Drummer dies in Currarong diving accident

A man of music with a love of spear fishing and a passion for life is how South Coast musician Matt Sykes will be remembered.

The 27-year-old, who was the drummer in folk-pop band Paul Greene and the Other Colours, died on Thursday when struck by a boat while diving in waters off Currarong.

A funeral for Mr Sykes will be held at the Nowra School of Arts on Friday at 2.30pm.

His parents, Andrew and Catherine Sykes from Bangalee, said the event would be a celebration of their son’s life.

“Come dressed in your board shorts and thongs, that’s what Matt would want. He was never one for dressing up,” Mrs Sykes said.

“This will be a celebration of his life, a life he filled with the things he was passionate about.

“People attending his funeral should not bring flowers or make donations.

“Anyone who wants to honour Matt’s memory should do as he would have by encouraging someone to develop their talent.

“Matt was a deeply spiritual man who lived what he believed.

“He lived his life to the full; he didn’t waste a moment and was very passionate about everything he did. He was like his grandfather in that sense,” she said.

Mr and Mrs Sykes moved from England to Nowra when Matt was nine years old.

He attended Nowra High School, before studying at the Canberra Conservatorium of Music.

They have another son, Chris, and a daughter, Emily.

Mr Greene said he, Mr Sykes and bass player Neil Beaver were preparing to embark on a tour when the tragedy happened.

Although mourning the loss of their band mate and friend, the tour will go ahead, Mr Greene saying “I am absolutely sure that’s what Matt would have wanted.” 

He added that the shows would be ‘‘a celebration of Matt Sykes’ life and work’’.

 Mr Greene said of Mr Sykes, “Matt, what an amazing bloke you were. Talented on the piano and kora, and one of the best drummers I know; you lived for what you loved and never let money dictate your life; you knew how to love and put all your love into whatever you did.

‘‘So glad I got to know you, mate.” 

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