Tony Long had two great loves – Lynne, his wife of more than 50 years and Ansons Bay, where he enjoyed years of happy holidays.
These were the words of Chris Long, who on Monday said goodbye to his “dear dad” – a man who “touched the hearts of many”.
More than 600 people filled the Franklin Grove Centre to farewell the 73-year-old, who drowned while on a fishing trip on March 10.
The incident also claimed the life of 67-year-old Tony Benneworth.
In an emotional tribute to their father, Chris and Tim Long both shared memories of a man remembered as a “jokester”, “the life of the party” and “devoted to his family”.
They spoke of his love of country and western music, practical jokes, whiskey and red wine – “as long as it was reasonably priced”.
They also described the family’s anguish over the circumstances of Tony’s death.
“The emotions that I hold are varied,” Chris Long said.
“At times I am angry with Dad, at times I am disappointed with him.
“But most of all I am just so sad that he is gone.
“We have all taken risks in life. We have driven without a seatbelt.
“Unfortunately Dad has paid the ultimate price for the risk he took.
“I ask everyone to please wear lifejackets always and ensure that everyone in your care, wears them and knows how to use them.
“To the Benneworth family, we are just so sorry for your loss.
“What was meant to be a weekend of fun and laughter went so North.”
Tony Long was born at Cressy and would go on to work for Telstra for more than 40 years.
He was also “deeply passionate” about his sport, with life memberships at both the Cressy Football Club and the Trevallyn Bowls Club.
Trevallyn club member Gordon Hurst described his friend as “an immense talent”, who represented Tasmania more than 37 times.
“He was very much part of a very talented team of champions, who for two and a half decades formed the nucleus of an incredibly successful bowls club,” he said.
“Life to Tony was a completely different game, often with the details springing from his own productive mind.
“He was not always politically correct, but was always on the lookout for a way to make people laugh.
“He was a fine bowler, a fantastic entertainer and a scallywag to the finest order.”