Date: May 03 2012
Hundreds of mourners, many from Melbourne's music industry, celebrated the life of musician Greg Ham yesterday at a private funeral service at the Fitzroy Town Hall.
Ham was an integral part of the local music scene for more than 30 years, and among yesterday's 300-odd mourners were prominent musicians, including Jane Clifton, Red Symons, Men at Work bassist John Rees, Billy Miller and Wilbur Wilde, who played at the service as part of a sax quartet.
The death of the former Men at Work flautist and saxophonist Ham, 58, whose body was found at his Carlton home last week, was described as ''a loss to the world''.
Ham had reportedly struggled with the 2010 Federal Court finding that his flute solo on Men At Work's global hit Down Under had been plagiarised from the children's song Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.
Soon after the case, Ham told Fairfax he was ''terribly disappointed that that's the way I'm going to be remembered - for copying something''.
Sadly, it took Ham's death to prove otherwise, as friends and family yesterday recalled a man of many talents, variously described as an ''instinctive musician'', a ''gentle and encouraging father'' and a ''great teacher''.
After a moving congregational rendition of the William Blake hymn Jerusalem, described by family friend and celebrant Nicholas Tolhurst as ''Greg's favourite shower song'', Linda ''Toots'' Wostry, Ham's former partner of 19 years, and mother to their two children, Camille and Max, delivered a moving eulogy.
She paid tribute to Ham, with whom she had remained close friends, as a musician and a father, and said the court case took its toll on his health.
This material is subject to copyright and any unauthorised use, copying or mirroring is prohibited.
[ Canberra Times | Text-only index]