OBITUARY: Jack spent his life helping others
Jack Byron (1925-2020)
THE Boyne Island-Tannum Sands community has lost a beloved custodian with the passing of Jack Byron, 95.
Born in Chiltern, Victoria, on February 20, 1925, Mr Byron grew up as one of 12 children.
During World War II he spent three years as an honorary member of the 22nd Battery Volunteer Defence Corps established at Wangaratta.
He moved to Monto, Queensland, with wife Louis in about 1950, where they worked as dairy farmers until 1972.
The couple moved to Tannum Sands that year, with son-in-law John Grady telling The Observer that Jack volunteered his entire life.
"Whether that was for the fire brigade in Victoria, during the war as a batter defence volunteer or later in his life at the Men's Shed in Tannum Sands," Mr Grady said.
"Even his wife Louis volunteered when Tannum Sands was quite separate to Gladstone. They established the tennis courts there.
"He was a very sincere man and whatever he told you could be taken as the gospel truth."
Despite his generous and selfless nature, Mr Grady said Mr Byron would shy away from accolades. Ian Anderson posted to Facebook on behalf of the Friends of Bindaree Retirement Centre page and said it was an honour to have known and volunteered alongside Mr Byron.
"He was a man who did not and would not want accolades. He would be very embarrassed for people to put accolades on him," he said.
"He would much rather thank the people he was volunteering for, whether that was Meals on Wheels, whom he served for 93 years, or Beach Arts and Music festival staff."
"Jack continued to support our local organisation as a volunteer right up to his recent fall and hospitalisation despite his 95 years," he wrote.
"He will be sadly missed by so many whose hearts he touched.
"I feel honoured to have known Jack and enjoyed his company, whether it be volunteering at Friends of Bindaree garage sales, attending the Boyne-Tannum Men's Shed, sharing a drink and chat at the Boyne-Tannum RSL or volunteering at Meals on Wheels.
"I would like to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt condolences to Jack's surviving family members and know that we are here if you need any assistance."
Condolences were also left on the Friends of Bindaree Facebook tribute, a testament to the hundreds of lives Mr Byron impacted during his time in the Gladstone region.
"Jack Byron was a true gentleman, he and his wife contributed more to the Boyne/Tannum community than you know! He was there to help anyone and everyone," Beth Daily said.
"I'm so sad to hear Jack is gone. Such a lovely, kind soul and always smiling xxx RIP," Kate Larson said.
"My condolences to the Byron family. I have fond memories of time spent at their place, Mr Byron always ready to assist Kym and I on our adventures," Janine Williamson said.
Mr Byron's daughter Kim Raine said organising a funeral under COVID-19 circumstances was difficult, with a funeral date not yet finalised due to restrictions.