News

Legendary Mackay journalist farewelled with fond memories

Bruce McKean’s nephew, Shaun Halson, places a special card on his coffin. Bruce sent it to his mother in thanks when he turned 21.
Bruce McKean’s nephew, Shaun Halson, places a special card on his coffin. Bruce sent it to his mother in thanks when he turned 21. Daily Mercury

IN THE words of Shaun Halson, "Many of us live our lives and do not make a mark on the record, but this is not the case for Bruce".

Yesterday, family and friends packed into Mackay's Newhaven Chapel to say goodbye to a man described as "a legend in his own right".

James "Bruce" McKean was born on May 27, 1954, and died in a traffic accident on Nebo Rd on November 22.

Bruce McKean reports on the 100th anniversary of the Ching massacre in Sarina last year.
Bruce McKean reports on the 100th anniversary of the Ching massacre in Sarina last year.

A veteran court reporter based at the Daily Mercury for 22 years, Mr McKean leaves behind a broad catalogue of work, testament to his passion for both his profession and his love of the Mackay community.

Mr Halson recalled his uncle's at times mischievous yet always caring nature.

"My cheeky uncle snuck me into my first nightclub in Brisbane when I was 15," Mr Halson said. "I think we broke about three laws that night.

"They were only little laws - it's kind of funny when I ended up a policeman and he ended up a crime reporter."

The Daily Mercury's editor Jennifer Spilsbury told of how her own career had been influenced by Mr McKean.

"To a young, very innocent and wide-eyed graduate, Daily Mercury reporter Bruce McKean was a big bloke with a big reputation and I admit I was a bit intimidated when I first met him," Mrs Spilsbury said.

"Like most work experience students, I was shunted down to the Mackay Courthouse with Bruce during my week-long stint at the paper more than 18 years ago.

"It was that day that Bruce introduced me to his world - and he was indisputably the master of it."

Mrs Spilsbury said Mr McKean's reporting skills had earned him the right to have his name uttered in the same breath as the country's best court reporters.

"The Mercury has been inundated with correspondence from former colleagues and people touched by Bruce over the years - it is a testament to how much people loved and respected him. To readers he was Bruce McKean court reporter, but to the Mercury he was Bruiser, our Silver Fox, and his life was as colourful and as entertaining as the stories he told us."

A passionate bowls player, Mr McKean gave much of his time competing, umpiring and coaching the game.

City Bowls Club immediate past president Vince McSherry made reference to Mr McKean's willingness to give up his time for the club, as well as his playing skill.

"It was off the green the real character and interests of Bruce shone through because he was one of those men who understood that membership of a club meant more than just playing," Mr McSherry said. "He had a gift of being concerned for the welfare of others ... he was considerate and generous and ready to step forward on those occasions when he thought he could make a difference."

James Bruce McKean, 58, is survived by his mother Betty Beitzel, and sisters Del Randal and Paula Halson and their families.

Topics:  court reporter




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

Tourist reports croc sighting at Boyne river

Never smile at a crocodile!   Photo Colleen Delaney

"Decent sized" croc sighted on Boyne River

Star-struck Gladstone man seeks selfie with Pauline Hanson

Pauline Hansen in Gladstone June 24, 2016. Pauline and Fraser Anning.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer

FLYNN voter visits his favourite pollie.

Gladstone stalwart backs Ken’s tax cuts for business

Owner of a Gladstone electrical company Ken Corfield with LNP member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.

Two Kens agree that businesses would benefit from LNP's tax cuts

Latest deals and offers

Mt Larcom Show's 67-year-old chain saw champ

Philip Waters was dragged into chain sawing by his former girlfriend.

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Is this state’s cheapest house?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

Cheap, cheap rental in Gladstone

$150/week for 6 Drynan Dr, Calliope

Cheap cheap rental in Gladstone