Bruce Webster: Funeral Details and tribute by Alan Marks

Bruce Webster’s funeral will be held at
Greenway Chapel and Memorial Gardens,
460 Avoca Drive, Green Point (NSW Central Coast)
Monday August 5th at 2pm.

Former ABC colleague and long time friend Alan Marks has penned this tribute to Bruce:


Not so long ago, Bruce published his book – “Bruce Webster – A Memoir – Chances of a Lifetime” and I was ecstatic at being asked to pen the Foreword.  Like everyone who read the book, I was amazed that Bruce was able to compress his story to less than 400 pages given the breadth of his experiences and the people who’d been part of his life.

Bruce lived by regarding every experience as an opportunity to learn about and understand the world around us – he was insatiably curious because he believed that understanding was the key to learning – and accordingly he was as interested as much in the thoughts of others as he was with his own opinions.

Bruce more than made his own mark in the world of broadcasting and became a highly regarded specialist in a myriad of broadcasting activities and responsibilities.  He was a News Director, Broadcast Executive, Ceremonial Broadcaster, National Television Host, Parliamentary Broadcaster, Papal and Royal Tour Commentator, Broadcast Trainer and Consultant, Broadcaster of the Apollo Moon Landings, numerous Olympic and Commonwealth Games and of many significant political, cultural and community events.

In his time, Bruce interviewed royalty, prime ministers, presidents and celebrities, gained distinction as Chief Press and Information Officer for QANTAS in North America, qualified for his own pilot’s licence and, as a boat owner, rose to Division Commander for Broken Bay with the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol.

In 1975, Bruce was elected as Member for Pittwater in the NSW Parliament, serving on five Legislative Committees including as Chairman of the Community Life Task Force. All this time, Bruce maintained his interest and involvement in music, theatre, church, charity work, community service, sports, pets, gardens and wild-flowers, his home-brewing prowess and, most importantly, his growing and loving family.

Bruce would never want to be regarded as a ‘saint’ – and could resort to villainous mischief when it suited – those familiar with the story of the “Apex Bottle Company” (using the ABC ‘phone number) in Cairns, will appreciate his readiness to seize upon the opportunism in life.

At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, the world’s media was accommodated in the Olympic Media Village which had a large tavern designed to meet the demands of a thirsty world’s media. Different nationalities came to gather in specific areas which were serviced by local Korean staff according to their propensity with a given language.

Our area was looked after by Mr. Nahn and from Day 1, Bruce set about educating him about the specific peculiarities of his Australian guests, including their preferred names.

Within days, after Bruce’s determined tutelage, we were greeted by Mr, Nahn with “Hello Mr Dickhead”, “Hello Big Shit”, “Hello Poofter” and so on – Olympic Games would never be the same without Bruce Webster.”

Alan Marks is now retired. During his ABC Career he was Executive Producer Radio Sport, then Head of Radio Sport and then Head of ABC Radio Special Events Unit.

As mentioned in Alan’s tribute, one of Bruce’s assignments was to cover the Apollo 11 moon mission. Just days before his passing he told the story to ABC Central Coast’s Emma Simkin. The strong professional voice of Bruce Webster is still evident, at age 92. Note Bruce’s humble last words to Emma at the end of the interview, when she thanks him for talking to ABC Central Coast: “I’m honoured that you bothered.”

See our earlier report here




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