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Alistair Wallace. Image: Contributed

Maclean farewells much loved piper

Lynne Mowbray|

Hundreds turned out at the Maclean Anglican Church on Wednesday January 8, to farewell popular piper Alistair Wallace, who passed away on January 1.

Alistair Bruce Wallace was born in Maclean District Hospital on the 10th of January 1969. He was the first of four children to Don and Barbara Wallace, a builder and a nurse who owned a cane farm on Ashby Island.

Alistair attended both Maclean Public School and Maclean High School and having learnt bagpipes at a very young age was the first student in NSW to play pipes for his HSC music exam, which Alistair was quite proud of. This news made its way to Sydney, where it was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.

After leaving school Alistair was accepted for an electrician apprenticeship at the Harwood Sugar Mill which led him to a 32 year career at the mill.

In 1989 Alistair met Justine and the couple married on 12 April 1992.

The couple went on to have three daughters Amy, Emily and Bethany.

After leaving the mill Alistair briefly worked as a correctional officer in Grafton before going on to work with Hope and Alan Bennett at Riverview Funerals.

Alistair joined the Maclean and District Pipe band at a very young age and the band members quickly became his second family. Piping took him up and down the east coast of Australia as well as New Zealand and he never missed a Maclean Highland Gathering.

Alistair was diagnosed with cancer in February 2019 and lived by the motto, ‘you have to deal with cards you’ve been dealt’.

The eulogy read out by one of his daughters, described Alistair’s fine attributes and his role model as a loving father and husband:

‘A lesson that was instilled in to us from a young age is loyalty to family. Family always came first and that was evident in most things dad did. He would do anything for his family.

Dad loved mum dearly. He was always a true gentleman. We girls seeing this each and every day, even towards the end, gave us high standards when it comes to relationships, as well as showing us how to care for others. Things as simple as opening and closing the car door for mum makes us truly appreciate and value being raised in such a loving home.

Dad always said that a parent is not there to be your best friend, they’re there to teach you lessons and good values to set you up for life –  and he did just that.

We know he won’t be here anymore in person, but he’s going to be here every day in what he taught us.’