Greg was born in 1963 at (regional town) – born late and on holidays as his mother used to say. He was the eldest son of R&J who already had three daughters – C, J and N.
Eleven years later, the family added a second son – G.C. – and Greg loved being a big brother at last.
Greg’s early years were spent at a sheep station near Walgett where his father worked as a station hand.
However, isolation and a desire to be their ‘own boss’ prompted the family to move and they bought their dairy farm in 1966.
‘G-ville’ has always held a special place in Greg’s heart: he relished growing up on the farm, working with the family in the dairy and with his father on other farm tasks of fencing, irrigation and collecting honey from the bee hives scattered about the countryside. The girls and G.C. remember dairying together and looking for pigs in the long grass.
Greg and his brother continued to help their parents run the farm ever since and the brothers inherited the farm upon the death of their mother last year. Greg always enjoyed weekend farming as a stress-relief from city life and indeed he spent his last weekend at the farm dipping cattle with his brother.
Greg attended the MC primary school – a small country school where he was often the top of the class – also the only one in his class. At High School Greg liked subjects such as manual arts and geometrical drawing and perspective
After school, Greg did an Associate Diploma of Mechanical Engineering where he spent a lot of time socialising.
Much socialising was also done at an organised level through Rural Youth and Greg relished spending time on Rural Youth projects and functions such as collecting funds for the cancer council, organising the RY fruit displays for the Ekka, and social outings.
Greg bought his first car in 1984 – the red Torana that we all know and love. This car was his pride and joy and everybody who knew Greg, knew the Torana or ‘PIG’ as it is known to many.
Greg worked at various jobs as anything from a labourer to a quantity surveyor to a sales manager both in Australia and New Zealand. He came to work for (company) as their Design Engineer in 1992 where he was able to work on his passion – cars.
Greg met his wife Amanda at a birthday party for a family friend in February 1993.
A week later, Greg invited Amanda to the family farm to for a group camp out with friends to celebrate his 30th birthday. It soon became obvious to all other party goers that “Mr Right” had found his “Miss Right” and the two became inseparable from that point onwards.
Amanda says that there is another reason that she knew that their love was cemented early on in their life together – it was at this campout that Greg decided to impress his new girlfriend by teaching her how to ride his motorbike. Amanda promptly rode the motorbike into a fence with Greg falling one way and her the other, breaking Greg’s collarbone in the process. She would often joke that she had to keep him because “she broke him / she bought him”.
This early part of their relationship saw their fierce love for each other emerge and grow stronger every day through their shared values, intelligence, interests and equally wacky sense of humour. Private jokes were and still are part of their relationship.
Friendships were important to this young couple and lots of time was spent with their wonderful friends. One favourite haunt was a friend’s holiday house where it was always a party – with motorbikes for the boys, crafty stuff for the girls, lots of friendship and far too much food.
Upon asking Amanda to marry him in 1996, she accepted and then almost immediately moved 2000 km away to begin a new job – not your conventional engagement!
Their love for each other remained strong through the tyranny of distance with plenty of phone calls and a few visits helping them through.
Greg and Amanda married in September 1997 – there was not a happier couple on the planet.
In 2002, Greg and Amanda were blessed with a beautiful daughter, K – a little girl who thought the sun shone out of her Daddy, and a Daddy who thought that his little girl was a miracle of creation. This event also fulfilled Greg’s childhood wish – As a little fellow when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up the answer was “A Daddy with whiskers.”
Two years later, they were blessed again with the birth of their son – H. Greg was so pleased to have a little boy because he wanted to share the same wonderful father-son bond he shared with his own father.
Greg was the proudest Dad in the world of his darling daughter and his wonderful son. He dreamed big dreams for them and would delight in their every word and action.
Unlike many men, Greg loved his mother-in-law and father-in-law and was happy to spend time with them in any way, shape or form. He would gladly do any little job they asked and he truly enjoyed spending time with them.
Greg had many hobbies including building and repairing mechanical devices of all types (but mainly cars and motorbikes). He also enjoyed gardening, farming, tinkering with his bulldozer and the farm’s various tractors and other machinery …. Like the go-cart he built from spare parts.
Someone recently commented on what an adventurer he was – he had done everything from paragliding to abseiling, skiing, and rock climbing. Notably, he and G.C. rode their motorbikes to Cape York and devised interesting methods to cross crocodile infested rivers. The pair also climbed Queensland’s tallest peak in one day – no mean feat.
He was also a hoarder extraordinaire – a trait common to his parents and siblings: he knew the intrinsic value of “stuff” and would insist on keeping it in every nook and cranny in the family home. Amanda said there is currently about 5 roll- cages in the back yard – notably, the couple have never owned any vehicle that will fit them…. but still they must be useful for *something*!
He loved to tell stories: He would always have a little story to tell his children about when he was little, or something that he had seen or done at the farm or at work. When visiting the family farm with his own children, he’d tell them tales of growing up there, remembering little details about particular trees or secret places he loved as a child.
…and he loved to talk! With Amanda being almost as bad, she and Greg would talk about anything and everything – although Amanda would often ask him NOT to begin a conversation with her at 3am: he had the unique ability to have a chat and almost instantly go back to sleep.
Greg was generous to a fault with both his time and his heart, never hesitating to help a friend with a “car problem” or a stranger stranded by the side of the road. He loved people and saw the good in their hearts even when others could not. He never gave up on people he cared about.
Greg loved his family above all. His wife and children were his pride and joy.
Greg and Amanda had an enduring and loving partnership lasting over 17 years from that first fateful meeting. This partnership provided a strong base for their family.
He was a wonderful role model of a faithful husband and father who worked diligently to serve his family.
He quietly grew in Christian faith and this became more apparent after the deaths of his own parents.
With a loving wife, two children plus friends and family who all loved him dearly, Greg’s legacy of love will endure.