Vale Mick Reynolds
Mick (Michael Charles) (SVC 1962-63) was born in New Norfolk and attended St Bridget’s Convent school. He completed Grade 7 – 10 at Savio College before arriving at St Virgil’s to do his matriculation. He rowed in the 1st VIII and played in the 1st XVIII in both years. In 1963 he was a Prefect.
Mick Reynolds was a larger than life character! Upon leaving the College he started work with the Commonwealth Bank. However, he elected to do National Service and graduated into the Armoured Corp (tanks). From there he moved into flying and got his ‘wings’ in the Sioux helicopter in 1968.
Early in 1971 he did his Instructor’s Course at Fort Rucker (Alabama USA). In 1971, Mick was deployed to South Vietnam and saw combat for the remaining six month of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
Mick then returned to work as an instructor, and to quote close friend and eulogist, Rowan Monteath, “Mick was the Instructor every student wanted to have. He was brilliant in his teaching role and many aviators unknowingly owe their survival to the skills he instilled in them”.
In 1978 Mick was promoted to Major as Officer-in-Charge 162 Recce Squadron in Townsville. In the early 80s , he refused the offer of Staff College and by December 1981 he had opted out of the Army.
For the next four years, he and close ex-army buddy, Lang Kidby, purchased and operated a pile driving company and built wharves and piers from Brisbane to the Thursday Islands. To quote Lang, “ We spent four years – 60 hours a week – operating cranes, barges, trucks, tugboats, without a ticket or degree between us – building multi-million dollar waterfront constructions. OH&S had not impacted the workplace at that stage. They were very successful and outbid many large companies.
1985 saw Mick back flying as Chief Pilot for Sea World on the Gold Coast. From 1988-1996 Mick was back in the Army full time.
He then worked as Chief Pilot for Capricorn Helicopter Rescue, followed by stints with Becker Aviation at Maroochydore and with Miles Tomkins at Caboolture. About 11 years ago cancer and a heart problem finally grounded him.
Mick was gifted in many ways. He taught himself to play the piano, the guitar and ukulele. He was a composer and a writer, especially of limericks. He loved working with wood and could fix virtually anything.
Mick’s four daughters, -Nicole, Claire, Sarah and Lauren – in their tribute at the funeral service, stated, “Dad had a strong sense of social justice and was always the advocate for the underdog, even if it made him unpopular. He was deeply and understatedly kind and generous. He was highly involved in the resettling of Vietnamese refugees and boat people in the early 80’s in Toowoomba.
RIP Michael Charles Reynolds – a unique individual who lived a very full life.
(Mick’s funeral service can be viewed online. The eulogies delivered give a wonderful insight into this remarkable man. If you would like the link to the video contact Graeme Rainbow: firstname.lastname@example.org