MICHAEL Pinkerton touched the hearts of many Byron Bay residents with his heart-warming smile and lovable charm.
The 66-year-old well known cyclist, who was born with 80% hearing loss, was killed in tragic circumstances on Tuesday night.
He was crossing Ewingsdale Rd at about 8.15pm, when he was hit by a Holden Rodeo single cab ute, driven by a 43-year-old Byron Bay man.
"We really do feel sorry for the driver of the car involved and we hold no blame against him," the Pinkerton family said.
Born and raised in Byron Bay, Mr Pinkerton attended St Finbarrs Catholic school with his brothers Trevor and Barry.
"He was a great brother, who loved his family, and would do anything for you," the brothers said.
A few years after leaving school Mr Pinkerton worked as a projectionist at the former Literary Institute in Jonson St, home of the old Byron Bay Cinema, until it closed.
"He used to sit up there with the old projectors and if anything went wrong with them he would fix them," Trevor said.
Trevor said that job helped build Mr Pinkerton's life long passion for machinery and everything mechanical.
"He was into machinery, reading books and trains - and he loved trains," he said.
"He would spend hours at the train station watching all the old locomotives come in.
"He knew nearly every locomotive driver by name, and they would pick him up and take him for a ride and bring him back."
A self-taught jack of all things mechanical, Trevor said Mr Pinkerton's knowledge came from reading.
"He was self-taught," he said.
"He would just read a book and then go out and fix motors or anything mechanical.
"People would bring around bikes, mowers, whipper snippers, or cars, and Michael would say take it out the back and he would fix whatever the problem was."
Mr Pinkerton never married, and lived with his parents in their Bangalow Rd home until they died in recent years.
Then he moved into a unit at the Byron Bay Tourist Village.
Despite not having children of his own, Trevor said his brother was a committed family man who doted on his nieces and nephews.
"I think that's why he put so much time and energy into his nieces and nephews."
Mr Pinkerton is survived by his brothers Trevor and Barry, sister-in-law Dianne, two nieces and two nephews, and his three great nephews.
Friends grieve much-loved Byron identity
NEWS of Michael Pinkerton's death has rocked friends and staff at Byron Bay's Railway Hotel and The Great Northern.
Owner of the pubs Tom Mooney said Michael played a great part in the community and would be sorely missed.
Mr Mooney said he met Michael when he bought the Railway Hotel in the 1980s and his father, Jack Pinkerton, was a barman.
"When my daughter was working, Michael used to keep an eye on her and make sure nothing happened to her."
Over the years, he said the deaf cyclist became part of the fabric of the hotels.
"He was a very big part of all of our lives."
Not one to get drunk, Mr Mooney said Michael never failed to make an impression. "Staff, patrons and everyone who has been to the hotels were touched in some way by Michael," he said.
"Young people from all over the world knew him and loved him. He was a very much-loved person and his passing has saddened many people."
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