Maxwell ('Max') Adrian Townsend was born on August 21, 1943 at Parkes hospital.
He lived at Parkes for six years until Max and his parents moved to Glebe, in Sydney. There Max buddied up with his mate Gordon and they have kept in contact over their lives until Max's passing, on April 17, 2021.
Max's first job was as an offsider on a truck. When he was old enough, Max got his truck licence and drove trucks most of his life.
He loved to ice skate, which is where he met his wife, Marion. He participated in racing, ice hockey and dress up shows.
"One time he was dressed as a pregnant woman and guess what happened - the pillow slipped downwards," Marion recalls.
When the couple moved to Wingham in 1970, they bought a taxi.
There were five taxis in Wingham at that time, and one of the tax drivers said to Max, "you won't last long here."
Max proved him wrong. His first customer was to take a bride to the Anglican Church in Wingham for her wedding.
The couple later purchased a school bus run, which ran from Wingham to Marlee and Mooral Creek.
The Townsends ran the taxi and the bus run for 10 years, before buying a trucking business that ran from Taree to Tamworth twice a week. When somebody undercut their price two years later, they moved back down to Sydney "for three long years."
When they returned, they signed up as volunteers with Wingham Street Reach, picking up youth and taking them home or to a safe environment. The service lay dormant for a time after one of the people running it became ill.
Max and Marion took up the service, and purchased a suitable van. One of their fellow church members offered to supply fuel, while D and J Ruffs became the sponsor for repairs on the vehicle. Later the service was auspiced by The Samaritans, but it was donations from local community groups such as Rotary, and Wingham Spinners and Craft that kept them going.
Max and Marion, on behalf of Wingham Street Reach, were recognised with 10 awards including Citizen of the Year, and a Certificate of Appreciation from NSW Police for their voluntary work over the years.
The couple ran the service with the motto "Jesus carries our load".
Wingham Street Reach stopped operating, like everything else, with the arrival of the COVID-19. Only a few months before his death, Max had decided to retire from Street Reach for good, and sold the van.
"The young ones called Max a legend," Marion says.
Max's charitable work went beyond Wingham Street Reach.
In 2013, a lot of people lost homes and properties in bushfires at Coonabarabran. Max and Marion placed an ad in the local papers asking for donations to take down to the fire-affected. They got more than they bargained for, and took the seats out of the bus to fit it all in. All those items were delivered by Max and Ray Hampton.
Max and Marion became involved with Community Transport, helping out by picking up Indigenous clients and driving them to Kempsey to visit loved ones in jail.
Max and Marion were married for 56 years and one son, Ron. They travelled to many places within Australia, and also went on four cruises.
Max loved animals, so always had a cat or dog.
Max is survived by Marion, Ron, and Ron's wife, Julie.