Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 14 February 2007
Parliamentary Record 12
Debates for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Parliamentary Record; ParliamentNT
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Wednesday 14 February 2007 3897 Pine Creek and Darwin. I would like to talk about those people tonight. On 26 January, Max McConnell, fondly known as Glassman, was killed on Gorge Road at Katherine some time during the night when he had an accident whilst riding his motorcycle. Max was a very well-known identify by people around Katherine through his job as a glazier. He was the cheerful man who was called out at all hours of the night to secure business when windows were broken, and he was always cheerful and cracking a joke about something. He was always accompanied by his faithful little dog Toby, who was definitely the most wide awake at those times. I first met Max when I was working for Semrite Constructions as their office manager so I, along with so many other Katherine people, am finding it very strange to not see Max and his glass ute driving around Katherine. Semrites owner, Greg Wright, his wife Darilyn, their sons Ben, Matt, James and Jack, and Gregs mother, Merle Wright, have been Maxs extended family for the whole time that he has lived and worked in Katherine. They have been a wonderful support to Maxs partner, Sheila Millar, since Maxs untimely death. The large crowd who came to pay their respects to Max at his funeral in St Pauls Anglican Church in Katherine is testament to how widely known and respected he was and how well he was liked. I would like to read into the Parliamentary Record the eulogy his partner, Sheila Millar, read: Maxwell Leslie McConnell, whom we all know as Max, was born Warrnambool, Victoria on 17 February 1947, the youngest of two sons. He has an older brother called Robert. Max went to university and gained a Bachelor of Arts and was always very good at drawing and sketching. Max went to Vietnam during the war - although he never spoke much about what happened there only a few little things every now and then. Max travelled around Australia quite a bit before he arrived in Katherine. He worked for a while in Darwin but liked Katherine and decided to stay for a while. He worked at the Crossways Hotel amongst other odd jobs until he became interested in glazing. I met Max in 1989 when I was working at Corroboree Hostel and Max was working for P & M Glass in Crawford Street. P & M Glass was bought by Semrite Constructions, which at that time was owned by Greg Wright and Peter Semrau. Max then continued working as a glazier for Semrite Glass and Aluminium. With Maxs experience as a glazier - and with the assistance of his friend Ian Hutcheon, they designed and built the glass cutting table with air lift that is still in use today. The discussions they had when designing this table were long and sometimes heated I happened to be there at that time, so I do know that they were sometimes very heated: but they achieved an excellent result. Max bought the glass and aluminium business from Greg approximately two years ago and, of course Ferg - who has been working with him for over 12 years - was still with him right up to the end. Max, Ferg and Maxs dog, Toby, have been a very familiar sight around Katherine for so many years that it will take a lot of getting used to not seeing Max in the glass ute any more. Max took Toby everywhere he could. He was always with him during the callouts that Max had in the middle of the night, and Toby was always the most wide awake of everyone at those times. Toby had a special seat in the glass ute where Max could put tools under him, and he also had his own special box seat on the motorbike, which was lambs wool lined. Nothing like Toby travelling in style. As a young man, Max was really keen to be a boxer. He took up lessons, and was very conscientious but, after many knockouts, his trainer decided Max wasnt going to make any money and suggested that he should give it away and take up another sport. So Max decided working with glass was going to be as dangerous an occupation as he was going to tackle in the future. Max was always a supporter of boxing and would like to have seen more of it in Katherine. Now, who would believe that Max was a romantic person? I had difficulty: He would bring me flowers lots of times. I wasnt used to that and would tell him off, but he never stopped doing that. He was very thoughtful and romantic, although when we would go to Darwin for whatever reason, and the chance to be romantic by
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