The life of John Minson celebrated in Tamworth, Lee Kernaghan, industry elite gathers to pay respects

COUNTRY music great Lee Kernaghan was among mourners who travelled from far and wide to farewell Tamworth country music pioneer John Minson, who was laid to rest on Tuesday.

Family, friends and colleagues flocked to Tamworth Baptist Church to honour the man, who had graced their radio waves as Mr Hoedown for more than two-decades.

It was a true celebration of life for the industry stalwart, who is credited with helping to shape the careers of many of the big Australian stars. 

Lee Kernaghan paid tribute to the man he described as a mentor throughout his career.

“He was my link, and Australia’s link to the heart of country music,” he said.

“He was the most humble human being I’ve ever met.”

Mr Kernaghan ended his message with a call for a permanent tribute to Mr Minson to be established in the city.

Lawrie Minson spoke about his father’s impact on, not only his family, but his listeners.

“His ability to put his words together, affected many people,” Mr Minson said.

“For so many people, in one way or another, my dad made their lives a little bit better. The story of John Minson will never be re-written, but it will continue to be retold.”

Long time friend and colleague Max Ellis described Mr Minson as “full of energy” and a man whose relationship with his audience was so powerful, everyone was John’s mate.

“A conversation with John was rarely short and it was never dull,” he said.

“John was an inspiration, long may he be remembered,” he said.

Mr Minson’s daughter Kathleen spoke of the loving relationship she shared with her father, who she referred to as “Mr Encylopaedia” when she was little.

“He was the most loving, gentle father a girl could ever wish for,” she said.

While his other son James spoke of Mr Minson’s ability to pick up any instrument and be able to play it.

Mr Minson died in Coffs Harbour on March 10, and is survived by wife Ann, sons James and Lawrie and his wife Shelley, daughter Kathleen and partner Tony, and her daughters Jess and Nikki.