MACKSVILLE'S streets were lined with blue and white streamers this morning, businesses closed their doors, and a guard of honour was formed to farewell one of the Valley’s most well-known and respected citizens, Mike ‘Cactus’ Moran OAM.
More than 600 people filled St Patrick’s Church, and lined the street outside to remember the man with a gruff, prickly exterior; but who was as passionate and generous as they come.
Stories were shared of Cactus’ cheeky and blunt nature; prayers were said by colleagues, friends, family and even young protégés; and a beautiful eulogy was read by his son.
Following the ceremony, a guard of honour was formed by members of both the Macksville/Scotts Head Surf Life Saving Club and Macksville Football Club; before a procession made its way through the central streets of Macksville with Cactus’ coffin paraded on top of a surf boat named in his honour.
School children and business owners looked on as the hundreds of people followed the boat through the street in Cactus’ final send off.
Beloved husband of Judy; loved father and father-in-law of Andrew and Penny and Dan and Deb; much loved Pop of Brody, Ethan, Madeleine, Caleb, Eliza and Hallee, Cactus died aged 72.
* See Thursday's Guardian for a special tribute to Cactus