HUNDREDS attended a memorial service yesterday for Ross Coulter, the RSL stalwart and tireless worker for his beloved Emu Park.
Service veterans were joined by townsfolk in paying tribute to the 65-year-old former high-school art teacher who died on Saturday - the same day as his vision for the redevelopment of the Emu Park foreshore near the RSL Memorial Hall was revealed in The Morning Bulletin.
Brian Vains, RSL branch president, gave a moving eulogy in which he described Ross's 32 years of service to the RSL and wider community.
"His service record tells us how well he served this nation. How well he served his fellow man is known to all members of the RSL and Emu Park who stand and mourn with me today," he said.
"If anything was happening in Emu Park to help better the community, then you could bet that Ross Coulter was out there either leading or playing a major role."
Mr Vains pledged that branch members would do everything possible to realise his ambition to transform the wasteland near the town cenotaph into an attractive landscaped park.
"In recent weeks Ross had been working on a centenary of Anzac project concept and last week he made a presentation of his concept to Rockhampton Regional Council.
"For those who saw the article in last Saturday's Morning Bulletin, would have seen it as an example of the creativity, the skills and the drive that Ross possessed.
"The Emu Park RSL sub branch undertake to do everything in our power to keep Ross's vision alive and we invite other organisations to join us to ensure that it becomes a reality."
The assembly was told Ross was called up for national service on January 31, 1967, and fought in Vietnam with the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.
"Ross was devoted to his wife, Kath, and daughter, Mara, and family. He was a dedicated teacher, a talented artist and gave so much to his beloved Emu Park. His enduring qualities are many.
"He was a proud nasho and even more proud to have been a grunt. As a result he came to value things like decency, honesty, integrity, generosity, doing the right thing and being a man of his word where his handshake was his bond.
The service concluded with the playing of the Last Post and Reveille after Ross's grandchildren and great nephews and nieces placed poppies on the cenotaph in his memory.
He was a dedicated teacher, a talented artist and gave so much to his beloved Emu Park