I really had no intention of writing anything further
about “The Crocodile Hunter” but having just seen
the very moving public memorial service on TV, I
felt another post was in order.
The service was, like Steve, unashamedly
theatrical, and I say that without malice or
apology, Steve promoted himself and his cause
with such energy and enthusiasm that anything
less would have seemed false.
Having said that it was theatrical doesn’t for one moment mean that it wasn’t moving, far from it I saw much of it through tear filled eyes and felt quite drained by the time the 65 minute service was over.
We heard tributes from all of the expected sources as well as a few from unexpected people, but the thread that was there through them all was a love and respect for a passionate man.
I believe there is to be a full replay of the service on American television shortly, do try to watch it if you can, it's good television, and that's a fairly rare commodity these days.
As the sad fact that Steve Irwin is no longer with us dawns we learn new aspects of the passion that he had and shared with so many, not only for his beloved reptiles and animals, but for his friends and especially for his family.
It has always been known that Steve surrounded himself with people of a like mind when it came to his zoo at Beerwah, their enthusiasm matched his own and the devotion they felt for him was a tangible thing over the last couple of weeks since his death.
A less known fact is that the Irwin family have for several years been purchasing large tracts of land suitable for reclamation as wildlife sanctuary's,
they have invested heavily in these projects and Steve said with justifyable pride, this is conservation in action.
Australia Zoo played proud host to the world for this memorial, the empire that Steve built here was the perfect setting for his send off, he was there larger than life everywhere you looked.
Probably the highlight of the service was the tribute to her Dad that Bindi Irwin gave, this 8 year old is going to do her Dads memory proud right throughout her life, there was nothing precocious about her presentation it was a shining tribute from a daughter who is so obviously proud of her beloved Dad.
Along with many thousands of others who would have loved to attend this celebration I was unable to get a ticket, the crocoseum has a seating capacity for 5,500 and these free tickets were snatched up within 30 minutes of going on issue even though they were limited to 4 per applicant, so sadly this is not a first hand account, but it did make enough impression to tempt me to do this follow up post.
I’ll finish up with a poem which was written by a very talented young
Please click to enlarge the pic.
THE CROCODILES ARE CRYING.
Endless visions fill my head - this man - as large as life
And instantly my heart mourns for his angels and his wife
Because the way I see Steve Irwin - just put everything aside
It comes back to his family - it comes back to his pride
His animals inclusive - Crikey - light the place with love!
Shine his star with everything he fought to rise above
The crazy-man of Khaki from the day he left the pouch
Living out his dream and in that classic 'Stevo' crouch
Exploding forth with character and redefining cheek
It's one thing to be honoured as a champion unique
It's one thing to have microphones and spotlight cameras shoved
It's another to be taken in and genuinely loved
But that was where he had it right - I guess he always knew
From his fathers' modest reptile park and then Australia Zoo
We cringed at times and shook our heads - but true to natures call
There was something very "Irwin" in the make up of us all
Yes the more I care to think of it - the more he had it right
If you're going to make a difference - make it big and make it bright!
Yes - he was a lunatic! Yes - he went head first!
But he made the world feel happy with his energetic burst
A world so large and loyal that it's hard to comprehend
I doubt we truly count the warmth until life meets an end
To count it now I say a prayer with words of inspiration
May the spotlight shine forever on his dream for conservation.
My daughter broke the news to me - my six year old in tears
It was like she'd just turned old enough to show her honest fears
I tried to make some sense of it but whilst her Dad was trying
His little girl explained it best, she said, "The crocodiles are crying"
Their best mate's up in heaven now - the crocs up there are smiling!
And as sure as flowers, poems and cards and memories are piling
As sure as we'll continue with the trademarks of his spiel
Of all the tributes worthy - he was rough. but he was real
As sure as 'Crikey!' fills the sky
I think we'll miss ya Steve. goodbye.
RUPERT McCALL 2006