TRIBUTE TO JOHN STRAIN
TRIBUTE TO GLORIA WADE
TRIBUTE TO BOB JOHNSON
Mr THOMAS GEORGE
(Lismore—The Deputy-Speaker) [1.20 p.m.]: Today I pay tribute to three people who have touched my life and who have recently passed away. John Johnston Strain—better known as Jack—was born in Casino on 27 November 1927. Life was not easy for Jack: his father died when he was nine. He attended Mallanganee Primary School and Casino High School. It was evident that Jack had a strong love and attachment to the land from a young age. In the early 1950s Jack met Madge Everingham, the love of his life, at church. Over the years Jack and Madge became loving parents to Mark, Lance, Robyn and Kym. Jack believed his family should be well educated and, with Madge's support, they made it happen. Jack's number one priority in life was the care of his family. During the 1970 beef cattle recession Jack worked at the Northern Co-operative Meat Company as a night cleaner. This allowed him to support his family while continuing to successfully manage his cattle property.
The recession and drought caused him a lot of heartache and worry. The drought coincided with Paul Fuhrmann, Arch Northam and I starting a long personal association as his stock and station agents. That association continued—especially with Arch Northam—until his passing. But it was not until my election in 1999 as a member of Parliament that I appreciated Jack's love of politics and his respect for former Prime Minister John Howard—he adored him. After the last election I thanked Jack for his support. He replied, "You won. That's all the thanks we need." I will always be indebted to Jack and Madge, and the Casino Branch of The Nationals, for the support I have received over the years. Jack is survived by his loving wife, Madge, his children and their partners—Mark, Helen, Lance, Robyn, Raymond, Kym and Ivan—and grandchildren David, Peter and Jessica.
Gloria Wade recently lost her battle with cancer. Gloria retired in the early 1980s to enjoy her days with her grandchildren and to pursue her many artistic hobbies and interests. Gloria did voluntary work for Lifeline and secretarial work at the neighbourhood centre. In 2000 tragedy struck Gloria and husband Charlie with the loss of beloved son-in-law Dennis. Whilst the family struggled with the sudden loss, Gloria remained strong. She was brave through this difficult time and was a grounding influence on those around her. The Marist Brothers football club at Lismore are indebted to Gloria and Charlie for their contributions over the years. In 2003 fate dealt another difficult blow with the loss of daughter Julie to a sudden and aggressive cancer. Once more Gloria and Charlie regrouped and were pivotal in enabling the family to heal and move through a difficult time. Father Paul Pidcock has been a great help to the family over the years, and particularly in the past few weeks. It is hard not to think about Gloria without smiling. She is survived by Charlie, Jenny, Vicky, Stuart, Steven, Greg and their partners and family. They are assured of our continuing support.
Last week I attended the funeral of Bob Johnson. Bob gave 43 years service to the Coffee Camp Bush Fire Brigade, of which he was a founding member. He was an elected captain of that brigade until its amalgamation with the Goolmangar Fire Brigade in 1990. Bob was then elected captain of the new Goolmangar Coffee Camp Brigade—now known as Goolmangar brigade. In 1993 he was appointed to the position of group officer within the Lismore district, where he provided management and operation support to the brigades within the Nardi group of the district until 2004. Bob assisted the Lismore Incident Management Team during the notorious 1994 fires. He also continued as an active member of the Goolmangar brigade. His funeral was testimony to the support of the Rural Fire Service in recognition of his 43 years service. He is survived by his lovely wife, Lola, Robert and Nives, Garry and Jan, Maree and Ross and their families. Vale Bob Johnson: a man who dedicated his life to the community and the Rural Fire Service.