Fitting farewell for ‘Ed’

Members of Marine Rescue Brunswick pay their respects to colleague and friend Ed Reid as the rescue boat takes his ashes out to sea.
Members of Marine Rescue Brunswick pay their respects to colleague and friend Ed Reid as the rescue boat takes his ashes out to sea.

Members of Marine Rescue Brunswick paid a fitting, final tribute to their mate and colleague Edwin ‘Ed’ Reid from Ocean Shores on Thursday (Jan 27) as their rescue boat safely cleared a big swell, allowing family members to release Ed’s ashes into the ocean.

Mr Reid died on January 16, after a battle with cancer.

On the Brunswick Heads rock wall, a sea of blue uniforms huddled together as John Davis, who was on the rescue boat, recited one of Ed’s favourite poems over the two way radio: ‘I must go down to the sea’, by John Masefield.

 It was a poem many of the volunteers knew by heart and it was a touching gesture as the wind carried each verse over waves.

Marine Rescue Brunswick’s unit commander, Owen Danvers, said Ed had been a ‘part of the furniture’ at the Marine Rescue base since he joined as a volunteer radio operator in 2005.

“We very quickly realised his abilities and he became our marine training officer, at a time when competency-based training was being introduced,” Mr Danvers said.

“He brought so much expertise to our unit at a time that we greatly needed it, and with all his marine training he just stepped up and got the job done.”

Edwin Reid’s life story was an amazing one, and an inspiration to all, Mr Danvers said. He did service in the Royal Australian Navy as a radio operator/damage control party/fire fighting party, all as one position.

 Part of his time in the navy was on loan to the US Navy as radio liaison officer.

He also served on HMAS Melbourne assisting the Royal Navy during the Malay campaign. Some years later while radio operator on the cod boat fleets in the Atlantic, he found himself at conflict with the Royal Navy during the cod boat wars.

Mr Reid twice joined the Australian Antarctic Expedition as radio officer, fire fighting officer and search and rescue co-ordinator.

“He was also member of the Bill Tillman expedition to Heard Island, was chief instructor at the Outward Bound School on the Hawkesbury River, and was an established artist and great teacher – his list of his achievements and adventures reads like a novel,” Mr Danvers said.

“We were so pleased to be able to see him safely across the bar today, to have his ashes scattered by his family in the sea that he so dearly loved, and to have the chance to show our great respect for him.

“He will be greatly missed by us all; he was a man who lived very much respected by all who ever had the opportunity to be in his company.”

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