A GENTLEMAN, larrikin and disciplinarian, Alan Parker inspired and loved those around him.
A memorial service at the Ballarat Lodge yesterday celebrated the life of the late Ballarat Cricket Association stalwart and Mount Clear College teacher who died on October 21 of a suspected heart attack.
Before a 1000-strong crowd, friends and family members told stories peppered with humour and painted a picture of a man who loved people and was loved by them.
His children Michael, Sarah and Scott Parker recalled fond memories of coaching, family trips to the beach and AFL games.
“To me Dad was a superhero, a mentor, a role model and my best friend,” Michael said.
Alan’s brother Ken Parker recalled family holidays with cricket on the beach every day, Alan’s love of the outdoors and his fine ability as a sportsman.
“Alan lived his life for his family, his friends and the joy he got from others was legendary,” he said.
Golden Point Cricket Club’s Billy Coppick and Steve O’Loughlin said Mr Parker was 25 during his first term as club president.
At a time when Golden Point was struggling with limited facilities, the Parkers opened their home and hosted a club presentation evening.
The passionate Tigers’ supporter loved football and Golden Point Cricket Club members knew they’d “made it” when they received an invite to the Parkers’ annual grand final parties.
Mount Clear College’s Noel Shillito said Mr Parker touched many students’ lives, had a special ability to get through to those who were battling or in emotional stress and was an enthusiastic and engaging science teacher.
One staff member compared walking with the busy assistant principal through the school yard to “being on a snowball rolling down the hill” as the group wanting to consult with him grew bigger with every step.
“You will always remember the teacher who made you learn, helped you understand, you could have a joke with, made you feel important,” Mr Shillito said.
“Alan was that teacher.”
Friends recounted the time Mr Parker surprised them with a Hawaiian “beach” in their holiday unit, complete with sand from the beach across the road and Hawian pizzas.
Mphatso Children’s Foundation founder Robyn Casey said Mr Parker made two trips to Malawi in Africa and made a life changing impact on the people there.
“Everywhere Alan has been he’s woven love, he’s woven passion, he’s woven encouragement,” Ms Casey said.