Ian Truxton Cooper1
10 February 1955 – 12 November 2017
[box type=”note” style=”rounded” border=”full”]Tribute delivered by his sister Jann Booth2 and eulogy by her children, James, Rowena and Andrea Booth3 at Melaluca Station Memorial Gardens, Chinderah NSW.[/box]
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] would like to thank everyone for coming to help us celebrate Ian’s life, especially those of you that have travelled great distances. I would also like to thank you all for your support during Ian’s illness, especially from his local friends. This meant so much to him.
Ian was born on 10 February 1955 at St Monan’s Hospital Cremorne and was delivered by our family GP, Dr John Begg, Mum’s previous employer.
He grew up in our family home that Dad built, in Waterview Street Seaforth, an ongoing building project.
Ian’s preschool was a mobile one, which his lifelong friend Bruce Marney also attended. He then went to Balgowlah North public school which he travelled to and from on his pump-up scooter along a bush track, often leaving home at the last minute, just avoiding being late. This is where he began more lifelong friendships with a number of other of his great mates. In years 5 and 6 he attended Neutral Bay public school opportunity class for gifted and talented children.
This is where his love and talent for music began, starting with a flute his Uncle Don had passed onto him. He subsequently passed this same flute onto his niece Andrea. Ian was a member of the school flute band which performed regularly within and outside the school.
His high school education was at Balgowlah High School.
Ian enjoyed playing soccer after convincing Mum and Dad that union wasn’t his thing, nor was judo. He enjoyed his cricket which he remained passionate about. He also enjoyed sea scouts, tennis, the latter he played most of his life.
Ian and I sailed and raced a Flying Ant at Middle Harbour Yacht Club, but my skills weren’t up to scratch which was frustrating for both.
Ian had a gap year after completing his High School and worked as a storeman. As a result it encouraged him to re-sit his HSC at TAFE to improve on his career opportunities.
He was successful in obtaining his Diploma of Education at Sydney University, then his degree at Newcastle University and hence began his very successful teaching career in Industrial Arts with guitar and computer skills as a bonus.
His first school was Shalvey High School in Mt Druitt western Sydney, challenging but rewarding, then Mosman before leaving Sydney for Woodenbong Central School which he loved and made more wonderful lifelong friends, especially the Guyer family.
His next school was Finley High School, before he transferred to his final school Wollumbin High School near Murwillumbah, where he also lived until moving to his home and castle in Cabarita Beach approximately 20yrs ago.
For many years Ian was involved in Sport and Rec family camps, mainly Lake Ainsworth and Jindabyne. Our family joined him on a number, my favourite being the Jindabyne ski camps.
These camps brought all Ian’s many talents to the fore such as music, trivia, kayaking, sporting activities, computer skills. Many an “Ian joke”, was included!
Ian also helped at the Cystic Fibrosis camps that I was involved in.
Also due to Ian’s computer skills he built up a wonderful rapport with assisting Dad’s new found passion and was a very supportive son.
Ian was an avid reader like Mum. As a child he preferred to read when he was meant to be showering. He would run the shower and dampen his towel until one day Mum caught him out!
If he received a new book he could be quite antisocial until he had finished reading it, which fortunately didn’t take long. At night he’d read under his bed covers with a torch.
One Saturday when Dad was away with Uncle Rodney sailing, Ian was delaying changing for sea scouts by lying on his bed and rolling a 2 shilling coin down his leg to his toes. Somehow it rolled into his throat temporarily choking him but ending up in his stomach where it had to be removed surgically. Poor Mum!
As children we went regularly to Sunday School and following this, in the Summer, we’d be collected by Mum and Dad and go to Freshwater Beach surfing. Many fond memories finishing up with a choc paddle pop.
Ian had a very sweet tooth which, as a child, was where most of his pocket money went.
Also mostly on Sundays we’d often have Nan, Grama and PaPa for lunch or vice-versa, also regularly seeing our Aunts, Uncles, cousins & friends, going on picnics, boating.
We always had a pet dog all of which Ian adored. He continued his love for our dogs and welcomed them in Cabarita.
We had annual holidays usually in May with Grama & PaPa & Mum in the Blue Mountains.
In September we went away as a family usually on a beach or country holiday. A great childhood & many happy memories!
Ian was a huge contributor to all his communities. He was involved in SES groups, Cabarita Beach/Bogangar Residence Association and more recently he contributed to and was on the the committee for Pottsville & District Men’s Shed.
Ian truly loved his last but not least job, driving for Tweed Coast Transit Tours. He had a captive audience who appreciated him. He has many online compliments.
He also frequented the local Bowling Club restaurant and Wednesday Trivia nights which he loved. In Cabarita Ian loved to play tennis, surf, both body & on a surf board, scuba dive, kayak & use his tinny.
His family all loved to visit especially James and his mates from a young age.
Ian was a regular contributor to the Sydney Morning Herald Column 8. He was so chuffed when they’d print his responses. He’d also complete their daily cryptic crossword, as did Mum. He assisted her with it in her latter years. In fact he assisted Mum any way possible after Dad died, for which we’re extremely grateful.
Ian will be greatly missed by all. He was a wonderfully loving, generous son, brother, brother in law, uncle, and recently, “gruncle”……..”A great bloke!”
(AB) Humour was a strong feature in Uncle Ian’s life. In particular, he had a fun-loving relationship with words – and that extended to our names.
(RB) Aunty Enid was the epitome of endless hours of fun-loving entertainment with her adoring nieces and nephews; Andrew (Andrea), Jenny (James) and Rowan (myself).
Our school holiday trips to Jindabyne, as well as Lake Ainsworth, time spent at our beloved muddybricks property, and visits to Aunty Enid’s were always endless fun-filled times, with cringeworthy jokes and endless music, performing and laughter shared and expressed through our playful and ridiculous characters!
(JB) Aunty Enid was especially good at doing Donald Duck impersonations, in addition to her witty self.
(JB) On the flip-side we were pretty good at being challenging and sometimes bratty kids. A great memory of this was when we were on our way from Thredbo back to Jindabyne after a big day on the slopes. I was in the back of the car annoying my sisters (as always) and before even a single warning the car came to a holt and I was advised to get out. Thinking there may be a stern lecture coming but the only thing I got was the smell of burnt rubber. Thankfully it was only for a few minutes before the car turned back around to collect a confused and bewildered nephew…this was an example of how he was a teacher, even outside of the classroom, and mentor, and taught us many great tricks of the trade…It was inevitable that in time a guitar jam would soon take place, and more than a few sing-a-longs as time went on. Our many orchestrated voices could rise to screaming heights and tremendous base – we all thought we were fabulous!!
(RB) I remember there being much joy and pride when “Andrew” and I joined a large choir in our teens and performed at the Opera House steps – Aunty Enid was not going to miss the opportunity to photograph the moment.
(AB) When we were kids and gathered for one particular family holidays, Uncle Ian arrived with a home video camera – the black, bulky, device was quite the novelty for us in the early 1990s – and we were keen to try it out.
But Uncle Ian wasn’t the fly-on-the-wall type videographer, filming us riding our bikes or jumping on the trampoline. He wanted to put on a real show.
So I was directed to position my hand as if I were holding an imaginary cup and told to click my fingers.
“Cut!” he called, and placed a glass of juice in my hand … “Action!” The camera rolled again.
When we watched back on the short film, I had been transformed into a magician. I held the glass of juice that had magically appeared in my hand and drew the cup to my head. I began to pour the juice over me – but no juice spilled out. Then, the next second, I vanished.
(RB) However, underneath the playful mask, Aunty Enid was a deeply loving and proud Uncle (and Godfather to myself), who knew how to engage with we children. He found ways to creatively connect, and share with us his humility and humour, great passion for music and performing.
(AB) Dear Uncle Ian, we will never forget you and the wonderful role you have played in our lives.