Wednesday, September 20, 2006

" it's our turn to help Daddy."

(thanks to BINDI Irwin has taken centre-stage at Steve Irwin's memorial service, calling the Crocodile Hunter "the best daddy in the world".
Thousands of fans cheered the eight-year-old's appearance at the family's
Australia Zoo today as Bindi's mother Terri and brother Bob, two, looked on.
"My daddy was my hero, he was always there when I needed him," she said.
"He had an important job.
"I don't want daddy's passion to ever end. I had the best daddy in the whole word and I will miss him every day.
"Daddy made this place his whole life."
Earlier Steve's father Bob said: "On behalf of Terri, Bindi and Bob, and my two girls Mandy and Joy, I would like to thank all of you for your kind thoughts, letters, flowers and sympathy. "Please don't grieve for Steve, he's at peace now. But I would like you to grieve for the animals. The animals have lost the best friend they had, and so have I."
Celebrities and dignitaries, including Prime Minister John Howard, lined up to pay their own tributes at a service beamed live to millions of fans across Australia and around the world.
Russell Crowe appeared on a TV screen to deliver his own message to "my friend Steve". "I know, as humble as you are, you would still be pleased that the world sends its love," he said.
Mr Howard said: "We are here to celebrate the life of a remarkable man and a remarkable Australian. "Steve Irwin touched the hearts of Australians and touched the hearts of millions around the world in a very special way." He said he had the quality of being genuine and authentic and having a great zest for life. "As we share this celebration and honour this life can I say to Terri and the rest of your family, there are 20 million pairs of Australian arms reaching out to you today." Australian music star John Williamson sang True Blue, the
Crocodile Hunter's favourite song, earning a standing ovation from the crowd.
There were also tributes from Anthony Field of The Wiggles, actor Hugh Jackman, singer Justin Timberlake, Environment Minister Ian Campbell and actress Cameron Diaz, as Terri watched with son Bob on her knee and Bindi by her side.
"People were just taken by him, they were just inspired and in awe of his energy and how he actually went about putting himself forward and what he represented," Diaz said.
"Every kid was in love with the idea of being able to be him."
US TV host Larry King said he had interviewed Irwin, who was killed by a stingray two weeks ago, to impress his own children. "To Steve's wife Terri, my sincere condolences, to his kids - Bindi, Bob - your dad was a great man."
Wes Mannion, the director of Australia Zoo, broke down in tears as he tried to honour his mate.
"His love and passion for wildlife was so enveloping that I found it hard to breathe," he said. "Over time, we continued to grow closer and closer and shared so many exciting times." He said Irwin was a great dad: "His love and dedication has been inspiring. He was a true natural.
"To the world he was a hero. To me he was my hero. He saved my life. I'll miss you mate." The numerous tributes were mixed with footage of Irwin in his element, handling and teaching about some of the world's most dangerous creatures.
Best friend and business manager John Stainton introduced out-takes from Steve's shows.
At one stage, zoo workers laid out yellow flowers to spell out Steve's catchphrase "Crikey".
A single, empty seat has been left in the zoo's Crocoseum in memory of the much-loved environmentalist and TV star.
It was marked with the wildlife warrior's favourite Australia Zoo cap.


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