Ian’s birthday poem
On the 7th of October way back in ‘61
The Riordan’s were delivered - a much wanted son.
He was a good baby – just slept and fed
But there was a slight problem,
His hair was bright red.
As fourth in the family of Les and Dot,
They were used to red heads being part of their lot.
But three in a row did seem too many
Still he was a good kid – as bright as any.
He soon started to talk – that boy would go far
Is anyone shocked that his first word was “Car”?
On our dairy farm, he had an idyllic life,
a real country kid - much trouble and strife.
He sank in manure – played outside all day.
Lost many a gumboot and played with the hay.
He was joined by another – a brother no less.
This happy young boy had a mate with no dress!
“Robert the Rose Horse” was his favourite book,
But cars were the best thing – knew them all with a look.
When Brother Neil became terminally ill,
Mum and Dad were so dignified with strength and good will.
The death of a young child – well what can I say?
With Mum and Dad’s love, we coped day by day.
Then it was time for Ian and school
Big sis Sandra took charge – and she was no fool.
Over protective – she was very strong
The game British Bulldog righted many a wrong.
A solid elbow and a well-placed right hook
Silenced anyone who gave Ian so much as a LOOK!
His stage debut also showed he’d go far
With a cheap Beatles wig and a wooden guitar.
Living next door to the Wells’ - such a treat
We got even more love and lots to eat.
The trek through their fence was a well-worn path
Travelled daily - sometimes hourly, and always a laugh.
When our grandparents moved to the Ovens Highway,
Ian found where he wanted to settle one day.
He loved the north east – around Beechworth and Yack
And always knew one day he’d be back.
Time passed – the farm sold and we moved to the beach.
High school was approaching – a new life within reach.
Dad ordered a statesman – his favourite car
You sat proudly beside him on travels afar.
But our Dad wasn’t well and he died Christmas Day
Far too young, far too soon – his life slipped away.
Mum took up the challenge – she looked after us well
But for a lone boy, it must have been hell.
Bonbeach High did not “get” a young boy like you,
In your essays your world famous humour shone through.
In maths you excelled and all things scientific
Your afterschool job showed your solid work ethic.
You and Sandra – my god! With your local swamp stencil
And Baby Scott left on doorsteps with a note writ in pencil.
When a friend got the first pool in our beach neighbourhood
He wouldn’t let anyone swim in it – but you got him good!
You picked up a dead sheep – off Edithvale Road
And guess where you delivered your load?
Through all of this Mum remained by your side
Taking you camping – or just for a ride.
You blitzed your exam for the VACC
And offers came in from the motor industry.
You worked well in your trade – made friends you have kept
And your family was there – when you smiled or you wept
Your special love was your old HQ ute –
You made it from scratch – god it was beaut!
The years went by, Mum needed care - quite a lot
She had cared for us so much – how could we not?
Then at last it was time to realise your dream
In this beautiful spot - just by the Yack stream.
You took your turn in our roster for Mum,
She loved visiting us all, spending time, having fun.
There was no-one quite like her – with her humour and pride.
So proud of her family, accepting help in her stride.
We realise we chose our parents so well.
They were two in a million – anyone could tell.
So strong and brave, but we lost Mum last year
Something we’ll never get over, I fear.
But 15 months on and we still have each other
And we girls could not have a better brother*.
Mum and Dad would be proud – they knew you’d go far
And your family – we love you – just as you are.
Happy 50th birthday Ian.
Written by your sister Helen - endorsed by Jeannie, Alec, Scott, Jose, Evie,?, Joanne, Max, Merv, Elizabeth, Sandra and Wolfgang
*well we could, but this rhymed better!