Recently honoured V8 Supercars Chaplain Garry Coleman nominates the start of the 2006 Bathurst 1000 – Peter Brock’s tribute race – as the highlight of his career.
Coleman, who received the prestigious Order of Australia medal in last Monday’s Queens Honours list, was in charge of addressing the public on the grid before the emotional 1000km race, just a month after the passing of the nine-time Bathurst winner.
Coleman told Speedcafe.com.au that it was a “hard day.”
“One of the highlight days, linked with what was an extremely sad situation, was being able to do the Brock tribute at Bathurst after his death,” he said.
“I was given three minutes to do that. People ask me afterwards about what I did and what affect it had. I made the point that it wasn’t a tribute to Peter; it was a tribute to a hurting audience.
“You see we’d lost two national heroes in Brock and Steve Irwin, the nation was hurting and I phrased that for the audience so that we could all identify with everyone’s pain.
“Although it was a hard day, it was a day of great confidence for me, having pastored for 40 years and knowing what happens to people. I think that is why there was, not just a hush from the crowd, but a response out of the crowd over that weekend. It wasn’t just Peter, a national hero; it was Brock and Irwin at the same time. It was very encouraging to hear the comments from people afterwards. I still have people talking about that day – even now.”
For more with Coleman, CLICK HERE for today’s Café Chat.
And to relive Brock’s emotional Bathurst farewell, see the video below.