My brother David Smith McCrindle was born on 17th September 1953 at Davidson Hospital in Girvan, Ayrshire, Scotland the second son of Samuel and Margaret. They say he was a fragile child, but he developed into a fit and healthy young man. He was the younger brother of Eb and older brother to Colin and Audrey. He was Uncle to Sean, Zac, Kirste, Thadeus, Jessica, Kate, Alison, Tom and Patricia and Great Uncle to Jessica, Zoe and Crystal. He was brother in law to Rick, Una, Sue, Therese and Gabby, who I think he loved more than me.
Although he never married and had no children of his own David was a close confidant and significant person in the development of my own children Sean & Kirste. David never forgot his family, never missed a birthday or an important anniversary. David attended primary school at the Doon school in Girvan then Pennington, Goodwood and Taperoo Primary Schools and high school at LeFevre Technical High School. In his youth, at least, David could never be described as an academic person although he passed all his school exams and left school in 1970 having completed year 11. For the next few years he worked in various jobs, mainly as a storeman. In 1976 he traveled to Darwin and worked laying electricity cables for many of the new suburbs that were built after the destruction of Cyclone Tracy in Dec 74. I'll never forget that trip for we traveled together in two cars via the NSW coast and then through the channel country at a time when Northern NSW and Qld were experiencing some of the worst floods in history. One of the funniest memories I have happened after we had been stranded at Camooweal on the Qld/NT border for three days by the flooded Rankine River. When the river went down low enough for us to cross I told David to get all the stuff off the floor of his car as he will likely take some water on the way across. Anyway I can still see David sitting in his car, elbow out the window, sunnies on and tape deck blasting, I think it was Status Quo, as he drove into the flooded crossing only for the water to rise inside the car high enough to short out the tapedeck in a shower of sparks and see his deodorant, tapes, camera and other gear all bobbing about him in the car. In 1978 David enlisted in the Australian Army in the 6th Signals Regiment C Company and spent time at El Alamein, Puckapunyal and Townsville and Rockhampton
David seemed to enjoy the Army until he was injured playing rugby against the Navy which resulted in him being superannuated and honorably discharged from the Army in 1981. This was originally a blow for David, but ultimately led to new opportunities and a new career.
For a couple of years David just cruised, then he started to study Natural Therapies, including Naturopathy, homeopath, massage therapy, iridology and reflexology and in 1991 he graduated as a Naturopath or a Doctor of Natural Therapies as he preferred it. He never stopped studying. He developed treatments and remedies for all kinds of ailments and was much sought after by us all for his remedial massages. He had the strength and the tenderness to realign your back and neck. Ahh magic! He once told me I had one leg slightly shorter than the other.. (lean over) ..naahh!! He could tell you what the botanical names of Wormwood and Wolf's bane were and what they were used for. He could suggest an alternative for just about every drug in the Chemist shop. He conducted his practice at Woodville for 13 years until he became ill himself, even then continuing to see and consult with many of his clients. He regularly traveled to Broken Hill to run a clinic there since the town had no resident Naturopath. He was so dedicated to his patients that he never took a break or holiday in all this time. David loved his dogs and always seemed to have two, and I'm sure Gunya & Nyaku are missing him. One of David's other passions was the Port Adelaide Football club. A staunch supporter as kids we went to every Magpies game and as an adult David was an inaugural member of the Power in the AFL. Even though he was very sick he still managed to make it to the last finals game in Adelaide where he saw his beloved team beat St Kilda and to his great delight go on to win the flag. One of the other things David and I shared was our friendships in the Aboriginal Community. David visited Gab and I in every community we lived in, he made friends instantly, loved the people he met and was a champion for indigenous issues whenever they arose. David was funny, thoughtful, caring, generous, and just imperfect enough to make the rest of us love him anyway up until he drew his last shuddering breath.
His imperfections may have been many, but to many he was perfect the way he was. Different as he was, he never failed to seem mostly normal. The slightly odd duck, he revelled in doing the unexpected. Ahh, how we will miss him. David came to Australia when he was 9 years old and spent nearly 42 years here but still had a Scottish accent, never did learn to speak strine. But then they say you can take the man out of the country but you can't take the country out of the man.
I have been having a lot of feelings since my brother's illness and death and will see how long the feelings will allow me to speak. By far the biggest feeling I have had has been gratefulness.
Gratefulness to have shared part of my life with David. Because to me my brother was like a tree in many ways. A tree who's taproot was anchored in truth and honesty, and with branches and leaves that acted as a shelter for those around. I stood in that shelter and for that I am so grateful. It's an experience that I wish I could condense into a couple of words and then tell you.
David and I grew up in a safe, comfortable home with loving and caring parents and although we fought epic battles as children. We once crashed through the lounge window and wound up on the path in a shower of broken glass, just as mum got off the train; we lived opposite the railway station. David and I would form temporary alliances to deal with Eb, and we'd give him hell, but if threatened from outside we would all close ranks in an instant. I wouldn't ever trade my family for anything or anyone. It was an incredible experience to grow up in my family with my brother.
Above all, I believe we will miss his rare insights and knack for cutting through the crap to get to the nub of the matter. David could ramble on for hours, but if you listened carefully he would come out with a gem. Lastly, Before he died, David made a promise to make contact with the living if he should discover that ghosts are for real. So, everyone, be on the lookout for strange goings on in your homes.
Rest in peace, David. All will miss you and all loved you, but we are so thankful that we never have to hear you ramble on for hours again. But if he should come back to ramble on about the health profession, the Government. The Crows or worse still the umpires, please let me know as soon as possible.