The Childers community and the Bundaberg Region lost one of its finest citizens on Friday night with the passing of Alwyn Harrip OAM.
Mr Harrip, 91, died at the Friendly Society Private Hospital after a brief illness.
Alwyn was a resident of Childers for about 40 years and due to his incredible devotion to the local community, significantly through the RSL, Legacy and Rotary, his list of awards included an Order of Australia (OAM), the 1989 Isis Shire Citizen of the Year and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship.
Community service was never about personal recognition for Alwyn who spent decades staunchly supporting many organisations including the Isis District Historical Society as a member and president for many years.
He was also recognised for his long service with the Childers Volunteer Fire Brigade, being awarded life membership.
His early years with the Historical Society regularly saw him provide sheep shearing demonstrations, a skill he learned as a Victorian sheep farmer.
During his extended service as RSL sub Branch president Alwyn was largely respnsible for sourcing funding for the Childers Legacy units. ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day never went by without Alwyn selling ribbons and badges to raise funds for these honoured events.
One of Alwyn’s final contributions to his much loved community was providing historical data for the recently launched Krupp Howitzer touch screen kiosk.
Video of Alwyn describing the role Childers Rotary played in restoring the Howitzer now forms a lasting legacy of an incredible man.
A passionate collector and a man who adored history, Alwyn eventually constructed and opened Figtree Treasures which was used to house his beautiful collection of restored antique furniture, much of it lovingly refubished under his home. His personal collection of memorabilia gathered over a lifetime was simply stunning.
Alwyn was very hands on with the project, sourcing rock locally and physically participating in building the rustic structure which became a favourite of highway travellers looking for antiques and collectables housed in the unique building under the massive fig tree.
No task was insignificant for Alwyn who always volunteered to assist with Rotary projects be it participating in Clean Up Australia events or simply providing the smokos when the physical demands limited his ability to help. Alwyn maintained a continuous membership of Childers Rotary after joining in 1982.
His love of vintage vehicles which, he said, represented more gentler times saw Alwyn a regular in local street parades, notably on ANZAC day.
His fellow Rotary members will especially mourn his passing as will all those he touched with friendships and acts of kindness.
Vale a man of integrity. A magnificent servant to his community.
In line with Alwyn’s wishes, funeral arrangements will remain private.