Last Friday, 5 July, my great-uncle Kevin passed away. He was 88 years old, and went of natural causes. He was my grandfather’s brother, and, as my grandpa was the only one his siblings to have children, Uncle Kevin (and Aunty Barbara, who died 18 months ago), were quite close to our family.
Uncle Kevin was always full of urban myths and jokes that he tried to convince us were true. His most famous was his take on the classic ‘wheelbarrow joke’, which my dad even told as part of the eulogy, and which goes more or less as follows:
Uncle Kevin worked down at the Warf in Melbourne for most of his career. During that time, they noticed in the paper work that something was being stolen, but, this being back in the day, and since nothing was computerised, no one could figure out what. So the Port of Melbourne decided to hire a security guard to watch the gates. Every night for twenty years, this bloke (let’s call him Paddy), went home wheeling a wheelbarrow with a little bit of straw, the odd tool, or some wood off-cuts and his lunch box in it. Every day, the guard checked the wheelbarrow for any stolen goods.
After 20 years, Paddy retired. On his final night, when leaving the docks, the security guard said to Paddy, “Now, look here, Paddy, I know it’s you who’s been stealing stuff over the years. You’ve retired now, and I won’t dob you in, so tell me, what the heck have you been building with all the materials you’ve stolen?”
“Building?” Said Paddy. “I haven’t been stealing building materials. I’ve been stealing wheelbarrows!”
Vale Uncle Kevin (22/2/1925 – 5/7/2013)