Roustabout, MP and a ‘decent man’ farewelled
FAMILY, friends and community members gathered on Saturday to honour former MP, councillor, “balladeer” and passionate Coast resident Bruce Laming.
Hundreds turned out for Mr Laming’s funeral in Buderim after he died on Monday following a long battle with dementia, aged 79.
Mr Laming was a councillor on Landsborough Shire for one term before entering state politics in the seat of Mooloolah (now Kawana), going on to serve as his party’s whip, housing and public works spokesman and eventually deputy speaker.
In 2001, after being ordered by his party to put One Nation last on the ballot paper, he suffered a 19% swing that lost the Liberals their second safest seat.
His son Andrew Laming, who followed his father into politics and holds the seat of Bowman, said his father had left “quite a story”.
“Dad’s time here has been incredible,” he said.
“He was a man who created adventure around him.
“Dad always considered risk but gave us such freedom.”
Mr Laming described his father’s younger years as a “balladeer” working alongside shearers and “roustabouts” as he recorded his experience of Australia in the 1950s.
It would finally be immortalised in his book You’ve Got to Knock About Son.
“Dad was the only one who left a chronicle of this amazing nation,” Mr Laming said.
He said his father would be remembered through his many passions including classic Jaguar cars, barber shop quartets, skin-diving and poetry.
Among the Liberal representatives in attendance at Saturday’s funeral were Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace and Queensland Senator James McGrath, who delivered the welcome address in which he described Mr Laming as a “good, decent man”.
Both politicians were mentored by Mr Laming during the early years of their careers.
The Sunshine Statesmen Chorus, of which Mr Laming was an honorary life member and two-time president, gave tribute with a rendition of I Still Call Australia Home.
“His life was a happy life,” chorus member Mell McMichael said.
Colleagues remembered Mr Laming as the man who saved Point Cartwright from being developed into a fun park.
VALE: Family and friends gathered to farewell former MP Bruce Laming on Saturday.