The Pink Floyd song Shine On You Crazy Diamond sounded out across the windswept fields yesterday as mourners gathered for the funeral of Derrinallum bomber Glenn Sanders.
It probably brought a lump to the throat of more than a few of the 200 people who turned up to farewell the man who will go down in history as Derrinallum’s most famous son — for all the wrong reasons.
They were an unusual mixture of family members, friends, local residents, leather-clad bikers and a few parents with toddlers. But they were united as a group to remember the Glenn Sanders they knew by the nicknames “Colonel” or “Rude”, rather than the volatile man who last month blew himself up and injured two police officers.
They stood in a semi-circle surrounding a coffin draped with a Confederate flag and finished with a top hat that the 48-year-old would sometimes wear.
Celebrant Di Daffy described a man who had an amazing capacity for work, understood electrics, knew all about hydraulics, was a brilliant mechanic and could fix anything.
She spoke of the “son, brother and good friend to many” who was a “very clever, capable and likeable chap”, perhaps the “smartest man in Australia”.
He was a “raconteur and a master story-teller” who could keep his audience in raptures and fits of laughter.
He loved music and was involved with a band for many years. One of his great enjoyments was spending time with his mates, whether it be cruising on the motorbike, hanging out in the shed or on fishing trips.
Sanders had a photographic memory and could recall all the number plates of the cars he had worked on, their owners and what parts he had fixed.
He and his brother Andrew were heavily into motor sports, including speedway, hillclimbs and go-karts. Sanders was also a national drag racing champion, holding a record for 10 years.
Andrew compared his brother to the late Sir Jack Brabham because he was creative and smart and would do anything to gain an edge over his competitors.
Clive Jamieson described Sanders as a dedicated worker who could put his hand to virtually anything at his family’s historic Stony Point property.
“Over the last few months I’ve driven around our property and everywhere I look there is Glenn’s influence,” Mr Jamieson said.
“For 25 years, people would ask me ‘what’s the best thing on Stony Point?’, expecting the answer to be the homestead, the view or the sheep. My answer to that question has always been, and will always be, ‘the best thing on Stony Point is Glenn Sanders’.”
Mr Jamieson spoke of a man who had a fun, competitive streak. In the early ’90s Glenn could be spotted at Deep Lake water-skiing barefoot while everyone else was on one ski.
“I can still remember that skinny stick figure, legs going everywhere, beard wrapped around his face, having an absolute ball,” Mr Jamieson said.
Sanders also ventured to the snow.
“I never saw him ski but can just imagine it — old car, old skis, old Drizabone, iced beard and a huge smile,” Mr Jamieson said.
“Like many country boys, Glenn shot foxes and rabbits. However, Glenn shot with a little bit more flair than most of us.
“Not many have ever owned a Mad Max-style dune buggy, ideal for chasing and shooting foxes.”
The coffin was lowered to the strains of Frank Sinatra’s My Way, followed by a rousing rendition of We’ll Meet Again. Then it was back to the Derrinallum pub for a drink and some stories — just the way the old Colonel would want it.