Byron Bays motivator died loving life to the very end
By Jamie Brown email@example.com THE greater Byron community has known since last%November its highly regarded motivator, Tony Narracott, was going to die of lymphatic cancer.
But his passing on Sunday evening still came as a surprise. He had just stepped out of the spa at the home of his dear friend Paul McCarthy, when his heart failed him.
But he died loving life. That was how he wanted to be%remembered.
Tony had anticipated his death so clearly, and that came as an inspiration for%many. For instance, Paul had planned to drive to Burringbar with Tony to pick up his coffin yesterday.
Paul still made the journey but the passenger seat was empty.
How Tony dealt with cancer was how he led his life," he said. "He set a standard for all of us to live up to."Friend and Byron United president Ed Ahern recalled Tony as 'the most wonderful, sociable man'."We used to say to him, 'Mate, you'd go to the opening of an envelope'," said Ed.
He wasn't a networker. I hate that word. It is too soul-less. He just had friends everywhere, on every corner of the earth."
Born at Barnstable in North Devon, the outgoing Englishman immigrated to Australia in the 1970s, starting a health products importing business in Sydney before moving to Byron in 1989.
Many new arrivals to the Northern Rivers take their time to get to know their community. Not Tony Narracott.
He had fantastic energy and was a tireless charitable worker," said Ed.
As executive officer with the Byron Chamber of Commerce he raised its membership from 37 to 340, and helped put Byron on the map as a world-class destination.
He had a dogged determination to get things done and helped make the Byron Shire Council much more accountable than it ever had been," recalled former chamber president Michael Malloy.
But his greatest contribution to his adopted community was not for business but for charity. And in this regard he was a fighter.
When he accepted the fact he would die of cancer he did not sulk. He raised his head high and kept on living. One of his first generous acts was to donate $20,000 to the Northern Rivers Community Foundation, under the banner of Tony Narracott Memorial Subfund, specifically for Byron Bay Youth.
Since that time, nine months ago, the fund has swelled to more than $85,000.
A previously planned auction of Tony's portraits, created by local artists to raise money for The Buttery and Tony's subfund, will go ahead on Thursday evening at Byron Buddha Bar from 7pm.
Tony was to judge his favourite portrait, but that duty will be performed by his long-time partner Barbara Turner.
A very public wake will follow some time after.