Glencairn Donald Perrin was born on the 18th December, 1931 in Toowoomba and resided in Cambooya for almost 80 of his 90 years. He passed away peacefully in Toowoomba on 6th Dec 2022.
He was the youngest son of Albert and Florence Perrin. Glen had four siblings Sylvia, Sid, Joe and Les all of whom had moved away from Cambooya however he remained extremely close to all of them for the whole of their lives. They stayed in touch constantly through phone calls, letters and visits. The things the siblings all had in common were their gentle nature, a great sense of humour, time and a love for each other.
Glencairn was known to most as Glen, GD to the rifle shooting community, Dad to Lisa and fondly as Grandfella to his two grandchildren. Grandfella was a very fitting name given to him by his grandson Brendan.
Glen attended Cambooya State School and was a very good student, he very much enjoyed his schooling life. All of Glen’s siblings travelled to school on horseback but not Glen, he always walked. Glen never learnt to ride a horse or to swim. He said he just couldn’t see the point. After completing his schooling, he set about working the family farm.
Glen met his future wife, Nancy, in the late 60’s at the Post Office Hotel in Toowoomba and they were eventually married early in 1971. They moved into the home on the family property with Glen’s beloved mother. Glen and Nancy had a close relationship, spending lots of time together and never ran out of conversation.
A daughter Lisa was born in September of 1971. Glen and Lisa had a wonderful friendship and respect for each other. They always found something to talk about.
In 1992 Glen and Nancy built a new home on the family farm and named it “Cluden” after the Townsville rifle range. They both loved living in the new brick home and found it to be much warmer. Glen wasn’t a fan of the cold.
In 1989 Lisa married Brian Bernier and presently a grandson Brendan was born in May of 1990 and Grandfella was extremely proud of him. Glen’s granddaughter Amy was born in August of 1994.
Unfortunately, Nancy passed away in the August of 2007. Glen found himself feeling a little isolated at Cambooya and after some health issues he made the decision to make the move to Toowoomba. There he would be able to spend more time playing cards and enjoy socialising more easily. Glen’s health started to deteriorate in 2011 and he underwent a major bowel operation. At the time it didn’t look like he would bounce back from this, though Glen being Glen he did.
During Glen’s nine years at Glenvale Villas he spent a lot of this time socialising, travelling and playing cards. He really did enjoy his time spent in Toowoomba or town as he would say.
Unfortunately, his health deteriorated further in June 2021 and he underwent another major bowel operation. Following this he required more care and relocated to Yukana. Here he made the most of the activities, especially playing cards, although his health was now beginning to let him down.
He loved following the stock market and he only stopped trading in the last few years of his life but always kept abreast of the goings on in the market.
Amy and Glen travelled a lot together. They went to Townsville to visit the rifle range as he held that range in high regard. He attended the Townsville shoot multiple times and he won there 4 times.
His shooting career spanned over most of his life. He was born into a rifle shooting family with his Father and Uncles before him also being shooters. Like Glen, his brothers Les and Joe also had a love of rifle shooting and the brothers enjoyed the times they spent together on shooting adventures. Over the years he held the office of Treasurer, Secretary and President of the Darling Downs District Rife Association. He was a life member of the District association and also the Darling Downs Rifle Club, bestowed in 1972. He started shooting at the age of 17 and joined the DDRC on the 3rd July, 1949 remaining a member until his passing.
He was consistent with his ability to score highly over long and short distances and this, combined with his unassuming manner earned him a respect of fellow shooters.
GD was a very modest fellow and rarely spoke of his achievements. GD won his first Kings Badge (no 5) in 1951. He was selected in the Queensland team for the first time in 1954/55 to compete in Tasmania and in total was a member of a Queensland team on 15 occasions.
He was selected in a team to represent Australia in 1961 which competed in New Zealand.
He was selected to represent Australia again in 1968. He was unsure at the time whether he was going to be able attend as his Father had only passed away a few years earlier, he would need to leave his beloved Mother behind and he had limited funds. It all seemed too much for the young farmer from Cambooya. However, with the help and encouragement of his brother Les he decided he would go. This Australian team competed in Great Britain at (Bisley), then went on to compete in Canada and also back in Melbourne.
Glen won the DDRC club Championship a record number of 27 times. He won the Champion of Champions of the Downs Association 9 times and had gone on to win the Champion of Champions of Queensland on two occasions in 1965 and 1982.
In total he won 57 Kings/Queens badges including 4 firsts, 5 seconds and 2 thirds. Locally he has won First Badges at District and Club Prize shoots on 40 occasions. This includes 5 Darling Downs, 5 Goondiwindi, 5 at Inverell and 10 at Warwick.
He also represented Australia again in 1996 in a Veterans team. Following this trip, he wound down his shooting and focussed on family and retirement.
Here follows a couple of personal anecdotes and thoughts on this great man.
Glen once told me he took issue with his father for naming him Glencairn, and said as soon as he got old enough he was going to change it to plain Glen. He related this to me when he was about 83 and finished with “never got around to it. I suppose it doesn’t matter much now!” I know of three Glens in the world named after him, Glen Rush, son of Rob who admired GDP, Glen Pacholke and Glen Picton, sons of Merv and Neville respectively who were great mates of GDP.
At a Goondiwindi prize shoot in the late ‘80s, I asked Glen how he was going. He had finished the day early, with a clean slate, not surprisingly, 3 ranges each of 8 shot possibles, 120 points in total. He said, “there are 2 others clean after the first 2 ranges but they have to get 9 vees from 8 shots to beat me!” Then he added in his quiet matter-of-fact way “I’m confident I might have it in the bag!”
Glens middle name Donald was for Bradman. Glen was involved in a shoot-off for the daily aggregate at the Queens I think at Williamstown range in Victoria, whilst still only new to the sport. His opponent was none other than the Don Bradman of shooting, one Percy Pavey. One of the Qld old hands [J J Cadden, or maybe Alan Duncan] said to Glen “Don’t let his reputation beat you, young fella” but Glen didn’t prevail, and he told me it “wasn’t Percys reputation that beat me, it was his score!!”
He had a unique style of laying on the shooting mound. He looked relaxed, like he was just watching a fishing line in the creek and he rested the toe of one foot on the heel of the other. All wrong-headed according to coaching doctrine, but he fired every shot in the same methodical way, shot after shot after shot. He never understood rifle bedding, Joe did that for him, or trigger work or any technical information, but he always set the rim of his hat over the sight, both eyes open, and shot possible after possible.
Some sports change the rules because someone is so dominant. Billiards changed the cannon rules, for example, to level the competition for Walter Lindrum, who still won anyway. In his own way Glen changed a rule in the DDRC whereby we used to issue 105 Rooster badges for any 105 shot the previous year. After Glen took home 6 in 1992, we changed it to just one a year no matter how many were shot to manage dwindling supplies of the badges. Good decision too, as he was to achieve the score more than 24 times in the next 8 years including 9 in 1998. He finished shooting competitively at the end of 1999.
He liked a beer. I once saw him and Merv Pacholke having a tall bottle not long after breakfast outside the bunkroom at Belmont when a Queens day was washed out. No sense wasting time doing nothing.
Another time, I had an afternoon once at Mt Lofty when only he and I were there and I had hot stubbies. He asked “Haven’t you got any ice?” and I told him I did, but had never had ice in warm beer. He said “Your education my lad is sadly lacking!!” It was a remedy he brought home from England, and I can attest that it works surprisingly well.
I told him of my regret that I was unable to attend Geoff Wockners funeral, and he said “If you don’t come to mine, I’ll never speak to you again!!”
Anyone who spent time with Glen would know he was a gentle soul……. but not if you were competing against him. His was a very tough, competitive spirit, hard and fair. However, once the scores were decided and he was away from the mound he reverted back to the genial Glen of always. His health outcomes alone, overcoming great odds many times, suggest a very tough constitution indeed.
Rifle-shooting is a very individual sport. Glen was always humble in victory and gracious in defeat. He was so modest about his achievements that I sometimes wonder if he actually realised himself the great heights he accomplished in the sport.
He was possessed of a wonderful memory, especially for scores and conditions. It was not to be, but we are sorry that he will be unable to witness the new range presently under construction which I hope will bear his name when complete.
I know not what happens to riflemen when they pass away, nor to where they go. In my minds fancy I can see Glen chewing the fat with Ted Long or Bill Burton, or maybe getting the agenda for a meeting off of Geoff Wockner and gentle old Stewie Wilkins. Perhaps he will be arguing with Laurie Steele, he called him Laurence, that Laurie was Captain more times than himself, or listening with a cupped ear, like Jack Kirkpatrick, to Mick Fletcher or Claude Leggatt telling jokes. Or is he taking the chance to have a yarn with his brothers. Who knows?
He will be sorely missed and spoken of for many many years to come wherever riflemen meet. The world is far poorer for his loss, but vastly enriched for his life and his living, and to finish with Lisa’s closing words. All in all Glen had a remarkable life and he will be missed greatly by many.
May he now rest in peace.