1972 - 2009
Friends and Family, Clients, Crew Past and Present, Show Supporters.
Tony Cawsey was a good man, a top bloke and an excellent worker who will be fondly remembered by us all. He will be sadly missed.
Early in the morning of Saturday, 26th September, on his way home from work, Tony’s life was cruelly snatched away from him, and from us, in the prime of his youth. He was returning from a midnight bump out for SCEC at the convention centre at about 5am and through circumstances which are not too clear, was robbed of his life in Centennial Park.
“He had a heart of gold”, “his blood’s worth bottling”, “he was the salt of the earth”. These are all sayings that may not be applicable to everyone in this world, but definitely hold true for Tony Cawsey. He was a beautiful soul.
I was first introduced to Tony by Al Morgan on a gig at the Hordern where Tony was working for his previous employer. As I drove my scissor lift around some truss, there he was, frantically grabbing some heavy looms that were in my way and holding them up for me so I could pass through unhidered, without even having to slow the machine. Even though he was working for another company, his desire to help was the most powerful motivation he had. And that is how I will always remember him.
He was good value on a car trip as well, and no matter what music you played, Tony was into it. Right into it. He had a wide range of musical tastes which attests to his very open mindedness. I recall one recent occasion when a group of us went to Canberra for a Lots of Watts gig and we shared a room at the Carotel and had dinner at a Japanese restaurant together. We toasted some Sakes with Tony, Al Morgan, Jordan Renouf and myself. He was so enthusiastic about it. And if he went to the shop to get things he always enquired if anyone wanted him to get them anything and seemed genuinely distressed if the shop did not have exactly what they wanted. He was that helpful.
I also recall another occasion in the catwalk of the Entertainment Centre, packing up a ridiculous amount of amp racks for Norwest, dripping with sweat, thirsty as. All of a sudden Tony appears with plastic cups full of frozen green cordial, like crushed ice granitas, for us all. It was the best drink I have ever had in my life and it left me thinking…
“What a top bloke!”
On Facebook there is a group called Tony Cawsey should have a Facebook account, it has 44 members. This surely is a testament to what a good bloke he was that even though he did not have a Facebook account, many people wished he did and created one, in a sense, for him.
Tony was also an excellent boxer and a great martial artist. I had actually been getting some boxing coaching from Tony in Redfern park where I learnt that he had a lightning left jab and a proficient boxing style, easily able to adapt from right handed to south paw, with a brilliant defence. I learnt that I would not like to be on the receiving end of Tony Cawsey should he be boxing in earnest, although I seriously do not believe that Tony would be able to bring himself to hurt another person, although he undoubtedly had the ability to do so. How many people can have that said about them? Normally the very opposite is the case, and it is further testament to Tony’s talent and good nature that he can be deemed a gentleman in the very truest sense of the word.
It is often said that we should not speak ill of the dead. But I would be very hard pressed to say anything bad about Tony were he still with us today. He was too positive, too upbeat, too helpful. He had that rare quality as the French say of ‘Joie de Vivre’, or joy of life, which makes his passing all the more tragic. Although it is of some consolation that Tony had experienced many good things in life, had enjoyed many moments of it, had helped those around him and I for one can honestly say that I feel proud to have known Tony and blessed in the all too short time I have spent in his presence. The only thing I can think of now is that I used to say he talked too much, and I joked with him that he was loquacious. But now I wish he had talked more, I wish I had listened more and I wish he were talking right now. Depending upon your opinion of the afterlife, perhaps he is! If Tony could hear me now though I would like him to know that I did value the things he said and I enjoyed every minute of his company.
As a worker you would never find many people that could approach Tony Cawsey let alone equal him. He was exactly the type of person that we at Show Support value so highly. He was reliable, committed, dependable, consciencious, and extremely hard working. I personally rate him as one of the best workers I have ever known. He always showed inititiative, assisting our clients admirably. He would find out what needed to be done, and do it, quickly no matter how difficult the task, without complaint. And when it was done, he would be straight back there finding out what needed to be done next so that he could get stuck straight into that. And he would keep doing that until the job was over. You never had to carry Tony on a gig, but undoubtedly he carried many of those around him on a daily basis, which is something I know he would be proud of and is in my opinion, highly commendable. When I crewed up a job and picked those who I wanted to work with me Tony would be my first choice. And if I ever had to be in the trenches, I would want him there too. Tony also was not afraid of long hours and always worked many late night shifts, straight into the next day’s shift, as indeed he was intending to do on the very last night of his life. Tony Cawsey put the needs of others before his own, he was a selfless individual and an awesome team member. The world, our lives and the entire entertainment industry will be so much the worse for his absence.
Let us not dwell too much upon the unfair nature of Tony’s demise.
Although to be honest, my human side craves some act of retribution to correct this injustice. An act to punish those people that would hurt Tony, and by doing so prove that they would be prepared to harm people like him, people like us. An act that would make people think twice before even approaching anyone wearing our uniform let alone setting upon them in such a callous, cowardly fashion unfit for so called human beings, worse even than the behaviour of animals, a deed so despicable that their own lives are deemed forfeit as a direct result. But my spriritual side advocates nothing of the sort. This part of me sees life as a prolongued test, where we all must face challenges on a daily basis, ups and downs, trials and tribulations. Whatever our individual opinions of whether or not this universe was designed by an intelligent force, or whether a completely random set of circumstances have combined against all probability to create a world inhabitable by so frail yet powerful a species as us humans is a question that will never be settled by the living. But it’s a question that will be settled for us all, as it has been for Tony before us.
One thing that we can be very certain of, as times like this are a resounding reminder, is that life is short. Remember Tony and honour him. He was one of us, a Show Supporter.
Let’s learn from this. Let’s try and be a little more supportive of each other from now on, a little more forgiving of each others faults. Try and look out for each other at all times, listen to every word said by our valued colleagues and treasure every moment with them. Be very careful on our way to and from work, as well as at work. Take extra precautions when riding pushbikes at night, choose our routes carefully and try not to travel alone.
Let us all stop for a moment and think about what is really important in life. Try and gain as much enjoyment from each experience as we can. Let’s all talk to each other more, like Tony did. Let us raise a toast to Tony and be not too saddened by his loss and let’s use this occasion to celebrate life for the living as I am sure Tony would want us to do.