Swift funeral a fitting sendoff for speedway caller
GRAFTON sports identity Frank Inmon hated funerals so his family gave him one to be proud of.
Starting at 1.30pm in the Salvation Army Hall, mourners were heading to the Jacaranda Hotel to reminisce about their talkative mate about 35 minutes later.
If there were tears, they were shed discreetly.
Instead Frank's son Nick entertained the 200 plus mourners with a knockabout biography of his dad that held little reverence but a lot of love.
He recalled his father began life as the son of Olive Marsh and Len Crofton in Brisbane in 1948.
When his mum died when Frank was three he went to live with his sister Lily Inmon and her husband Bob. It was their family name he took when he went to get a birth certificate at the age of 15, so he could play rugby league with the South Grafton Rebels, where he acquired the nickname Leather.
Nick said his dad didn't like school, but stayed there long enough to obtain a life long love of sport.
His working life was varied, having "more jobs than you could poke a stick at".
He worked at Nymboida Shire Council, Peters Ice Creamery as a truck driver, for Ron Skinner, NSW Railways, the Wooli Bowling Club and the pub, the Grafton Race Track, the Wooli Co-op, as a bus driver and on the roads.
He said his father found his feet driving buses and established a rapport with Casey's Coaches.
In later life Frank discovered a love of calling sports events, particularly speedway, where he became a valuable asset to the sport.
The owner of the Lismore and Grafton speedways David Lander said it was nearly impossible to replace Frank as a caller at the track.
Mr Lander said calling Frank as a lovable rogue sold him short.
"To me he was a fair dinkum, country Aussie bloke," he said. "
Mr Lander said he was fair dinkum because of the way he would do his homework before races at the Grafton and Lismore tracks.
"Before racing he would be in the pits talking to people," he said. "He would know who had had a baby during the week and had all the knowledge he needed in his memory."
After the funeral Mr Lander revealed he had employed two callers to take over Frank's role at the speedway after the accident in 2015 that left him critically injured.
"He could make people laugh and that's rare," he said.