LOST BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Ron's widow Yvonne Wakelin with Brian Ellingsen, Mark Wooler, Greg Seeds and Gary Cain. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer
LOST BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Ron's widow Yvonne Wakelin with Brian Ellingsen, Mark Wooler, Greg Seeds and Gary Cain. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer Helen Spelitis

Great Gladstone man honoured with handmade chair, plaque

THE memory of well-known Gladstone man Ron Wakelin was honoured on Saturday at Calliope Historical Village.

His family and friends unveiled a handmade chair, built from old wooden railway sleepers, featuring a plaque honouring his life.

It's been four years since Mr Wakelin died, but he has left a lasting impression on his grandchildren who remember him for his heroic deeds.

Ron Wakelin started the Gladstone branch of St John's Ambulance and was instrumental in establishing the Rotary Club of Boyne Island.

During his 30 years in Rotary, Mr Wakelin never missed a meeting.

Described by his friends as a "true gentleman" but also as a "crow eater" from South Australia, Mr Wakelin moved to Gladstone in the 1980s when the Boyne Smelter was being built.

The chair at Calliope Historical Village, hand-made from old railway sleepers. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer
The chair at Calliope Historical Village, hand-made from old railway sleepers. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer Helen Spelitis

"He did all the industrial first-aid," daughter Helen Wakelin said.

"He was a man with a big heart who wanted nothing but to help other people."

About 10 years ago MrWakelin was out at a restaurant with his family when a man suddenly collapsed, suffering a heart attack.

Mr Wakelin rushed to his aid and managed to revive the man through CPR.

"The man survived and the family was so grateful," Helen Wakelin said.

"My dad was known and respected by everyone."

For Mr Wakelin's widow Yvonne, seeing the chair was an emotional experience.

The pair were together for 41 years and not a day goes by when Yvonne doesn't remember how "truly wonderful" her husband was.