Community mourns ‘Big Al’
A large crowd gathers to farewell CQ miner
THE rain clouds held off long enough for friends and family of Gracemere miner Allan Houston to say farewell to the much-loved man.
Hundreds gathered at the Rockhampton Memorial Gardens Cemetery to pay their respects to the father-of-one who was killed in a mining accident at Saraji mine on New Year’s Eve.
Friends and family remembered “Big Al” and celebrated the life of a man known by all as someone who would give you the shirt off his back.
Before the memorial, Mr Houston’s family issued a statement thanking well-wishers for their support.
“Allan was a much-loved father, brother and son, and it has been an incredibly difficult time for our family as we come to terms with his sudden death,” the family said.
“We appreciate being reminded of the many lives that Allan had touched.
“Allan had several passions in his life, Harley motorbikes and car drag racing, but his greatest love was his daughter Cassidy.
“He was also very proud of being a great dozer and dragline operator – just like his father Winston.
“We miss him dearly and have taken great comfort from the support that people have shown us during this time.”
At the memorial, those closest to him shared their fondest memories of their dear friend, many of whom commented on the mateship shown to them by Allan.
His sister Wendy paid tribute to her brother, saying, “Allan was a true, fair dinkum, down-to-earth friend to many.”
A busload of workmates attended to honour their friend, and share their favourite memories with those in attendance. “Allan poured so much love and mateship into this world,” one friend said.
“He was a great mate and a loving family man.”
One man remembered Big Al as being a “good and honest man”.
“Love you brother,” he said. “I’ll have one for you tonight.”
One man paid tribute to Allan saying he was “privileged to share a part of Allan’s life”.
Farewelling their father, brother, son and mate to Allan Jackson’s I Want To Stroll Heaven With You, the large crowd said their final goodbyes to the man they loved with a final cheer in his honour.
‘‘ ALLAN HAD SEVERAL PASSIONS IN HIS LIFE ... BUT HIS GREATEST LOVE WAS HIS DAUGHTER CASSIDY.
MOVING SEND-OFF: Allan Houston and his daughter Cassidy. Alan was farewelled at a memorial service in Rokhampton on Monday afternoon.