FOND memories brought smiles to the faces of the more than 400 people at the Harvest Life Church to pay tribute to Andrew Smith - the dependable larrikin and owner of the "world's best Falcon ute" on Friday.
To Cat Steven's I love my dog, the crowd converged on the hall to listen to the warm-hearted stories that for 35 years kept family and friends amused, entertained, and will ensure Andy is forever close to their hearts.
After a final trip through Hungry Jacks for one last burger, Andy returned to Emerald after a private family ceremony in Rockhampton before the community showed their love for the larger than life man.
Twin brother Pete recalled a time the two were driving their red mini "going slightly over the speed limit" and passed a dutiful policeman that had already caught one speedster, but after they raced passed, sought to set his radar on the pair.
"True to Andrew's ability to get us out of a sticky situation and potentially costly situation, he said, 'get us home and get the car inside the house and we'll pretend that nothing has happened'," Peter said to a knowing crowd, already laughing at the outcome they knew was fitting to Andy's character.
"We came around the corner and put the mini on two wheels, which was no mean feat with both of us inside, got the car up the side of the house and shut the gate."
Andy, "cool as a cucumber", then pointed west and told the diligent officer the red mini had raced straight past.
It was but one of the many stories twin brother Peter, sister Fiona Busst and cousins Rodney and Mark Costin relayed to the crowd before David Gray's moving The Other Side played during the visual tribute that showed Andy smiling with the people he loved most, and his best mate Cass, the blue heeler that walked around the church hall as tears were wiped away.
As the beloved son of David and Sandra, soul mate and life partner of Heidi, brother to Fiona Busst and Peter Smith, brother-in-law to Wayne Busst, Netty Smith, Kristy, Daniel and Amanda Donoghue, uncle of Claire and Sammy Busst, Copelan and Isabelle Smith, Ella and Jaya Donoghue, and son-in-law of Wendy and Allen Donoghue, the much-loved Andy will be dearly missed as a community comes to terms with a life taken too soon.
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