Jim Evans fondly looks back at his relationship with his son Gareth. Gareth was in his 30's when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
JIM EVANS (VOICEOVER): "Beautiful Boy." There was great joy when number-one son Gareth was born. Very quickly, he became known as "Fat Bowes," because he was a big boy. I played with Carlton in 1955 and was a very keen footie follower. Gareth and I played backyard football, but he began barracking for Geelong because of Gareth Andrews. When Andrews went to Richmond, so did my son's allegiance. Gareth was a gentle boy and shy, partly because of his slight speech impediment. He could become very fierce, especially when he had to protect his younger brother.
We moved to Bendigo when Gareth was nine. We were building a mud brick house near Maldon and Gareth helped me make the 3,000 bricks. It was very satisfying to work with the earth and Gareth and I shared this love of building. He liked yabbing in the dam with his brother and friends. He played kick to kick and cricket endlessly. He didn't like being moved from Eagle Hawk Primary, so one day, he wrote a note saying, "I have runned away because I don't want to go to Maple Street Primary." I admired his spirit and this burst of independence. When my marriage broke up, Gareth opted to live with me. I was moved by his loyalty and his gentle desire to help. I treasured the quiet conversations we had, usually about sport.
Gareth lived with me until he finished secondary school in Bendigo and then went to Monash University. He moved into a house in Richmond with his brother, which they quickly turned into a hovel. We would often go to MCG together. Gareth moved to Queensland and taught Aboriginal and Vietnamese students. This new direction in his life made me feel very good. He also worked in a child minding center. He loved young people and he loved Brisbane. We kept in touch by weekly phone call and letters.
He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a short time ago. He's very quickly lost mobility and his eyesight. and speech are badly affected. Today, he is bedridden and completely dependent on care. Gareth will be 40 years old in December. I have and will always be proud of my beautiful son.