A guard of honour was formed outside the Maclean Anglican Church to pay tribute to long time Maclean High School teacher Allan Cameron.
A guard of honour was formed outside the Maclean Anglican Church to pay tribute to long time Maclean High School teacher Allan Cameron. Adam Hourigan

VALE: Tribute to Maclean High's 'extraordinary' teacher

FOR A man who taught many of his students to look at the stars, it seemed entirely appropriate for Elton John's Rocket Man to being a celebration of Allan Cameron's life.

The well-known Maclean High school science teacher died last week aged 81 years.

At a celebration of his life held today it seemed that no matter how many stories you knew about Mr Cameron, as he was known to his students, there were many, many more.

Across the gathered crowd, which filled both levels of the Anglican church in Maclean to capacity, all ages gathered to pay tribute to a man who stood out from the crowd.

Many took their chance to stand out, paying tribute to Allan's unique dress sense, ranging from hats, loud shirts and many with a handkerchief tied over their head.

 

"Because of dad I'm wearing this outrageous outfit," daughter Sue-Ann said with a loud pineapple patterned shirt and handkerchief over her hair. "And I don't care."

"I've learned (from Allan) that an ordinary life can be lived extraordinarily, and that remarkable people are everywhere."

Teacher Wayne Rice paid tribute to his long-time science colleague, remembering him as a man who was the first to volunteer to help with anything to do with the school, and a mentor for staff and students alike.

His career spanned such time at Maclean High school, that he worked alongside many students he taught at the school in later years, and went on to teach their children, one who paid tribute via text message to the inspiration he provided her.

A believer in discipline - "you'll meet worse bastards than me boy!" one of his many one-liners recollected, his teaching and manner with all instilled a love of science in them, and showed a passion to get through to all of his students regardless of their ability.

To finish the service, the aisles of the church lined with Maclean High School banners, the Maclean High school song proudly sung by the congregation.

He was carried out by members of his family and driven away to applause of a guard of honour, recognition of an ordinary man who made an extraordinary impact on his community.