Remembering Coup: that special bloke who made visits to the tip memorable

COUP: A beautiful soul who is deeply missed

COUP: A beautiful soul who is deeply missed

It's just on a year since Coup (Stephen Couper) left this earth and his family want to share some memories of the kind-hearted bloke with flaming red dreadlocks who oversaw the comings and goings at the Bellingen Transfer Station ...

Coup grew up in Melbourne's Ringwood, in a family where Labor values were the foundation and AFL the religion ... Carlton was the beloved team and Coup a passionate, lifelong fan. He had one older sister, Christine, who adored her little brother.

A gentle man, Coup was painfully shy and yet was happy to have a chat to anyone ... but not just about the weather. Coup was interested in the world and the workings of the human spirit - he was a deep thinker and a sensitive soul, who could just as easily discuss Nietzsche over the recycling bin as listen to someone's story of woe with a compassionate ear.

But lurking in this beautiful man was also a wicked sense of humour - he loved to see people laugh, and in turn his face came alive with his smile.

His daughters Roan and Momo have many a story of how their dad loved them and cheered them up when they were feeling down, including a memorable visit the three of them made to Bozo's Bakery years ago along with a 'whoopee cushion'!

The many bemused reactions of other customers had the trio in stitches ... and helped pass a moment when the girls were missing their mum Deb, who was visiting family in England.

Long-time friend Linda Dalton met Coup in Sydney in the 1980s when they and many others shared a house in Woolloomooloo, where "we drank a lot of tea, smoked, talked and talked, laughed a lot and welcomed whoever turned up".

"In that house Coup demonstrated that pretty much anything you found in a fridge could be put on toast. Curry on toast was a good thing, tempeh on toast, coleslaw on toast ... he almost always burnt the toast but he adapted, not by learning to cook toast correctly but by developing a taste for burnt toast."

Another friend from that time recalls a "funny, self-deprecating Viking of a man, who was reportedly an amazing AFL player, but didn't want to take that particular skill to lofty heights".

The stories abound, always with the same common thread - Coup's kindness.

As Linda put it:

"He had no interest in the things that motivate most of us - career, possessions, owning a house. Just none. He wasn't impressed by those things in others either. What he did value was kindness.

"He told me of the woman who brought muffins up to the tip for him; another who'd bring him coffee; the people who pulled out books that they thought he'd be interested in; the people that fed the abandoned roosters that the tip housed; the literally hundreds that took half an hour to drop their rubbish instead of the five minutes that the task required because they stopped to have a chat with him."

His partner Deb said Coup's relationship with their daughters, Momo and Roan, was the most beautiful she had ever seen between a father and his daughters.

"He helped them, informed, loved and held them to become the beautiful people they are today. He has given them the skills and most importantly the love to carry on his legacy of love."

Roan says Coup was without a doubt the best dad in the world.

"I just hope that when I am old and tired, I look back on the full life that I have lived, being the person you raised me to be and know that you are proud of me."

For all of them Coup's sudden death is still devastating but as Momo told the huge gathering of friends at his funeral:

"I think it's very important that his death raises awareness surrounding suicide and mental health however I don't want people to remember him for the way he died I want people to remember him for the way he lived."

Fly free Coup - you are loved and missed forever and always.