Brian Maxwell

Ship name / Flight number: Morton Bay

Arrival date: 07/06/1951

The following is a Eulogy delivered by Brian’s son Greg at the funeral of Brian Maxwell who died in 2007:

Brian was born in Manchester on 7 June 1933 and was the oldest son of Norman and Winifred and brother of David and Stuart.

He was educated in Manchester and spent a part of his childhood during the war. He would tell stories about living near an ammunition factory where his parents worked and that factory was a target for German bomber planes. He recalled playing in the playground with a friend one day and a German fighter plane flew past with machine guns firing and being told by a policeman to immediately hide in a shelter. He also spent weekend riding his bike to a beach in Blackpool (80 clicks away), which took 3 hours each way to ride.

Brian left school at 14 and worked for one year at the picture theatre then as an apprentice butcher until he was 17 in Manchester. He decided to try his luck for a better life in Australia and came out on a five-week boat trip sponsored by the Big Brother Movement. He travelled from Melbourne to Sydney to train to work on a farm milking cows and started his first job at Young at the Roles Clearview property on the Moppity Road, milking cows and doing farm work for three years.

During this time he would trap rabbits on weekends to earn extra money to save up and buy a motor bike to get to town.

He was always prepared to do any work: brickies labourer, bar work, and delivering groceries for Hammond and Hanlon.

In 1955 his family followed him out to Australia and they all settled and grew up in Young.

Brian took a fancy to a young girl in a white starched uniform working in Taaffes Pharmacy called Moya Goodlock. They married in 1957 in the church we are in today. They had three boys Stephen, Greg and Brett. There are seven grandchildren: Ryan Elyse, Anna, Bradley, Zac, Aaron and Jarrod.

During Brian and Moya’s time together they made a lot of good loyal friends, sharing many good times over many years, most of who still live in Young and are here today.

Brian managed the Royal Hotel (Mill Court Tavern site) and worked/managed a courier business for Ron Miller.

He next started his own business buying two trucks delivering freight out of the goods shed at the railway station, to businesses of the town. He later expanded into tabletop trucks carrying freight to and from Sydney and picking up cherries and stone fruit from local orchards and delivering them to the Young Cool Stores for transport to the markets in the fruit season.

His next venture was working part time at the Cool Stores organising the freight of the fruit, whilst maintaining the courier business.

He became manager of the Young Cool Stores where he worked until he retired at 65. He continued with the courier business with Brett doing deliveries and Brian doing the paperwork until a few months ago.

Brian was involved in a lot of community and sporting groups including the local fire brigade, Young Masonic lodge, junior and senior rugby league, running trotting Gymkhana’s for charity, horse stallion parades and the annual shows trotting at Young, Harden, Cootamundra, Bribbaree and Boorowa.

He enjoyed being involved and been able to make a contribution to the community. He was awarded life membership of the Young Harness Racing Club in 2005.

He was able to meet a lot of people, enjoyed talking and getting to know them.

He also enjoyed his annual holidays in a caravan by the sea firstly at Narrabeen and then at Batemans Bay. He also enjoyed travelling to the Inter Dominion Trotting Championships in capital cities.

He had a lot of sickness including DVT at 35, which had an ongoing impact, heart surgery, hip replacement and recent surgery. He would never complain about any ailments and always had a positive attitude to get on with life after all his medical hurdles. He had a strong will with the drive to keep going.

It was his enthusiasm for harness racing or trotting that became one of the driving forces in his life.

Brian was introduced to the harness racing industry in 1958 and had a lifetime of enjoyment. He owned, trained and drove standardbreds in his early days. He was fortunate enough to share ownership in a horse called Camden Blaze in the early 1960’s that was sent to race at Harold Park with success.

His passion was so great that he and Stuart would leave work early on a Friday, drive to Harold Park to watch Camden Blaze race and turn around and drive home to start work on Saturday morning.

He retired from training and driving in 1970 and had a break from the horses when he moved into town, although he still had an involvement in breeding horses.

Brian was appointed to the Harness Racing Authority stewards’ panel in 1976 where he assisted or officiated at race meetings for 30 years, mainly in the Riverina, a role which he enjoyed as he was still able to be part of the harness racing industry and being associated with the people involved.

Brian was able to relive some of his youth when Brett began training and driving horses in the 1990’s. Brian provided the enthusiasm and encouragement with the horses as it kept the family close as we all had an interest in the same sport and it gave everyone a lot of enjoyment.

Brian would be the first one in the car when the horses raced outside of Young and if you wanted to go you had to book a seat around him. His enthusiasm never stopped as he would always be following the horses.

Brian was a person who was always on the go, he liked keeping busy whether it was work, watching the horses, taking an interest the children’s or grandchildren lives.

He was very proud of his family and loved watching them grow. Mum and Dad provided a strong family unit, battling through both good and difficult times to provide us boys with a good grounding in our lives.

He was not one for staying at home too much and was rarely seen in the garden. He enjoyed the company of his family, friends and colleagues, a good meal and the occasional trip away.

Brian was a lover of life, he had integrity, showed us a good work ethic, was a very loyal person and showed what you can achieve in a life by starting with nothing, have the drive to work hard, always have a positive attitude and be able to live a good and whole life, we will miss him.


The following is a Letter to the Editor written by Brian’s younger brother Stuart.

Maxwell Brian – Letter to the Editor

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