Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

OBITUARY; He Was Everyone's Friend

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

OBITUARY; He Was Everyone's Friend

Article excerpt

JAMES JOHN O'MEARA1937a2010

JIM O'Meara of Rockhampton always said: "You can always tell the mark of a man by the number of mates and friends who say farewell to you at your funerala.

Local firefighter of 34 years, Jim O'Meara, was obviously held in the highest esteem, as around 600 people packed St Joseph's Cathedral for his funeral on March 30 and three fire trucks and 60 serving and retired firemen formed a guard of honour.

On the following Saturday night a minute's silence was observed at Browne Park, where members of the Fitzroy Football Club wore black arm bands as a tribute to his contribution to rugby league.

Now, more than a month on, the accolades for Jim O'Meara continue to come.

Yesterday, Friday, May 7, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service assistant commissioner Neil Gallant presented his family with a medal and two clasps in recognition of Jim O'Meara's diligent and ethical 34 years' service to the QFRS.

Jim O'Meara was born in Brisbane on September 4, 1937 and attended a Catholic school at Newmarket and Ashgrove Marist Brothers College before the family moved to Rockhampton in 1949, where he completed his education at St Joseph's and Christian Brothers Catholic schools.

At the age of 14, his first job was as a message boy at Thomas Brown's.

At 16, Jim worked at "Juneea cattle station, Dingo and then "Sedgeforda, "Tonkarooa outside Stonehenge, and another cattle station near Alpha.

He also worked with his older brother Patrick at "Comet Downsa and then with his brother Con at "Clairviewa station near Springsure and Rolleston.

Jim later worked as a truck driver at Quinces Cement, for Rockhampton City Council and at Lakes Creek Meatworks in the slaughter yard and then as a boner.

He operated his own tree lopping business for a time, and joined the Rockhampton Fire Brigade on April 4, 1963.

Described as hard working, with a bit of a larrikin streak, Jim loved attending and competing in rodeos around the Central Queensland region in the bareback, saddle bronc and bull riding competitions. …

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