Tabulam mourns for Errol O'Driscoll

TABULAM is mourning the passing of its unofficial mayor, Errol O'Driscoll.

The born-and-bred Tabulam cattleman, stock and station agent and horse racing aficionado died peacefully in his home this week.

Mr O'Driscoll's only daughter, Margie Whiticker, described him as a great father and husband.

"He died at his house with his boots on as they say - and that was his wish," she said. "He was still very sharp and had a great sense of humour - he always had a joke to tell or a funny story."

Born in Tabulam almost 89 years ago, Mr O'Driscoll's first love was cattle until pneumonia forced him into real estate and stock sales where he discovered a talent for making a dollar and doing a deal.

"He had his last horse sale in 1977 at his yard in Tabulam, then he got into real estate and was very good at wheeling and dealing - still right up to his death he was always planning on when and how to make that next dollar," she said.

"I'm just realising how many really good friends he had, but also friends from many different socio-economic groups. He loved a beer with mates, a flutter on the races and was still a delegate on the Northern Rivers Racing Association."

Lismore MP Thomas George first met Mr O'Driscoll as a competitor but soon became close friends.

"Yes he was the unofficial mayor - a great ambassador for the area, not only for the cattle industry but also the Tabulam Races," Mr George said.

"In working with him I soon realised he was a man of great experience and integrity. His heart and soul was Tabulam."

Son-in-law Steve Whiticker remembers a Slim Dusty man through and through.

"His favourite song was Looking Forward Looking Back - he used to have a tape deck in his truck and if it was going that was the only song on, and being a bushman he wasn't too bad a singer. He said recently 'I was born here, I'm going to die here' and he did," he said.

The funeral is planned to be held in Tabulam later next week.

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