January 10th 2013
A return and a farewell
As many readers would have noticed, Magnetic Times has been out of action over the Xmas new Year period. It wasn't intentional but due to a severe illness in the family. Your editor has been in Melbourne with brother David who we hope and believe is starting to slowly recover. But as I return to my desk it is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of a colourful and much-loved Islander, John Becker who succumbed to a brain tumour on December 17 2012.
In a short note from his wife and devoted partner, Allyson, we learned that, "John was born on 10 August 1939 in Wickepin, WA. He served for 20 years in the army, then went teaching for another 20. We moved here in November 1999."
For an insight into this highly intelligent man's attitudes and life and the astonishing prescience he displayed in a speech at the start of the Gulf War, see our article: John Becker: A veteran speaks out (read here)
Allyson told Magnetic Times, 'He's being cremated and I'll organise a small ceremony for him in January to scatter his ashes. He particularly asked that there be no formal funeral, but that we have a "knees-up" to celebrate his life.'
Magnetic Times and John's many friends across the Island and through the RSL, are, no doubt, looking forward to that celebration.
Photo of John Becker with MISS student Cloe Andersen from 2007. John represented the RSL who recognised student achievement with a number of awards at the annual Magnetic Island State School Graduation nights.