THE sons of local sporting legend, business identity and alleged murder victim Terence John Freebody have remembered their father as a man of tremendous humility and generosity following his death at a Red Hill residence on Sunday evening.
Police were called to the Mugga Way property of 69-year-old Luigi Costa - across the road from Mr Freebody’s home - around 5.15pm that day and found the body of Mr Freebody in the living room. Costa pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder in the ACT Magistrate’s court earlier this week.
He’s been remanded in custody and will face court again on August 8. Mr Freebody’s death has been met with outpourings of grief from friends, family and the wider Queanbeyan community.
Speaking to The Queanbeyan Age in the wake of the tragedy, sons Brett and Glenn Freebody spoke of a man who was, as a rule, more interested in praising the deeds of others than speaking of his own.
“As a person, he was always very humble,” Brett said.
“He really downplayed his achievements,” added Glenn.
“He was just a very ordinary man who never proclaimed anything about himself, he was always more interested in other people and how they were going.
“He was always very loyal to us, there was nothing he wouldn’t do for his kids.”
Born in Queanbeyan in 1923, Terence Freebody grew up locally before attending Sydney’s St Joseph’s College boarding school from 1935- 40. While at St Joseph’s, he displayed the sporting prowess that would go on to mark him as a future Queanbeyan great on both the cricket pitch and the football field (see full coverage, page 3).
While always reluctant to boast of his many achievements with his beloved Blues and Queanbeyan cricket, Mr Freebody maintained a close association well into his later years. “I can remember a number of occasions when I was a boy of about 12 where we went down to Goulburn to watch the Blues play,” Glenn said.
“He still followed the Blues very closely after his playing days.” A war veteran, Terence Freebody would march every year in Sydney with members of his former unit, the 2/12 Australian Field Ambulance.
During his time in the army, Mr Freebody served in Luton, Tarakan, Labuon, Marotai, Ambon and in Timor.
It was while serving in Borneo that he was called on to help find and rescue former prisoners who had survived the infamous Japanese Sandakan death marches. “He never spoke of the war itself or the atrocities, he kept us out of that side of things, Brett said.
“But he always spoke very highly of the mates he’d gone away with and referred to them very fondly.”
After returning from the war, Mr Freebody married June Royal in 1950, moving to Canberra in 1961. Over the following years, Mr Freebody successfully pursued a wide range of business interests including in motor vehicles.
Freebody’s Motors was awarded the first Toyota passenger dealership in the Canberra district. Following June’s passing in 1990, Mr Freebody was married for a second time to Leniss McNamara two years later. He is survived by Leniss, sons Brett and Glenn and daughter Kate.