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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Mick Haines: A life well lived

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Mick Haines, left, with his old friend William Finnegan, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author at the Byron Writers Festival 2016.

One thing everyone agrees on is that Mick Haines had a big life.

Born a storyteller, Michael John Haines was delivered into a loving family on July 1, 1944. His father Trevor Mervyn Haines was from Byron Bay, and his mother Doris Melba Mary Veronica Haines, was from Kempsey.

Mick grew up in Balmain with his brother Trevor (Sonny) and sister Jill, who doted over Michael, and would spend her pay packet dressing him up in fancy outfits. The family called Mick ‘The Babe’ practically his whole life.

Living on Sydney Harbour a strong attachment to the water grew from an early age. Mick trained at Balmain Baths, doing well in backstroke. The family often travelled up to Byron Bay for the holidays to visit family.

The whole family were avid Balmain Tigers supporters and this passion stayed with Mick his entire life.

Mick’s love of surfing was renowned. He and his mates, George, Ken, and DY even walked at times all the way from Balmain to Bronte with their surfboards and he was a keen member of the Maroubra Surfing Association.

Mick caught the travel bug early and pretty much travelled the world – wherever there was water or surf, that’s where you’d find him.

Mick met his beautiful bride, Jane Nelly van Loo, at a Joe Cocker concert in 1976 and they soon sailed off across the Pacific together. Their first child Jesse Tau was born in Fiji.

Mick and his little family moved up to the north coast and lived at Possum Shoot, then Main Arm, where Asia Ono was born, then New Brighton.

In 2003 Mick and Jane bought a campervan and became grey nomads, and lived their best life.

Mick volunteered for Community Transport and at St Vincent De Paul’s he played the ukulele and the trumpet. Last year Mick finally became a grandfather at the age of 73.

After a battle for life, Mick died peacefully on 30 January.

Mick was loved and will be missed by all.

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  1. Sorry to hear of Mick’s passing. He was one of the first presenters on BAY FM. And I loved the glass fish he used to sell at the markets.
    What a guy!

    RIP mate!
    Nancy Jo


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