Deeply-loved teacher farewelled
TEARS flowed freely as hundreds of students lined the length of Leycester Street in Lismore yesterday for their final farewell to former teacher Bob Delaney.
Steeple bells tolled and his funeral cortège brought traffic to a standstill as it wound its way from St Carthage’s Cathedral with the haunting strains of a lone bagpiper playing Amazing Grace.
The deeply-loved English and history teacher, and football coach, at Trinity Catholic College then St John’s College Woodlawn, died on Sunday following a five-year battle with motor neurone disease. He was 55.
In his eulogy, Woodlawn assistant principal and his brother-in-law, Kim Evans, described Mr Delaney as a brother and a true friend.
“He devoted himself to others and was, is, and always will be a teacher,” he said.
“From TS Elliot, Keats and Shakespeare, to Tracks and Rolling Stone, Bob knew his stuff.”
Mr Evans added that as an accomplished rugby player, Mr Delaney had a love of the game and the thrill of the contest with a strong sense of humility and fair play.
“He was a leader, but with boyish good looks, charm and a deep intellect,” he said.
Daughter Anoushka remembered her dad belting out Jethro Tull tunes on his guitar,recalling a father who never took sides.
“There are so many reasons why I loved him,” she said.
A combined choir from Trinity and Woodlawn lifted spirits as lead celebrant Fr Paul Piddock told the packed cathedral to give thanks for Mr Delaney’s life.
“He was a man of determination, courage and staying power,” he said. “He was both loving and lovable, and showed us how to live life to its fullest ... the effect he had on his students and the lives he touched.”