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Bruce as we would all like to see him again

To all Echidnas and loyal citizens

Date: 6th August 13
Visited Bruce with Kevin Smith this morning. Col Joye also visited. He is looking brighter but has lost weight from 59 to 54 kilos. Still having a painful experience with the stomach peg which has denied him continuous nutrition.
He is managing some liquids through the mouth which will help. Is worried about Elsie as she only has accommodation at Cardinal Freeman until 22 August and that is just weeks away. There is no way he could look after himself and her at the same time. His routine will see him at RPA for a few more days then he is going to home care after another few days at Balmain. Should be home before week ending 18th August. Paul Martell called on him Sunday last and was disgusted to think that he is being treated this way. If you intend to contact or visit Bruce make sure you check for his whereabouts. And his name is William Bruce Sacre! Kevin and I have purchased some medical items that he will need at home including a tree for his medication and monitor. For those of you who have worked with the rocker Jimmy Taylor (Warren Williams Squares, Johnny Devlins Devils and Billy Thorpes Aztecs)

After a kidney stone op he has had a heart attack only last Sunday. It wasn't a big one but it was a scare. Went to Frank McQuades partners funeral on Monday. There was standing room only at Knox College chapel. Frank sang a beautiful version of 'I'll be Seeing You" which was a great effort on his behalf.
Alan Dale
16th Aug 13
Have just come home from visiting Bruce. Also visiting was Bill Cate (Bill and Boyd) and his wife Gail who are neighbours of Geoff Mack and Tabbi Francis.
in a bright mood (with the help of morphine) and we discussed his future. First of all he was happy to relate that Elsie (his wife) looks like getting permanent housing at the Cardinal Freeman Village care facility after August 28. Then he should be able to join her when fit enough in their own accommodation together. This deal has been struck through negotiations with authorities and Peter Hardgrove. This is the best alternative as he would never be able to look after himself and Elsie. We're getting somewhere at last!
Alan Dale
PS There was a nice card beside his bed from Geoff and Tabbi with plenty of nice things to say all over the card. He liked that!
23rd Aug 13
Peter Hardgrove rang - cannot drive because of his eye op and John is away.
So Bruce is definitely leaving hospital at 10 am for home. Peter has arranged cleaning but needs Bill Scott to deliver tree and bottles for use. Also needs someone to pick up Ipod and belongings from Balmain that Bruce has packed ready for taking home. Maybe Bill can fix all this in one delivery. I have left a message at Bill's home number. If he can't help I'll gladly do the deed.
The speech therapist has given Bruce a small keyboard to use with a call centre that interprets his typewritten words. She has spent some hours with him and is hoping that he can latch on to the technology. Once he has overcome this skill he can then move on to the Rodney Marks Ipod and conduct face to face conversations. Let's hope so. We will have to set up some roster system so that Bruce is not left to his own devices on a Saturday and Sunday. His home care is only for 2 hours Monday to Friday and you all know how frail he is. I have had many offers from the good people in our industry and ALVA have made overtures to be on call for any help. This will be a day to day operation and I will keep you informed. This email is sent on to those who have been paramount in caring for Bruce. In particular Paul Martell, Rex Allison, Bobby Bradford, Kevin Smith, Bill Scott, Doug McLaughlin, Hal Wayne, Col Joye, Bill Cate and Noel Clarke.
Alan Dale
26th Aug 13 - Update
All hail! The King is in his castle!
Bruce is now back home at Unit 2, 4 Cobden Street, Belmore.
He was to be ambulanced at 10 am this morning from Balmain but as is the norm with our hospital system, he was still sitting on his pat malone at 1 pm waiting for the move. When it comes to patient efficiency the authorities couldn't grow a choko vine over a shithouse! As luck would have it Ross Hutchison volunteered to transport Bruce to his unit. Waiting were Peter and John Hardgrove wondering where the ambulance had got lost. A very big thank you to Bill Scott whom I contacted to ask him to drive to Bruce's address to deliver his much needed medical equipment. Bill had picked up Bruce's belongings over the weekend and was caring for the medical gear that had been purchased by Kevin Smith. Bill has just reported to me at 3 pm that Bruce is so pleased to be home and will have the home care Sisters of Mary McKillop in to care for him tomorrow morning. Bill said that Bruce's neighbor was also keen to assist which is great news.
Bill's wife has laundered Bruce's clothing and has to be thanked. It has been a long road (4 months) but thanks to the input of those who know who they are we have finally achieved a happy
ending to a difficult process of care.
Two of my rock'n'roll mates are doing it tough at the moment. Booka Hyland is at his daughters still waiting the results of his lung procedure and Kevin
Todd is facing an operation for the removal of a cancerous kidney.
See you at the Gut Concert Friday night
Alan Dale
28th Aug 13
I called in on Bruce at home this afternoon. He has a relative lodging there at the moment, all the way from Forster-Tuncurry, the husband of a niece, (I think). A good knock about guy.

I was surprised to see Bruce looking so well. He was interested in all things and seems settled for the time being. Of course there are lots of things to happen but he appears to be able to take it all. He is still a bit reticent regarding the technical items regarding conversation, but he might get it all. Still has coughing problem.

We must all join it to congratulate Alan Dale who has been worn thin running about and doing thinks.

Doug McLauchlan.

9th Sept 13
I visited Bruce today. There were a variety of support people there at the time. It would appear that Monday and Wednesday are going to be busy days for the 3 months that he has the care regime. Even the mornings of other week days will be quite busy. As none of these services are available on a Sunday he would probably welcome visitors on these days. Elsie still believes she is going home at some time in the future. It is probably best if you are able to pick up Bruce and take him to visit Elsie rather than the other way around.

Whilst I was there concern was raised via several phone calls regarding his health as he had not been able to swallow any liquids today. Apparently he was OK when the nurse came earlier in the day. He did not want to be taken to the doctor or indeed did not believe he would go to the doctors tomorrow. It would appear that he still varies greatly throughout the day and may get fatigued by the afternoon.

He hopes that he will be well enough to go to visit Elsie on Wednesday.

Bruce can now communicate: My visit today was timed with the installation of a machine that assists Bruce to communicate on the phone.

To call Bruce please phone 133677 and then enter Bruce’s full number 02 97871222. You will then be prompted to speak etc. Bruce will answer via a machine theta he types into. His response will be slow but will get faster with practice.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on.
John Hardgrove
18th Sept 13
Hi all, called in to see Bruce today.
He was feeling low as he had seen his specialist yesterday.
His throat has swollen and there is a fear the cancer may have returned. He will have a CT scan this Friday and we will know more when the results are known.
Bruce is himself doubting his choice to have the operation in the first place so he does need some support from his friends.
John is overseas as is Simon and I will be having an eye operation this afternoon that will put me out for a couple of days.......

Good Wishes
Pete Hardgrove
23rd Sept 13
Peter Hardgrove has just informed me that Bruce's specialist has discovered a growth in his neck which will require urgent treatment.
Arrangements are being made for Bruce to have some sort of operation probably at RPA. No time or date has been made as yet.
As Peter is indisposed he has asked me to organise for Bruce to be taken to hospital when the time is decided. I am asking for volunteers to attend to this scenario when needed. I myself am still on medication for a bad dose of a flu virus and would not want to be in contact with Bruce (or anyone for that matter).

Peter will ring me the minute he has details and I will pass on the information to those who can help.
Email or phone a yes or no please.
Alan Dale
24th Sept 13
Hi Paul,
Thanks for your email. Message from Bruce's doctor wanted him in to RPA this afternoon by 3 pm. What did you think of the swelling around his neck? That appears to be the problem for investigation.

Those that volunteered to take Bruce were Doug mcLaughlin, Bill Scott, Noel Clarke, Rodney Marks, Kevin Smith, Mary Bradford and Rex Allison. God bless them.

With little time to spare (notice of appointment given at 12.25) Kevin Smith elected himself.

So the situation is that Kevin will stay with Bruce and, we presume, bring him back home.
As soon as we know something I will email the names above who have been instrumental in caring for Bruce.
Alan Dale
Update since this morning. - 24th Sept 13
Bruce is in RPA Ward 7 East 1 Bed 35. Kevin Smith said he was very drawn and tired.

His lovely neighbour was very upset to see him go and Bruce beckoned her over to the car where they had a little moment together. As sad as that was, Bruce did have a glimmer of sunshine when the staff at RPA remembered him and made him welcome.
Keep you posted!
Alan Dale
2nd Oct 13.
Spent an hour at the King's temporary residence this morning. He did look well although a shave and haircut would be in order.

He tells me this is on order for next Tuesday 8th October when he will once again go home to his castle.
Had final x-rays this morning and his condition has been confirmed. He has an infection at the back of his neck above the spine. It is to be treated with a 3 month course of anti-biotics.

He still has a wheeze in his chest which makes him have spasmodic coughing spasms. This has been a problem all along. I am convinced that although he said he felt lousy, he has improved since I
last visited.

He was happy to spend time with me as we sat side by side on chairs in his private room. Walking around the ward as though he owned the place, he also surprised me by taking a popper and pouring the contents into a plastic cup, then proceeding to actually drink the whole contents. A schooner of Tooheys is now a reality and he agreed!

I feel that he has a positive outlook at the moment although he does miss Elsie.

Keep in touch
Alan Dale
11th Oct 13.
Bruce pressed his vital buzzer today and was immediately attended to by paramedics. His stomach peg had come out again and he was in all kinds of trouble.
Is now back in RPA where they will attempt to fix the problem tomorrow. He may need to be picked up and taken home if they consider he will be OK to travel.
I have volunteered to do the deed if it is Friday. Will not know until I get a call from Peter Hardgrove.

Alan Dale
13th Oct 13.
Hi all,
After picking Bruce up and settling him back into his unit on Friday, he pressed his "vital" button again late last night. Once again the stomach tube had come loose and the paramedics came and returned him to RPA where he stayed overnight.
He had to be picked up early today and taken back to the unit. This is an ongoing problem and can happen anytime. He also has to deal with a permanent (for 3 months anyway) intravenous drip in his left arm and carries a bag with the anti-biotic bottle.
I will be unavailable tomorrow (Monday) as I will be attending Peter Baker's funeral at Sacred Heart Pymble at 9.30 a.m. See you at Echidnas in the evening.

Alan Dale
Update 13th Oct 13.
After talking to Alan I rang Peter Hardgrove and spoke to brother John. They were just home from golf.
I then tried to contact Bruce via the teletype systme and rang his unit. A nurse happened to be there and she relayed some two way chat. Bruce is feeling OK and, all being well, he would love to get along tomorrow night.
I will call in early at his place and should he be ok and dressed, we will see you at the meeting.

DOUG McLaughlin
15th October 13.

Bruce as we saw him last night
It was great to have the King at our meeting last night (Mon 14/10/13) the only thing missing from old times was the voice and the general fun-time abuse members got.

Keep on keeping on King we miss your company at out gatherings.

Noel Clarke
Update 15th Oct 13.
Bruce has been taken to RPA today at 1 p.m. by Kevin Smith. He needs attention to his stomach peg but the staff are worried about the area being very red as if it is infected. They have decided to re-admit him for observation.

Let's hope this does not cause further complications. He already is wearing a drip for his neck infection.

Thanks to Kevin for his time in caring for Bruce today.

Alan Dale
Further Update 15th Oct 13.
Having just left RPA they have admitted the king to try and fix the peg in his stomach as it is leaking and keeping the area wet which stops it from healing I don't know which ward he is in I will ring the hospital tomorrow, I am busy tomorrow after 12 so he may need a lift home if he is discharged otherwise I am free the rest of the week

23th Oct 13.
Latest update on Bruce. Kevin took him to RPA as planned on Wednesday 16th October. He needed to be taken to his unit following Thursday.

Nobody available to help so asked hospital could they keep him until Friday. Picked up by Kevin Smith and Bill Scott Friday morning and taken to his unit.

Bruce forgot to include his anti-biotic fluid when leaving which meant that Kevin had to go back to RPA to pick up.

Bruce got message to Kevin on Tuesday 22nd that he had run out of other medication. Kevin volunteered to go to RPA clinic and pick up.

When he arrived they asked "Where was Bruce?" Apparently he should have been at RPA for blood test. When Kevin asked for the medication he was told it was too late in the day as the pharmacy staff were going home.

Now Kevin has to go back this afternoon to pick up and he has enough to do with his son fighting fires and other personal complications.

Bruce has to be at RPA every Wednesday from now on for blood tests which means we need volunteers to do this. I work at Bankstown Wednesday and Thursday late afternoons so am out. John Hardgrove is arranging for Bruce to quit his unit and join Elsie at Cardinal Freeman on Wednesday 27th November.

If all goes to plan we will need a working bee to clear the unit. If you can help please confirm at next Echidnas on Monday 4th November.

I intend to visit Bruce at his unit on Friday morning providing there are no more complications.

Alan Dale.
24th Oct 13.
I picked up kings anti biotics, it's just as well the Dr told me where it would be as no one knew about it.

HE looks well and bright, he will soon know if he has to go back to RPA again on Friday.

I will take him if I'm not helping out with the bushfires, will let you know ASAP.He won't know till later today

The company he gets his drink from, which is his liquid food, delivered the wrong type and he only has enough to last till Friday. gee it amazes me how they stay in business.

Kevin Smith
28th Oct 13.
Who would have wanted to be in Kevin Smith's shoes this morning? First the RPA rings wanting to know where is Bruce? Apparently he was sent a letter from the hospital requesting his presence this morning at 10.30 am. A check of his neck problem was to be implemented. As we were not aware of the appointment a hurried call saw Kevin rush Bruce in to RPA. He was the only one available to do the trip.

Leaving Bruce at the foyer of RPA Kevin parked his car. On returning to the foyer - NO Bruce! Panic sets in. Could he be up on the 8th floor? No sign of the King. Kevin needs to take a piss and goes to a toilet. There is the King sitting on a throne painting the bowl, floor and walls a bright yellow.

Kevin retrieves what is left of his clothing in a black plastic bag to take home to wash. Now in a clean white gown, Kevin leaves the King in the hands of the medical staff to return to his car and finds he has a flat battery! Calls the NRMA!

Eventually back to his unit, Bruce has a visit from Bill Scott who presents him with some goodies including a new white board. Later in the afternoon a visit from Rodney Marks who has a 3 way conversation with Alan and the white board on the speaker phone.

Kevin will take Bruce to RPA again on Wednesday for his weekly blood test. Morgan Kent and Brett Thomas have rung to say they will annoy the King on Thursday morning.

Roland Hastings has offered to organise a weekly laundry service but Bruce is happy with Kevin taking care of that chore for the time being. Kevin has plenty of washing machines to run the laundry. Doug McLaughlin is busy with some personal matters re the King including a Centrelink visit in the near future.

Had some time today with Ray Seager who has a bowel problem and had 13 litres of fluid drained. Also has kidney problems. Ray is in the Sydney Adventist Hospital at Wahroonga on Level 9. A get well card would be welcome.

Alan Dale
30th Oct 13.
I called in to see Bruce yesterday, (Wednesday) and found him to be in reasonable mood but with some discomfort.
I ran it past him about the community transport contacts and we agreed that, as it was not possible to obtain a referal re his tests, and that he would be moving within a few weeks, I will not proceed with the community status.
Anyone visiting him Thursday or Friday might like to take along a fresh get well card so he can send it to Ray Seager in hospital. He has the address.
Re Bruce attending on Monday night, when I was there yesterday I said that I will call in Monday on the way to the meeting, and if he is up to it, he will come along.
Bye for now,

Doug McLaughlin
31st Oct 13.
Took king to his blood test and then haircut and shave looked really good he is looking forward to weekend I asked him about Echindas and he will see how he is on Monday the antibiotics where a bit late about 1/2 hour so he told them to make sure they where on time Next week he is still a funny bugger with all he has gone through

Kevin Smith

Members of the board of Wests Leagues Club who have sent messages of support. Wests has been a big part of Bruce's life over many years.

John Hardgrove

Mike Bailey Chairman

Russell Smith

Dennis Burgess

14th Nov 13.
Bruce confided to me yesterday that he is not well. Feels very weak. The cancer remains and is near his thyroid.

I spoke with the Cardinal Freeman yesterday and Bruce can have the NRS phone installed in his room. I will arrange this. His room number is 111. The room is quite near Elsie’s.

I have given official notice to the real estate agent and Bruce is to be out on/before Saturday 30 November. The place will need to be thoroughly cleaned and a request for reimbursement of lease form lodged. I gave this to Bruce yesterday.

I need to notify the nursing home when furniture is to be moved. As the rooms are small Bruce will only be permitted a small amount of furniture. I have discussed this with Norm and Bruce and will arrange to move this on Tuesday 26th.

Postage will need redirection; services cut off, Vitalcall returned; and his other services notified that the will no longer be required. There will also need to be a significant amount of address changes made for important mail for Elsie’s sister and other regular mail. I am hopeful that the family can do all of this.

The Salvos (or other) and Council will all need to be called to make collections. Some of the sorting and cleaning out WILL NEED TO BE DONE BEFORE 27th.

John Hardgrove

14th Nov 13.
Visited the King at his castle this morning. Also in attendance was his niece's husband Norm Graetsch. We spoke of the move to Cardinal Freeman Village on 27th November.

I have asked Bruce to list the furniture and other household items that he would like to take to his new address. It is intended to ask the Salvation Army if they can assist by taking all other items. This may not be possible as they have a strict rule of not picking up. More on that as we get close to the date.

I am asking for volunteers who can manually help in the removal days of Thursday 28th and Friday 29th November.

Bruce was at his cheery best although he admitted it was a facade. He is looking forward to his son arriving this evening [Thursday] around 5 pm. He will return to Perth on Saturday.

Bruce has a concern for Hal Wayne and is upset that he cannot connect with him. Hal is still in hospital after breaking his hip.

I asked the King how he survived the visit last Thursday from Morgan Kent and Brett Thomas. He said that he told them to xxxx off 4 times.
Kevin has done the Wednesday run again yesterday to the RPA for Bruce to have his blood test and pick up his anti-biotic supply. The good news is that are to take off the intraveneous drip and give him an oral anti-biotic.

Getting back to the move on 27th, Norm and I queried the availability of telephone connection at Cardinal Freeman. We are of the opinion that all calls go through a switchboard. If this is so it will mean that Bruce and Elsie will have no direct outside contact. The fax machine that Bruce uses at the moment has to go back to Western Suburbs Leagues Club although Bruce is endeavoring to change that. Over to Peter and John Hardgrove to investigate phone situation.

The King sent a get well card to Ray Seager. Our thoughts are with musician John Charter whose wife Marie has suffered a stroke and is in Liverpool Hospital.

Noel Clarke has the King's full medical history on the Echidnas website at

Marty Morton has contacted me as to being available any Thursday or Friday with matters concerning the King.
Keep in touch
Alan Dale

Bruce during much better times.

18th Nov 13.
Hi All
I have copied Bruce’s son Tony and niece's husband Norm into this email, as well as brother Pete. I have also copied the Board and Debenture holders from Wests Ashfield

Tony came across from Western Australia and spent a few days with Bruce at the end of last week. Bruce was apparently too tired to sort out personal material.

Norm will be coming to Sydney on Sunday or Monday to continue to assist Bruce. He has left a few boxes with Bruce.

If anyone is visiting in the next week perhaps you could take a box or two with you and assist by filling them with cutlery, crockery or books (and perhaps some clothing) to take to a favourite charity.

I will arrange to transport to Cardinal Freeman Lodge a lounge chair, chest of drawers and TV next Monday or Tuesday. A new bed is being delivered tomorrow. Bruce will be in room 111.

Bruce will move on Wednesday 27 November. Norm has arranged for Vinnies to call to pick up furniture on Thursday 28th. I think he has also arranged a Council pick up for any furniture/bedding that Vinnie’s do not take.

The place needs to be vacated and cleaned by Saturday 30th.

Thanks to everyone that has assisted Bruce to this stage. There is still much to be done next week. Hopefully he remains well, or at least reasonably so, whilst the move is taking place.

John Hardgrove
20th Nov 13.
Hi everyone
I’ve been following these emails with great interest. My conflict revolves around caring for my father, who has Parkinson’s, my mother who is struggling with my father, and my mother-in-law with motor neuron disease.

I’ve been to see Bruce about a dozen times in his different hospitals and at his home. And I’ll go and see him at his new home soon. But these weeks and months are very intense medically with the over-80s in my family. Please tell Bruce that I think of him often and will see him very soon.
Rodney Marks
20th Nov 13.
Having just left RPA they have admitted the King to try and fix the peg in his stomack as it is leaking and keeping the area wet which is stopping it from healing.

I don't know which ward he is in I will ring the hospital tomorrow I am busy after 12 so he may need to be picked up and given a lift home if he is discharged otherwise I am free the rest of the week.
Kevin Smith
21st Nov 13.
Hi Alan Just had a phone call from the Dr at RPA re Bruce's blood count it is very high in the white cells should be between 4 & 10 but is at 17.

RPA asked me to keep a constant look aqt him as he may have an infection so I'm asking people when they visit to see if there is any dereration to call me on 0414 340 867 as he has to be taken back to RAP ASAP due to dehydration I'm out today till about 2.30pm but will be seeing King tomorrow re Centrelink and working with Ross Hutcho Saturday thanks to anyone who can see King.

Kevin Smith
22nd Nov 13.
If possible could you organise one person to help me late Wednesday afternoon to get the mattress and bed out to the nature strip ready for the Council pickup on Thursday morning if you need to talk to me ring me after 5pm on 02 6555 4561

thanks Norm Graetsch.
22nd Nov 13.
Hi Norm,
Good as done! Will get back to you on the bed job. Visited Bruce this morning. He was attended to by the medic who dressed his stomach peg and did a real good job of it. He was in a good mood and had good colour.

Alan Dale
Echidna's King Bruce Sacre

25th Nov 13.
Hi Peter,
Kevin Smith called on Bruce this morning to take him to RPA on doctor's orders. Bruce was in bed and would not get up for Kevin under any circumstance. That means his visit to Centrelink had to be aborted.

Last Thursday when Bill Scott and I visited he would not let us take any books, cutlery, crockery or other household items as John had asked us to do. He seems defiant to the point that when I told him the doctor wanted to change his orange juice to apple, he waved his arms in a defiant way. He has dug in his toes on any changes.

Alan Dale
25th Nov 13.
Just rang Bruce and he said he is ok I'm working tomorrow but will see him WEDNESDAY afternoon he may have been very tired I asked him to call me if he needed help but with his family, Peter and John close by I think he may feel better.

At 5.57pm
Just spoke to Sue and Norm they are of the same opinion as I that Bruce is sicker than he likes us to believe Norn is going to be with him all day Tuesday. They are nice caring people they have cleaned all the kitchen and books it is so hard to know what to keep and let go.

Kevin Smith
27th Nov 13.
Tried to pick up the king's bed but he won't get out of it Norm is not happy because it is holding everything up.

My uncle passed away early this morning, I don't think Bruce is really up to the move being sick is getting him down the pick up is about 8 in the morning so it may help him.

Kevin Smith
28th Nov 13. Hi All
Sorry to have to let you know but Bruce did not make his date with Cardinal Freeman Village yesterday.
He has been particularly stubborn in the last week and has refused to make visits to the doctor, see the nurse etc.
He has become progressively worse and yesterday redeveloped some of the ongoing symptoms that he has had for the last 6 months – particularly gastric. He refused to be taken to Cardinal Freeman as planned. His admission was rearranged for today.

He was very unwell today and was taken from home to RPA Hospital.
As of about 3.00pm today he was in ICU suffering from dehydration, renal failure and almost certain permanent kidney damage. The doctor indicated to me that without treatment he would have not lasted more than a few days. The doctor indicated that he is so unwell at present that she does not believe he has sufficient capacity to make informed choices about his own care. She is hopeful that he will recover this ability with further hydration.
Hopefully he will recover and enter Cardinal Freeman Village at a future time. I spoke with Elsie whilst taking some possessions there today and she is excited at the prospect.

John Hardgrove
29th Nov 13.
Dear John
It is wonderful that you saved Bruce from himself and admitted him to hospital. You and the inner circle are doing a lifetime's worth of good deeds. Bravo.
All the best
Rodney Marks
29th Nov 13.
Hi John,
That's so sad. Thanks for doing so much to asssist and keeping us informed. I saw Paul Dillon on Wed and his condition improving.
R.J. Smith
29th Nov 13.
Hi all,
Have just arrived home from Bruce's unit where both Kevin Smith and I have been helping Bruce's niece Sue and husband Norm try to finish the massive job of moving furniture, clothing, household goods and memorabilia over the past two days.
We had the drama of getting the King to hospital yesterday and that outcome is reported in John Hardgrove's email.
The plea for help from Echidnas on 27 and 28 November apparently went unnoticed except for the usual few loyal members who had their own problems and work to take care of. Out of our 60 members it was a call from Merv Dick that broke the silence.
It is hoped that the King can be found fit enough to move into Cardinal Freeman next Wednesday. It is his kidneys now that are the worry.

Alan Dale
Note: Alan no doubt hasn't hear that a few Echidnas made contact ie; Rodney Marks, John Clegg. A special mention of Paul Martell who made the very kind offer of $250 to pay for professional clean up,
Noel Clarke
30th Nov 13.
Hi Alan
I just left RPA the king has improved immensely he is in green ICU level three the nurse told me he has made a dramatic improvement so all the prayers have been answered if you could please forward on this GREAT news

Kevin Smith
4th Dec 13.
Hi Kevin.
The news is indeed great. You must have healing powers. Keep up the terrific work. See you Monday,

DOUG McLaughlin
10th Dec 13.
Hi Noel
I haven't been able to visit king been doing lots of other things but I have been in constant touch with RPA and his home hospital DR who is the most caring lady, I have numerous phone calls from her regrading king he has improved so much since been put back in RPA that he is walking around ward he was that ill when he was forced to go back DR crozier didn't think he could recover but he is one tough little bugger if people want to visit please call RPA first as he may go home to ashfield, not sure as he had test yesterday and they will get results back then see if any further progress.

I will try and see him today with Bill Scott and Ruth. I'll give a update on the king after that.

thanks Kevin Smith
10th Dec 13.
Hi Rodney,
Medical staff at RPA asked that we give Bruce a miss for a day or two as he is having some tests to determine his situation.
Bill Scott and his wife were going to visit yesterday and Kevin today. I intend to make it on Thursday.
Doctor told Kevin yesterday that had we not been with Bruce last Thursday week and not called ambulance he would not have survived the next couple of hours. Lucky we were there! his tests could wear him out mentally and physically so hence the pause in visits.

Alan Dale
11th Dec 13.
Hi All
Bruce has recovered sufficiently that he will make his long awaited entry to Cardinal Freeman Lodge this afternoon.
His room is ready, thank you in large part to Norm and Susan. I will deliver some of his valuables to him this afternoon. He will need to contact Centrelink regarding his and Elsie’s pensions. I don’t believe he has yet done this.
His phone number through the National Relay Service is 133677 and then 97983857. The phone is in his room so it is quite likely that he will not be there much of the time. His room number is 111 and Elsie’s is 118 which is only a few doors down the corridor
I have a request in with his surgeon, Dr. Elliott, to attempt to get an update on Bruce’s prognosis. If I receive any information I will pass this on to Bruce and the immediate family.
The doctor I spoke with yesterday indicated that Bruce is now infection free. There are some ongoing issues regarding the impact of his food on other aspects of his well-being however this is not likely to change.

John Hardgrove

11th Dec 13.
Hi Noël
I can confirm the king has taken occupancy of his new castle at Ashfield.

Kevin Smith
Somebody said "he is a tough little bugger" well surely this proves it.
Great News
Noel Clarke
13th Dec 13.
Hi all.
Rodney Marks came up with a worthy suggestion for you all to consider.
As Bruce is now at the Cardinal Freeman Lodge at Ashfield (Room 111) why not make an Echidnas visit on Monday 6th January. There is no meeting until February so let's try to cheer Bruce with our presence.
A morning time would be suitable as the afternoon is set aside for rest. I am running this by all Echidnas through our website instead of our usual mailout which will be sent early January asking for nominations for our annual general meeting on Monday 3rd February 2014.
Please answer with your thoughts on Rodney's
plan of action.

Alan Dale

So far agreement from; Rodney Marks, Alan Dale, Doug McLauchlin, Bill Scott, Kevin Smith, Frank McQuade, Graham Cotter, Simon Bartlett, Harry Griffith, John Charte, Bobby & Mary Bradford & Noel Clarke
17th Dec 13.
Hello Rodney and Noel,
Alan will arrange meeting room and times etc possibly on Thursday. Maybe an hour will be more than Bruce could take but that should be more apparent just prior to the day.

I dropped in to visit Bruce at midday today and he was virtually out to it, but after a few minutes he rallied. Kevin came in five minutes later bringing some washing . After a while he was sitting up and participating in some banter and general good hearted rambling.

When I arrived I entered through the common room and Elsie spotted me and came over. She said to those around her "he has come to visit Bruce". She was all smiles. That is very positive. She had her full faculties there. After lunch she joined us in Bruce's room and rummaged around and showed us a few photos.

Bruce lay down suddenly and we decided that he had had enough for a while. He was pleased to receive visitors, so don't be shy if you wish to call in. But play it by ear.

Kevin is going north for a week and Alan said that he would try to get there on Thursday.

Bye for now,

Doug McLaughlin.
19th Dec 13.
Hi all echidnas,
It is amazing what medical science and a grit determination can do. I spent a whole hour with the King this morning. He only used the whiteboard once in that time. We had a good laugh over some memorable moments in our show biz careers.
I had a dialogue with the head lady at the Cardinal Freeman over Rodney's suggestion for a get together on Monday 6th January 2014. There was an overwhelming welcome for us to use the common room and as I asked could we have access to the piano, the reply was in the affirmative. They will make sure the piano tuner visits and has it ready. John Charter has volunteered his services for any music that may be required.
I am aware that there will be other residents in the area at the same time so I said that they would be welcome to join the party. This was very well accepted. So I suggest that we make it a one hour gig starting at 10 or 10.30. Bruce was delighted to think we were arranging the whole affair and it was his suggestion that we keep it to the hour only. Would you all please note that it is Bruce and Elsie's 60th wedding anniversary upcoming on Thursday 2nd January. They were married at St. Andrews Anglican Church at Summer Hill. It was the only Saturday that the King didn't have a gig. Maybe a card? The postal address is Room 111, Gate 11, 4 Clissold Street, Ashfield 2245.
Spoke to Harry Griffith who is suffering a little vertigo with his illness but indicated that he intends to join us on 6th January as his wife can drive. Wouldn't that be great?
More information on the starters for this event will be posted on our website. Let's hope our members get used to keeping in the loop by accessing our exclusive domain which was created by Noel Clarke who gave a lot of his own time in its creation.

Alan Dale
20th Dec 13
Hi all,
As I was leaving the Cardinal Freeman after my visit to Bruce I happened into a resident who recognised me as an entertainer from the club industry. I proceeded to relate to him how I came to be at the facility and he was anxious to know about Bruce's situation. He could remember being an audience at many of his performances especially smokos. When I mentioned that we were planning a sort of mini-concert for Bruce in the common room he said "For Christ's sake don't let him near the piano! We've only recently purchased it and we don't want him taking it to pieces!"

Alan Dale
20th Dec 13
Good one Al.
Methinks that Bruce should complete a few gym sessions for some time before attacking any pianos. Bobby Dennis could declare a dueling pianos event see who can take the Warsaw Concerto right through.
I look forward to the event.

Doug McLaughlin
20th Dec 13
Dear Alan, We went to see Bruce and Elsie this afternoon, it is so sad to see them end up Like this. Dear, sweet Elsie, what a beautiful lady. At least they are both Together, and Bruce has professional care.
Bruce indicated to me his toenails need cutting, and he also needs a haircut. Do any of the guys know anyone in the area who could do this, we Are quite happy To pay for it.
We took cards in, ours seemed the only one he had. Bruce also indicated he Wants his boxes unpacked. I can do this, but I didn't mention it to him as don't Like to interfere when you have been doing all the organising which is Wonderful, he is so lucky to have you at the helm Alan. Rex And I would like to wish you and your wonderful family best wishes for
The festive season and 2014.

Wendy and Rex Allison
P.s. we loved the piano story, had a good laugh at that. Sent from my iPad
24th Dec 13
Hi Alan
In response to Rex & Wendy's email re Bruce hair & nails, I feel sure the nursing home would have contacts with those services as a podartrist we go to does calls to nursing homes. My brother had a barber visit him before he passed away so if nothing has happened I will try and organise same when I get back, maybe the Hargrove boys may know a local person or persons.

Kevin Smith
28th Dec 13
Hi Paul,
Thank you for visiting the King for Xmas.
It is a lonely time for people like Bruce. Elsie would have loved the floral gift.
Yes I did get an email from you indicating that you would visit before New Year. I will put this out on our website for all to read.
Once again a reminder about January 2 (60th wedding anniversary).
The King was very chatty (on the whiteboard) about that particular date. It means so much to him and I do believe that it was a strong will to make sure he was here to celebrate the occasion.

Alan Dale
29th Dec 13
Hi Alan
We visitied the King and Elsie today, he was bright and cheerful as was Elsie what a darling, we had a lovely time with them.
Bruce told me he knew Hal Wayne had passed away and he shed some tears.

They both seem very comfortable in their new abode I asked him about his needs re hair, shave and nails he said he had it organised, I offered to go over on Tuesday to get these things done he said all was under control I told them Rae and I will see them Thursday 2/1/14 for their 60th Wedding anniversary Elsie said Oh is it that long.

King is looking forward to the 6th he would like to see his mates.

Kevin Smith
1st Jan 14
Subject: Bruce & Elsie's Cake Hi Alan, Ruth and I went to see Bruce today and presented him and Elsie with a Diamond Wedding Cake to mark their 60th anniversary. Ruth made this cake and the King was absolutely delighted with it. Elsie was thrilled as well but had difficulty remembering what it was for and why we were there. The King's antics over all this was priceless. He was looking all the better for being in there.
we told the staff what this cake was all about and left instructions with them to share it with everyone tomorrow. We also left a large box of biscuits for everyone to share. Big party tomorrow.
All the best,
Bill Scott
1st Jan 14
I’ve put a small card together for next Monday (6th) for Bruce and Elsie.
A bit rough around the edges (done in a hurry) but the main thing is they get the message.
From all at Sidesplitters we send our love and good wishes and trust you will all have an enjoyable day.

Photo Thanks to Ian Franklin. (Ian I couldn't fit it all in) OH, I almost forgot……….if Bruce happens to play the Piano, tell him “not TOO clever !!”...........
I followed him one morning at the old Balmain RSL Hall (Tommy Hanon) zonks ago and
when he started to pull the piano apart, I thought “how the hell am I gonna follow that !!??”
Enjoy your day. Ian Franklin

1st Jan 14
G'day all!
I just now returned from a visit to Bruce and Elsie.
Bruce was excited by the visit by Bill and Ruth whose cake went over a treat. Much excitement.
It was about 4.50 when I called in. I spotted Elsie in the common room and we had a small chat but she was vague. Must be the time of day. She said she would come with me to Bruce but took three wrong turns. Luckily I knew the way. She told me she lived there somewhere but walked past her room without recognising it. I was there a few days ago and she was right on the money.
Bruce and I had a chat and he had two glasses of orange juice. He lay down and the eyes shut almost immediately. Twenty minutes is a long time for him beyond sundown.

Doug McLaughlin
2nd Jan 14
Hi just visited the King and Elsie for their 60th anniversary, Elsie thanked us for the flowers and for being there with them she is such a treasure.
Bruce is not having having one of his better days he said he didn't feel too good and I'm concerned about congestion and pointed it out to the head nurse, also they are hoping shave him today and a barber tomorrow as not much in that department open.
I'm not around Saturday going to Wingham.

Talk later Kevin Smith

2nd Jan 14
Hi Kevin,
Thanks for the update. Rex and Wendy took flowers and goodies also for the 60th. Rae's cake was sensational. Hope the King is up to our visit next Monday. Have relations from Port Macquarie staying with us until Monday so am busy.
Happy New Year to you both.

Alan Dale
5th Jan 14
Hi Alan
visited King & Elsie today it was so heartening to see him looking so good he's had a shave and looking forward with great excitement to Monday I think it has inspired him. I left feeling it was the best he has been for a long time.
See you about 10am toworrow

Kevin Smith
5th Jan 14
Hi Alan
We are about to sail. So glad Bruce sounds good. Desperately tried to get over, But just ran out of time. He knows we are going away, but would you pass on Our love to Bruce and Elsie. We return on 19th. Rex is so disappointed he Can't be there on the 6th.

Wendy and Rex Allison
5th Jan 14
Hi Echidnas,
All is set for the King's visit tomorrow with a 10 am arrival for 10.30. I will bring my sound and we have two pianists in Bill Scott and John Charter so if there is a song to be sung it will well played.
Former King Harry Griffith called this morning and with all going well he will also attend. It depends on his health on the day.
There will be other residents in the common room but it is big enough to accommodate a gathering. We'll just play it by ear. The management is keen to oblige which will help. Rodney's idea so let's make him MC! Enter from Victoria Street and don't get confused with the private hospital which is closer to Wests Leagues.
Just don't let Bruce get near that piano!

Alan Dale
6th Jan 14
Well, what a day it was, we all had a great time entertaining the guests along with our beloved King and glorious wife Elsie at Cardinal Freeman Lodge arriving around 10am the show got under way around 10,20am with Rodney Marks as our emcee.
Our little show started with Rodney telling the guests who the Echidnas were and what we did then he started with a few jokes that some how seemed faulter a little but being the true professional he just kept on crashing.
Rodney then introduced Harry Griffith to do his thing which brought great laughted.... to the gathered Echidnes but seemed to miss the mark with most of the guests until he gathered them in and finished with applause. I might add also that Rodney gained most of his laughter from we Echidnas as well, but it must be
Thanks to Alan Dale, taken at the Kings 80th
said he did a wonderful job on the microphone.
We were there of course to cheer up our King who was in great spirits even doing a round or two with Elsie on the dance floor. Who would have believed this a couple of weeks back? A small man with giant size heart.

See special page of photos   HERE >>>

Noel Clarke
7th Jan 14.
Hi all,
To see the smile on the King's face made it all worthwhile. The Echidnas faithful made it to the Cardinal Freeman Village yesterday to celebrate Bruce and Elsie's 60th Wedding Anniversary and to give the King a day to remember.
Acting on Rodney Mark's initiative to visit and entertain the King, Doug McLaughlin, Kevin Smith, Bill Scott, Graham Cotter, Frank McQuade, Bobby Bradford, Simon Bartlett, Alan Dale and Harry Griffith turned on an impromptu performance with musical backing from John Charter. Harry gave the large audience a touch of vaudeville with his telling of some of Roy Rene's antics.
Frank and Graham combined on a couple of nostalgic songs, Simon hadn't brought along his trombone so improvised with an impression of the King's trombone mimicry. Bobby Bradford ripped into a medley of old favourites. John Charter soloed on Roses of Picardy and Bill thumped the newly tuned piano into submission with Winnie Attwell's Black and White Rag. Alan told the legend of Ned Kelly in song. Rodney kept the pace of the show moving with his usual clever anecdotes. The highlight was the finale with all singing the Anniversary Waltz while Bruce and Elsie danced the bridal waltz. The King hadn't lost his stage demeanour with a half pratt fall to delight the audience.

Thanks to those that gave their best wishes as they could not attend. Both Warren Kermond and Ian Franklin were foremost in their congratulations.
The bottom line was that the King had made an incredible, some would say a miracle, improvement in his well being to enjoy his special day.

Alan Dale
7th Jan 14.
Hi all!
Thanks Alan for that rundown. A couple of Echidnas assisted with numbers by escorting their wives.
I reckon we could have charged good money for that performance. King Bruce could be threatened with exposure and definitely go to great lengths to evade punishment if threatened with publication of some of the great shots taken by our own publicist, Noel Clarke. He will probably download on our web site a selection of his visuals for the enjoyment of those who could not attend. Dressed in his best retirement shorts, Bruce would be the envy of many an emu: those legs may have been enough to have him barred from the Sydney Cricket Ground. (Referring to the lady lawyer who met that fate this week.) He has not lost his sense of display or enjoyment. Rodney went close to social and legal limits on his great impromptu ad libs. (Tautology?) I would love a YouTube copy of that.
All in all, congratulations to the spirit of the Echidnas on a fine performance.

Doug McLaughlin
2nd Feb 14.
I visited the king this morning and he looks well but has had a fall and injured his toe which became infected, he is on anti BIOTICS.
I asked would he like to go to meeting Monday night and he wants to go so I will call and bring him, I am sure it will be a pick up for him see you all Monday night.
Kevin Smith
2nd Feb 14.
Hi Kevin,
Good work. Doug was asking about the distance you have to travel. Offered to help. Let's hope we get a good roll up for our AGM.
Alan Dale
4th Feb 14.
The king felt very proud to receive the title he rightfully deserved and John Hargrove also was present and said it will be mentioned at the election of directors at Wests Leagues tonight. His toe is still sore, I'm taking him to barber Friday at this stage. He was happy with elections of Echindas
Kevin Smith
7th Feb 14.
I visited king Emeritus today to take him for hair cut but he wasn't up for it, he didn't feel to good it seems when he becomes tired he takes a few days to recover. I told him I would be away till about 20th Feb due to being in Brisbane with my family for my 70th birthday.
His toe is slowly healing I went to the office today and was informed podiatrist will be there today.
have a nice week all
19th Feb 14.
Visited king today he looked good but tired he was in common room but hurried back to his room he needs the walk and getting out of his room.
Elsie was at lunch she looks well, I Will be visiting again in next couple days. Any one visiting Bruce should make time to visit the coffee shop within the grounds very clean and reasonable priced $10 lunch

Kevin Smith
21st Feb 14.
Visited Bruce this morning and he did look well. New haircut made a dashing figure. The shortest of short back and sides with a tuft of hair on top makes it a mohawk!
I gave him some 1980 Encore magazines which he gratefully accepted. I had found a picture of him from a show business directory with him pulling a piano to pieces. It was over 50 years old and he loved it.
Showed it to nursing staff with that mischievous look on his face. I will bring it to the next meeting so it can posted on the website.
Left him after an hour while he was in good spirits.
Elsie had welcomed me when I arrived and insisted on taking me to his room. Got lost on the way so I finished up taking her! She also looked well.
Gave him a copy of the March meeting reminder. I think he enjoyed seeing his name with the Emeritus tag.

Alan Dale

24th Feb 14.
Hi all!
This landed in my in box this morning hot off the Paul Martell gossip line. It tells its own story. Thanks Paul.
I recommend a look at the web site, log into home and there into reports on KING, at Echidnas please note, scroll right down to recent entries, (right column) and there is one there also a fresh one from Alan . It tells a story as well. Noel, could you pease place this one on soon?

Doug McLaughlin
Below from Paul Martell:
With Bruce Saturday night; the best I have seen him, he and Elsie in good order at Wests Golf Club presentation!

Pass on to Alan if you can or post for the Echidnas to see.
Paul Martell

Paul, great to see King Emeritus looking so good.
Echidna's Bruce Sacre

3rd March 14.
visited king emeritus today looks so good he is going to go to meeting tomorrow night I am picking him up about 6.30 so guys his presence will be so welcome

Kevin Smith
10th March 14.
With king he is not having his better day he told me he was coughing blood this morning, I asked him had he told nursing staff, he told me he had but I did on way out I think his neck looked swollen this morning but he said all ok.
I took him in a new whiteboard and pens so all that ok. I will call head nurse tomorrow to see if the blood problem has been reported, will contact you later, he asked for Paul Martells no but I don't have it, may be Paul can give it to him.
Kevin Smith
16th March 14.
Visited Bruce today and he was in good spirits, looked good he has had no more blood problemsw, his neck has gone down he said felt a little puffy.
He is going to watch footy later today so all seems good again was glad to see us
Kevin Smith

23rd March 14.
Have just been to see king, he is back in RPA as his peg feeder came out.
Endoscopy unit level 3
Kevin Smith
25th March 14.
I went to see Bruce at RPA this afternoon. He was in good spirits and in good form. I bought him a footy magazine which he accepted and a National Geographic which he rejected!
As you mentioned, he is in hospital because his feeding tube was damaged. He said (i.e. wrote) that he hadn't eaten or drunk for four years; I told him to force himself.
He has put on weight since moving into the Lodge, and looks much better.
Bruce enjoyed sharing tales of the Echidnas, of times gone by, and of his old flames.
He will try to get to an Echidnas dinner soon.
Could you please let the guys know?

Rodney Marks
31st March 14.
Visited bruce today, I must say he was the best I have seen him for such a long time today rae and I spent over a hour with him. I am pleased to say since being at his new castle he has put on over 7kg he said he feels very well he had a tough time with his last visit to RPA but he has had a different specialist and he now has all the tubes taken away and direct feed through the peg he drinks by himself not through tubes he is going to E N T Specialist tomorrow at RPA then wantS to go to OPSM for tests for his drivers licence so with he and Tabbi on the road better watch out.
Gee it was good to see him so bright cheerful and being like his old self on our way out ELSIE was in the common room listening to the music and did not miss a beat or a word a beautiful LADY. RAE asked the time and ELSIE looked at her watch and told her twenty minutes to lunch then said she was going to see Bruce later.

Kevin Smith
31st March 14.
King emeritus had appointment at RPA today and is so pleased the ENT SPECIALIST doesn't want to see him for three months which is great news tomorrow we are off to OPSM for eye test for his drivers licence he has to go and buy new clothing as only shorts will fit due to his good health and weight gain it is so pleasing to see him look so well.

Kevin Smith
1st April 14.
King emeritus had eye test today for his drivers licence, passed with no problem, when I called to meet him he was with ELSIE and had to go to get something from his car ELSIE was out the door in a flash to see where he was taking her out to God love her Rae and I gave her a bunch of flowers, within seconds organised the vase to put them in her room it was worth the trip over to see them being so affectionate as we were leaving.

Kevin Smith
3RD April 14.
My how things go 5 Months ago we were at RPA visiting a extremely ill Bruce today we are out at shops for him to buy new clothing as he can fulfil his social arrangements this weekend due to his health being so good and putting weight on what a tough bugger an inspiration to all never throw in the towel long live KING EMERITUS.
Kevin Smith
14th April 14.
Visited king emeritus on Sunday he was absolutely fabulous his cousin and her daughter were visiting from the central coast and where so happy to see him looking so good ELSIE was so pleased to see them. I think if we know when Frank's day will be at Bass Hill Bruce may like to be there.
Rae and I are just so amazed at Bruce's remarkable recovery next visit I'll take a photo for all to see this tough little buggar in such good health, a visit used to be 20 mins at the best now it is over the hour and many laughs are had in that time.
Till next time, long live the king emeritus

Kevin Smith

15th April 14.
Happy 85th birthday to king emeritus today.
I spoke to his doctor at RPA Monday to let her know how well he is and how much weight he has gained, she was astounded with his progress may he have many more birthdays long live king emeritus. WILLIAM BRUCE SACRE an inspiration to all.

Kevin Smith

20th April 14.
Visited king today, he looks so well gave him his birthday card and he had a good laugh on his birthday Elsie and he went for a drive to Camden and Picton but couldn't find a Devonshire tea place as they did 50 years ago 150klm round trip, there is no stopping him now.

Kevin Smith
28th April 14.

Visited king emeritus today his throat is not as good as it should be but he is ingood spirits his DR is coming later today I will check on him Tuesday this is a nice photo of Bruce & Elsie.
ELSIE Is amazing the darling is so sweet to Bruce, still reads without glasses you can't help but love her.
The jacket was presented to Bruce as a thank you for his support over the years sponsored by wests leagues.

Kevin Smith
29th April 14.
We called in on Bruce to find out how he went with DR, good news he has no problems with throat thyroid and other areas are all clear of any foreign bodies.
His P.E.T. Scan came back all positive which is great news will update later in week

Kevin Smith
8th May 14.
Hi every body, it was a great surprise for all who attended metting 5th may and king emeritus attended I mentioned to him I would take him to his palace if he needed to leave early we where amongst the last to leave I am away in Wagga, bendigo and ballarat for the next ten days so if any one can visit Bruce I am sure he will appreciate it.
hopefully my trip is a great success for the charities who I am auctioneering for.

Kevin Smith
18th May 14.
Hi been to see Bruce and ELSIE.
I can't stop laughing they go shopping at Bankstown Square, after doing chores Bruce needs to go to toilet he asked ELSIE to stay where she is. Bruce comes back no Elsie looks around not to be seen, panic sets in as he can't ask any one to help, he looks around a bit longer spots her about 30 Mtrs away so starts clapping to attract her attention every body else turns around at this old man clapping not Elsie, keeps looking at shops after a while they finally catch up and Elsie asks Bruce where has he been.
On Saturday Elsie comes in Bruce's room and asks him if he'd seen her husband Bruce as she needs to see him isn't it lovely how innocent one can be we where with them for over a hour. I only hope if we get to there ages our life is so simple as they are. Both look very well Bruce and Elsie plan tO been at MO AWARDS GOD BLESS THEM BOTH.

Kevin and Rae Smith
20th May 14.
Visited King Emeritus this afternoon. He is looking very well indeed. Looking forward to attending the MO Awards next Tuesday and will be taking Elsie.
He also has an upcoming presentation lunch at Wests Leagues on Friday 30th May. His social life is certainly improving.
Gave him reports on Galahs "wake" lunch and recent show biz happenings. Bernadette spent some time with Elsie and they had a busy little gabfest.
Bruce had driven Elsie to Picton for an afternoon tea and when he couldn't find a devonshire tea outlet he pushed on to Camden. Quite an amazing achievement for a man who has suffered so much.

Alan Dale
6th June 14.
Visited Bruce and ELSIE today they look well, ELSIE celebrated her 83rd birthday yesterday and still reads without glasses what a lovely lady.
Bruce informed me that they're attending the MAKOR OAK NITE ON 19th July we're off to hairdresser next week, off comes the beard as well they both look well, I'll see them over weekend.

Kevin Smith

17th June 14.
Hi all
visited Bruce today he keeps amazing me with his good health and the zest he has now considering how ill he was apprx 8 months ago.
He visited his ENT SPECIALIST ON MONDAY he had a good report only a small node on throat which is not a worry at this stage.
He is very grateful to the visitors in the last month especially those from inter state it gave him a big lift in spirits I will visit again on week end .

Kevin Smith
28th June 14.
Hi all
visited Bruce today,Saturday, he looks so well had a great hour with him his results from ENT SPECIALISTS ARE VERY GOOD, the node on his throat was so small they didn't bother doing a biopsy he is such a fighter an inspiration to all with his will and determination it wasn't all that long ago a visit was 10 mins now at least an hour which is great with lots of fun God bless him and ELSIE.

Kevin Smith
6th July 14.
I visited Bruce today Sunday, he looks so well his Dr complemented him on the cleanliness of the trakkjy in his throat, he doesn't have to see him for 3 months which is great news.
He has written at lot about WESTS LEAGUES MENS GOLF CLUB his memory is so good also his written notes are so good. Elsie reads every thing without glasses I know I mention that a lot but it amazes me as Bruce hardly has it written down and she reads it over his shoulder.
At this stage he will be at Echindas mon night, hoping to see a good roll up.

Kevin Smith
16th July 14.
Hi all called in to Bruce today I haven't been able to visit due to cold this amazing man in his eighties has written a 1200 word history on WESTS LEAGUES GOLF CLUB all from his memory he is having it typed now then he will proof read it then published.
Bruce n ELSIE are looking forward to Saturday night at major oak which has been well patronised by Echindas past and present with there friends had a great hour with him today lots of laughs you can't help but admire his outlook and his humour see you all Saturday night.

Kevin Smith
29th August 14.
Visited king emeritus in great spirits looking forward to meeting Monday night has had a great week with his family visiting from South Australia for the week he and ELSIE where going to attend Gut Foundation night but where worn out.
hi members, meeting Monday night the more attending the greater the night lets all unite as there is strength in numbers as proved at last two functions where our esteemed members meet socially and fabulous nights were had by all as a member it is a pleasure and honour for me to be associated with such outstanding entertainers I only wish I had the talents or even 1% but been more of associate I feel honoured to be accepted as an Echinda member.

Kevin Smith
11th September 14.
I visited king emeritus he was good as at last week, went to see him Monday 7th but he was having a nap so I didn't disturb him.
I've been having tests in hospital so I will not see him till Next week

Kevin Smith
1st October 14.
Visited Bruce today and found him in high spirits with his darling ELSIE his ENT SPECIALIST IS VERY PLEASED with his throat being so clear and clean he is looking forward to meeting on Monday night so once again this tough little bugger defies all with his amazing spirit see you all at meeting more the merrier
Kevin Smith
28th October 14.
Visited bruce today for the first time for two weeks as I have been in nth Q'ld he looks well n will be at meeting Monday night see you all then
Kevin Smith
15th December 14.
Hi all visited king on Friday with his darling ELSIE they both look so well Bruce visited his ENT he has no problems with throat and doesn't have to see him till March 2015. Which is just so good for him
As always ELSIE was so happy. I will be away from 21/12 till 30/12 if any one could visit during that time I know they would appreciate it especially at this time of year I will see them before I leave.
May RAE and MYSELF wish all my friends and foes within the Echindas as well as their loved ones Merry Christmas and a great new year in 2015.

Kevin Smith
18th December 14.
Visited Bruce and ELSIE today both well Bruce doesn't have to see his ENT SPECIALIST TILL MARCH 2015 I will be away till 30/12 if any one can visit Bruce he would be very grateful.
Once again money has been missing from his drawers, how low can One be? taking from people like the elderly It makes you wonder.
Merry Christmas one and all

Kevin and Rae Smith
23rd January 2015.
Hi all I visited Bruce yesterday, first time since before Christmas, he is so good in himself bloody amazing man and the darling ELSIE Was also there I can't believe they look so well Bruce still has a fantastic memory on things and people's names who he has touched during his lifetime still organising entertainment for his clubs associated within wests leagues he is looking forward to Next meeting of Echidnas Club in Feburary.
That is all for now see you all 2/2/15 Burwood RSL.

26th January 2015.
Visited Bruce yesterday he was not having a good day I think he had a bit of a bad night he is looking forward to meeting on 2/2 see you all there

2nd February 2015.
Alan Dale With King Emeratis at Echidnas meeting 2nd Feb 15
12th February 2015.
Hi visited Bruce on Thursday 12/2/15 he was in great spirits, looks so well he is looking forward to next Echidnas meeting he is organising a function for west leagues in May nothing stops this man he's an inspiration is so great as I have said before from being so ill to where he is today.
I am in Brisbane till 24/2 if any one would care to drop him a visit I am sure he would be so greatful

25th March 2015.
Hi all. I visited Bruce today, he looks and feels very good he's looking forward to Echidnas meeting Monday night
12th April 2015.
Hi all. visited king emeritus, he was in good spirits he looked so well as was his ELSIE, SWEET as ever what a lovely lady they seem to be very comfortable all the time which is pleasing for all.
Bruce is looking forward to the next Echidnas meeting at Burwood on 4th May happy to see our meeting attracting the large attendances of the past three months.
5th May 2015.
Visited Bruce today along with RAE and RODNEY MARKS.
Bruce said his medical team are meeting on Monday re further treatment I asked him how he was feeling n gave me the thumbs down, he is hoping another biopsy will be avoided.
He is looking forward to Saturday at Wests leagues with Thomas n Moore head lining the day he will get all tarted up tomorrow hair cut n shave I am sure he would love to see his friends visit him
10th May 2015.
Today Alan and I met at Bruce's hideaway for a little gathering. We found him, as usual, relaxing horizontally but totally awake. His appearance was better than expected., hair cut, beard, (very new) nicely combed, Dressed for bedroom but alert and happy for the contact.

Alan and I arranged to meet early afternoon to inspect the possible wreckage and walked in together to a pleasant surprise.

We ran across the latest meeting and some details on projected events and the venues for meetings. We will have the next meeting at Burwood and the following one at Croydon Park. That will be a test event. We are assured by the hosts that the food will sustain the current standard at that price. (which was an increase on the Croydon system). This will be a test meeting and will confirm, or not, the following meeting venue. There is also some chance of day time meetings similar to kindred social functions. Let's suck it and see. The killer at Burwood is parking.

Our conversation with Emeritus Bruce covered future events: date proximity clashes with Alva and similar organisations, a possible annual ball later in the year, consensus in organisational systems for future gatherings.

Bruce is badly bothered by a recurrence of the cancer and swelling in his throat, around the previous area, and a spot on the lung which is worrying. He has appointments for clinical observations and trials in these matters. It has not slowed down his enthusiasm for visitors and friends and his strong love, the Echidnas. I suggested he buy shares in the felt whiteboard pens. We were kicking over old traces and family matters for well over an hour and left him lying down, but eyes wide open. There is some good news re his son. Bruce is one of a kind.
Doug and Alan.
22nd May 2015.
visited Bruce today he was very happy that his licence has been returned to him for another 11 months made him very happy not that he drives a lot it gives him his independence he seems not to be in as much pain as before so let's hope his pain in his shoulder is subsiding.
25th May 2015.
I had a call this mornong from Paul Martell to let us know that Bruce has been returned to Ashfield from RPA.
Paul had called 4 times over a couple days but found Bruce sleeping he left a message for Bruce on his whiteboard. So anyone thinking of paying a visit be aware Bruce is back at Ashfield.
4th June 2015.
I visited King Emeritus Bruce at his Ashfield nursing home this afternoon. He was bright but physically indisposed. I arranged with a nurse, Anne, for his bedsheets to be changed and his clothing, too. Anyone else who goes may wish to check on the same things.

The genuinely caring managers at the front desk were aware of Bruce’s decline, and talked about palliative care, which I take to mean a hospice. Separating Bruce from Elsie would be traumatic for Bruce. I’m not sure is Elsie would notice, as she thinks Bruce is “another Bruce” and not her Bruce. Today is Elsie’s 84th birthday. Bruce is 86. The managers wanted to know about their son and what communication had been made to him. I couldn’t assist. Does anyone know? If so, could you please contact the nursing home management.

Bruce is useful looking out for Elsie at the home, and to deprive him of usefulness would be a retrograde step. He collects her mail (which is at the top of the ramp in letterbox 118), or arranges for visitors to do so, and manages their affairs.

You know the gag about the elderly couple who visit the doctor? The husband is hard of hearing. The doctor says to him: “I’ll need a sample of your blood, faeces, urine and semen”. He’s looks blankly at the doctor and says to his wife: “What did he say?” And she says: “The doctor wants your underpants”. Well, that’s what visiting Bruce was like.

7th June 2015.
Hi all visited Bruce and Elsie today he seems ok but I feel he is uncomfortable with his throat.
A visit to the specialist on Wednesday we clarify things a bit more I will visit again Thursday will update any more news.

14th June 2015.
Hi Guys,
Visited Bruce this afternoon, he was in good spirits, but tired after 15 minutes.
He told me he has been given 6 months, he seems to have accepted it.
He said he'd kill for a schooner of Tooheys black ale.
He showed me the plane he bought for his son, $65,000 worth, so he can Give flying lessons. Ungrateful prick.
Elsie was there, but doesn't know who anyone is, poor darling. On behalf of everyone I'd like to sincerely thank you all for your valued time and visits you have made to Bruce.
Best wishes, good health.
Kind regards.

26th June 2015.
Hi all,
Very bad news! As of this moment our King Bruce is being moved to Concord Hospital with serious oncology problems. Bringing up blood this morning has made his prognosis delicate. As there are no beds in the oncology unit at this time he is to be housed in the general wards. His doctor has given a grave warning on his future and said that the six months has now been revised to a day to day proposition. He will not be going back to Ashfield and this leaves Elsie on her own.

28th June 2015.
This afternoon I visited King Bruce at Concord Hospital. On my arrival he made an "I'm sleepy" sign with his hands placed together - and closed his eyes. I decided to sit with him and hold one of his hands.
Soon enough, the preeminent comedian Paul Martell arrived, and he sat on The King's bed and held his other hand.
Paul and I chatted and Bruce's breathing settled down. A beautiful Nigerian nurse took his pulse, and wasn't upset when I said I written to her recently. Maybe it was to her brother.
Bruce stirred, and kind of waved us away. I left Paul with Bruce for some private time, and then Paul and I wandered off together. I must say that hospital visits are much more palatable in company, and Paul is a wonderful raconteur.
It would seem that the suggestion that Bruce's situation is on a day-to-day basis is correct.
If you're planning a visit, don't delay.
Best wishes
Rodney Marks
3rd July 2015.
Just left Bruce, I don't think he knew we where there with him, he seems a good colour but I am suggesting if anyone wishes to visit Bruce to do it sooner than later.
Rae and I will visit Elsie on the weekend as even though her mind wanders she would not grasp the situation

Kevin Smith
6th July 2015.
Hi Brett.
having left hospital at 7 pm I have been in contact with hospital.Bruce is showing his tremendous will to live even whilst we where there he lifted himself further up on to his pillow it was very hard for Rae and myself to say goodbye knowing full well it will be our final goodbye.
I have had many laughs with my new found friend in the past approximately 5 years, he has been a great mate and friend through our affiliation with a fantastic group of men the Echidnas.
I know Bruce loved every minute of been in their company I send this little note to you with a very heavy heart and may I say a tear in my eyes I would love for him to prove the nursing staff wrong but I don't want to see him suffer any more, my mate my friend God bless you.

kevin Smith
9th July 2015.
Hi all
visited ELSIE this morning at the singalong for the village God bless her she asked me if I had seen Bruce as he should be around soon I believe a family member is looking after her next Thursday even though her compromise of her Bruce is very limited it is very unsettling for me at times. On a brighter note Bruce had his affairs all sorted including his last payment of a cheque for me to pay today on his credit card plus a two day late fee of $2.35 May my friend, mate, fellow Echidna the standard you have set makes sure your legacy will live on for many, many years to come I have written many reports and updates on Bruce in past few years but this being the last from me is certainly the hardest I have had to put together. I have many happy memories to live with of our times together.
RIP my friend, mate fellow Echidna you are definitely one of a kind

29th July 2015.
A very thoughtful "thank you" card arrived in my mailbox this morning.
It was from Norm and Sue Graetsch thanking me personally and all those Echidnas who did so much for their "Uncle Bruce".
You might like to post this message.
I will bring the card to our next meeting.

Alan Dale
Just thought I'd add this picture which I think looks at a happy time for Bruce & Alan at the Mo's my guess is 2010
Alan Dale & Emeritus King Bruce at MO awards in 2010

Sadly we lost Bruce after his battle with illness on the 6th July 2015 however he will always be remembered at our monthly meetings with his special chair at the head table as can be seen by this photo.

You can view the tribute page by clicking Here>>>>
The Echidnas The Australian Order of Comedians
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