Today two Australian icons died in Queensland – Steve Irwin, dubbed the crocodile hunter (and he’s to blame for my more recent use of the word ‘crikey’). Colin Thiele also died today. He was best known for his children’s fiction books, in particular Storm Boy.
I didn’t hear about Colin Thiele until I saw the ABC news. If the commercial station’s news I saw briefly tonight mentioned it, it was much later in the bulletin than the Steve Irwin news. This commercial station is cashing in on his death already by changing its programming schedule on Wednesday night to have a tribute.
His death was a shock and probably more shocking than if he’d been eaten by a crocodile or bitten by a deadly snake. At a guess though, if he was going to die, he probably would have preferred to die doing something he loved. And one thing you can’t dispute about Steve Irwin, was his passion for what he did. He came across as a very enthusiastic man.
Unlike the news above, Colin Thiele’s death didn’t rate a huge mention on the abovementioned news website’s homepage, just a one liner much further down but he had a much bigger impact on me.
I best remember reading Storm Boy when I was a kid and bawling my eyes out when Mr Percival died. I didn’t just shed a little tear or two, I was distraught. When I saw the film of Storm Boy I was just as upset. It’s rare that a book or a film evokes such feelings in me but this one did. And it was filmed nearby at the Coorong in South Australia.