"In the beginning"

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No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Steve Irwin Memorial Service

Steve Irwin Memorial Service.


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 Queensland poet named Rupert McCall this was read today by a fine local actor named David Wenham.

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




19 comments:

Margaret said...

Hi Peter, great post,I was afraid I was going to miss out on the tribute as I was at work. Luckily I was able to see it when I arrived home. I loved the fact that "Willo" was the one to provide music that to me has always had a powerful meaning, it is now twice as powerful in my eyes.

Jeanette said...

HI Peter
Great post on Steve Irwin I also watched it on Television with a tears trickling down my face .A very moving sevice.
Take Care, Jan

wazza said...

Gidday Peter, glad you did one final post on Steve as you definately have "a way with words". Lovely post. I was at work when the tribute was on, but I taped it and watched it when I arrived home and must admit I saw a lot of the show thru' tear filled eyes (gee it's difficult when you get some dirt in your eyes). Bindi also gave a very moving piece about her father and John Williamson's song "True Blue" was just right.

Merle said...

Hi Peter ~ Great post that has a lot of meaning for a lot of us. I watched and cried through most of the Memorial and felt so sorry for Terri
and family. Bindi did well. I liked
JW's song Home Among the Gum Trees and nearly everyone joined in with it. Take care, Merle.

Marti said...

Yes, it was truly tragic that he had this accident. He was a risk taker for sure, but he managed to entertain us in a way no one else did (or dared - LOL)

Thank you for a lovely tribute.

Thank you for your good wishes for my 25th anniversary too!

JunieRose2005 said...

Peter,

I watched that tribute last night! It was very touching- and so full of love for STEVE! I felt-so much- for his wife and children! The little boy will probably have no real memories of his dad and that's sad-
The little girl is remarkable...such delivery from one so young! Yes! She probably will carry on her father's work!

That poem is just wonderful!

June

Marcus said...

Great description of a great service dad. Ditto to the tears and the emotions. I had never fully appreciated his character and life and his commitment to conservation before he died and sadly, as Joni Mitchell so aptly put it in her song Big Yellow Taxi "You don't know what you've got till it's gone".
A remarkable bloke, an unforgettable character, a great Aussie.
Loved the bloopers too!

Laurie said...

I haven't seen the service, yet, but I heard a clip of Bindi's speech. Remarkable.

The Heir said...

hey grampa, dad said you were having trouble commenting on my blog?? i checked my settings and it says anyone can comment so i dont know what to do really. can you leave comments as an annonymous person or will it just not let you comment full stop??
email me if you cant get a comment through.
Zac

kenju said...

I missed seeing the service, Peter. I like that last paragraph very much. I know we will miss him!

Miss Cellania said...

A friend from Oz sent me a collection of one-panel cartoons from Australian newspapers, mostly with the theme of crocodile tears. It made me tear up bad. One was a crying croc who said "He made me feel beautiful!"

P.S. I hope you can someday forgive me for the joke on my post today.

Ms. Vickie said...

What a great post Peter, Thank you for sharing it here. I hope we will have a chance to see it here.

He really was a great one and will be missed so much. A great poem.

Jim said...

Hi Peter -- I'm glad you recapped that tribute ceremony. We saw a lot of the clips here in the states, I'm sure a cable channel carried the whole thing.
All the news carried Bindi's talk. She is a trooper!
..

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Yeah, that Steve Irwin was a loveable guy. We all miss him here in the States.

audrey` said...

Hi Peter
Bindi Irwin is a very brave young girl.
May our Lord comfort the family.

Katherine said...

That was a great tribute to Steve! I still can't believe he's gone. I also couldn't believe how poised Bindi was while reading her tribute to her Dad - amazing! She's going to do great things.

Maria said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and this beautiful poem written for Steve Irwin.

It is difficult to realize the world has lost this man who was so devoted to our world's animals and the environment.

I will watch for the memorial service in its entirety. I have only seen clips on the news here.

Jamie Dawn said...

I saw a portion of Bindi's comments on TV. She definitely has inherited her dad's charisma. I wish little Bob was older so he would be able to really remember his dad from his own experience and not just through the memories of others.
I'm sure this family will be greatly loved always not just by Australians, but by the world.

Granny said...

The poem summed him up exactly. Hope I can catch the memorial over here.

If you happen to find out when it will be shown here, let me know.