Bruce and Jan Macaulay recently relocated from Gracetown to Parkwater and because Viv and I could not attend a gathering held to celebrate their time in The Bay, I penned a few words to our second mum and dad.
We first met Bruce and Jan 34 years ago. It took a few years to develop the relationship, but Viv and I quickly realised these guys were salt of the earth, hard working, reliable, trustworthy, loving and caring people. Never underestimate the importance of these qualities. As the years went by, Bruce and I worked on numerous community projects together, with our wives supporting us throughout. I know Bruce endorses the value of this support, for as they say, behind every good man is a better woman.
In Bruce’s roles as GPA President and Jan sitting on Tennis Club and GPA Hall Committees, the list of their endeavours is endless, but includes; number plate auction fundraiser; Gracetown Hall establishment; annual Easter functions and Bay Swim; Capes Marine Park planning, Gracetown Tragedy aftermath including dune rehabilitation and improved access to Huzza/South Point; annual Keep Australia Beautiful beach clean ups, traffic management planning, Gracetown Bush Fire Brigade and their massive role in the long running Save Gracetown Campaign, which has enabled our community and visitors to continue to enjoy all that makes Cowaramup Bay so special.
Bruce is a stickler for detail and this was one of the main reasons why the Gov’t was unable to ruin this beautiful place. We spent endless hours poring over Govt and Shire info, Freedom of Information releases, DFES fire management reports, Dept of Main Roads analysis and ohhhhh how the list went on. The planning and support staff at meetings would cringe when they saw Bruce striding through the door, determined look in his eye, armed with folders and marking pen, poised to attack on any point of order, of which there were many. Bruce had a pedigree in high school teaching, so the planners were up against it from the start. He would never be rude, let’s just say bulldog polite, persistent, strong minded and NEVER going to let you get away with inconsistencies. It would go something like this, “If you just could just excuse me sir or madam ( the sir or madam would begin to sweat profusely ), if I could just interrupt you for a moment, but I believe that comment you made is in direct contradiction to section 5, article 3, paragraph 4, line 5 of the Freedom of Information document received on January 4, 1998 at 5pm. And I quote…………!” You couldn’t help but smile as they would start murmuring, scrambling through documents, usually followed by a short break for them to gather themselves. Bit like a boxing event really, Bruce there for the 12 rounds and they never landed the knock out blow. His corner consisted of the best legal minds of Gracetown, some long term locals including John and Jan James and best of all, wife Jan.
But besides all the politics, committees, etc, Bruce and Jan are lovely people to catch up with. But don’t be fooled by the smiling, pleasant demeanour that is Jan, for remember, she is the dog trainer behind the bulldog. Viv and I love you both to bits, as does the local and wider community, not so much for what you have done, but for how you have done it and who you are as genuine people. We look forward to sharing a yarn, beer, wine, cup of tea, or all of the above at your new abode on our return.