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Phill Bates remembers Jim Beer

By:
Phill Bates
Published:
May 1, 2012, 04:12,
Updated:
May 1, 2012, 05:13
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Funeral to be held this Thursday

Cycling lost one of its big wheels on Friday when Jim Beer passed away after losing his battle with cancer.

Jim, a 1951 State Road Champion and winner with of road premierships with Canterbury Club, has been a wonderful mentor and coach to so many people that graduated to great things on and off the bike, will be a very hard person for the sport of cycling to replace.

Jim and Elaine lived in the Sutherland Shire for 50 years, produced three wonderful children and many grand kids but for much of his life he devoted to helping people – assisting and giving focus to young cyclists achieve their dreams, and that list is endless.

Jim's son won NSW Championships and finished second in the National Junior Road Title and benefited from Jim's knowledge. Olympian Wayne Nicholls, who won the 1974 National Road Championship, Shane Sutton, Chris Sutton, Matt White are just a few that have benefited from his support and help.

Jim has had a rough few years – losing half his leg and then to end up with liver cancer – something that claimed his life in his 79th year. But it did not stop him.

Jim was honoured with life membership of St George Cycling Club in 1983, as well as his wife Elaine – the first couple in the long history of the club to achieve this honour and won various other awards as an outstanding official and volunteer – including the Leader award for Volunteer of the Year.

In 2005, Jim was honoured by Cycling NSW with the Medal of Merit for 50 years service to the sport.

Many cycling members will have impeccable memories – no one will have a bad word.

Phill Bates AM, President of St George Club enjoyed 40 years of close friendship with Jim and could write a book on what Jim achieved in his lifetime. Bates said that many people have their own very special moments with Jim and Elaine and one special person, Shane Sutton OBE, the head of British Cycling said: "I was very sad on hearing the news regarding Jimmy. I hope you can pass on my best wishes to Elaine and the family. 79 as far as test averages go is great but the harsh reality is that cycling is going to lose one of its wheels."

The funeral will be held at Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland on Thursday at 12 noon.