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Editions

A tribute to Eamon McCarthy

02 Oct 2014

A tribute to Eamon McCarthy Image

Docklands News pays tribute to a true Docklander who passed away unexpectedly last month.  Vale Eamon McCarthy.

By Peter Crowley

Eamon McCarthy was one of the earliest residents of the Boyd/St Elia building when it was completed late in 2002.

In 2003 community building started in Docklands, and Eamon was at the forefront of that process.  

He was energetic and active in the local groups that formed to start the Docklands Community Association, the Docklands Chamber of Commerce, and the Docklands News and, like other community champions at the time, Eamon frequently hosted community meetings in his private home to offset the lack of local facilities.  

His vision for a vibrant Docklands was underpinned by his values and upbringing – he understood the importance of community.

Eamon was a passionate photographer.  More than that, he had a clear understanding of what was going on in Docklands – a profound transformation of the city unlike anything in living memory – unprecedented except perhaps in the 1850s gold rush. 

Eamon loved taking photos and, accompanied by his little dog Bruce, he would get outdoors in search of those special opportunities – the still morning light or the setting sun – to capture those special reflections or odd light angles. 

Eamon knew he was capturing the record of something unique and planned to record the transformation of Docklands.   

Eamon was generous with his work.  Many of those photos graced the pages of Docklands News and he was present, camera in hand, at all the Docklands events in those times.

Eamon was also responsible for a Docklands legend – McCarthy’s Bar.  During the 2003 Rugby World Cup Eamon devised and led a temporary transformation of Shed 14 on Central Pier, turning a derelict warehouse into a vibrant Irish Pub that was visited by thousands.  

For many an international fan visiting Docklands (particularly the Irish) a night spent in the lively McCarthy’s Bar remains a key ingredient of their World Cup memories.  

A venture like McCarthy’s Bar couldn’t happen now – but it did happen and is a big part of the unwritten history of Docklands.

Staunchly Irish, Eamon was also a proud Australian with an ambition to be naturalised.

He lobbied hard to become naturalised in a ceremony in Docklands, something that he understood would tacitly acknowledge the city’s acceptance of its new waterfront suburb.  

That wasn’t to be, but he was immensely proud when he did become a naturalised Australian in a ceremony at the Melbourne Town Hall, watched on by his beloved daughter, Grace.

Eamon ultimately left Docklands, but it never really left him… like a true Docklander he was magnetically drawn back.  

He remained a regular visitor to the waterfront with camera in hand and his daughter holding the other as he returned to watch the fireworks, appreciate the moods of Docklands, to enjoy its bars and cafes and his own favourite places

Eamon McCarthy will be missed by many friends and his family to whom we extend condolences.  He was a community champion in the recent history of our suburb ... and a true Docklander.

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