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A man, a gavel, a legacy

A tribute to Tony Fountain

This week we lost a man who made a difference.

Tony Fountain, the man who changed the real estate topography of Australasia, will have a plethora of thankful disciples come and say goodbye.

“It’s not who’s here to see you enter the world, it’s who turns up to say goodbye that matters”.

If you don’t know Tony personally but you’re in the real estate industry, there is a good chance that you have been touched by him in some way. Touched perhaps through one of the people he made a difference to through his mentoring as the greatest auctioneer Australasia was ever graced with, or through his philosophical views on life, or from just knowing him as the down to Earth “true blue Aussie” he was.

In the Winter of 1994, standing in a dark, windowless room that was once the Perth International Hotel, this “bloke” from Sydney was about to change my life and the direction it took, forever, for this was the day I first put the mighty wooden gavel in the sweaty palm of my hands and took my first steps as an Auctioneer under the tutelage of one Mr Tony Fountain.

He taught me the courage to back myself and that the only person who knows it’s your first time is YOU so give it all you’ve got. He then shared the most profound words which changed everything…

“Every time you do something, think like it’s the first time. The passion, the nerves, the anticipation will ensure complacency never takes over.”

Words that have guided every aspect of my life ever since. Words I share with my children and values I share with clients. So 24 years down the track, just over 7,000 auctions called under my belt, the lives I’ve helped change, the students I’ve taken under my belt to show them the way of the gavel, are all a legacy of this great man.

Tony was known as the “Rainbow Chaser” – a metaphor to never stop chasing your dreams. A gift that so often evaporates in life, yet Tony taught me to dream like a child, no boundaries no fear, “Just go chase my son” he would say.

I’ve often spoken about Legacy – what are the footprints we leave behind us, whether we’re on this planet or not. The lesson from Tony is not to wait until you no longer grace this planet to leave a legacy. Ensure each and every person who touches your life is better for the experience.

Tony was forever reciting a quote by T.E Lawrence, known as Lawrence of Arabia, a quote that has been a strong guide to thousands due to Tony’s assistance…

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by the night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are the dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

A man, a gavel, a legacy. Carpe Diem.

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