Tabulam farewells humble bushie
TABULAM'S unofficial mayor, Errol O'Driscoll, was laid to rest in Casino yesterday.
Hundreds filled St Marys Catholic Church to farewell the popular stock and station agent who died peacefully at home last week.
He was born in Tabulam 89 years ago and lived there his whole life except for the years away serving in the Second World War. Mr O'Driscoll has been credited as the town's longest-ever resident.
Following the war worked as a stockman and grazier before pneumonia forced him into real estate and stock sales where he discovered a natural talent for wheeling and dealing.
He was a long-time member of the Northern Rivers Racing Association and instrumental in putting Tabulam on the map, helping to establish the Tabulam Cup.
His only daughter, Margie Whiticker, fought back tears as she remembered her dad.
"He could make friends anywhere and he was always so generous with his time," she told the congregation.
She spoke of a humble bushie who was genuinely surprised at the number of visitors to his Tabulam home as his health declined.
"They're all travelling out here for me?" he had asked her.
"When the occupational therapist raised the idea of Meals on Wheels he'd scoffed, 'that's for old people - I don't have the time to wait around for them, I'm a busy man'.
"Dad loved his music. When mum was sick, he was singing in the kitchen once while washing up and she said he sang like 'he didn't have a worry in the world' - he missed her terribly, but they're together again now."
Good mate Lismore MP Thomas George, expressed his honour at being asked to speak and said loyalty was a trait synonymous with the O'Driscoll name.
"Errol O'Driscoll, the mayor of Tabulam, blue eyes. A man who, believe it or not, was a wonderful singer, and who loved to recite poetry, a man with a wonderful memory for names and statistics, a man who couldn't just say hello, he wanted to know what was happening," Mr George said.
"He was a man who always had a story ... who loved the bush, and if you ever got bogged he was always 20 miles from everywhere.
"We will always treasure the memory of Errol, EO'D, the man to see, Errol O'Driscoll, may you rest in peace."