it's with great sadness that I write this post. Mary (better known to us as Stargazer or "Starry") passed away last week.
I have many fond memories of Mary. On our first meeting, at a game at the G, the first thing she did was apologise for having called me "Koala Man" on Blitz! Turns out she wasn't alone in thinking I was male :P
Mary had a great passion for Essendon and I was amazed at her knowledge and recall of information. She used to talk about how as a little kid she had bad asthma, and her father would sit up with her during the night, and instead of reading her books he'd tell her Essendon stories! She met up with my Dad and I for lunch one time, and I just sat back and listened to the two of them chatting away, including discussing the line ups for the 62 and 65 Grand Final sides!
Donna, Mary and I had a terrific trip to Sydney one year; we lost the game, but made our way back to the pub we were staying at (the infamous Strand Hotel for others who have been on these trips!), and proceeded to have a few drinkies til the wee small hours of the morning. Had some random Blitzers join us along the way - they'd read on Blitz where we were going to be and decided to drop in!
Mary was also the reason for me becoming a Melbourne Victory member. I'd mentioned to Mary how much I disliked not being able to get a sports fix in the off season, and she suggested I come along with her to see "this new Melbourne team". Eight years later I'm still heading along.
Mary was not one to hold back on her opinion, and I admired the forthright way she would enter into a robust discussion with people. She joined me when I interviewed Simon Madden for Blitz, and she and Simon chatted away for ages after we'd finished - she had a way of being able to draw people out, and an infectious laugh!
She was a very special lady and will be sadly missed by many. My heartfelt condolences to her family.
Mary's funeral will be next Wednesday morning at Tobin Brothers Chapel at 1382 High Street, Malvern (corner of Jordan Street).