Chapman farewells Relay for Life, event seeks volunteers

COUNCILLOR Col Chapman made a commitment to his late wife Gloria that he would do anything to help find a cure for the disease that took her life.

In 2007 his wife of more than 30 years died of lung cancer.

For the last ten years, Mr Chapman has been involved in Relay for Life, the Cancer Council's biggest fundraiser for the year.

But next year there will be a noticeable absence, as he moves to Brisbane.

"I made a commitment to my wife that I would do anything to stop cancer.

Relay for Life chairman Col Chapman is hoping the tenth year in Gladstone will be the biggest and best for the Relay for Life. Photo Contributed
Col Chapman pictured ahead of the 2013 Relay for Life. Contributed

 

"This is the best way I can do it, by organising an event to raise more funds.

"When I would get tired from doing it or think, I don't know if I want to do another year, I'd remember that commitment that I made to Gloria.

"I'd just take a couple of months off, then get back into it, and remember that this is a piece of cake," he said.

Surrounding himself with likeminded people helped Mr Chapman as he grieved the loss of his wife.

"In the early stage it (Relay for Life) definitely helped a great deal.

"Now I find myself helping others going through their grief or a diagnosis of cancer, just by giving them support," he said.

In May next year Mr Chapman will move to Brisbane with his partner Cheryl to be closer to each of their grandchildren.

He said the decision to leave Gladstone was not taken lightly.

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"Part of my soul is here in Gladstone.

"There are new adventures ahead but it's going to be sad to leave my friends here.

"I've had a lot of accomplishments here, so the day I leave will be a sad day," he said.

Mr and Mrs Chapman moved to Gladstone with the intention of staying for just five years.

But in February it will be his 39th year in the region.

"I went into a partnership with my brother and father.

"We owned a couple of news agencies.

"We had a five year plan and we were going to go back to Brisbane ... it seems to be the story that a lot of people have here," he said.

Mr Chapman has been a councillor since 2006.

Previously to that he owned a book store at Stockland, Dymmocks, with his father and brother.

"I actually didn't have time to talk it over with my wife.

"She was happy for me though (to try for council).

"I was at a crossroads; Dymmocks had just closed down... I was looking for a challenge."

Mr Chapman said he lodged his nomination with one minute to spare.

The Relay for Life Gladstone committee will have its AGM on September 7 at 6pm at the Gladstone PCYC.

For more information email todd_sarah@bigond.com.