RELATED CONTENT:Partner's tribute to 'devoted' Glen
INTERACTIVE: Your tributes to Glen Turner.
HE DANCED like no one was watching and “squeezed the marrow out of the bone of every day” – and that’s what Glen Turner will be remembered for.
Inside a small country hall in Dungowan, on the outskirts of Tamworth, were his happy shoes, his home brew, red wine and Stalwarts footy shirt – along with hundreds of family, friends, colleagues and those with a story to tell of a character named Glen.
That was Dungowan on Saturday – people packed the hall to celebrate the life of the father of two and dedicated environmental compliance officer who was gunned down and died near Moree almost two weeks ago.
Mourners were told Glen Turner was not only a loving partner and father but the kind of bloke who made an impact on everyone.
Seated atop of a small table in the local hall at Dungowan sat the 51-year-old’s “happy shoes”, a long neck of his well-crafted home brew, a bottle of red, a prized touch football trophy and his beloved Stalwarts football club shirt.
This was just the a piece of the puzzle of the life of the trained surveyor and Office of Environment and Heritage compliance officer who called the tiny village on the outskirts of Tamworth home.
“I’ll miss so much about this amazing man, who was so kind and went out of his way to help someone not so fortunate,” life partner Alison McKenzie told the packed hall that spilled onto the grass outside.
“He could strike up a conversation with anybody.”
After a private service, Saturday afternoon was the final goodbye for Glen as hundreds of family, friends, colleagues, touch players and those who had shared an encounter of two with a character named Glen Turner, packed the little hall.
It was always going to be hard to say goodbye after he was gunned down in a horrific shooting near Moree. There were tears, but mostly laughter about the larrikin’s infectious attitude for life which is sure to live on.
In front of Glen’s children, Alexandra and Jack, and colourful drawings by their fellow classmates that draped the walls of the hall, Tamworth Public School Principal Lee Preston recalled their first meeting at a school ball after Glen plonked his “panther’s piss”branded home brew down and got talking.
“He was the Darryl Kerrigan of the P&C, he was an ideas man,” he recounted of Glen’s three-year stint as president of the P&C.
“Some of these ideas were brilliant and some were bloody bizarre, and sometimes I had to tell Glen he was dreamin’,” he said.
Friends recounted handfuls of stories of the jokester at college in Newcastle, when he would sing out in front of others, “Hey Nick, how’s that rash going?”, or who would go to great lengths to tell his mate the night was going to be “just right”.
“When I got into bed I realised why everything was going to be ‘just right’, because he’d emptied a whole box of Just Right (cereal) into it. All of sudden I felt like a crumbed cutlet,” Jonathan Burke joked.
Friends laughed about “Turner’s” knack for inventing nicknames, and he too shared a long list of identities coined throughout a life spanning from Telegraph Point to university in Newcastle, Sydney, overseas and Tamworth. He was Glendon, but he was also Boy, Jack, Joe, Emu, GT, Teddy and Lord Ted of Stalwarts.
“He was a pillar in our society and man for everyone to look up to, long may he rest in peace,” Dean Rutledge remarked.
The crowd, including NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes, OEH chief Terry Bailey and local MP Kevin Anderson, was told the tales of the eternal optimist with a great sense of humour.
“You know Glen as a cook and a gourmet enthusiast, we know the young Glen who would polish off a four litre container of ice cream,” sister Fran Pearce joked.
Terms like honest, reliable, genuine and ever-professional were constantly tossed about the hall throughout the afternoon service.
“It’s essentially the premature end to a life that gave a whole lot and that had a whole lot more to give,” Nick Hardy said.
“Knowing him to be the epitome of positive attitude in everything he did.”
They remembered the father, the brewer, the cook, the pianist, the touch footy player and the joker who made sure he stopped to smell the roses every day.
“Glen did as much as he could every day of the week, every week of the year,” university and college friend Paul Bordignon recalled.
Glen Turner, sadly missed, never forgotten.