The Emerald community lost a true local hero earlier this year with the passing of Doug Slack, a practical man – generous not only with his material possessions and money – but most importantly with his time and effort.
The resounding message from his friends was that if Doug saw something needed doing, he got in and did it. If he saw someone having a go, he helped them.
Alan "Paw Paw' Douglas remembers doing raffles for local cricket. "You would be left with 20 odd tickets, and Doug or brother Dick would always take them off your hands. They would see you having a go, and would always want to help out."
Jack Hornery, remembers a champion bloke. "I remember the Gemfields once raising funds to go to Indonesia, and Doug thought that was a great idea, so he donated a car to be raffled and then helped with the fundraising. He was the sort of bloke that if he saw the field needed slashing, he would just go and do it."
But it was Emerald Rugby League who was the true beneficiary of Doug's boundless goodwill and in particular the Emerald Tigers who were the major recipients of Doug's generosity.
Back in the 70s, rugby league was played at Rundle Park, and Doug was always there, reminisces Hornery. "He was always well dressed, and after the game, would go into the dressing sheds in his suit with a carton of beer and present the man of the match award."
In the late 1980s, McIndoe Park became a reality.
"The transformation took six months," Hornery said.
During that six months, it was the contribution from Doug that ensured the completion.
"If a backhoe was needed, Doug would provide it. If a truck was needed, Doug would provide it. Whatever was needed, Doug was there to offer help," Hornery said.
"When the new clubhouse was built, Doug donated the sand for the foundations. He donated the use of all the machinery for two weekends in a row. After the clubs insisted that he receive some payment for his contribution, he invoiced them for $19 for fuel. You can't measure the value in what he gave but it would have been in the tens of thousands of dollars."
Alan Douglas concurs. "I can't speak highly enough of Doug. He was very generous, and his contribution to Emerald, and in particular to Emerald Rugby League will always be remembered. "
They say you can tell the character of a man, not by what he says, but by what he does.
Doug Slack's legacy will endure the test of time not because of his pecuniary contribution or the structures that remain that he physically contributed to, not by the fact that posthumously he continues to support rugby league as one of Emerald Junior Tigers major sponsors – but because of the strength of his character apparent by everyone acknowledging his immense willingness to roll up his sleeves and have a go.