Tributes flowed for Terry
By ED SOUTHORN
OLYMPIC swimming and surf lifesaving legends packed the Lakeside Chapel at Tweed Heads yesterday for the funeral of Terry Buck, a unique sporting achiever and "great bloke".
About 1000 people heard tributes extolling Terry's unique sporting achievements and ability to inspire surf lifesavers and swimmers as a leading coach and manager at the highest level.
Anecdotes recalling Terry's huge eating capacity, poor eyesight and rambunctious love of life were fondly told.
Terry died in a tractor accident at his Carool property on Monday. His coffin was flanked by a horse saddle, a Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club reel and a Clovelly swimming towel at the chapel.
Alice Robinson, 16, representing the Coolangatta club, told the huge gathering that Terry made his athletes feel "like family".
Alice promised that Coolangatta competitors at the upcoming national surf life saving championships at Kurrawa would be trying especially hard for Terry.
Swimming Australia media liaison officer Ian Hanson delivered the main eulogy, describing his long friendship with Terry and noting that Terry won four national surf lifesaving championships, as well as his great achievements in Olympic medley swimming as the only Australian to be an Olympic swimmer, assistant team coach, national head coach and team manager.
Ian also noted the success of the Terry Buck Swim Schools, Terry's passionate support for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, his "Coke-bottlebottomed glasses" and his legendary long lunches, dinners and barbecues.
Swimming Australia head coach Alan Thompson told how Terry gave him his first job coaching at Revesby.
Outside the funeral service, Swimming Australia former head coaches Don Talbot and Bill Sweetenham also paid tribute to Terry.
Bill travelled for the funeral from England, where he is performance coach for the British swimming team. Don praised Terry's professionalism.
Dawn Fraser, who swam with Terry at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, said he always fought for his teammates and was a good friend.
Mike Wenden, representing the Australian Olympic Committee at the funeral, said Terry's achievements were unique.
Other Olympians Julie McDonald, Gary Winran, Kevin Berry and Ruth Everuss also attended the service.