Com­mu­nity mourns ‘Big Al’

A large crowd gath­ers to farewell CQ miner

The Observer - - NEWS - MADDELIN MCCOSKER [email protected]­

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.


Photo: Con­trib­uted

MOV­ING SEND-OFF: Al­lan Hous­ton and his daugh­ter Cas­sidy. Alan was farewelled at a me­mo­rial ser­vice in Rokhamp­ton on Mon­day af­ter­noon.

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