News

Favourite son farewelled

Grafton Rifle Club member Robert Black who made the NSW U/25 Rifle Team and the NSW 'F' Class team.
Grafton Rifle Club member Robert Black who made the NSW U/25 Rifle Team and the NSW 'F' Class team.

THE death of one of the nation's most promising shooters, 21-year-old Robert Black, has brought fellow competitors from around Australia to the Clarence Valley to pay their last respects today.

Mr Black, known as Blackie, died on Friday after a 13-month battle with an inoperable brainstem glioma.

In October last year he had a coaching role with the Australian under-25 team in the World Long Range Championships.

This afternoon most of those team members will carry his coffin at a funeral service at his family home at Seelands.

"People are flying in from all over Australia to say their good-byes to Robbie," his mother Wendy Black said.

Mr Black was one of the country's most promising shooters, who had climbed into the top ranks, despite his youth.

"Robbie had dreams of competing for Australia at the Commonwealth Games - that's where they contest his event," Mrs Black said.

Grafton Rifle Club secretary John Stone said Mr Black had a unique record in the club, which has stood since 1887.

"In the one year Robbie held the open, under-25 and junior titles at the club," he said.

"As far as I can tell no-one has ever done anything like that."

Mrs Black said her son had fought a valiant battle against the disease that claimed him.

"Even though he knew what was going to happen to him, he never stopped trying to beat it," she said.

"Despite the increasing physical weakness Rob was always focussed on recovering and always seemed more concerned about the welfare of family and friends.

"He showed extraordinary courage and selflessness, kept his trademark larrikin nature right to the end."

Mrs Black said her son's only frustration came in the last month when he became too weak to walk and used a wheel chair to get around.

Mr Black was the wind coach for the Australian team.

This meant setting up the team's rifles and telescopic sights before they shot.

"Last April Rob had six weeks of radiation therapy, which did some good for a time," Mrs Black said.

"The disease came back just before the titles but Rob said he wanted to go ahead with it.

"The tumour was resting on an area that affected his eyes and he was starting to see double.

"He had to wear an eye patch.

"He was also starting to lose his strength."

Despite this Mr Black's coaching throughout the competition was flawless, earning high praise from his team and competition organisers.

But its aggressive nature was obvious and the day after team competition finished he was hospitalised at Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Four rounds of chemotherapy could not stop it and three rounds of 'smart drug' therapy, started in February, had no effect.

Last Wednesday his breathing deteriorated and he was taken to hospital but on Friday the family decided to bring him home.

Robbie died that night at home, surrounded by his family.

His funeral service begins at 2pm today.

 

Final year

  • March 2011: Robbie discovers he has an inoperable tumour known as a brainstem glioma.
  • Chosen as the Australian under-25 team wind coach for the World Long Range Championships
  • Begins six weeks of radiation therapy at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. Initially responds to treatment
  • October 2011: earns praise for his coaching with the team in very testing circumstances.
  • Oct/Nov: Tests reveal rapid and aggressive return of the tumour. Chemotherapy has no impact.
  • February: begins 'smart drug' treatment. Completes three rounds of treatment before his death. Also tries alternative remedies such as blended asparagus and jellied sea cucumber extract.
  • Symptoms worsen over two months. Has two stints in hospital
  • April 13: Discharged from hospital to return home. Dies that night surrounded by his family

Topics:  funeral



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Ex-coach shares thoughts on Hunt's move to Dragons

Ben Hunt of the Broncos during the NRL semi-final match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos at 1300 Smiles Stadium in Townsville , Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

CQ rugby league star signs multi-million dollar deal with Dragons

'Trying to crush her': Woman's warning after dog vs snake ordeal

Eight-month-old Chia had a terrifying run in with a snake on Saturday night.

A woman shares her snake encounter to warn others.

Take care on roads as kids head back to classroom

school zone
Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

It's time to slow down as students go back to school

Local Partners

Michael has formula for speedway success

Michael Pronger stamped his authority in heat one of the Formula 500s at the McCosker Rocky Speedway meeting on Saturday night and didn't look back.


New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

Excitement builds over Da Vinci exhibition

Da Vinci Machines is on display at Rockhampton Art Gallery from 18 March until 25 May.

Exhibition features in excess of 60 models of machines

WHAT'S ON: Your guide to events in CQ this weekend

Aussie Shakespeare is a frenetic and good-humoured canter combining classic Shakespearean stories and characters with Australian themes from cyclones to football to the revolving door of federal politics.

Everything you need to know about events in the region

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

What's on the small screen this week

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

STAR-studded Australia Day celebrations and fascinating docos.

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!