General News

5 March, 2024

Family mourns the loss of their "rock"

FREE TO READ: To the community, Mick Morcom was always good for some advice or to lend a hand. But to his wife Carolyn, adult children Sam, Hamish and Alex, and grandson Patrick, he was their "rock".

By Zoey Andrews

Carolyn and Mick Morcom at a family wedding in 2020.
Carolyn and Mick Morcom at a family wedding in 2020.

To the community, Mick Morcom was always good for some advice or to lend a hand.

But to his wife Carolyn, adult children Sam, Hamish and Alex, and grandson Patrick, he was their "rock".

Mr Morcom was killed on his farm last month when an auger fell and struck his head.

“In many ways, I feel so grateful that we had a lovely life together,” Mrs Morcom said.

"We have three grown-up children, two of which are married, and two more grandkids on the way."

Mrs Morcom sais she met Mick when she was 16 years old - he was 19 - and they spent the best part of 44 years together.

Fireworks typically mark New Years Eve, but the fireworks at the 1981 New Years Eve gathering at Green Lake also sparked an interest between the pair, who knew each other through mutual friends.

Mrs Morcom said that night was the beginning of their relationship.

Her then-future husband caught her eye because he was “an average nice guy."

“He was great for lots and lots of years, but in his later life he did get a bit more grumpy,” Mrs Morcom laughed.

She said they often teased him about being a "grumpy middle-aged man."

“He liked just doing his thing on the farm, and that is definitely where he was happiest.

“Every marriage has its ups and downs but for me, Mick was always there, our rock, and he was everything to our family.

“He absolutely adored his children - we loved following them around with their sport - Alex plays for Essendon in the AFLW and we loved following her to all the different places, watching football.

“Mick was just a good man, he was solid, and he was always there.”

Mick Morcom was born in Warracknabeal to parents Allan and Bev Morcom

He lost his father in a car crash near the family property when he was young, and his mum was left to raise four little boys.

“Mick felt a great sense of responsibility for his family once his Dad was gone, like he had to step up and do everything he could,” Mrs Morcom said.

He went on to be the provider and stable support for his own family, including his grandson, aged two-and-a-half.

“Little Patrick, he lights up our life," Mrs Morcom said.

"Mick just adored Patrick, and Patrick was just at the age where he would say “Pa, Pa”, and there was a lot more interaction between them than when he was a baby,"

Mr Morcom’s loss is not only being felt by his family, but the whole community in general where he was extremely active in many clubs and groups.

“When he was young, Mick didn’t really get involved with the VFF (Victoria Farmers Federation),” Mrs Morcom said.

"That sort of crept in because he really cared about farming and making a difference.

“In his later years he became more proactive about farming, what was best for farms, and trying to achieve the best results through the VFF.”

The CFA was also a massive part of Mr Morcom’s life.

“We were both members of Kellalac fire brigade, but Mick had been captain, and was the current group officer for Warracknabeal, as part of District 17,” Mrs Morcom said.

“He was literally organising the strike teams for the fires down Beaufort way, and his phone was running hot with people wanting to check if he had the next strike team ready.

“Fortunately, he had the weekend planned out - I was able to take a picture of that and forward it onto the appropriate people after we lost him on the Friday.”

Mrs Morcom said her husband was a “level-headed, solution-orientated person”, who knew how to sort things out in a quiet, unassuming way.

“I was involved with the church in Horsham and Mick’s mum was a good Christian - she had a beautiful faith,” Mrs Morcom said.

“The boys always went to church, and then Mick and I had our own beliefs, so we would always go to church if we were home.

“He was also involved with the Uniting Church council in Warracknabeal and headed up the enterprise for farming.”

Mr Morcom was a former committee member and Reserves coach for the Warrack Eagles Football and Netball Club.

He was involved still with the enterprise in farming and, according to Mrs Morcom, rarely missed a Thursday night's training.

“That was as much for an outing socially as to follow the players, and if the kids weren’t playing sport on a weekend, Mick would always shoot into a match,” Mrs Morcom said.

“Mick was also a member of the Warrack Golf Club and was always happy to help with jobs there.

"He didn’t play competition anymore, but would have a social outing on a Wednesday afternoon with a few guys when he wasn’t busy.”

Mr Morcom was a “Friend of Rotary” and despite not enjoying the political side, he was always happy to be hands on and help out.

He was a mentor to many farmers in the area.

They often called for Mr Morcom’s advice or opinion as he was a successful crop and sheep farmer who was always happy to pass on his knowledge and wisdom.

“There was probably more we didn’t even know - if people needed help with something all they had to do was ask and Mick would do all he could to help,” Mrs Morcom said.

“And he was never the person to ask for accolades or recognition - he was probably the absolute reverse, he didn’t like to be in the limelight by any means.”

With all his community involvement, you’d be forgiven for thinking Mr Morcom didn’t have any time for anything else - but there was always his farm he enjoyed being on.

“Alan and Bev brought the Sheep Hill land themselves, but the rest of the farm was a family farm settled by the Morcoms and I think we are up to our fourth generation, possibly fifth,” Mrs Morcom said.

While the farm was his happy place, Mr and Mrs Morcom purchased a house in December 2020 in Ocean Grove, where they would go to relax.

“He would get down there and he would be alright for a bit, or alright if we had visitors, but once he had his rest he would say: ‘now what am I meant to do with myself?,’ and he was lost,” Mrs Morcom said.

“Since January we had a lovely eight weeks catching up, we had birthdays, we have been to Sorrento on the ferry and caught up with a girlfriend in Rosebud, we’ve had friends from Warracknabeal down here.”

Mrs Morcom was on her way to Ocean Grove from Kellalac on February 23 to organise things for a dinner party the pair were hosting the following night.

She said her husband planned to travel to the holiday house to meet her the next day.

Mrs Morcom said the outpouring of community support has been amazing.

“The community has been absolutely incredible, for our family, our extended family.

"Our community and friends have been remarkable, they have rallied behind our family so much and the support we have received most definitely is giving us comfort and strength for the days ahead,” Mrs Morcom said.

Mick Morcom ‘s happy place - on the farm.
Mick Morcom 's happy place - on the farm.

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