Farewell Carl

Memorial Ceremony for the Celebration of the Life of Carl Rudolph Eyres

Friday 23rd February 2024, Serenity Beach, NSW

Opening Music: This is a Lovely Way to Spend an Evening—Frank Sinatra

Dear family and friends, on behalf of Carl’s wife, Wil and their daughter, Sharon, I’d like to welcome you to this ceremony. A warm welcome also to those friends and family joining us via the livestream.

We come together to honour Carl’s life, and to support the family at this time of grief and loss.

We’d like to acknowledge the original custodians of this land where we hold the ceremony today, the Gumbaynggirr people, and pay respect to the Elders past, present and emerging. This land has held many ceremonies and stories and songs for tens of thousands of years, both of celebration and mourning.

Carl always joked that he just wanted to be tossed out to the ocean, no fuss. While we come to scatter his ashes… we also come to share stories and songs that Carl loved, and pay respect to the significant change that is unfolding in his family’s life.

(To you) For the last few years much of your time and energy have been devoted to caring for Carl at home and more recently at The Grange. When we spoke last week, his passing still felt quite surreal … and may do so for a while. Grief can be very confusing, since there is a mix of emotions, both sadness because he has gone and also relief that he is no longer suffering. Your peace of mind and heart will come from finding a way to live with both of these—all that arises.

Eyresy, Dad, Magpie, Grandad, Radio, Carl… a complex man with many different aspects to his personality, that could be both engaging and challenging. Such was his nature.  One thing was sure, even though at times it was hard to see, he loved his family.

I’d like to invite Harry, Carl and Wil’s grandson, Sharon’s son, to come forward and read the eulogy.


Read by Harry Peterson

On behalf of Nanny and Mum, Ruby and myself, I would like to welcome you all today, both here and those online to the celebration of the nine decades long full life of my Grandad, Carl. I wanted to honour Grandad today by reading his eulogy, as he was a gifted speech writer and presenter, agonising over every word, and I hope I can make him proud today.

Carl Rudolph Eyres was born on 16 June 1931 in Melbourne, Victoria

His mother, Violet, Vi, was an elegant, fun-loving lady. ‘Life of the party’ as Nanny would say, Carl would come to be known as a character, and without it doubt, Vi’s influence had a large part in shaping the charismatic man he would become. 

His father, Charles, fought in the Second World War where he was stationed at Darwin during the famous bombing of 1942. On his return, he would go on to become the town clerk of Richmond and employing Carl as the rate collector, a job Carl loved as he got to know so many of the residents of Richmond and, no doubt, a beer in every one of those corner pubs. 

Carl attended primary school at Saint Anthony’s in Fairfield, where he enjoyed school and was fortunate enough to finish high school at Parade College in East Melbourne where he completed year 12.

On weekends, there are fond memories of Carl and his famous ‘Cousin Kevin’, skipping church to ride their pushbikes down to the Yarra River for a dip and to indulge in a few fresh oysters.  Apparently, the Yarra used to be crystal clear. This love for seafood would be a lifelong one, with Carl always offering you a bloody oyster or mussel, and he never stopped, banging on about his delicious lobster mornay.

As a young boy, rumour has it that he barracked for the mighty Tigers, and then switched to support his beloved Pies. He went to the football in the early years with Vi and Chas, and then Latter with Cousin Kevin, Max Ryan, Oscar Bosscarchi, and Graham Blamey, but never Wilma. While Carl was in the members, Wil was in the ‘outer’ with her sisters and mother supporting her team, the Blues. She couldn’t stand to go to the footy with Carl, he was a very animated supporter.

His lifelong support of Collingwood, a tremendous passion, in which he was honoured, with a Life Membership from Collingwood, his name on the honour roll, and this year, it would’ve marked his 67 consecutive years membership, which the Club has told us was one of the longest, standing members in the history of the club. 

Not only did he watch footy, he played for the YCW where he won the best and fairest in the league and was recruited to Collingwood at the age of 16, but his father wouldn’t sign the papers letting him join the club. So, he just had to let that sliding door moment in his life go. 

Carl was an only child, and he took up playing the piano at 18, like his mum, and there are many fond memories of singalongs around the piano – all the good old numbers. He loved music. A couple of his favourites being played today.

Now to the best decision of his life, his choice of wife. Wilma Barrett.  Nanny recalls meeting Grandad at the Heidelberg Townhall. This was in the 1950s however and post war Melbourne was a rocking. Many a night spent dancing and laughing to the sounds of swing and rock. Nanny tells how you would ‘take a kit bag full of grog and dance the night away.’  These were simpler times in which Carl and Wil would discuss their social group and what they’re doing next weekend, and what dances they were attending, oh and, of course, who won the footy.

They were married in the winter of 1962 at Saint Anne’s in East Kew, just up the road from the famous Asquith Street, Kew, which would become their home with Wil’s dear mum, Rita, out the back in the granny flat, keeping watch over the newlyweds.

Now to the second best decision of his life, having his daughter, Sharon Eyres. Born in the summer of 1969. The best moment of both Wil and Carl‘s life. Carl would joke to Wil, that once the baby came, Wil would not have any time for him anymore, but when Sharon came into their lives, he was besotted. Daddy’s little girl became so dear to him, a huge source of pride, and Wil was the one that had to take the backseat, probably literally too. 

Carl and Will fortunate to travel the world after the birth of their daughter:

    • Notably Europe. Apparently, he saw the Loch Ness monster.
    • Most of Asia. The best rice ever in China.
    • Making fun of the guards at Buckingham Palace, and by the way he met the Queen, and I’m not joking!
    • Watching people shave and get ready for work as you landed between the buildings in Hong Kong.
    • Speaking pidgin French to the French in Paris, who had no idea what he was saying.
    • Creeping into the Botanical Gardens of Singapore, and sitting amongst the display as a Buddha, surprising many tourists and locals.
    • Also, seeing much of Australia, ‘Eyresy’ Rock. Fun times at surface, Paradise, Rottnest Island, Magnetic Island, the list goes on and on.

Their home in Asquith Street was a busy one with Sharon‘s friends, the Kilmaire girls, with special mentioned to Lisa, Jo and Caz and Latter, Melbourne Uni friends, Fleur and Irena, always welcome and the site of many famous parties, including, but not limited to:

    • Sharon and Lisa Boemo’s black and white themed 18th. I’m not sure how Boe got away with that theme mum? Probably Grandad‘s idea. Carl famously dressed up at the party in a gorilla suit and swung over the back fence and scared everyone with his life-like impression. What most people don’t know, is that he ended up with hives all over his body from the suit with an allergic rash, just adding to the chaos of the party.
    • Sharon ‘s flower power 21st. Why did the garden hose always get cut every time Stephen‘s friends came to our parties, Sharon ? And who sat in the cake? And did Michael Dyer actually finish all that punch at six in the morning? 
    • The before and after party of many balls and formals – bodies draped all over the house. Is that where all my red wine went? 
      Stephen and Sharon’s engagement party.
    • Rita surprise 80th birthday party, the list goes on. Carl and Wil always happy to have all the kids come and stay and party in a safe environment in their home. 

In 1995, Carl and Wil welcomed Stephen Peterson into their family with his parents, Joy and Malcolm, when he married Sharon. There are countless funny memories of how Carl tried to sabotage their relationship from the beginning. Stephen And Carl’s love/hate relationship lasting until the end with endless footy battles, one ups, jibes, and stirring.  Table tennis, pool comps, the boys had a great rivalry. Carl enjoyed a special visit with Stephen this Christmas, sharing a laugh as always.

Karl and Wil followed Sharon and Stephen up to Merimbula in 1999. They became grandparents in 2000 with the birth of their first grandchild, Ruby Violet Peterson, another memory that will be cherished forever – and then Harry David Peterson soon after in 2002. Carl was tasked with looking after Ruby while Sharon, Stephen and Wil went to the hospital to have Harry. Not sure who was looking after who? Once Harry was born,  Carl brought Ruby in, dressed in a green skivvy and green matching daggy tracksuit pants, an outfit clearly not picked by Ruby.

In retirement, Karl enjoyed his wonderful home at Hakea Place, Tura Beach on the golf course with a view of the 17th hole and the best lemonade tree in the world; just ask Chiffer.

Lifelong friends, Max and Joan Ryan ran Mermaid Holiday Flats, and so their special friendship continued with golf and bowls and dinners, and many funny stories along the way. Running the flats was like Fawlty Towers, Nanny would say. 

Carl enjoyed gardening and helping on the property at Bournda with painting and clean-ups of the bush and many bonfires and more famous parties – 30th, 40th, weddings and a wonderful Christmas’s spent with family and friends. Notably, special neighbours, the High’s and friends, the Tweedie’s, even if Rob didn’t give Carl very good tips on the races, apart from, ‘don’t bet’. 

Not only did Carl play footy, he dabbled in many sports – golf, bowls, table-tennis, representing Victoria in squash and, of course, representing himself in the annual Kelly Pool battle on Christmas Day with Chiffer and Andrew High and all the High’s.

Carl’s love of sport was inherited by his granddaughter, Ruby, who was a champion at almost any sport she tried. He was the proud Grandad watching her at countless matches and races all over NSW. Complaining if she didn’t get enough court time. Grandad was very passionate about his granddaughter who challenged him in more ways than one 

Bali was a favourite place to holiday with dear friends – Colleen and Brian Michelle, Russell Severino. The Milton’s who fondly named him the ‘Whale’ for his ability to float in the pool, and of course the family. He loved holidays, but he hated flying, so he always wanted the window seat. One trip to Bali, he almost delayed the whole flight because he was arguing with Harry, aged four, for the window seat.  Travellers shouted, ‘Give the kid the window seat.’ Needless to say, Harry finally won that battle and proceeded to sleep the whole way to Bali to 70-year-old Grandad‘s disgust.

2010 saw the Collingwood vs Saint Kilda Grand Final draw, the last one, in which Harry was lucky enough to be involved as the Australian kicker of the year. Grandad sat with pride and the member stand at the MCG watching Harry kicker goal at the halftime break at feet. Even Karl did not achieve. 

Another trip to Melbourne was with their friends from Merimbula, the High’s and Asis and Karin (Angi‘s parents.) Visiting the famous Vlados Steakhouse in Richmond followed by King Tutankhamun’s exhibition – just ask the security guard that Alex spewed on. Grandad was as quick as ever with a joke to settle the situation. How do you get into a pyramid? ‘Toot and come in!’ Carl’s Egyptian friend Asis, Angi‘s dad, was also treated to the MCG, Carl style. Carl gave him a beer and a Four ‘n 20 pie, Collingwood hat and scarf and taught him the nuances of AFL. A wonderful long weekend and a special memory to hold.

The family moved further north in 2012 to this wonderful community on the north coast that we call EB, and it wasn’t long, that Carl and Wil followed to once again be all together. Carl enjoyed the pleasure of life here with walks on the beach, coffee with the boys at EB General Store, Mexican with the boys, David and Michael, and swims in the pool with an ice-cold Hahn Light.

But it wasn’t all retirement, some work had to be done. With the influx of the blueberry industry, Sharon and Stephen bought a picker house, which had to be cleaned once a week. Sharon, Wil And Carl would go over and clean the pickers house.  But, we don’t really think Carl did much cleaning, more like talking to all the international travellers / pickers / students that came and went to this multicultural home. His favourite job was collecting all the bottle tops, mostly Heineken that long-term tenants, Pacific and Ammiel dropped all over the house and garden. Carl would then dump all of them in Ammiel’s bed as a special surprise for him, which always got a very big laugh from the boys. There was some very funny pidgen English sessions, and stories of travelling the world.  Carl certainly made a big impression on all these international visitors and always left them with a smile.

Between 2017–2019, Carl was lucky enough to watch, from humble beginnings, the formation of Harry‘s band, ‘The Fingerz.’ He proudly told everyone that listened, and even those that didn’t, all about Harry and Banjo, and their band, sharing their love of music, even if he sat through their loud practices with tissues stuffed in his ears in the rumpus room adjacent to his bedroom.  Seeing them playing Merimbula, on stage for the Tathra Bushfire Relief with the Hoodoo Gurus, and many other artists was a huge highlight for Carl.

Carl’s pride of his family grew in Emerald Beach where he enjoyed seeing both Ruby and Harry complete their HSC, and then proudly watching Ruby graduate becoming a Registered Nurse through the Covid years, an achievement to be very proud of, and he was. He would tell everyone that he had his own private nurse at home, and he milked it for all it was worth with every bump, scratch and pain, loving the attention as always .

The last few years were very challenging for Carl with deteriorating health and suffering from a cruel disease – dementia – and, of course, this was also difficult for us to watch and endure. We want to acknowledge the many healthcare workers that have given Carl wonderful care over the years, and there were many. He loved a doctor’s waiting room, always entering them in silence, and leaving them with everyone laughing and chatting. A gift to make people laugh, anytime and anywhere. 

Special acknowledgement to the staff at The Grange in Coffs Harbour that cared for Carl in the last 8 months with such dignity, kindness and compassion. This made his final journey a more bearable one.

So, we gather here today,  at one of his favourite beaches, Serenity to say goodbye.

In one of his favourite spots, ‘Robinson Crusoe’, as he named it, where Carl and Wil would come to swim, and enjoy their very own deserted island.

And so, Karl, Grandad, it is fitting that this will be your final resting place, surrounded by the ocean, the waves, the beach, one with nature, and no doubt with a few magpies. 

Tribute from Wilma to Sharon 

I would like to take this opportunity, to say a few words about my daughter Sharon. From the moment she was born, we quickly knew Carl had met his match. He was so excited, when he came to pick us up from the hospital he forgot to take Sharon actually with us. I will always remember the look on the nurse’s face, she was gobsmacked! Over the years they had a strong bond, he loved her dearly and was extremely proud of Sharon and all her achievements. Sharon has always given so much of herself, forever looking out for us. She has always been there, notably over the last few years. For the 6 months prior to Carl’s passing, she took the brunt of the worry, so I wouldn’t have to get so upset. She has been My rock and without her I would be, truly lost.  I must have really done something right in this life, to deserve you, Sharon. Thank you, love Mum


Wil, throughout your life, you have found great comfort, daily, in the prayer of Hail Mary. I’d like to read it now.

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

May you continue to find comfort and refuge in the kindness and grace offered by this prayer.

Words of Remembrance

We come to the close of the ceremony. Before we scatter Carl’s ashes in the water, which was his request, let us offer the words of remembrance.

Carl was a man who loved his wife, Wil, his daughter, Sharon and his grandchildren, Ruby and Harry. He was proud of his family.

Carl will be remembered for having the gift of the gab: making people laugh, he was an entertainer, a charmer and a man who could speak to anyone, anywhere and at any time… and he could talk his way into getting most things he wanted. He was funny and had a big personality. He will be remembered for making people of all walks of life, young and old – laugh anytime and anywhere.

He will be remembered for his love of all things sport—his love of AFL Footy and his beloved, Collingwood Magpies, being at the Melbourne Olympics, seeing Donald Bradman make his only duck, being adept at AFL, golf, squash, snooker, bowls… the list goes on, he always played to win! And, you won’t forget… he had a lead role in a movie. His own life movie.

Carl always wanted to be seen and heard. It was clear, he loved his family, he was extremely proud of his daughter, Sharon and his Grandchildren Ruby and Harry and all their achievements. He loved his lifelong relationship with Wil his beloved wife.

He is now free from suffering.

May he rest in peace.

Closing Words

Before we close the ceremony, the family would like to thank you for your presence and care. Thank you also to those joining us via the livestream. Please feel free to write a message in the chat and the family will read your messages later. For those here, they’d like to invite you to join them for brunch at Bluebottles… it will be Carl’s shout.

We are coming to the close of this part of the ceremony.  An event, a celebration, a memorial for Carl would not be complete without a rendition of the Good Old Collingwood Forever….

We will play this song while you make your way to the water’s edge.  As Carl’s ashes are being scattered, you may want to offer a prayer or a blessing, a Hail Mary, or whatever words come to you in the moment. Please take your time.

But before we do that… let us listen to one of Carl’s favourite songs, What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

Once again, thank you for your presence here today. May peace be with you.

Closing Song: What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

Scattering the Ashes: Good Old Collingwood Forever

Recording of the ceremony at Serenity Beach.

EYRES Carl Rudolph

16.6.1931 – 13.2.2024
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