A fitting farewell

Canning Gazette - - NEWS -

THEY say the mea­sure of a man is not how he died but how he lived.

In the case of Gra­ham ‘Polly’ Farmer, while his feats on the foot­ball field helped him tran­scend the game, it was his kind­ness and de­sire to in­spire oth­ers that de­fined him as one of Aus­tralia’s true leg­ends.

Fam­ily, friends, fans and ev­ery­one in be­tween gath­ered at Op­tus Stadium in Bur­swood on Mon­day to pay trib­ute to Polly’s life, at the first State funeral to be held for a foot­baller in WA.

Al­most 1500 peo­ple squeezed into the River View Room, with more in the stadium’s grand­stands.

The ser­vice it­self was a celebratio­n of a man whose im­pact ex­tended far be­yond the realms of sport.

“We’re in the com­pany of a cham­pion,” mas­ter of cer­e­monies Rus­sell Woolf said.

Trea­surer Ben Wy­att spoke of how the Polly Farmer Foun­da­tion had in­spired Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple to ful­fil their po­ten­tial in the face of chal­lenges.

“He changed the way Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple felt about them­selves,” he said.

“I sus­pect why so many are here today is be­cause of what he did with his greatness off the field.”

The foun­da­tion’s vi­cepres­i­dent Fred Cheney said Farmer once told him “there’s a lot of good jobs in Aus­tralia, but I don’t see many Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple hold­ing them”.

Mr Cheney pledged the foun­da­tion would con­tinue to de­liver Farmer’s vi­sion of help­ing Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple ac­cess a qual­ity education to set them up for life, just as he had at Sis­ter Kate’s in Queens Park.

Farmer’s daugh­ter Kim said her fa­ther was a car­ing dad whose love of foot­ball was dwarfed only by his love for his fam­ily.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie

Thou­sands gath­ered to farewell Polly Farmer. d495338

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