Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Crikey! The Crocodile Hunter is gone!

Much as Australians tended to cringe at the thought that Steve Irwin was the face of Australia to the rest of the world, its seen as nigh on a national tragedy that's he's gone.

Steve was one of those very very rare individuals whose personal energy and personality overcame all barriers and connected with prime ministers and presidents equally well as the rest of us unwashed humanity.

We'd watch his antics and self imposed near brushes with death, shake our heads and wonder when a slip was going to see him end up in hospital. But we never considered he would DIE. I fully expected to go up to Queensland some day and see one of his crocodile shows and grin at his antics. I'm not sure now that it would be worth the effort.

Although he was an Australian personality, we didn't actually see much of him here in Australia. But such have been his unobserved efforts in conservation and promoting Australia that the Queensland government is offering his family the option of a state funeral. His passing was the lead story in every newspaper, and on every news bulletin here. Everyone from the Prime Minister down has stopped to reflect on his life and the type of the person he was. The accolades are endless.

In "real life" he was apparently very much as he appeared on camera. Full of energy, full of life, boundless love for his family, and not a precious bone in his body. A genuinely nice person.

My prayers, however, are with his family. I just cannot conceive of the shock it must be for them to have such an enormous vacuume introduced into their lives so suddenly.

But his legacy is one to be proud of. One that anyone would be proud of.


At 11:41 AM, Blogger Sarah O. said...

So many people who didn't consider themselves fans of Steve Irwin are stunned and saddened by his death.

We yanks are truly beside ourselves.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger wysiwyg said...

Yeah, well that was the funny thing about my reaction when I heard the news.

I probably wouldn't call myself a "fan" of Steve's per se, but I can't help feeling the sense of loss to the world of someone so completely and utterly "alive", if that makes sense. And I can't but help to admire what he achieved.

But that's just me - I think there were a fair number of Australians who were genuinely gutted at the news. Certainly the pile of flowers outside the Australia Zoo looks big enough to rival most memorials, and state funerals are a very rare event here.

Just goes to show.


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