I have many many fond memories of my older brother Daniel, especially when we were children growing up in Indooroopilly, in Brisbane.
Daniel was a lovely brother and I was great mates with him, as he was the closest in age to me. I was the youngest and he was the second youngest in a family of four children. He was a cheeky boy with a terrific sense of humour, and he was often getting into trouble playing pranks on the neighbours. But he had the kindest of hearts and would do anything for his little sister – if anyone picked on me Daniel would come to the rescue.
I remember one of my birthdays as a kid – Daniel and Peter (my other brother) made me a play hut out of pieces of timber and metal found under the house at Campus Street. They had constructed the hut on top of the old septic system and I’m not quite sure how it stood up on its own! The words rickety and splintery come to mind – but it was the thought that counted, and Daniel was always thoughtful.
He was enthusiastic about things and full of energy – hyperactive would be an understatement. He seemed forever to be making a lot of noise and getting into trouble with Mum and Dad – things like playing cricket in the corridor of our tiny house; practicing boxing and martial arts games with his brother and sisters (the rules were very flexible and the results quite often painful); inflicting punishment on sibling offenders with the ‘Tea Towel Flick’ and the what is now the politically incorrect ‘Chinese Burn’. But Daniel also had an endless array of friends who would rock up to our house (and he to theirs) – he was popular with many people despite of and because of his exuberance (not to mention his good looks and ready smile).
I can’t write this remembrance of Daniel without mentioning the RE. For those of you unfortunate enough not to know what the RE is, I will explain – the RE is the Royal Exchange Hotel in Toowong, Brisbane. A grand hotel frequented by myself and Daniel for many happy hours when we were in our twenties. We had a number of mutual friends who would assemble randomly in the public bar or the beer garden on various days and nights of the week. Often there was live music – our friends from a band called Gentle Persuasion played regularly on a Saturday afternoon.
I’ll never forget one Saturday afternoon Daniel got up on the beer garden stage and sang an Elvis song – he was fantastic – had the voice and the moves down pat. He was going through his Elvis stage at that point in his life – wearing the mutton chop moustachio and the slick-back, gelled, black hair. I will never forget that performance.
Daniel was also a very sensitive soul who had a keen sense of social justice – he would be the first to help out a person in need or an animal in trouble. Some might say he was too sensitive – the troubles of the world gradually over time wearing him thin. He enjoyed the best things in life but also suffered the worst of life, especially the horrible reality of life with an acquired brain injury from a motor bike accident in his early 20’s – a life changing event which left my brother a different person.
Now Daniel has passed at the age of 50 which is way too young. But one thing I know for sure is that this world is a better place for having been blessed with Daniel Crook.
He will always be remembered with great love.
See you on the other side my beautiful brother Daniel.
Dan’s Elvis Phase