Tribute from Greg’s Brother, Barry

This tribute was read to mourners gathered at Greg’s Funeral.

GREGORY MICHAEL SHER

My first memories of Greg hark back to my very early childhood, when I was still getting around in a pram. Whenever our family headed out for a walk, I always wanted Greg to push my pram, because Greg would do wheelies, and he’d do things like pushing the pram at full speed towards the end of a pier, veering away only at the last moment, seconds before disaster . This typified Greg’s spirit for adventure and pushing the boundaries. Our relationship was always like this when we were growing up: Greg had the power of a parent, but the mindset of a best mate.

When I was in high school, my mother gave Greg permission to write notes for me on her behalf, thinking that responsible Greg would only write appropriate notes; and so if I didn’t feel like going to school, Greg would write me a note and we’d then spend the day driving through the Yarra Valley engrossed in one of our many deep and meaningful conversations.

Greg and I were a team, and we have been a team ever since I can remember. We’d play armies together with Steve and anyone else who spent their weekends or school holidays at the Sher household. During these early years, it was not unusual for a mate to come round to visit and upon crossing the threshold of the Sher residence, Greg would kidnap them. Before long the unfortunate friend would find himself bound, gagged and placed in the stress position until he could answer the question, “Where did they take the American’s“. Why did Dean keep coming back you may ask? Simply because Greg was a gentle giant. It was all a game and in the end of it he would give the poor captive a cuddle and they’d walk off into the sunset.

When we first moved to Australia and lived in Doncaster, Greg and I shared a room. We stayed up late – talking instead of going to sleep, and we were always playing together – wrestling, falling off the bed – but it was always in fun. Even when we were playfighting, Greg looked out for me and made sure I didn’t get hurt. Well, that was the theory. I have a scar on my head  to prove that theory doesn’t always hold in the real world. However, that scar is special to me, as it’s a reminder of Greg that I will always carry with me.

That same protective spirit meant that Greg always had my back. When Greg was in grade 5, and I was in prep, I decided, in my wisdom, that it would be a good idea to provoke a grade 6 student by splashing water on him. When the older boy went to get me, I ran to my big brother Greg – who stepped in and walloped the bigger kid.

Greg was a role model for me. I wanted to grow up so badly, just so that I could finally talk about all the things Greg said we couldn’t talk about because I was too young. And finally, when I was about fifteen, we became best friends. It was obvious to everyone who knew us that we shared a strong bond; Greg was not only a brother to me. He was also a mate, someone to go to the video store with on the school holidays and watch every single Rocky, Rambo, Delta Force, American Ninja and the full suite of Van Damme and Schwarzenegger  movies. Yes, Greg was the B-Grade movie specialist. Everywhere I look, there are things that remind me of Greg, and of the bond we shared – this is fantastic, because it means I will remember him every day for the rest of my life.

Greg, I’ll see you when I see you.

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