March 31st 2011
Vale Alan Green 1936-2011
On Friday, friends of Alan Green, a Magnetic Island resident of over 30 years gathered at Alma Bay to pay their last respects and scatter his ashes. Unfortunately, due to technical problems Magnetic Times was unable to post the following eulogy earlier and inform readers of the event but we hope the following tribute from Alan's family will serve to help those who knew Alan to reflect on his life. We also encourage those who wish to comment about Alan to add their thoughts in the comments box below the article.
TRIBUTE TO ALAN ROBERT GREEN
Presented by Alan's younger brother John Green
Alan Robert Green was born on 23 October 1936 whose parents were Reginald (Reg) and Ellen (Nell) Green.
Alan's father had two marriages. From the first marriage there were two children, Reginald (Mickey) and Joyce. Mickey is 89 and lives in Mornington Victoria. Joyce passed away in 1998. Reginald the father divorced his first wife and married Nell.
Alan was born in October 1936 and younger brother John was born on 31 October 1937. Alan and John lived with their parents in Windsor, Melbourne. When Alan was two and a half the family moved to Queen Street St Kilda. Mickey Joyce used to look after Alan and John at this time. These were hard time for the family during the Second World War, not much work, and therefore not much money-especially during the ration times during the war.
Alan and John grew up together in St Kilda and supported the Saints AFL football team. Both went to primary school at West St Kilda-Sacred heart-catholic school. Alan and John sold papers to help mother with the money. Alan also started delivering meat on his bike from Joe Osborne's butcher shop in Balaclava and gave his mother money for the household. Alan and John's father Reg became very ill and was diagnosed with cancer in 1950.
Alan left school at 14 after obtaining his merit from primary school. He became an apprentice butcher with Joe Osborne in Balaclava. Alan's father died in September 1951/when Alan was 15 years of age. Alan finished his apprenticeship when he was 18. Mother Nell used to do housecleaning to support the family. There was never enough money.
Alan was always very good at sport even though he wore glasses. Alan was a very good cricketer, and a fast opening bowler and a good bat. He liked cycling better than cricket. He took up cycle racing when he was 15 with Prahran amateurs and later with Richmond amateur cycling club. He trained hard and was very good at road racing. He really loved the banked track at Richmond and could have been a cycling champion in his own right but he devoted much of his time to train and coach younger brother John, who became a multiple Australian track champion and Australian cyclist of the year in 1960. Alan was coach and manager of the team John Green and John Young who won five Australian six-day track races all over Australia from 1959 to 1962. John retired from track racing at 24 years of age and started work with Bosch in 1962. John thanked Alan for his devotion to John's cycling career; his guidance, his coaching, his training and managing, and says he could not have reached his goal without Alan.
At 18 years of age, Alan had his own butcher shop in Balaclava. He was always a hard worker and early riser, and never had problems getting up at 3 AM to open his butcher shop, or his work as a groundsman at Arcadia holiday resort hotel.
A younger Alan
Alan married Thelma (Bubby) in 1970 they first lived in Moorabbin and then Mordialloc in Melbourne. They had three children and all were adopted. Rodney unfortunately died in 1976 at only four years of age, Camille born on 10 September 1974 and Tim born 27 October 1975.
In 1979 Alan and family moved to Magnetic Island and then set up the family home in Nelly Bay. Alan started work at Arcadia holiday resort hotel in 1979 looking after the pools. Alan always loved his work at Arcadia.
Alan and his family grew up on Magnetic Island. Camille and Tim went to primary school on the island then high school in Townsville. Camille married David on 7 August 1998. They have six children, Andrew, Meghan, Shauna, Tealeesha, Darryin, and Brandon. All six are Alan's grand children and Alan loved all of them and treated them equally. Alan especially loved visits from Camille and the grandchildren on Magnetic Island. Alan also loved going to Mackay every Christmas time to spend Christmas with Camille and the family. He never stayed too long as he had to get back to Arcadia to look after his pools.
Some special occasions on the island were Alan's 50th birthday 23 October 1986 John and Margaret came up from Melbourne for their first visit to the island. Their daughter Karen was here, she came up to visit Uncle Alan and said she had found paradise and stayed. We all had a wonderful time together and Greg Nathan also were there to celebrate with us.
Alan's 70th birthday was another special occasion in 2006 when John and Margaret came. Also Florence and Trevor Huff, Robin and Patricia Daubeny and Ron and Patricia Murray all came up to celebrate with Alan. Camille and Brandon were there also and we all had a great time together. Alan looked after us all like kings and queens.
Alan did make a rare visit to Melbourne in July 1983 when his mother Nell died. Alan stayed with John and caught up with all of the family including aunts, uncles and his special cousins.
Bubby divorced Alan in 1996. They had not been on speaking terms ever since. "Such is life," Alan said. Alan also specifically requested that Bubby and Tim were not to be contacted whilst he was in hospital or after his passing. Camille and family respected Alan's request.
Alan was always straight from the shoulder and called a spade a spade. Alan was very lucky in that he was always fit and healthy and only in the last two years did he have bad health problems firstly with his left hand where the micro bacterium cost him the use of two fingers on his left hand, and then in Townsville Hospital where he fought his battle against cancer his last illness.
In one way we were lucky that he did not have to suffer too long in hospital. Whilst Alan was in hospital at Townsville his granddaughter Shauna, 13 years of age, was also in hospital where she had her spleen removed. They were in hospital together. Shauna recovered well and flew home to Mackay with her father David. Alan's brother John flew up from Melbourne to be with Alan and also help Camille during a very stressful time. Alan was very happy and proud that Camille, David and family were very happily married and the family were very happy together and he died happy knowing that they will all be happy together in the future. Alan thanked all of his friends for their phone calls and their visits at the hospital even though he was a very sick man.
Camille also mentioned some special times with her dad.
Alan was especially happy when he found out that Camille was pregnant with Meghan in 1995. Alan was also very happy when he was together with all of his grandchildren. Camille also surprised Alan when she and David secretly got married in Mackay in 1998 they told Alan two weeks later and he gave them his blessing.
During his last days in hospital Alan requested that some special Ďthank yousí be mentioned at his funeral.
A special thank you to all of his chosen family which he loved dearly. A special place in Alan's life was with Val and Ian Reid and Glenys and the whole family. Ian passed away in 2008. Thank you, Val and Glenys, for everything.
Greg Nathan dear friend over 30 years.
Warren Gardener good mate over 30 years.
Verne Jack and Alan worked as a team running the Toad races for the kindergarten over 25 years.
Liz and Michael Hackett and all the staff at Arcadia over many years.
Jodie Mc Lachlan and family.
The Eves family and Kath.
Diane Mackie and family and Alan.
David (Crusty) Herron.
Shane Combridge and family.
Coralie and Steve Melvin and the family.
Helen Foulkes in the office at Arcadia.
Tony Wilson from Sunferries (Alan and Tony started together at Hayles 30 years ago).
Gail from the TAB in Townsville.
Jenny for being mum to Camille and a grandmother to Camille's children, and Ray.
Thanks to Christine and John Gibbins for looking after brother John while in Townsville.
Thanks to Ian Chapman, Tony Marchant, Fred Roche Rmmd8d.-John Young,
Robin Daubeny, Ron Murray and David Good for being great friends from cycling.
Thanks to Morrie, Trish, and family friends of Alan's for over 30 years.
Thanks to Collette, Greg, and Jacob for being family to Alan (Collette was Alan's other adopted daughter).
Tom Vaudrey and family and friends for over 30 years.
Les will most likely look after the Arcadia pools after Alan, thanks Les.
A very special thank you to Gary McGill, wife Lesley and family: the owners of Arcadia Hotel (Magnums).
And to all of his friends that he didn't mention THANK YOU.
A special thank you to all the doctors, nurses and staff at Townsville Hospital, for all their care and special treatment, looking after Alan, especially Dr Edward Morris and Dr Caroline in oncology ward, and doctors and staff on the palliative care ward.
Alan chose four songs for today's service. The fourth song: A little ray of sunshine was specifically for granddaughter Meghan. Alan would have loved to see Meghan become an air hostess.
Alan was always a very organised man, and he pre-arranged his funeral with Luke Valdeter, THANKS LUKE.
During his last days in hospital Alan was organising tasks to be done with Camille and John although he was a very sick man. He is now at rest and peace, and his suffering is over. He will be loved forever by his chosen family Camille and family, Mickey and Shirley Green and family, John and Margaret Green and family and all of Alan's cousins. LOVE YOU! R.I.P Alan.
Verne Jack, a long time friend and associate of Alanís - particularly with the Islandís famous Toad Races - also wrote an account of Alanís life. Ed.
Alan Green was born in 1936 and spent his life in his early years in Melbourne. He worked as a butcher at Victoria Markets and his life revolved around work, boxing training and punting on racehorses.
He moved north to Magnetic Island in the late 1970s and found work with the Hayles family who ran the Arcadia Hotel. He became yardman, gardener and swimming pool cleaner.
In 1980, when toad races first started at Arcadia Hotel, John Egan was manager. John insisted that, on the fourth Wednesday of the month, money raised would go to the kindergarten - so that is when Alan became part of the toad race scene. In the first few years of toad racing, toads were easily found in the hotelís garden but following the severe drought in the mid 1980s Alan became toad keeper when he lived at Hayles House. Then, when he shifted house in the early 1990s, a purpose-built cage was built next to his house. He was toad keeper until he died last month.
Each month the toad race takings were delivered to the kindergarten regularly.
Growing up in Melbourne in the 1950s Alan got to know most of Australiaís top boxers and cyclists. This was a golden era for cycling and six day races were common and betting on races was substantial. Boxers such as Magnetic Islandís George Barnes fought regularly in Melbourne and Alan got to know a lot of boxers of the day (1950s - 1960s)
He also went to the gallopers regularly as well as betting in the local SP shops and got to know quite a few of Melbourneís leading jockeys and trainers.
When he moved to Magnetic Island he punted regularly at Cluden every Saturday. He only bet on Saturdays and public holidays and backed favourites and near favourites.
In the late 1990s he gave away going to Cluden and bet every Saturday on the TAB. In 1987, when the new Arcadia Hotel building came into use Alan became caretaker of both pools at the hotel.
At one stage Alan kept a list of all his bosses at the hotel but, in the last few years, gave up as managers came and went like flies. He estimated he had worked for over 30 managers in his 30 years at the hotel.
Alan became good friends with Val Reid (the last of the senior Hayles family) and her husband Ian.
Alanís daughter lives in Mackay and Alan visited his five grandchildren every year at Christmas.
In the last few years Alanís chief job at the hotel was in charge of the two pools. He was a perfectionist and the pools were probably the cleanest in north Queensland.
Alan was admitted to hospital in late February and died on Monday 21 March. In the 25 years Iíve been associated with Arcadia Hotel toads Alan missed two Wednesday nights.
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