News

Legendary Mackay journalist farewelled with fond memories

Bruce McKean’s nephew, Shaun Halson, places a special card on his coffin. Bruce sent it to his mother in thanks when he turned 21.
Bruce McKean’s nephew, Shaun Halson, places a special card on his coffin. Bruce sent it to his mother in thanks when he turned 21. Daily Mercury

IN THE words of Shaun Halson, "Many of us live our lives and do not make a mark on the record, but this is not the case for Bruce".

Yesterday, family and friends packed into Mackay's Newhaven Chapel to say goodbye to a man described as "a legend in his own right".

James "Bruce" McKean was born on May 27, 1954, and died in a traffic accident on Nebo Rd on November 22.

Bruce McKean reports on the 100th anniversary of the Ching massacre in Sarina last year.
Bruce McKean reports on the 100th anniversary of the Ching massacre in Sarina last year.

A veteran court reporter based at the Daily Mercury for 22 years, Mr McKean leaves behind a broad catalogue of work, testament to his passion for both his profession and his love of the Mackay community.

Mr Halson recalled his uncle's at times mischievous yet always caring nature.

"My cheeky uncle snuck me into my first nightclub in Brisbane when I was 15," Mr Halson said. "I think we broke about three laws that night.

"They were only little laws - it's kind of funny when I ended up a policeman and he ended up a crime reporter."

The Daily Mercury's editor Jennifer Spilsbury told of how her own career had been influenced by Mr McKean.

"To a young, very innocent and wide-eyed graduate, Daily Mercury reporter Bruce McKean was a big bloke with a big reputation and I admit I was a bit intimidated when I first met him," Mrs Spilsbury said.

"Like most work experience students, I was shunted down to the Mackay Courthouse with Bruce during my week-long stint at the paper more than 18 years ago.

"It was that day that Bruce introduced me to his world - and he was indisputably the master of it."

Mrs Spilsbury said Mr McKean's reporting skills had earned him the right to have his name uttered in the same breath as the country's best court reporters.

"The Mercury has been inundated with correspondence from former colleagues and people touched by Bruce over the years - it is a testament to how much people loved and respected him. To readers he was Bruce McKean court reporter, but to the Mercury he was Bruiser, our Silver Fox, and his life was as colourful and as entertaining as the stories he told us."

A passionate bowls player, Mr McKean gave much of his time competing, umpiring and coaching the game.

City Bowls Club immediate past president Vince McSherry made reference to Mr McKean's willingness to give up his time for the club, as well as his playing skill.

"It was off the green the real character and interests of Bruce shone through because he was one of those men who understood that membership of a club meant more than just playing," Mr McSherry said. "He had a gift of being concerned for the welfare of others ... he was considerate and generous and ready to step forward on those occasions when he thought he could make a difference."

James Bruce McKean, 58, is survived by his mother Betty Beitzel, and sisters Del Randal and Paula Halson and their families.

Topics:  court reporter



Man to face multiple charges after low-speed police chase

The left truck the roadway at Hanson Rd onto a dirt track and coming to rest in a paddock at about 5.50am.

Stolen truck smashes through RAAF Base fence

OP results: Ipswich private schools fail to make top 50

JUST A NUMBER: Ipswich Grammar Principal Richard Morrison says a boy's education shouldn't be reduced to an OP score.

'It's not just about a single digit OP': Grammar Principal

Car fire: Ambos treat woman for smoke inhalation

fire generic.  Fire truck.

A motorist is recovering in hospital after a car fire at Fernvale

Local Partners

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

A MERE two points separated two teams from My Kitchen Rules, in a spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

Simon under pressure to open up in MAFS Ipswich visit

Pressure on both bride and groom at Booval bachelor pad

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: Global superstar to rock Mackay in 2017

A major concert is set to rock Mackay this year.

Mackay, Cairns to host world's biggest superstars Sir Elton John

Robert Irwin introduces Jimmy Fallon to wild guests

Robert Irwin introduces Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon to a cuddly sloth.

ROBERT Irwin continues Steve's legacy.

MOVIE REVIEW: Trespass Against Us a 'tender' crime film

Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson in a scene from the movie Trespass Against Us.

Tough British film about criminal clan proves touching

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!