Family farewells cheeky, humane Bunbury patriarch: Brian Kennedy

Ailish DelaneySouth Western Times
Camera IconCredit: Steve Ferrier/WA News, Steve Ferrier

Never without a warm, friendly smile or a cheeky grin, Brian Kennedy was a well-loved member of the Bunbury community.

Brian was known for his contagious sense of humour and ability to maintain a positive outlook no matter what life threw at him.

His son Gerard said his father was definitely a joker, but also a deep humanitarian.

“He loved to laugh and joke, but he would go out of his way to help people,” he said.

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This kindness and urge to help others continued with Brian all his life.

“Even in the latter parts of his life, when he was in his 80s when we were up in Perth there was an altercation in a park across the road ... as soon as Dad heard there was commotion he rushed across to help render first aid to the man,” Gerard said.

“It just astounded me that an 80-year-old man wouldn’t think twice when he saw someone in distress, but that’s the type of person he was.”

Brian Kennedy surrounded by son Gerard Kennedy and daughter Nicole Pratt.
Camera IconBrian Kennedy surrounded by son Gerard Kennedy and daughter Nicole Pratt. Credit: South West Times

Brian’s daughter Nicole said he would be best remembered for his ability to make people smile and his role in several local clubs over the years.

“He had so many facets to his life ... the car club, speedway, and we found he was a freemason, then the runners club, swimming, cycling,” she said.

“He’s always been involved and wanting to help everyone out.

“He loved coaching kids and stirring the hell out them too,” Gerard said.

“He’d play practical jokes on them all the time.”

Gerard recounted one story he thought perfectly showcased his father’s cheeky character.

“I remember in his late 70s he was going around town on a Vespa scooter with these chopper handle bars and flames on the helmet, and he pulled up in front of a couple of kids on bikes and he says to them, ‘You wouldn’t bloody believe it, my Harley got stolen and this is all I got now’,” he said.

He had a fantastic sense of humour.

Brian boasted a long list of achievements. He was an elite swimmer, cyclist, cancer survivor and named WA Senior of the Year.

“He wasn’t a naturally gifted sportsman but in anything that he did he had to work really hard and he loved that,” Gerard said.

“He didn’t allow life to beat him down, he had a real resilience about him. He always found light in every situation of darkness.”

Brian Kennedy pictured with his grandaughter Caitlyn in 2010.
Camera IconBrian Kennedy pictured with his grandaughter Caitlyn in 2010. Credit: Steve Ferrier/WA News, Steve Ferrier

Along with a long history in Bunbury, Brian was the self-appointed family history custodian, according to his son Brendan, travels for which took him across the country and the world.

“He’s lived such a full life,” Nicole said.

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