Ron 'Scrubby' Dyne farewelled by 800 at funeral
TEARS are common at funerals, applause less so.
But both were spontaneously wrenched from about 800 people at yesterday's farewell for popular military and local government identity, family man and mate, ex-Gympie mayor Ron Dyne.
Mr Dyne's funeral at the Gympie Showgrounds Pavilion was no ordinary send-off and, as speakers made clear, Ronald John "Scrubby" Dyne, was no ordinary man.
Although best known here as the former Kilkivan councillor who became the Gympie region's first mayor and steered it through council amalgamation, Mr Dyne was also regarded as "the Godfather" of one of the Australian Army's most vital support services, the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
These are the people who keep the trucks running and the lights on, often under conditions described as "hot, dirty and dangerous."
RAEME representative Brigadier David McGahey said his organisation today was "the house that Scrubby built."
The same might also be said about today's Gympie Regional Council, which Mr Dyne built, almost from scratch, after amalgamation.
"For three generations, Scrubby was at the core of selecting them and grooming them for success," he said.
That was part of Mr Dyne's 31-year "other life" in the military, including service in Vietnam.
The region's new mayor, Mick Curran, gave his take on a predecessor and role model who, after one term as a councillor became Kilkivan mayor in 2004 and then, in 2008 mayor of the new council formed from the merger of Cooloola, Kilkivan and parts of Tiaro shires.
New Gympie state MP Tony Perrett, Mr Dyne's deputy mayor for 11 years, said he recalled the day his colleague received the bad news from his doctor and said Mr Dyne's December resignation, prompted by advancing cancer, was something he had hoped would never happen.
Both paid tribute to the unfailing courage and support of Mr Dyne's widow, Dulcie, as well as other family members.
Mrs Dyne took a last stroll with her husband, walking his casket to the showgrounds' front gate as hundreds lined up to form a guard of honour.
One of Mr Dyne's fellow Vietnam veterans, Ivan Friske, presented Mrs Dyne with an Australian flag, provided by Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, "on behalf of a grateful nation."
A crowded military career
GYMPIE RSL sub-branch president Frank Bontoft filled in the details of a significant, 31-year military career, the earlier life of the man we knew as Gympie Region mayor, Ron Dyne.
Ronald John Dyne, Service Number 18749, was born on November 20, 1945, Mr Bontoft told mourners at Gympie Showgrounds Pavilion yesterday.
He joined the Australian Regular Army on January 3, 1962, employed as an apprentice, craftsman and general service officer.
The late Mr Dyne rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before his discharge on January 13, 1993.
Mr Bontoft read an impressive list of postings, including service in Vietnam from May 12 to November 25, 1971, Papua New Guinea from August 2, 1972 to September 27, 1974 and Thailand (engineer adviser) from January 11 to December 21, 1988.
He was posted to the Army Apprentice School on January 3, 1962, 2 Base Workshop Battalion on December 21, 1965, Officer Cadet School on January 9, 1966, Headquarters Southern Command on December 10, 1966, 3 Base Workshop Battalion on January 12, 1968, 102 Field Workshop on May 12, 1971, Papua New Guinea Workshop on August 2, 1972, Australian Defence Assistance Group PNG on November 30, 1973, Headquarters Logistics Branch on February 2, 1982, Royal Thailand Vehicle Rebuild Workshop on January 11, 1988, Logistics Branch (Army Office) January 30, 1989 and Personnel Branch (Army Office) on January 25, 1990.
Mr Dyne held eight formal awards - the Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp Vietnam, the Vietnam Medal, the Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp PNG, the Defence Force Service Medal with First, Second, Third and Fourth Clasps, the National Medal, the Australian Defence Medal, the Vietnamese Campaign Medal and the Returned from Active Service Badge.
Civic leaders pay respects
MAYORS, former mayors, former CEOs and former chairmen of councils throughout Queensland and beyond were part of the crowd which paid its respects at the funeral of Ron Dyne yesterday.
New Gympie Mayor Mick Curran told the crowd his predecessor never held a grudge and always did what he thought was best for his community, even when he knew it was a decision that was not going to please everyone.
"He will be remembered by all as a true gentleman," Cr Curran said.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson told the ABC yesterday Mr Dyne would be greatly missed.
"Ron and I shared a common interest in olives and cattle," he said.
"He was a bit more upscale than me but it is a great loss and for someone so young in the scheme of things at a time perhaps when ... he might have been thinking of the sort of latter years of his life being spent in a completely different way, so my sympathy goes to his wife and his family.
"Ron was a great man and very highly regarded in his area. He'd been serving the public through his role as councillor and mayor in the Kilkivan Shire and then the Gympie council for many years so he was very highly regarded within the LGAQ."