There's a poem called "The Dash" that says when we see the dates on someone's gravestone, we see the dates separated by a dash, and only the loved ones that are left behind know what the little line in between is worth.
Wulf Ernst Reichler was born in Stuttgart, Germany on October 12, 1928.
The eldest of three children, his early life in Germany was one of luxury and privilege and was in stark contrast to the little town on the Barwon that he held so dear to his heart until the day he passed.
His family lived in Switzerland in a small castle, before moving back to Germany where he was taught to drive by his chauffeur in a Mercedes, and he went to school with royalty, although he never did have a high opinion of them.
Wulf didn't really like talking about his life in Germany, probably because his carefree childhood came to the same kind of halt as his driving lessons did after he crashed the merc, with a screech.
In September of 1943, just two weeks before his fifteenth birthday, he and another classmate were thrown rather abruptly into the German Army, simply because he was "tall enough". The two years he served in the German Army were to have far-reaching consequences.
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Initially a "FLAK hefler"- kids who were used to throw out the anti-aircraft gun shells from around the gun pit - Wulf survived when many didn't.
He was then moved to drive light armoured vehicles to fight against Allied tanks in the north of Germany, and was captured in May 1945 by the US Armed Forces in the forests near Berlin.
Wulf found himself locked up with 35 other colleagues in the Feld des Jammers- Field of Misery POW camp. He was one of only five that survived, and at 6 ft 2 he weighed less than seven stone, approximately 45kilos, when released.
It was run by the French Army, and Wulf wanted nothing and had little to do with anything even remotely French for the rest of his life.
After his release he proceeded to walk the 250km to his home in Stuttgart. It took him over two weeks.
His ticket out of Post- War depression Germany presented itself to him when he became a master craftsmen in cabinet making and joinery, and applied for a two year contract to build 2000 homes with AV Jennings in Canberra, Australia.
With a side gig on the Snowy Hydro, driving buses to Tasmania for Reg Ansett, skiing, racing and rebuilding Indian motorcycles, Wulf's new life in Australia was doing wonders to heal the horrors of war.
After travelling to Bourke in 1953, he was overwhelmed with the beauty of the bush and enchanted by the authenticity of the people who lived there.
He wrote to his sweetheart in Germany to come and join him in this far-flung place, and they were married in Canberra just six days after her arrival in Australia.
They made a home for themselves on "Cartlands" after marrying and their days on the Culgoa River were like something that dreams were made of. Later, they moved into Brewarrina town where they bought the Ford dealership, which Wulf ran for the next 40 years.
When people reminisce about the golden days of life in Brewarrina, Wulf and Ursula were a vital part of the social fabric of those times. It was a bustling little town, with a strong local economy and a thriving social scene.
His four children, Eric, Peter, Ralph and Enid, all say they had the most wonderful childhood in Brewarrina, and although they have all made lives for themselves elsewhere, the ties to the town their father adored are still strong.
It could be said that Wulf had three major loves in his life: his family, his community, and the environment - his devotion to the protection and sustainable management of the river system he lived on.
As if raising a family and running a business wasn't enough, Wulf threw himself wholeheartedly, wholeheartedly, with Ursula quietly in the background providing support and occasionally tempering his enthusiasm, into any committee, club, group or association that could help improve the lives of those in his community.
From associations to advisories, you name it, he was on it. He was a passionate advocate for Local Government, first elected to Brewarrina Shire Council in 1985, and there he stayed for over twenty years, including one year as deputy mayor in 2001 and another as mayor in 2012.
He was awarded an OAM for his services to local government, to conservation and the environment, and to the community by the Governor at the time Marie Bashir, surrounded by his family and residents of Bre past and present.
It was on this day that the gruff old man, infamous for his no-nonsense and forthright attitude rewarded us with a rare glimpse into the softer side of a toothless tiger who cherished his family and the place he had come to call home above all else, as he shed a public tear.
He was a giant of a man, physically and mentally, with a razor sharp wit and abundant wisdom that made him a valuable ally and a formidable opponent.
He held strong opinions which he was more than happy to share, whether you asked for them or not. Those opinions however were founded on logic, facts and the wealth of life experience we were lucky to get a glimpse of.
With his passing we have indeed lost an icon of an era that we will never see again.
If you ask anyone who knew Wulf, it is almost guaranteed they will tell you that they feel fortunate for having known him, and feel with an even greater conviction that they will never meet anyone quite as fascinating again.
We will remember fondly the times when a giant walked amongst us.
Vale Wulf Ernst Reichler: that was quite a remarkable dash.