A quaint attraction in Brisbane during the 1960’s was (Sergeant) Dancing Dickie Daniels who made directing traffic by dancing around a ‘silent cop’ an art fashion. There were few accidents at his five ways.

On TV this morning 21 July, they had a segment of a dancing police officer with superimposed words of the stupid excuses given by speeding motorists. (In the sixties Brisbane had a dancing traffic cop, favourably known by locals a s ‘Dancing Dickie (Daniels)’ who directed traffic at Wooloongabba five ways in a style that would have earned him a spot on Dancing with the Stars. Indeed this scribe as a child when visiting Brisbane saw him in action on several occasions).

As a young bloke of 18, I was sitting at a table having a counter lunch in the country pub, an older weather-beaten bloke came over and asked if he could share my table. He was a nice guy and we talked about our work and country, how good the meal was; he reached out and put his calloused hand on mine and said, “You’re a decent young bloke, I would like to give you some advice — when driving always leave half an hour earlier and be prepared to arrive half an hour late — it’s a lot better than arrive dead on time in an ambulance”. His eyes had saddened and a tear ran down his cheek, he told me he had lost his only son — who looked a lot like me — just three months ago, he was killed by a speeding driver.

Today I’m an old bloke 79, and I have always remembered those words and the sadness as he spoke, a father who had lost his only son — I have a family and adult grandchildren, I have told them and most young people I meet those same words I heard over 60 years ago. I still feel the deep sadness of that father who had needlessly lost his only son. His heart broken beyond repair.


Gil May