4 November 2023

Quinzo’s memorial service unites generations of Brumbies as they farewell a legend

| Tim Gavel
Join the conversation
Quinzo's farewell at Canberra Stadium. Photo: Tim Gavel.

Quinzo’s farewell at Canberra Stadium. Photo: Tim Gavel.

There was no more fitting venue for a man who lived and breathed the Brumbies.

He was the heart and soul of the club from its heyday up until his death last month at the age of 86.

Garry Quinlivan’s memorial at Canberra Stadium on Thursday (2 November), as expected, attracted generations of Brumbies.

Garry was the team’s assistant manager, gear steward, gatekeeper, mentor; he influenced every player and was genuinely loved by all within the club.

This was reflected in the turnout. The Brumbies’ first coach Rod McQueen was there, as was the current coach Steve Larkham, who came under Quinzo’s influence both as a player and coach.

Among those who paid tribute to Quinzo were the Brumbies’ first skipper Brett Robinson, Brumbies CEO Phil Thomson, and Quinzo’s great mate, Mal Daisley.

Mal spoke about picking up Quinzo from hospital as he battled cancer. Rather than drive him home, Mal Daisley said he was instructed to head straight to Canberra Stadium as the Brumbies were playing at the time.

people in a circle at Canberra Stadium

A celebration of the life of Garry Quinlivan (Quinzo) at Canberra Stadium. Photo: Tim Gavel.

Phil Thomson presented Quinzo’s son with the club’s 00 cap and announced that from next season, the Brumbies men’s and women’s jerseys will have Quinzo’s name embroidered inside the collars.

The large turnout was a history lesson for many as we learned of Quinzo’s life beyond the Brumbies. He was a champion schoolboy runner, played in the St Joseph’s first XV for three years, and had an extensive coaching career in Canberra.

Phil Thomson pays tribute to Quinzo. Photo: Tim Gavel.

Phil Thomson pays tribute to Quinzo. Photo: Tim Gavel.

We were also reminded of Quinzo’s 70th birthday present to himself: a Brumbies tattoo above his chest.

At one stage during the memorial service, the scoreboards at both ends of Canberra Stadium scrolled through messages from legends of Brumbies Rugby.

Quinzo's fitting farewell. Photo: Tim Gavel.

Quinzo’s fitting farewell. Photo: Tim Gavel.

The tractor Quinzo used to transport the gear from one section of the training paddock to another completed one final lap of Canberra Stadium with his coffin on board. Then, the Brumbies family and his own family formed a circle ending in a rendition of the team song.

Fittingly, as the code faces more division than ever before, at least on this occasion, unity was on full display. As somebody at the gathering mentioned, Quinzo had a gift of bringing everybody into the tent.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.