THE Echuca racing community is in mourning following the death last week of Ambrose Christian.
The 76-year-old spent 44 years on the committee of the Echuca Racing Club, where he was a life member and later a patron.
Despite his many years of contributing, he was always one to avoid the limelight, preferring to talk about the club’s achievements rather than his role in them.
‘‘I believe the race club has done a lot more for me than I have for them,’’ Christian told the Riv in 2017.
In his time at the club, a resurface of the track and changes in how meetings were run were his biggest achievements.
‘‘We got on top of illegal gambling, got it organised properly and now a lot of the money goes to Racing Victoria, which puts it all back into looking after the clubs, paying vets and making sure our horses are looked after incredibly well.’’
Echuca Racing Club president Troy Murphy said Christian’s work on committee had set the club up for years to come.
‘‘He was a wonderful person for our club,’’ he said.
‘‘His many years of service put Echuca racing in the position it is in now. He developed the infrastructure to get us to where we are now.’’
Murphy said that while Christian was a tough man in the committee room, he was always fair.
‘‘You’d have some spirited discussions with Ambrose, they could get intense but Ambrose was always ready to move on at then end. He only ever wanted what was best for the club.’’
Christian himself would admit he was happy to engage in debate.
‘‘I’d rather say my piece and if that’s not in line with the other 10 or 12 blokes, that doesn’t worry me,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve had to come back in at the next meeting and apologise a lot of times. But I said what I thought and that’s what really matters in the end.’’