Pop­u­lar young man farewelled

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE -

MARK El­liott may have been just 21 years old but he has left a last­ing mark on this world.

More than 500 peo­ple at­tended his funeral last Thurs­day at the prop­erty of his friends, Tassie and Beth Dell, on the out­skirts of Biggen­den.

Mark’s beloved horses and dogs were also present.

Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices chap­lain Rod Strong led the trib­utes to the­man­who had dis­played community spirit and a will­ing­ness to get in­volved – a trait sel­dom seen in young men of his age.

Mark died at the Royal Bris­bane and Women’s Hospi­tal onWed­nes­day, Septem­ber 26, from in­juries sus­tained af­ter a fall from his horse at the Gin Gin Cam­p­draft.

Through his gen­eros­ity his or­gans have ben­e­fited oth­ers af­ter his death.

Mark was ed­u­cated at Biggen­den State School be­fore at­tend­ing Years 11 and 12 at Isis Dis­trict High.

De­liv­er­ing the eu­logy, Gor­don Down­ing said Mark jumped at the ca­reer op­por­tu­nity of a school-based ap­pren­tice­ship with Fred and Glenda Robin­son, then own­ers of Biggen­den Butch­ery.

It was a proud mo­ment for the fam­ily when his trainer nom­i­nated Mark for the Meat In­dus­try Ap­pren­tice­ship of the Year.

Af­ter Mark be­came a qual­i­fied butcher he de­cided to learn some dif­fer­ent as­pects of butcher­ing and went to work at Biggen­den Meat­works where he un­der­took var­i­ous cour­ses.

At the time of his death he was undertaking a meat in­spec­tor’s course.

In re­cent months Mark had also be­come in­ter­ested and in­volved with work at Muan Feed­lot.

He was par­tic­u­larly look­ing for­ward to the Rock­hamp­ton Bull Sale and had de­voted many hours with the bulls, Mr Down­ing said.

“Mark’s hard work with his hors­eswas just be­gin­ning to pay off,” he said.

“One of his proud­est mo­mentswas run­ning sec­ond in the maiden draft at the Biggen­den Show on his grey horse Earl.”

Mark was a val­ued mem­ber of the Biggen­den Apex Club, Biggen­den Aux­il­iary Fire Ser­vice, Biggen­den Char­ity Cam­p­draft Com­mit­tee, Biggen­den Show So­ci­ety and the community’s Ju­nior Ci­ti­zen of the Year in 2011.

Friend Rob­bie Radel high­lighted the times he and Mark shared in the “titty bar”. He was re­fer­ring to the time they spent in the dairy milk­ing the cows on Sun­day af­ter­noons.

“These vis­its would bring about a huge range of top­ics, from solv­ing the prob­lems of the world, to what ut­ter rub­bish is on tele­vi­sion of a night time, or his pas­sion for cam­p­draft­ing, and the oc­ca­sional deep and mean­ing­ful about life, love, fam­ily, and even or­gan do­na­tion,” he said.

“There are no words that can ad­e­quately sum up nor ac­cu­rately de­scribe the un­ri­valled level of re­spect that is used by ev­ery­one when they speak of Mark.

“The term ‘gen­tle­man’ isn’t a com­monly used word any­more, es­pe­cially in some­one so young, how­ever when we think of Mark, it’s a de­scrip­tion that fits per­fectly.

“In all that he said, and all that he did, Mark­was a credit to his fam­ily, and left this world with an un­blot­ted copy­book.

“Whilst there is ab­so­lutely no doubt that the tragic ac­ci­dent that took Mark’s life seems un­fair to us all, I think if we all had the chance to choose howwewere to go, we would all choose to be do­ing some­thing that we love.

“Mark was for­tu­nate enough to have that hap­pen for him. He wouldn’t want us to be sad, rather re­mem­ber him the way he al­ways was... happy, smil­ing cheek­ily and ready to have a joke.”

He said Mark would for­ever be re­mem­bered as a won­der­ful son for Bruce and Vicki, an an­noy­ing but car­ing brother for Me­gan, a lov­ing grand­son, the most loyal friend for ev­ery per­son he be­came close to, and the “most gen­er­ous, big-hearted young man who any of us will have the hon­our of meet­ing”.

“In short, Mark is the type of per­son that we want our sons to grow up like and our daugh­ters to marry,” Mr Radel said.

A guard of hon­our in­cluded Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices per­son­nel from across the re­gion and mem­bers of the Biggen­den Apex Club and Biggen­den Pony Club.

Do­na­tions in Mark’s mem­ory can be made to theAGL Ac­tion Res­cue He­li­copter, Sun­shine Coast Air­port, David LowWay, Mar­coola, 4564.

Photo: Erica Mur­ree

SAY­ING GOOD­BYE: Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices chap­lain Rod Strong leads the funeral pro­ces­sion at Mark El­liott’s funeral.

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