SAD LOSS: Tributes for all-round good guy Ian Flamank
That was how Rockhampton Primary Schools Rugby League president Paul Fogwell could best describe his good mate Ian "Flakey" Flamank, who passed away last Friday, aged 56.
Paul first met Ian when he arrived in Rockhampton in 2002 - and he made an immediate impression.
"Ian was the most upbeat, positive guy," Paul said.
"I can honestly say that I never, ever heard anyone say anything negative about Ian ... and that is a very rare thing.
"He was certainly a mentor in many ways. He was the type of bloke whose lead you wanted to follow because of the way he carried himself and the example he set.
"You could be having a pretty ordinary day but Ian had a way of making you feel good about yourself and of putting everything into perspective pretty quickly."
Ian started teaching at Mt Archer in 1983 and coached rugby league teams there from 1988 to 2004.
He was secretary of the RPSRL for 24 years, organising countless exchanges, fixtures and trials, and even a national championship.
He was awarded life membership for his tireless work.
Ian also coached Rockhampton rep teams and took teams to Vic Jensen carnivals.
Paul said one of his fondest memories about Ian stemmed from representative exchange days involving Rockhampton and Bundaberg at Browne Park.
"On those days, Ian used to love having Johnny Horton playing on the PA system. Most of us hadn't heard of Johnny Horton, mind you, but we learnt very quickly," Paul said.
"Johnny's song Sink the Bismarck has become a bit of a trademark of Ian's involvement with Rockhampton Primary Schools Rugby League.
"Hearing it blaring across Browne Park is something I will always remember and get a chuckle out of."
Paul said tributes started flowing when word of Ian's passing started circulating on Friday.
"It's amazing how many people knew him and had a story about him, whether it be as a coach, a teacher, a friend or a colleague," he said.
"He touched the lives of so many people in such a positive way.
"Rockhampton Primary Schools Rugby League is much richer because of Ian's wonderful contribution and he will be missed greatly."
A service to celebrate Ian's life will be held at East Chapel at the Rockhampton Crematorium at 4.30pm today.