Known as both the Crocodile Dundee and mayor of Main Arm’s Coopers Lane, Dutchy, or ‘young uncle Dutch’ (he was the youngest of eight) was a kind and warm-hearted man loved by many throughout Byron Shire.
Stanley Martin Dennis was born in Mullumbimby on April 17, 1928 and picked up his lifelong nickname Dutchy at the tender age of six when his teacher told him he was speaking double dutch and crowned him Dutchy.
A man of generosity, laughter and friendship, he enjoyed a chat, including with those weird hippies who moved into the lane in the 1970s, and providing many an unwary punter a glass of his home brew.
‘It was awful,’ laughed his nephews.
‘But he always claimed it was better than Carlsburg,’ they reminisced with a smile.
A keen sports enthusiast, playing rugby and cricket in his youth, he was captain of the high school cricket team and had always reminisced about how great he would have been if he hadn’t missed the train when he’d been selected to play in the representative team.
It wasn’t until this year, when he was 89, that he finally let his family in on a little secret regarding that – he hadn’t missed it, he’d never been selected – but it had been a good yarn to wind them up.
Swapping lies, by that he meant having a chat, and listening to music were among his favourite things to do, but family was what he loved most of all.
His wife Margie was the love of his life and he was a wonderful and caring father to his cobba, Lindsay.
In his older years Dutchy became a fixture at the local library in Mullumbimby and his smiling face now roams the Shire on the side of the mobile library.
‘Friday in the Mullumbimby library just doesn’t feel right without a visit from Dutch,’ said local librarian Helen East.
‘For many, many years he was an important part of our Friday morning with his cheery greeting, critique on the latest cricket or football game or the team selection, book reviews and of course his beautiful fresh produce, which he loved to share with us.’
Dutchy died on May 5 and is now reunited with his beloved Margie.
As one friend concluded ‘he was Dutchy, he mattered and he will be missed.’