From larrikin to legend, that's the life of Brian
BRIAN Carroll would have enjoyed the send off around 150 family and friends put on for him at St Mary's Catholic Church Grafton this morning.
The former bank worker and businessman, who succumbed to a decade-long battle with cancer on December 4 at the age of 70, would have revelled in the gathering of people who loved him and the irreverence of the stories told about him.
Close friend Peter Clough had a fund of stories about Brian going back to his days as a promising junior Aussie Rules player in Albury, where he won the Best and Fairest for North Albury under-18s.
He also entertained the congregation with a selection of hair raising tales about the young Brian Carroll who he said "was born a larrikin, but became a legend".
Mr Clough noted Brian had an almost unerring instinct for keeping out of trouble.
"Brian was always the ring leader whenever there was anything going on," Mr Clough said.
"But when things started to go wrong, Brian was nowhere to be seen."
He said Brian toned down his lifestyle after he married Sue in 1973, but still followed his three passions AFL, cricket and politics tirelessly.
One of his sons, Adam Carroll, said he still could recall his father's involvement with the 1990 campaign to have the ALP's Harry Woods elected to the seat of Page.
But Adam's main recollections were of his father's passionate love of his family which extended to all its branches and the network of friends which he said extended to just about every town in Australia.
Adam said his father was more than happy to combine his love of family with his passion for sport, when it came to his Adam and his brother Todd.
"He was always able to get Todd and I to the golf course back in our teens when we decided that was all we wanted to do," Adam said.
He recalled his father's fondness for socialising at Roches Hotel in Grafton.
The members of Roches Hackers Golf Club formed a guard of honour for their mate as the casket carrying Brian was taken from the church.
Following the funeral the congregation moved to the Grafton District Services Club to tells stories and recall their family member and friend.