daughter, wasn’t just going to lob at his place and whisk her away. We had many a discussion about my intent and what I planned to do in the future and I distinctly remember the first time we connected as the “potential” son-in-law was at the wedding of Chris and Alison Muller. As men do, we sat down had several beers and started the process, it was at that time I first really got to know about Ross’ life, his life as a young man, his life as a husband, a soldier and a father.
As the years passed not only did I become more and more part of the family, my Mum, Dad, Rob, Jeff and their families enjoyed the new found friendship and later the new family bond we know and share. The Coulters have given the Graham’s great memories in joint family holidays and specials days when we celebrate many a birthday and Christmas. Ross and Kate would be forever the gracious host and hostess who would always welcome family and friends…. Just don’t go into the SHED.
I have a lot of memories and great times shared with Ross, he would council me on many things from golf, marriage after the Coulter visit to Brisbane, but the most terrific thing in his life wasn’t his painting and artwork, it was his daughter and a daughter that loved him more than life itself. His daughter is the greatest gift he could have given me and the children that I now share with Mara. I love them and therefore love him and Kate for their tremendous gift I have in my life. We are very thankful that we got to spend a fantastic 5 weeks with him and Kate, you could see that he tried to spend every moment with the girls, painting, drawing, reading and the odd lecture on how to do something… he really enjoyed himself.
To everyone who has travelled to be there today, I wish you all the best and I encourage everyone to take the time to say things you normally don’t say or that we chose not to say to our loved ones, life is too short, these memories are the treasures that can out last time. It is a celebration today and Ross would expect that of all of us, his attitude towards life and enjoying it to the fullest was inspirational. So I would like to make a toast.
My younger brother Jeff sent me a message after hearing of or loss and he said something that really hit home and sums up the person that Ross was to me and to many others…”we say goodbye to a great man, great grandfather, great father and great friend’. Ross was not only the father of Mara and grandfather to our children, he was also my good friend….. I will miss you ol’mate. Your memories will live forever in your grandchildren. Cheers and good bye Ross.