Neil Golding with his sister Sandra, brother Russell and dad Cyril.
Neil Golding with his sister Sandra, brother Russell and dad Cyril. Contributed

Golding son will miss father's friendship and colourful tales

NEIL Golding leans over the balcony. He points to a ladder propped against the rainwater tank.

His dad Cyril died last Sunday, aged 92, but he was still climbing ladders this year.

"In his late 80s he said, 'I think I've got to stop going on the roof'," Neil laughs.

Cyril was a down-to-earth man.

That much is clear from his Gladstone home.

The view is spectacular.. but for a man of Cyril's wealth it is humble.

"It's no mansion," Neil said.

"He was very much the common man.

"He was a very human person - not aloof."

Neil started work at Golding Contractors on his 18th birthday.

He's retired now. But he learned much about his father working alongside him.

It also strengthened their bond.

"People got this idea that Cyril was 'Mr Perfect'.

"That's so far from the truth.

"He was 'Mr Persistent'."

When asked what he'll miss most about his father, Neil answered straightaway. "His friendship."

He'll also miss Cyril's ability to spin a yarn. He could tell a tale with painstaking detail, adding extra colour.

"He had a good link to the past ... he could tell stories."

And Neil reckons he heard only half of them.

Cyril lived a long life, but that makes losing him no easier for Neil and his siblings Sandra and Russell.

"When it's your parent you want them to go forever."

But "Mr Gladstone" leaves an important legacy behind.

The philanthropist contributed to countless causes.

Neil's son Jared estimates his grandpa donated to at least 60 charities in the last 18 months. "That I know of," he said.

Cyril gave continuously, but he never blew his own trumpet.

He was simply a generous man who felt a duty to look after his town and he'll be sorely missed.

This story is from The Observer's eight-page tribute to Cyril Golding, published on November 10, 2012.



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