Big names gather to remember good friend
A ROLL call of Australia's business, sporting, political and entertainment elite have paid tribute to the life of Sydney financier David Coe.
A key figure in Sydney's tight-knit business establishment, the turnout of more than 1200 mourners on Tuesday for Mr Coe's memorial service in Sydney reinforced the point from one of his three sons that their father had "lived 10 lifetimes in his 58 years".
But it did not go without notice at the service at Sydney Grammar School that the collapse in 2008 of the finance company he chaired, Allco Finance Group, had traumatised the former high-flyer.
The cross-section of people who turned up to remember the man they knew as "Coey" was testament to the breadth of his interests and gregarious nature.
They included the former prime minister John Howard, cricketers Michael Clarke and Shane Warne, former Wallabies Phil Kearns and John Eales, actor Russell Crowe and INXS guitarist Kirk Pengilly.
High-profile members of the business community included Seven Group Holdings executive director David Leckie, former Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon and Future Fund chairman David Gonski.
Wallaby great Michael Lynagh told the mourners that Mr Coe had "tough and stressful times but he dealt with adversity as he did with triumph", and after "these difficult times people stood by him".
"This demonstrates what sort of person David was - his friends did not desert him," he said.
A close South African friend, Paul Harris, said Mr Coe was a team player in business but was traumatised by what occurred during the global financial crisis. "In fairness to him, he was not alone. It was a crisis precisely because the whole world got it wrong and didn't see it coming," he said. "He cared so it took a toll on him. The way his friends stood beside him is testament to what a great person Coey was."
The collapse in November 2008 of Allco owing $1.1 billion became one of the most high-profile failures of a raft of Australian companies during the financial crisis. Mr Coe, 58, died suddenly last month while on a skiing holiday in Aspen, Colorado.