State Parliament pays tribute to former Grafton teacher

THE New South Wales Parliament has paid tribute to one of the North Coast community's "favourite sons" following his funeral last Friday.

John Beaney died aged 81 after a full life as one of eastern Australia's most recognisable stock and station agents.

Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey said he was the great-grandson of a convict who was transported for house-breaking as an 11-year-old to what would later become Australia.

Mr Beaney grew up in Tenterfield before moving to Grafton as a teenager.

"A tragedy that still haunts many on the North Coast was the drowning of 13 young Boy Scouts in 1943," Ms Pavey said

"John was meant to be on the boat that day but decided at the last minute to pull out. He said that tragedy had a profound impact on him and from then on he decided that he would live his life to the full, which he did."

He was living in Kempsey during the floods of 1949 and received word from up-river of an enormous river surge coming his way.

Ms Pavey said he went from door to door, begging people to leave their homes and get away.

"Sadly, many did not and their lives were lost as their homes were swept away," she said.

He arrived in Macksville in 1951 to work at a local bank and later met John Stanton, the famous campdrafter.

"With a shake of hands they became a formidable duo. Their connection stood the test of time, with John Stanton telling the (funeral) congregation there was never a bad word between them," Ms Pavey said.

Lismore MP Thomas George said Mr Beaney would missed by his loved ones and the wider community.

"John became one of the most recognised stock and station agents, together with his partner, John Stanton," Mr George said.

"He devoted his life to the industry and was well recognised for his contribution

"The family will miss John, but at least he is now at peace."

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