NEVER FORGOTTEN: Percy Iszlaub AM died on Monday, February 5 2018.
NEVER FORGOTTEN: Percy Iszlaub AM died on Monday, February 5 2018. Helen Spelitis

Remembering Percy Iszlaub: 1926-2018

AFTER a lifetime of service to his community, Percy Iszlaub has passed away just days after his 92nd birthday.

Percy was born at the Matron Kidd's private Hospital in Wondai on Feburary 3, 1926. He was the eldest of four children.

The family moved to farm at Greenview when Percy was five-years-old and he would walk one and half miles to the nearby school.

When he left school Percy started contract harvesting and though he was only 14-years-old at the time, a war-time labour shortage lead to him being paid adult wages.

Percy's sister, Eileen, remembers their time on the farm fondly.

"He was a good brother and we got along well together," Ms Iszlaub said.

"Most of his life was farming at home and he enjoyed it, it wasn't just something to do, it was something he really understood and enjoyed."

The money saved from these wages gave him the finances required to buy his first farm when he was still in his early 20s, planting peanuts.

Percy, a loving father and husband, met his future wife Alison Munro at the Wondai Show Ball.

They married on October 18, 1968 and immediately purchased a 240-acre farm at Greenview.

The couple had two daughters, Jane and Leigh.

After serving on the Queensland Grain Growers Association Percy was approached to fill a vacancy on the Wondai Shire Council.

He entered the council on August 10, 1967.

Three years later he became the Works Chairman and in 1973 was appointed to the Chairman of the finance committee.

Percy was name Deputy Shire Chairman in 1979 and was elected chairman in 1982.

Alan Keates was one of Percy's lifelong friends, serving as the Wondai Shire Clerk while Percy served as Mayor.

"He was a great leader," Mr Keates said.

"He gave you the autonomy to do your job and he trusted people to carry out their duties.

"Percy supported a lot of initiatives in the community, his great thing was to push for government funding to really assist the community with cost of developing major projects.

"He was wonderful bloke to work for, we had a lot of memories, you have few wins and a few losses, but if you had to make a decision, whether right or wrong, he stood behind you if there was ever a problem. He was always there to back you up and it was a pleasure to work with him."

 

Some of these key projects included connecting a water supply for Tingoora, upgrading the water and sewage treatment plants in Wondai and building recreational infrastructure at the Bjelke-Petersen and Boondooma Dams.

"Those projects all exceeded a couple of million dollars each and were virtually all funded with grants," Mr Keates said.

Percy's his work in the community extended well beyond the council chambers - he also helped to start the Wondai Timber Museum and Crow FM .

"He was a very community minded person and represented a lot of agricultural industry boards," Mr Keates said.

Percy also served on the Peanut Marking Board and the Queensland Grain Growers Association, the Wondai Hospital board, and the Wide Bay Burnett Electricity Board.

"He was a man that was fully involved in community activities," Mr Keates said.

Though a few decades separated Alan and Percy they were still fast friends.

"When I was a young fella he was more or less my football coach," Mr Keates said.

"He was an old front rower, he was very strong man and he played loose head in the scrum.

Percy played representative football for the Wide Bay Burnett for 18 years and served as the Wondai-Proston Rugby league Football Club Secretary for 13 years.

"He was good fun, we used to get up to all sorts of tricks that probably wouldn't be allowed today and he played a lot of cricket as well." Mr Keates said.

"Percy was in the Boondooma Fish Stocking Association with me and did a lot to promote recreational fishing in the area. He had his finger in a lot of pies building up our community in the South Burnett. "

After leaving the council, Percy started working more closely with the Chamber of Commerce and the Driver Reviver Kiosk.

"Right up to last year he down there dishing out tea and coffee, it's just a good example of the person putting thing back in to the community," Mr Keates said.

"He certainly left his mark on the community and people should be extremely grateful for what he did."

Percy is survived by his wife Alison, two daughters and four grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, February 9 at the Wondai Memorial Hall from 1pm.

South Burnett

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