DEAN McInnes’ final hours were spent surrounded by family members at the Wickliffe farm where he grew up.
He and his brothers Joel and Al, members of the popular children’s entertainment group The Mik Maks, told jokes and sang songs while sitting around a camp fire.
“Dean was very laid back and he was always surrounded by friends – he was everyone’s mate."Joel McInnes
“We were fortunate enough to spend the weekend together back at the farm,” Joel said.
“He hasn’t been that active and happy for a long time.”
Dean, 32, died suddenly on Monday, after having an abscess removed from his brain in December.
Joel said his brother had experienced health issues for a period of time.
The three came up with their first ever song while holidaying at the Gardens Caravan Park in Port Fairy.
“We had our guitars with us and within an hour we had come up with our most popular song to date – Bruce the Hairy Crocodile,” Joel said.
“We shared it with some kids in the caravan park and they loved it.”
Within six months the trio had written 10 songs and were overwhelmed by the response when they performed at the Anglesea Caravan Park.
Since then, the brothers and their old friend Drums the panda, have performed all over Australia and released more than 50 songs.
Joel said Dean was known as the cheeky member of the band.
He said his brother’s enthusiasm for life was infectious. “Dean was very laid back and he was always surrounded by friends – he was everyone’s mate,” Joel said.
Dean lived for his four-year-old son Max, the apple of his eye. “Everything Dean did was for Max,” Joel said.
The Mik Maks have put upcoming shows on hold after Dean’s sudden passing.
Joel said the outpouring of emotion after Dean’s death had been overwhelming.
“It’s been amazing – we’ve had messages from kindergartens and countless families,” he said.
Asked whether The Mik Maks would continue as a group in the future, Joel becomes emotional.
“We think about what Dean would want us to do and we know the answer would be that he would want us to go on,” he said.
“It’s never going to look the same or sound the same, but we will certainly look to go on.”