"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

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.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

In Memory Of Steve Irwin

On September 4, 2006 a shocked world learned of the tragic death of Steve Irwin "The Crocodile Man"
as a tribute to the man and the legend he has become I am reposting what I have written about him in the past.

This is a re-post of one I did in May 2006, there was no way of knowing that Steve would be dead just 4 months later.

Steve in full flight, you have to admire the mans exuberance and joy for life.

Friend Heather and her son Liam.
We had a great day at Australia Zoo.

“Crikey,” I used to feel quite embarrassed by Steve’s over
exuberant behavior, people from the rest of the world will
think we are all like him.

Little did I know then, that the world would probably be a better place if, in fact, we were all a bit like Steve, sure, minus some of the Crikey factor might help.

Before I had ever visited Australia Zoo, which is only 50 miles from where I live and just off the Bruce Highway that I travel quite regularly, I saw a program on TV that started me thinking that Steve was a dedicated and successful man. worthy of some research.

Now having visited Australia Zoo a couple of times, and found out a bit of what makes Steve tick, I must admit I have become something of a fan of the man, he certainly has an infectious nature.

The Australia Zoo just oozes Steves personality, pictured here with his wife Terri and daughter Bindi.

Both his parents were dedicated to wildlife conservation, so it is understandable that he grew up with a passion for, and no fear of, all the creatures he now embraces so enthusiastically.

Terri also has a background in animal care, she helped her parents establish Cougar Country in her home State of Oregon.

With the pool of caring for animals that these two families have, there is little doubt that Bindi and Bob, Steve and Terri’s two children, will follow in the same footprints.

There is a far wider reaching goal in the Irwin’s sights however than simply running a very successful wildlife park, they are actively engaged in the acquisition of large tracts of land that can be converted back to the wilderness state that is suitable habitat for endangered species of wildlife.

Steve is seldom seen dressed in anything other than his shorts and shirt,” work clothes,” when asked about his wardrobe in a TV interview he said that he did own some “Dress Kakis” but seldom wore them.

As I said at the start, I now consider Steve Irwin to be an Australian that we can all be proud of, and he has certainly proven that he has the business skills to run a very successful multi-million dollar enterprise.

They employ a large staff, each and every one of whom is obviously hand picked, they come accross with the same enthusiasim that is so obvious in Steve.

He has also made a wonderful choice for a wife in Terri,
"we dips our lids to them."

My next post about Steve was sadly this one, announcing his death on Sept 4, 2006.

The Crocodile Hunter

Steve Irwin; The Crocodile Hunter. 1962 - 2006

Steve Irwin was killed today, Monday Sept 4th, while filming an underwater documentary of the coast of North Queensland near Port Douglas.

The cause of his death was a strike to the chest by the barb of a giant sting ray which brought on a heart attack, Steve would have taken some heart from the fact he was doing what he most loved, enjoying nature.

He is survived by his American born wife Terri, she was from Oregon, and their two children, daughter Bindi aged 8 and son Bob almost 3.

It is tragically ironic that his death occured the day after Fathers Day here in Australia, as Steve was also a dedicated Father.

Steve who’s catch-cry “Crikey”, was known world wide, he was also a world famous environmentalist and a staunch supporter of the much feared saltwater crocodile that lives throughout coastal Northern Australia.

Australia Zoo, located just North of Brisbane was the jewel in the crown of the Irwin empire, it offers a unique glimpse of the animals that Steve was so dedicated to in spacious and spotless conditions.

The Irwin’s have gathered around them a team of people who show the same dedication and enthusiasm that Steve and Terri had, it will continue to attract big crowds just as it always has and will serve as a very fitting memorial to Steve.

I must admit when he first burst onto the public scene I was a little embarrassed by his exuberance and thought, “I hope
people overseas don’t think all Australians are like that.”

As I learnt more of his dedication and the good work he was doing however I started to think more, “it’s a pity there aren’t more people like Steve around, the world would be a better place if there were.”

Heartfelt sympathy goes to Steve’s family, he will be greatly missed as a “true blue Aussie”

On September 20 I posted this.

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 justifiable 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 enbiggen the pic.


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.


On October- 6- 2006 I posted this.

Dedicated to Terri Irwin

Bindi, Terri, and Bob at the public memorial to Steve.

The phenomenon that is the Irwin legend rolls on, as I had already posted twice on Steve’s untimely death I didn’t post again on Terri Irwin’s interview.

This caused another huge ripple in the pond that is the public's perception of this family, the interview was just as emotionally moving as the news of Steve’s death, his memorial, and Bindi’s amazing tribute to her Dad.

As I said I really had no idea of a follow up post until yet another fact about the Irwin family began to emerge, this latest trend is that, following Terri’s candid description of Steve’s love of his family and especially his children, there has been a very noticeable trend for busy Dads to find time to spend with their kids.

The central theme of Terri’s interview was that Steve placed his children before anything else in his busy life, and his schedule would make most others look like a ride in the park.

Rivaling his famous "Crikey" there is another facet of Steve that has surfaced, this was his absolute willingness to stop what he was doing when he detected it was time for a "Bob Moment" nothing was allowed to stand in the way of these times.

Now we have Dads being interviewed on TV and admitting that they had felt to busy with their work commitments to give their job as a parent sufficient attention, and, importantly making some changes to help accommodate that task.

We have all seen the public image that the Irwin family put forward, but to have a grieving widow paint the picture of Steve’s adoration for his family so glowingly seems to have driven the idea home.

Again there has been coverage of the Irwin dream for Australia Zoo, the Animal Refuge and Hospital, the creation of wildlife habitat refuges in land purchased by them for that purpose, so that we know they were very sincere.

It is only now that the media attention has been focused on their enterprises that we are starting to see the enormity of the loss that Australia and the World has suffered.

To hear that an eight year old child will take over her fathers dreams and make them come true would in most cases be quite ludicrous, but given that her parents were Steve and Terri Irwin and learning of the wonderful family life they had, suddenly the idea is no longer ludicrous.

I for one wondered whether Terri might pack her family up and head for the comfort of her family back in the States, but having heard her say, while fighting back tears, that Australia Zoo would not only remain open as a memorial to Steve, but would one day rival Disneyland as a tourist destination, I think it’s a safe bet that she is staying.

The only blemish over the past four weeks has been the unscrupulous activities of a few who have tried to make a profit from Steve’s death by setting up phony charities purporting to be for Wildlife Warriors, and others who registered the internet names of Terri Irwin and Bindi Irwin and have been spreading very undesirable information to the many people who have arrived at their sites innocently.

As I said at the start of this post the phenomenon of Steve Irwin is still gathering pace and strength, who knows just where it will finish, the one thing that has been proven beyond dispute is that the world lost an inspirational man when Steve died and perhaps more surprisingly the world recognized that loss immediately and mourned as one.

The family in much happier times.

On the 1st anniversary of Steve's death I posted this.

Vale Steve Irwin 1962 - 2006

September 4 marks the anniversary of the death of
Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Man)

It would be sad indeed if this anniversary was not remembered by all the people spread throughout the world who mourned Steve’s passing just 12 months ago.

For such an active member of the worlds animal conservationists to be killed by the accidental piercing of his heart by a stingray's barb was to say the least an incongruous way for this folk hero to die.

Steve’s dreams are alive and well in the safekeeping of his family and friends, all of whom have sworn to keep the Australia Zoo, Animal Hospital and his many other conservation interests alive.

It is with a mix of pride and sadness that we remember the exuberance and dedication of “The Crocodile Man” on this and every other day.

My apologies for the length of this post but as I still feel so very proud of Steve I felt anything less would just not do.


WT said...

I used to cringe when I saw, or rather heard him, but he eventually wore me down with is consistency, and his genuine dedication.

Pamela said...

His was a life well lived.
That's what we all loved about him.

LZ Blogger said...

“Crikey” Peter... you knew of my love of Steve and his wonderful "Australia's zoo". I even love my picture of me with the cardboard likeness of Steve Irwin at his zoo in Beerwah. We were there just a few months before his death. We was loved around the world. Thanks for this excellent post about Steve! ~ jb///

Dave said...

Wow.. has it been two years already? *frown*

What a huge loss for everyone.


Merle said...

Hi Peter ~~ Great post , very well done. It doesn't seem like 2 years since Steve died. Terri has been wonderful and Bindi goes from strength to strength. Bob is still
very young, but Steve would be proud of them all. Hope all is well at your place. And I hope you are thinking about running in that new car. We aren't getting any younger!!
Take care, Love, Merle.

Cliff said...

Yep a bit off center but that's what everyone loved about him. You've done a good job of takin us back Peter. Thanks.
Congrats on the new car Peter. Did you get one of those with the leggy model?

karisma said...

Here Here! I think Not to be proud of Steve would be very un-Australian! I guess he was just one of those people that eventually grow on you!

All your posts were beautiful and I especially love that poem, it brought tears to my eyes! Thank you!

Walker said...

He was one of a kind, fealess and curious.

Happy Fathers Day BTW