Vale Lex King, invaluable Moruya SES member

OF SERVICE: The late Lex King on SES duty, rescuing campers at the Bendethera campground in 2016, and with his sister, Robyn.

OF SERVICE: The late Lex King on SES duty, rescuing campers at the Bendethera campground in 2016, and with his sister, Robyn.

Family and friends bid farewell to an SES "King" at Broulee on Tuesday, November 19.

Alexander "Lex" King's niece, Sharon Babyack, spoke of his early years growing up in the Eurobodalla Shire.

He was born at the Moruya Hospital in 1951 and spent the first six years of his life in Malua Bay with his mum and dad. His sister, Robyn, was born just 20 months after him.

Before he passed away, Mr King recalled fond memories sitting on his father's lap while he drove the tractor on the flats next to Malua beach. He also recalled nearly drowning aged five when his dad took him for a swim. Another day, rock fishing off Flat Rock, he used his dad as a tree to escape a large wave.

"He remembered playing with an old tin canoe and rowing boat that lived in the creek at the north end of the beach, watching dolphins surf the waves at Malua beach and crossing the Clyde on the old punt as the bridge was being constructed," Ms Babyack said.

John Hardie shared memories of his long-time friend.

The pair connected as they both lost their fathers at a similar age, had supportive grandparents and mothers and became apprentices. Before Mr King became a building manager, he was an apprentice in fitting and machining, then studied business, refrigeration and air conditioning.

"Itchy feet saw him travel to Perth for a three-week 'holiday' during which he decided his future was rosier in WA," Mr Hardie said. "That holiday incidentally lasted about 30 years."

He worked in remote areas for mining companies in harsh conditions. Mr King retired at his beloved South Coast, purchasing his dream home near his sister and family who welcomed him with open arms.

A quirky man, his move to Moruya, "had the usual touch of Lex logic".

"He arrived with his vehicle packed to the hilt," Mr Hardie said. "Loadedamongst the normal range of goods were a number of 'very handy' steel plates and - I kid you not - a kitchen sink. 'Might be handy for cleaning fish,' was his only comment."

His membership of Moruya SES was "the perfect combination of challenges for his character traits and a means of exercising his skills in a way that brought benefit to the community, while building some strong friendships". "It truly gave him a sense of purpose and a focus for his daydreaming."

Invaluable to SES

Many men and women in orange farewelled their well-loved friend on Tuesday.

Moruya SES Unit Commander Chris Zammit said Mr King was an invaluable member. His efforts were vital in rescuing 41 campers from the Bendethera Valley campground, isolated by the Deua River, in January, 2016. He water-proofed food packs delivered to the campers and dedicated many hours to the rescue. He even invented a vertical rescue harness for members with mobility issues.

Mr King's family thanked SES for their floral tributes and participation in the funeral service.

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