Cookernup firefighter remembered

Harvey-Waroona Reporter
Bryan Crook was a volunteer with the Cookernup Fire Brigade.
Camera IconBryan Crook was a volunteer with the Cookernup Fire Brigade.

Bryan Crook

Born: October 1, 1961

Died: October 28, 2020

The Cookernup community is mourning the loss of Bryan Crook, a loving family man and respected volunteer with the Cookernup Fire Brigade for more than a quarter of a century.

Bryan recently lost his battle with cancer — a year after being diagnosed.

Bryan was born in Eildon in Victoria to Maureen and John Crook.

He was very close to his two brothers, Rick and Adrian, and adored his younger sister, Victoria, who he called “Bub”.

The Crook family moved around a bit and finally settled in Parkwood, Perth, where he first met Janine — who would become his wife.

Bryan’s brother Adrian attended Lynwood High and introduced him to Janine.

Bryan had joined the Australian Navy in 1978 at the age of 16, where he trained as a diesel fitter.

He was often away, but when he was home, he always spoiled Janine, taking her out to dinner, the movies and the drive-in.

He was a true gentleman, always opening doors and letting her enter a room first.

Bryan owned an orange, two-door Monaro, and Janine was the envy of all of the girls at school when he arrived to pick her up.

After a year of dating, Bryan proposed with a lovely ring. Janine said ‘yes’, but wasn’t ready so asked him to wait a few years.

In 1982, they bought their first home in Southlake. Shortly after this the Navy wanted to post Bryan over east and he decided to leave after eight years of service.

After leaving the Navy, Bryan started his own earthworks business with a bobcat and truck. He then moved into the mining industry, doing fly-in, fly-out work at Wiluna Goldmine.

They had the perfect wedding in December, 1986, despite the summer heat, complete with apricot taffeta and baby’s breath in true 1980s wedding fashion.

Daughter Alyce was born in 1990 and they moved to a small acreage in Kenwick in 1991. Their family was complete in 1992 with the arrival of their son, Ayden.

In 1993 the family made the move to the country, settling down in the small town of Cookernup, the perfect place to raise their family.

They made wonderful lifelong friends and shared many great times — water skiing and camping at the dam, going fishing and catching marron.

Initially Bryan continued FIFO work in the mines but he soon became tired of being away from his family and started his career at Alcoa Wagerup, starting as a diesel fitter and working up to power house supervisor.

Bryan always loved his motorbikes and owned a few over the years.

He always wanted a Ducati and got his dream bike in 2001, a bright yellow Ducati he named The Duck.

For Bryan, Anzac Day was always a special celebration, starting with the dawn service at Yarloop. He would proudly march wearing his medals, and later his grandfather McCarthy’s medals and his older brother Rick’s medals as well.

Bryan loved being part of the Cookernup Bushfire Brigade, serving for 26 years with 11 years as captain. He was recently honoured with a life membership.

Bryan retired in August 2019 after 25 years at Alcoa.

Sadly he did not get to enjoy his well-deserved retirement when he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer just the following month.

He was determined to fight and gave it his all during his 13-month battle, keeping as fit as he could by swimming daily. He showed his strength and love for his family with determination to stay home until the end.

He passed away peacefully at home, just weeks after his 59th birthday.

Bryan was a great friend, valued community member and a man admired and loved by all who knew him.

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