Brian Mcombe has been a prolific entertainer for over 40 years, worked in electrical retail for over 50 years and is a valuable asset to the greater Blacktown area and an even greater asset to those who know him.
In part one of my interview with Brian last week, we discussed his charity kidney golf day event. Although the amount raised is not yet known, Brian has since informed me of the day’s success. With 120 attendees, the day was a hit. “We had the best day. Everyone had a great time,” he tells me over the phone. Brian is still adamant that this is his last charity golf day after 13 years of hosting it, but time will only tell.
This week’s article will focus more on Brian’s successes and achievements in the industry as well as his Facebook fame.
From his days as King Brian on the TV commercials, to his work within the Blacktown Community, Brian’s career has been honoured with many different awards. To the left side in his living room is a tall trophy cabinet filled with various accolades from over the years. Some are more special than others he tells me as he takes me through a few of his most honourable ones.
Sitting in a black frame is an Australian of the Year award, which Brian received in 2014 for his efforts in the Blacktown community and services to charity. These awards are only given to those people who have made a big impact in some way, so I am not the least bit surprised that Brian has received one. There’s several Blacktown Sydney Business Awards trophies that Brian has won through the years. He has even assisted other businesses in winning their awards such as Anytime Fitness, which he visits on a regular basis and the Stanhope Fitness Centre where he was an ambassador for 5 year. “All these lovely people I know. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”.
In 2016, Brian was also nominated as a Legend of The West for the Nepean News paper. This is something that Brian holds close to his heart and is very thankful for. He was the first to be nominated as a Legend of the West for the newspaper.
I can’t help but notice an oversized drum kit trophy at the top of the cabinet, so of course I am intrigued to know more about this. The ‘Drum Beat’ award was presented to Brian last year by the debonaires. “That was fabulous actually. I didn’t think I would get to keep the drums. I thought they were just for on the day. But I got to keep it.”
Last year, Brian received the most outstanding citizen award for the Blacktown area. “That was a great award because the guy that introduced it to me, that was the first award of the night in front of over 700 people at Blacktown Workers Club, and he announced it as meeting me all these years ago.” Brian continues to tell me that they met on the main street of Blacktown in the 1980’s when Brian was still at Chandlers. “He approached me for a gift for the business awards and I came up with a coloured television for them and he said if that’s the way the people in Blacktown are gonna be, how friendly I was towards him, he said he’s gonna enjoy doing the awards in Blacktown.”
In recent years, Brian has become known as the most photographed man on Facebook, even receiving a trophy for this. Every day, Brian posts several different photos on Facebook with different faces at different places. Everybody seems to know him. In fact, when I take a short walk with him through the Rouse Hill Town Centre, several people stop to say hello to him and ask how he is. Even on his recent cruise, people had recognised him from Facebook and wanted to get a photo with him. “When Sue and I boarded the ship recently, I had a lady come on, Diane, and she sent me a message ‘it sounds like you’re a fun guy Brian. I’m looking forward to meeting you.’” Diane got a photo with Brian, as did her two children. It seems that everywhere he goes, photos are always taken which he enjoys, although not everyone enjoys it as much as he does. “Some people get a bit upset cause they think I overdo it,” Brian tells me but I can sense the enjoyment that it brings him.
Brian will often get photographs with his satisfied customers at The Good Guys and with the staff of restaurants and pubs that he frequents such as The Brewery and The Fiddler and he tells me that they are always very obliging to it.
Sue, for the most part, enjoys the impact that Brian has on people’s lives and how happy he can make them with one photo. She is often with Brian when these photos are taken. “Strangers come up to me all the time and hug me and she’ll say ‘who was that?’ and I say ‘I don’t know’ but they knew me”. Brian and Sue have been together for 5 years and Sue tells me that those 5 years have been so amazing because of all the things she has had the chance to experience with Brian. She counts tickets to see Celine Dion as one of her favourite moments. “She’s a cougar” Brian laughs because Sue is 5 years older than he is. “In the last 5 years we’ve been together I’ve taken her to so many shows and introduced her to so many people which she’d never done before.” Sue loves every minute of it, especially making the Cupie Dolls for the Westmead Children’s Hospital.
Brian puts his successes all down to hard work. He would never have achieved what he has and been where he is today if he didn’t work hard for it. Working in electrical retail for over 50 years has introduced Brian to many different faces and different events. He still works for The Good Guys and loves the enjoyment that he gets from satisfied customers who keep coming back. He also loves the opportunities that are presented to him, which come from being so successful. Straight after our interview and lunch, Brian heads to the Echidna’s Show at Croydon RSL. He’ll usually attend Studio 10 twice a week and then works 4 days a week, whilst also fitting in shows, dinners and awards evenings. Brian attends the Debonairs Luncheons at Sails Waterfront once a month. “They love me there and always take the mickey out of me,” Brian smiles. In April, he will attend the Australian Club Entertainment (ACE) awards.
For now, Brian will continue working, entertaining people and uploading hundreds of photos to Facebook. His positivity towards life will keep shining through. As our lunch comes to an end, it’s clear that Brian McCombe has left an impression on me- one that’s positive, good-natured and caring. Brian takes pride in all that he does and doesn’t see his lifestyle slowing down or stopping anytime soon. “I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t smoke and my heart’s still pumping so touch wood.”
I would like to say a thank you to everyone who has supported this blog over the last week and for all your kind comments regarding my first article with Brian. I hope you all enjoyed this one just as much. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or via the Facebook page. To read more articles like Brian’s, sign up for email notifications below, or ‘Like’ the Facebook page.
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