THERE was scarcely an empty seat inside the Bendigo Town Hall as family and friends of former Bendigo mayor Norm Quin bid him farewell.
A screen, speakers and additional seats were set up outside the hall to cater for the overflow of people from the service, which gave thanks for the 85-year-old and his contributions to the community.
Mr Quin died last week.
His grandson, Ben, said the turnout at today's service was indicative of how respected and well-loved the Quin's Bluebird owner was.
"Rest easy, mate," he said as he bid his pa goodbye.
Related: Tributes flow for a gentleman
Family and friends took it in turns to share Mr Quin's achievements and cherished memories of their times together.
Among them were current and former employees of the fruit and vegetable shop on Bendigo's Mitchell Street, to which Mr Quin devoted 70 years of his life.
There were stories about Mr Quin's sense of humor.
"A cheeky stirrer with a heart of gold," was the way Samantha, one of Mr Quin's three granddaughters, remembered him.
People spoke of his love of Carlton Football Club and admiration for Slim Dusty, several of whose songs featured in the service.
Food was prominent in a few people's memories, with tales about the times those close to Mr Quin had shared a meal or a drink with him - often at one of his customers' establishments.
Speakers shared how Mr Quin and his wife, Gloria, had embraced the people in their lives with so much care they felt like they were family.
"He gave the speech at my 21st. He and Gloria were special guests at my wedding," one former employee, who worked at the shop in the '80s, said.
"Norm showed me what a dad looked like."
Evident throughout the service was Mr Quin's kindness and his genuine interest in people.
Speakers mentioned a couple of the times they'd spotted Mr Quin giving food and fresh clothes to people who came into his store.
"Dad is the kindest person I've ever known," one of his daughters, Susan, said.
"He'd give you the shirt off his back."
She said her father had left an imprint on so many of the people he'd met.
The service paid tribute to Mr Quin's many community commitments, including the Bendigo Easter Fair Society, the Anne Caudle Centre board, harness racing, and the Bendigo Sportsmen's Association.
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