Mourners spelled out love for Mike
"YOU can tell a lot about a bloke by the number of people who attend his funeral."
That statement was uttered by a bloke standing next to me outside All Saints Anglican Church in Yamba yesterday at the funeral of Lower River identity, Mike Macqueen.
About 150 mourners were happy to stand outside All Saints Church for the service because the number of people wanting to pay their last respects to Mr Macqueen meant inside the church was overflowing with hundreds of friends and family.
The 45-minute service opened with Sting's haunting melody, Fields of Barley.
One of the first to speak at the service was Mr Macqueen's son Sam who described his father as young at heart.
"Dad was just a boy from the country who loved life," he said.
Then, as Sam concluded his loving eulogy he told his father: "I'm proud of the achievements you have made".
Others spoke of their love and admiration for the Yamba businessman with comments such as: "Mike was a virtuous man who died before his time" and "he was a tireless, hard worker".
Mr Macqueen's casket was carried from the church to a Cat Stevens' tune which begins with: "Oh Very Young what will you leave us this time? You're only dancing on this earth for a short while".
It was difficult for anyone there to keep a dry eye as Mr Macqueen's family consoled each other after the service.
From All Saints Church, family and friends travelled to the lawn cemetery at Townsend for the burial.