Tributes are flowing in for a “larger than life character” who will be missed terribly.
Mick Horne, 54, of Tura Beach, died in hospital on Sunday afternoon as a result of injuries received during an alleged carjacking on Friday night at Bournda.
Mr Horne was a former Far South Coast police officer. He retired as a senior constable in 2009 after serving at Bega Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.
In 2002 he was awarded a NSW Police National Medal for 15 years’ service as well as a Commissioner's Commendation for his actions during a “volatile” protest action at the Eden chip mill.
Mr Horne and two fellow officers “displayed courage, professionalism, and responsibility to the community in a volatile situation” when they removed protesters who had chained themselves to loading machinery in dangerous conditions.
He leaves behind wife Mel and an adult son Tom, with NSW Police requesting privacy for them as they deal with their tragic loss.
Good mate Stuie Hindson, who works at Tackle World Merimbula, said he was devastated by the death of “a great bloke” he’d known for many years – “ever since they came to town”.
“He loved the outdoors and we did a lot of fishing together,” Mr Hindson said this week.
“He’d always come into the shop and end up having a 20-minute yarn. Or you’d see him having coffee at the Waterfront – he loved a coffee.
“We’ll all miss his happy, bubbly, smiling, coffee-drinking face.
“He was a good bloke, always up for a chat and a laugh.
“Sometimes I didn’t see him for months, but he was the kind of bloke that when you did catch up with him, you’d just pick straight up where you left off.
“Talk to anyone and they’ll say the same – he was just a great bloke and super well respected.”
Mr Hindson said he, along with his workmates and the community at large, were still in disbelief at the weekend’s news.
“This sort of thing just doesn’t happen here,” he said.
Also killed during Friday night’s violence, allegedly by the same 20-year-old man, was Gail Winner, 69, of Bega.
She and her husband Thomas relocated in 2017 to Bega from Creewah, north of Bombala, with friends and neighbours both here and up the mountain in shock.