SOUTH Colac stalwart Greg Baker was a committed volunteer and the heart and soul of the Joiner Reserve club, a long-time friend says.
Family, friends and the South Colac community are this week mourning the death of Mr Baker, who died on Thursday night after battling a lung condition.
South Colac and Forrest observed a minute’s silence ahead of their Colac district football clash at Joiner Reserve to celebrate his almost two decades of service to the club.
Laurie “Buck” Foster said the 59-year-old was a one-of-a-kind clubman who the Roos would miss.
“We’re poorer for his passing,” he said.
Mr Baker joined the Roos in 1993 when his son Michael started playing football, and immersed himself into the club.
He served as secretary, was a long-term committee member and was the instigator of several club functions, including the Roos’ popular duck drop.
“You get a lot of people who come in the door and they’re happy to be here and be a part of things,” Mr Foster said.
“Greg would never be shy in coming forward if anyone asked him to do something,” he said.
“He was that kind of guy, if something was going on he’d take the bull by the horns and get it running.”
Mr Foster said Mr Baker was a popular figure at club functions.
He highlighted one night, when Mr Baker was a priest at a mock wedding – “everyone that was there that night still talks about it, it was one of the funniest functions we had”.
On another occasion, he jumped the fence at Adelaide’s Football Park to celebrate Fraser Gehrig kicking 100 goals, to the surprise of his son, former St Kilda defender Steven.
“He was an all-round good bloke,” Mr Foster said.
“Anything that was asked of him he would do. His wife Gayle is a lovely lady, too,” he said.
“She was by his side in anything he did. They’re a great family, it’s a great tragedy.”
Mr Foster addressed the South Colac senior team ahead of their match on Saturday and said he urged the players to play with the same passion Mr Baker had for the club.
“It was to say this fella, when he came to the club he put his hand up for every role,” he said.
“My thoughts were if you guys get out there and give as much today as he gave over that period, you’ll come up with a win.
“Be proud of the fact you’ve known him.”
Mr Baker is survived by his wife Gayle and children Michael, Steven and Vicki.