By Hans Ebert
We said our final goodbyes to our great friend Big Kev on Thursday- barrister, raconteur, and man for all seasons and reasons in Kevin Egan. In attendance were many from Hong Kong’s legal community, politicians, some from the horse racing community- a pastime he embraced with great passion- many from the constabulary, a few who successfully straddle both sides of the law, and longtime friends who were part of his circle of life.
There were two eulogies where we heard what some of us knew and a few things we didn’t. Big Kev played cricket? And the clarinet?
More seriously, we heard the toll the ICAC case against him and when, after almost four years of being relentlessly pursued before finally being acquitted, impacted his life. How here was this larger than life character who knew everybody and pretty much everything about everyone whereas we knew so little about our friend. That’s how he wanted it. No tea and sympathy for Kev.
While toasting him after the funeral, and remembering as much as he allowed us to know him, a mutual friend showed us a text about Kevin insisting that he had won his battle against what he described as “Spanish” cancer. How to assemble the troops together for a celebratory drink. This never happened.
Some of us never knew about this final fight and which wasn’t held in any courtroom. He fought it alone. In hospital. All he’d tell us would be how he would be out of town for a few weeks to see his brother. And then he’d be back, call every race day and say, “So who’s going to win us the Six Up?” It’s the only bet he was interested in. There’ll be no more calls on race day. There’ll be no Kev on our side with free advice. To say, “Mate, give him my private number. Let me see what I can do.”
As “Danny Boy” was sung and Big Kev left the building, minds were filled with great memories of a great friend who left us quietly and without wishing to burden us, but taught us so much without working at it. Without lecturing us.
By just listening to Kevin, we learned so much. He’s left us with a great gift- the gift of life and how nothing is quite what it seems but the good always trumps the bad.
RIP, Kev. We’ll still text you our thoughts for the Six Up just in case you want to have a bet.