23 August 2013, Brighton, Melbourne, Australia
Tom was worried about being asleep during the ceremony and so wanted me to pass on a special message to Dad, or Dr Pop as he was known to Tom. We sat down to write a letter and this is what Tom said [play Iphone raspberry noises]. I translated all that as follows:
Dear Dr Pop
I’ve only known you for about 8 ½ months, but I think I’ve figured out some important things about you that will help me in the future.
First, you liked Jags a lot. Dad had a Jag because he wanted to impress you. I liked being driven around in that car. Now we have an Audi because Mum wanted a sensible, family car. I don’t think Germans are sensible. I think Jags are sensible…and cool. I will demand to be driven to school in a Jag and I will also drive one when I am older. I’ll wear Ray Bans like you too because they are also sensible…and cool.
Secondly, you really liked Essendon. I have been conflicted. Mum likes Buddy Franklin so I have a lot of Hawthorn stuff. Then Mum found out that Dad started barracking for Hawthorn because his Grandad did, so Mum decided I should barrack for Essendon because you did. Dad got a big shock when he took me to visit you in hospital and unwrapped my blankets to find me dressed in an Essendon jumper. Oh, how we laughed. Since then, Dad keeps randomly saying things like “peptides”, “amino acids”, “denial” and “Demetriou” whenever I wear my jumper. I wish you were around to explain what that means. Essendon definitely seem very fit.
Thirdly, you liked Victoria and insisted that it is the greatest country on earth. I now understand that there are too many New South Wales players in the Australian cricket team, that it is really Victorian rather than Australian Rules Football and that all the best wines are from Rutherglen, not the Barossa.
Fourthly, you had a beautiful baritone singing voice and were quite an actor with the Peninsula Light Operatic Society. Dad has been singing and playing some guitar tunes to me recently which, frankly, I humour him into thinking he’s doing a good job. I also hear Dad tried to be an actor like you but wound up on Neighbours. Look, in deference to you, I will encourage Dad to keep at it, even if it is tough to watch.
Fifthly, you really loved Granny Mac a lot. Even when you were sleeping last Saturday, I could see you were holding her hand. I hope Mum and Dad always hold hands like that too.
Sixthly, you were amazing at English and helped dumb kids and dumb teachers get really smart. I already know that Mum is bad at English but, so far, she can read me books. Dad is good at English but probably overplays his hand in dinner conversations and seems a bit of a try hard. I think you may have come in handy for when I am at school. If I am running into difficulties on that front, I will say the following to Mum and Dad: “Gee, imagine if Dr Pop was here and how much better my grades would be. What’s wrong with you two?”.
Finally, you were a really good Dad to Macca, Andy, Dad & Matty and a great Grandad to me. If I am running into difficulties with Dad, I will say the following to him “Gee, are you sure that’s what Dr Pop would have wanted”? Hopefully this will help him to be as good a Dad as you were.
Tom Robert Dodger McGregor
The McGregor boys also lost their mother to cancer just weeks later. Tim and Rohan McGregor's eulogy for Margaret McGregor is also on Speakola.