Yaven Creek man farewelled

Rhiannon Clark with partner Shane McDermott and children Raegan and Rory.

Friends and family have paid tribute to a local man who was tragically killed at a Yaven Creek property earlier this month, during a celebration of his life at the Barellan Sportsground on Friday.

Friends, family and community members from far and wide gathered for the service to celebrate the life of Shane ‘Macca’ McDermott who passed away from critical injuries sustained following a single vehicle accident on a remote farm.

The 38-year-old and his partner had been residents at the property owned by Julian and Lucy Roche of Adelong. Those close to him said that the last five years spent in the area were the best of his life, consisting of working on the farm and raising his two young children with his partner Rhiannon Clark.

Mr McDermott began working at Yaven Creek in February of 2016. In May of that year, the couple saw the birth of their son Rory. In July of 2018 their daughter Raegan was born.

He was described by his mother, Annette McDermott, as having found his happy place after settling down in the local area.

“Shane loved the country,” Mrs McDermott said. “All he wanted to do was work on the land. He loved horses and dogs, and being there, he felt he had truly found his purpose in life.”

Mr McDermott moved around for much of his life but always managed to return home to his roots.

He grew up in Barellan until 1994 before moving to Leeton with his family at the age of 14. There he made many friends including his best mate Andrew Borg.

Mr McDermott later commenced a welding apprenticeship at the Leeton Rice Mill while his family returned to Barellan to operate the Barellan Commercial Hotel.

Spurred on by the advice of Mr Borg, he and Mr McDermott decided to move to Mackay in Queensland to work in the mines. Over the course of a number of years, he travelled around extensively, spending time in Goulburn, Mackay, Canada and Perth.

Through his adventures however, his home area was always near and dear to his heart and he would often travel back to visit.

Mr McDermott had a great passion for bullriding which saw him participate in a number of events around the Riverina. He also spent much time campdrafting and he loved riding horses.

Over the years, he had told Mr Borg that should he ever pass away in a bull-riding incident, he wished to be driven to the cemetery in the back of a blue and white panel van with Mr Borg behind the wheel and Metallica playing at full volume. This wish was honoured on Friday, with many from the area watching on as good friends of Mr McDermott left the Sportground for the Barellan cemetery.

Mrs McDermott acknowledged Mr and Mrs Roche of Adelong who became quite close to the young family during their time spent at Yaven Creek.

She also thanked those who had attended the ceremony and those who had initially welcomed Mr McDermott and his family into the Snowy Valleys community and who had maintained friendships over the years.