The late Brian Booth was farewelled with a guard of honour by Marine Rescue NSW Forster Tuncurry following his funeral service at St Nicholas Church, Tuncurry last week.
Brian had been living at Kularoo Gardens for the past year after a bout of ill health.
Brian Evan Booth was born in Burwood, Sydney on December 12, 1933 and spent his childhood in Croydon.
After Pearl Harbour was bombed by the Japanese in December, 1941, the fall of Singapore in February, 1942, and the Darwin bombing later that month, it became apparent the war was slowly creeping to our doorstep.
Brian and his sister Helen were evacuated to Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains, along with so many Sydney children, hopefully to keep them out of harm's way.
They returned home after about 12 months.
Brian continued his education at Ashfield Technical College before being offered a flight in an aeroplane if he passed his Intermediate Certificate (School Certificate).
He chose a flight with Butler Airlines to visit cousins in Kempsey.
Later he studied at Sydney Technical College where he qualified as an electrical fitter, after which he travelled all over the countryside installing the new-fangled fluorescent lights, which must have been a lucrative pastime.
After a time he settled back at home in Sydney, joined the YMCA, met future wife Mavis, married in 1957 and had two children, Vianne and Brian.
Mavis and Brian established a travel agency and had a big break when radio broadcaster, Jack Davey, invited them onto his show to talk about it, which was a great boost to their business.
On the same show they won a flight with TAA to destinations anywhere in Australia so they chose the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns and Thursday Island, taking promotional photographs of the various holiday resorts they visited along the way.
In 1970 Brian to learn to fly, later receiving his full private pilot's license which enabled him to join the State Emergency Services, later becoming a controller.
In this role was heavily involved in the evacuation of Darwin, after Cyclone Tracey ravaged the place on Christmas Eve, 1974.
Sadly, at this time, his marriage to Mavis fell apart, a highly emotional time for Brian.
But you can't keep a good man down, so Brian joined an organisation called Parents Without Partners where he met Jackie Padget.
The couple married in September 1977 before settling in the inner Sydney suburb of Padstow.
Later, after joining Encyclopaedia Britannica his sales pitch was so successful he won an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the USA for he and Jackie, which must have been very exciting.
After recovering from a quadruple by-pass at St Vincent's Hospital in Paddington, Brian and Jackie retired to Forster.
But the couple was still active in the community, joining various organisations including Probus, Marine Rescue and the Men's Shed, members of which joined together to form a guard of honour for Brian after the service.
At Brian's funeral last week, Marine Rescue deputy unit commander, Fran Breen, explained how members were always impressed with Brian's prowess as a salesman and now, after hearing Brian's life story, we understand why!
My thanks to Brian's son, Brian, for allowing me access to the eulogy he delivered for his father at the funeral last week.
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