Ant's speech on behalf of the family


"Chillax everyone"...

Chillax is a hybrid Woinism - a blend of chillout & relax. It's one of the many Woinisms for which he had a real gift for manufacturing terms. Needless to say, he remains the 2 time undefeated scrabble champion of HK, despite him never allowing the use of a dictionary for proofs. Which leads us to the unresolved issue of PANDAMONIUM in fact being a word, and come to think of it, I am pretty sure COMMUNICOLOGY is not the study of cell phones as he innocently claimed!

So I guess the point is, if Woin could verbalise what he is no doubt thinking right now it would be "CHILLAX everybody...All is going to be OK"

By close of business on Monday 4th September it became apparent to the world 2 very special Aussies had passed away.

  • Both had straw blonde hair.
  • One wore Khaki shorts and bloodstone boots, the other Gucci loafers and Prada ties.
  • One hollered "Crikey and Jeepers" continuously, the other a little more articulate and original but many times incoherent.
  • Both were immensely popular around the world.
  • Both passionate and wonderful ambassadors for their beliefs, country and families.
  • Both loved a beer!
  • One loved wild life and the other lived a wild life.
  • One studied nature and mating rituals, the other was the case study!
  • One was Steve "Croc Hunter" Irwin and the Other was Andrew Woinarski.
Andrew was popular and loved by many diverse people. But all loved him for the same reasons.
He was however known for many names!
Woin, Le Woin (self-titled when trying to sound more continental), Woinwa, Champ, Andy, Capital A (he went through a bit of rap/hip-hop stage) & Chesty La Rou.
With a name like Woinarski, it is no surprise many variations emerged when he was at boarding school. Pooholski, Bossnowski & Halfmasti spring to mind!
Once a failed attempt to rename himself 'Bow', out of Dukes of Hazzard, cost him $150 fine and a passport re-issue. A similar result occurred when he had a drivers licence printed with an injected middle name of John.
I however knew him as MON FRERE...MY BROTHER!
Life begins with family and ends with family. In this day and age the term family remains open to many interpretations. For the Woinarski's and I, when 350 people gather out of respect and love for a fallen friend and in show of support for those that remain - that's the behaviour of family. And thus we look at all here in body and those joining in thoughts as family. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being so.
So in Andrew's case - life began and now evolves into a different form with us.. his family.
Andrew's last few months...I would like to move away from the script so to speak and candidly discuss with you all something very special for Tony, Aileen, Alex & I.
It regards Andrew's last few months. In the hope of offering Aileen and Tony some comfort over this shocking week, Alex & I have outlined to them in great detail just how happy Andrew obviously was over his last few months (& years for that matter). And now I would like to do the same for all of you.
Having not know what lay ahead for him, and with the benefit of hindsight, was a perfectly scripted period of contentment, satisfaction, peace and joy that Andrew enjoyed leading up to last Sunday.
Prior to taking up the role with Macquarie Bank, Andrew moved back to Sydney for a 2 month period ahead of his relocation to Tokyo. Sydney was nothing short of a blessing for him and us all, which he luckily shared with his dearest friends whom join us here today. Lunches, dinners, movies, friends, drinks, family, friends, drinks, swims, drinks, christenings, business class flights, sea planes to the Hawkesbury, apartments on the harbour - all punctuated a truly wonderful time in this fantastic young man's life. He saw everyone he cared for and did everything he could have ever hoped for. Champagne tastes on a bear budget did nothing to dissuade him from his biggest passion...PEOPLE & FUN!
Andrews favourite TV shows were the Simpsons, Little Britain & The Family Guy to name a few. His favourite movies were Old School, Zoolander and Dodgeball.
Where a stir-fry in front of the tele is what many of us consider a good Monday night, for Andrew it was a wine, meat and a long catch up with friends.
So after 2 months of classic Andrew, Sydney had had enough and put him on a plane bound for Hong Kong. 72 sets of exhausted ears, 72 sore livers, 229 kilograms of prawns & seafood later Andrew said goodbye. Given the time he had, it was only fitting it was his final farewell to Sydney.
A week in South East Asia then followed which was just mind boggling. Malaysia then to Koh Samui. Kite boarding, wind surfing, para-sailing, scuba diving and deep sea fishing were all ticked off his list. The 5 days he had in Thailand ended up in typical form - with Andrew befriending a couple of local guys who had him to their remote yet extremely basic mountain village for a meal. The friendship and loving nature of the Thai people had a very sobering influence on an extremely content & happy Andrew. It comes as no surprise to those who loved him to find Andrew touched by the plight of those less fortunate. His sensitivity & open acceptance of all are some of his parents' most proud characteristic traits Andrew exhibited.
The week before last, Andrew spent with Alex, Saskia and I in Hong Kong. For us, and for Andrew, it was nothing short of a wonderful and very special week. He spent 12 hours a day with his niece & sister, six with his friends and the rest sleeping! The long story reading sessions, walks and time spent with Saskia & Alex leaves them eternally grateful. And something they will treasure for the rest of their lives. The very, very emotional farewell to Alex and Saskia last Friday was chilling but now looking back at time...a blessing. To say a tearful goodbye to those we love so dearly is a privilege not everyone shares.
On to Tokyo...a nervous, yet exhilarated Andrew jumped on a plane. He was nothing short of pumped about this new and exciting opportunity to forge a career and life in another exotic location.
Wherever Andrew lay his hat was home. He was never afraid of moving out of his comfort zone. If Andrew was sent to Moscow living in a horrible crowded flat doing a horrible job, Andrew would still make it a home. And knowing full well we'd be sitting here dealing with 50 drunk Russians come to pay their respects!
Home was where he would make it.
Tokyo was to be Andrew's latest house and he was looking to it with a refreshing zest only he could show.
I have written a small poem for the Woinarski family that I would like to share with everyone.
Soon the flowers will tire and wilt,
And the phone will cease to call.
The postman will arrive less often and
The condolence cards may not arrive at all.
People may seem a touch colder
Whilst your hearts fires still burn bright.
And whist you lay away sleepless
Others will sleep tight at night.
But life is there for living
And we will live it full & true.
Because we will never forget your wonderful boy
And owe it to our Andrew. Do not despair, we have not forgotten.
I don't believe we can.
We live our lives with hope & joy
Having known & loved your young man.
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