By EMMA CORNFORD
AS GRAFTON tennis stalwart Allan Edward Schafer was farewelled for the last time at Grafton's Christ Church Cathedral yesterday, he was remembered as a dedicated and honest man with a deep love for his hometown.
Every seat in the cathedral was full for the service, a mark of how much Mr Schafer was known and loved by his family and the Grafton community.
The service began with a tribute from the RSL, outlining Mr Schafer's time in the Royal Australian Air Force. Members of the RSL then placed poppies on his coffin before a reading of the Ode to the Fallen.
His children ? Jim, Neil and Dell ? read Mr Schafer's eulogy, relaying stories about their father's spirit and sense of humour.
Jim described his father's heavy involvement in tennis ? both playing at state level and coaching ? and his deep love of motorbike racing.
"He was the provider of lollies, gourmet breakfasts and lemonade when mum was away," Jim said.
"He was, and will remain, our role model ... and our loyal friend."
Mr Schafer's daughter Dell described her father as a 'tower of strength and comfort'.
"For Allan, Grafton was number one ... and today he would be immensely happy and proud that so many ... have come to say goodbye and celebrate his life," she said.
Neil said it was 'values' which really counted for his father.
"It was about honesty and being dependable; about persevering and being determined in everything," he said.
"It was about doing the right thing and coping ... not complaining or making a fuss."