JUST some of the lives that Gavin Jones touched farewelled the man commonly described as a visionary on Thursday.
Politicians, sporting stars, singers, actors and the ‘grassroots’ were among some 750 people who crowded into St Saviour’s Cathedral for Mr Jones’s funeral service.
The Vibe Australia managing director, who died on July 12 aged 47, worked tirelessly to advance the aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community through advocacy, media, social and cultural events.
While the media were not permitted into the Cathedral at the family’s request, the service included tributes to a full and meaningful life.
A Wiradjuri smoking ceremony welcomed people, while inside Archie Roach, accompanied by Craig Pilkington, sang ‘Wild Blue Gums.’ Christine Anu later sang Ave Maria and Michael Tuahine – ‘Kumbaya.’
Mr Jones’s nieces and nephews paid tributes, while his partner Tony Pavlakis delivered the eulogy.
“…His impact on the indigenous community was profound. He was a true visionary whose energy carried everybody. It’s a tragedy that our energy didn’t carry him.”Dr Ursula Stephens
Among the mourners were Northern Territory MP Warren Snowdon, Northern Territory Labor Senator Nova Peris, athlete Kyle Vander Kuyp, former senator Ursula Stephens, Mayor Geoff Kettle, Mr Jones’s good friend Cr Alfie Walker and several other local government representatives.
Dr Stephens described Mr Jones as an inspiration.
“His reach into the community was quite extraordinary and he never sought any recognition for that,” she said.
“He was incredibly generous to so many organisations and individuals and that’s why there is such a large funeral service today.
“…His impact on the indigenous community was profound. He was a true visionary whose energy carried everybody. It’s a tragedy that our energy didn’t carry him.”
As the cortege moved off, led by Dean Phillip Saunders, mourners gave Mr Jones a round of applause.
It stopped outside his Montague St office where a bow had been tied on the door before eventually passing along Auburn St to his resting place.