Ron Dyne: an officer and a gentleman
CIVIC leaders from throughout the state are expected to attend the funeral of former Gympie mayor Ron "Scrubby" Dyne early next week.
The man who steered Gympie Regional Council through its earliest growing pains and went on to become one of the favourite sons of local government in Queensland lost his battle with cancer late on Friday afternoon, aged 69.
His funeral service will take place in The Pavilion, at 11am next Monday.
Mr Dyne was born and bred in Mackay, joining the army as a young man, serving in Vietnam, Thailand and all over Australia, and rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Upon retirement, he and wife Dulcie relocated to a property at Lower Wonga, growing olives and running a charbray herd.
Mr Dyne was elected to Kilkivan Shire Council in 2000, becoming that council's mayor in 2004.
When Gympie, Kilkivan and a part of the Tiaro shire were amalgamated in 2008, he came from the outside to soundly defeat former Gympie mayor Mick Venardos in the race to head the first Gympie Regional Council.
Mr Venardos would later pay tribute to Mr Dyne's honest campaign.
His success in steering the council through amalgamation was something he was rightly proud of and described as "a great achievement".
Mr Dyne was re-elected in 2012, and led the push for a multi-million dollar levee to be built at Albert Park to mitigate flooding in the Gympie CBD.
The controversial plan was eventually dropped when estimated costs blew out.
Described as a remarkable man and a natural leader, Ron Dyne did not believe in grudges.
"I'm a firm believer that you have your two bob's worth and if you disagree, well you still get on with life," he once told The Gympie Times.
"There's more important things to do than to carry grudges around with people."
In late July, he was diagnosed with inoperable liver, pancreatic and bowel cancer after feeling a "slight discomfort" which he had put down to stress at budget planning.
Vowing to carry on in his role as mayor as long as possible, he stayed at his post and endured several rounds of chemotherapy before deciding to have no more.
Stoic until the end, his last council meeting on December 19, was attended by Local Government Minister David Crisafulli and Member for Gympie David Gibson, who both gave emotional tributes.
There was not a dry eye in the council chamber that day.
Mr Crisafulli described it as his proudest yet saddest duty as Minister.
"(Ron Dyne) is a rare breed and, as a young bloke coming through local government, he was one of the ones that you looked up to," Mr Crisafulli said.
"People knew who Ron Dyne was, they knew the sort of bloke he stood for and his legacy will be a great one not just for Gympie but for local government as a family."
Mr Crisafulli said Mr Dyne provided Gympie with stability through tough times.
"He always treated people with respect but wasn't a shrinking violet. Always took advice but showed leadership," he said.
"He was a rare breed. His leadership will be missed but I think he set his community up very well.
"Amalgamations are never easy. You bring different organisations together, different cultures, different backgrounds, different size organisations.
"This one worked and in many ways it worked because of Ron Dyne."
Member for Gympie Tony Perrett said he was proud to have served as Mr Dyne's deputy from 2003 onwards.
Mr Dyne is survived by his wife Dulcie, son Gavin and daughter Michelle.