TRIBUTE TO ROSS MCLEOD
The news last week of local Dunsborough man, Ross Mcleod, being tragically killed while surfing at Tombstones, Gnarloo, has sent shockwaves through the surfing and south west community. Though everyone who enters the ocean knows the risks involved, we never expect the worst. Apparently Ross was surfing with his son at the time, with his wife Vicki on the beach, which makes the circumstances that much more traumatic for all involved. By all accounts, those in the water at the time did their absolute best, in difficult conditions, to assist during this incident, which the family would have greatly appreciated.
I met Ross and Vicki a number of times many years ago when both their sons, Matt and Scott, were enrolled in a specialist marine studies program I coordinated at Busselton Senior High School. Matt was in the inaugural course back in 2000 and his brother Scott enrolled a few years later. Matt was a keen surfer with Scott being a real hands on type of student. As a teacher for thirty years, some things you never forget. There were the tough students who gave you a hard time and perhaps did not always have the family support to give them the best chance and then there were the great kids who were lucky to have folks around to get them through those difficult adolescent years. The Mcleod family were definitely on the positive side of the ledger. The marine courses required parents and students to be interviewed to gain acceptance and from the outset it was obvious Ross was an extremely keen dad who was going to play an active role in both his sons’ education. My recollection at the time was that Ross was a former policeman who had turned his hand to becoming a car driving school instructor. What always stood out for me was Ross’ very calm demeanour and personable nature, especially when we had parent meetings where he would offer suggestions in order to achieve the very best for both his boys. Ross attended every parent meeting during both boys senior schooling and in between we often had phone conversations to update their progress. After Matt and Scott had left school I bumped into Ross a few times and the discussion, always with a smile, was about the boys and how the surf had been recently. What could be better than taking your family to Gnarloo for holidays, as many down south mums and dads have done for years? Ross and Vicki were married for 34 years, which is another huge milestone in this day and age. I cannot begin to understand the loss this close family must be experiencing and although I did not know Ross’ daughter, Megan, the three kids and Vicki all know that they had the most generous, kind, loving man, husband and father in their lives. Ross was just a genuine, top bloke and the south west community offer their sincere condolesences to his immediate and extended family for their loss.
To answer last week’s question, the weather event apparently regarded as being responsible for the worst wet season for 25 years in the Kimberley is El Nino. This week’s question is, ‘What is the opposite weather pattern to El Nino?”
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