Sad farewell to our town crier
BELLS rang silent yesterday as a large gathering of family and friends said goodbye to Coffs Harbour town crier John Kerr.
Town criers representing other cities from around Australia formed a guard of honour, cried 'Oyez, oyez' and raised muffled bells in tribute to Mr Kerr, who died on Saturday, aged 63.
As Mr Kerr's coffin was led into and from Coffs Harbour's LifeHouse Church, his close friend and fellow crier, Stephen Clarke, played the bugle.
What many of the speakers agreed on was Mr Kerr's love of both God and his fellow man.
"John could make people feel welcome in about 30 seconds," another friend, John Fuller, said.
"He did it with the booming voice, the beaming face and the open arms."
Among the many mourners were member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, and the mayor, Keith Rhoades, who spoke of the many voluntary hours Mr Kerr gave to the city as town crier since moving here in 2000.
"What John Charles Kerr did for this city in a very short seven years won't be forgotten for the next 70 years," Cr Rhoades said.
As Mr Kerr's wife of 42 years, Trish, watched, their daughters, Monique and Nicole, paid tearful tribute to their beloved father and the joy he brought to their family.
"He was totally non-judgmental and genuinely interested in every single person he met," Monique said.