I will miss him forever
AS SHE sat in the kitchen of her Maryborough house yesterday, Sue Collett remembered her son’s determination to make it big one day.
“He asked me for a blank cheque from a cancelled account and wrote himself a cheque for $200,000. He thought that eventually he would have it,” she remembered of the big-hearted teenager who laughed his way through life.
Those ambitions will never be realised after Adrian Hope died tragically in a car crash at Tinana on December 28.
Sue spoke yesterday about how proud she was of her son.
“You are not meant to outlive your children,” she said. “I will miss him forever.”
She recalled how her industrious boy had pinned the blank cheque on a shirt which hung on the wall of his bedroom – the shirt featured singer 50 Cent and the slogan “Get rich or die trying”.
Adrian worked hard at various casual jobs, most recently at Bunnings Warehouse. He was a careful saver, even encouraging his mum to spend wisely.
“If he wanted something he’d want to lay-by it or save up. He wanted a good job, a big house and all the things that go with it.”
Sue said her son took pride in himself but it didn’t extend to cleaning his room.
Most of his clothes and several towels were always on his “floordrobe”, which was an ongoing issue between him and his mum.
“I took him in about 30 coat hangers one day and he asked what they were for,” Sue said.
“It was about a foot deep.
“But he never went out not looking his best.”
She describes Adrian as funny, caring and compassionate.
“He was always the one to make friends with the person everyone else picked on.
“He was sensible and popular, independent and frugal. He was also very sensitive.”
While his mum remembers him as a caring son, great cook and budding guitarist, school friends more often saw the humorous side of Adrian’s personality.
“He was the funniest kid and so quick with comebacks.
“He used to drive his teachers insane because he always wanted to have a joke.
“Adrian wasn’t a naughty kid but was just trying to have fun all the time.
“He did what he wanted to do and laughed his way through everything.”
Adrian was born in Darwin and moved to Jervis Bay in NSW when he was a toddler.
In 2002 he arrived in Maryborough, where he attended Sunbury State School and then Maryborough High School.
He graduated from Year 12 a couple of months before his death at age 17.
Hundreds of people attended Adrian’s funeral, some travelling from interstate.
“I was stunned how many people were there,” Sue said.
“I knew how popular he was but I didn’t expect that many people; some people we hadn’t seen for years.”
Sue said she did not think she would ever get over his death.
“It still doesn’t seem real.
“I still get up in the middle of the night with a torch to try to see if he’s there.”
Sue said she was always terrified of something happening to her children, especially after seeing so many road crashes during her years working with the Federal Police.
But she doesn’t want to lay blame on anyone or anything for her son’s death.
“We need to focus more on driver training and getting kids more experienced behind the wheel rather than blaming the roads.
“We need to teach young drivers more than just how to pass the test.”
‘It still doesn’t seem real. I still get up in the middle of the night with a torch to try to see if he’s there’