Former Widgee Shire councillor and Gympie Labor stalwart Geoff Brown has died after a battle with cancer.
Former Widgee Shire councillor and Gympie Labor stalwart Geoff Brown has died after a battle with cancer.

Former councillor, political player dies

GYMPIE lost one a political pioneers and a beloved community member on Monday with the death of Geoff Brown, 83, after a battle with cancer.

He was married to historian Elaine Brown for 55 years.

Mr Brown served two terms on the Widgee Shire Council from 1985-1991, he ran for the state seat as a member of the Labor Party in 1989 and 1992 and was president of Gympie’s ALP branch until the middle of last year.

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Mr Brown was born in 1936, the son on Wilson’s Pocket cream carrier Cecil Brown.

She said he “always wanted to be a farmer, but, after attending Gympie High School, he trained as a primary school teacher and taught at the Gympie Central and Glen Echo schools”.

Widgee Shire councillor Geoff Brown in 1989.
Widgee Shire councillor Geoff Brown in 1989.

He was an education officer in Papua New Guinea for eight years before working on Queensland construction sites for several years.

He returned to Gympie in 1971 with Elaine and sons Paul and Hugh to look after his parents and the family property.

Mrs Brown said after 10 years as a teacher at Gympie High “he realised his dream by buying a farm on Wolvi Mountain and becoming a full-time beef cattle and small crops farmer”.

Geoff Brown and Bevan Mahoney in 2009.
Geoff Brown and Bevan Mahoney in 2009.

Councillor Dan Stewart said Mr Brown joined the ALP “in response to the sacking of Gough Whitlam”.

“During elections he would deliver leaflets to letter boxes, and hand out How To Vote cards at prepoll, then all day on election day, most recently at the Federal election in 2019,” Mr Stewart said on Facebook.

“Geoff had a keen interest in economics and government finances.

Geoff Brown (right) with Llew Obrien, Joe Mcleod in 2017.
Geoff Brown (right) with Llew Obrien, Joe Mcleod in 2017.

“He often argued that Labor were the better economic managers, as well as being better for society.

“He would often quote the economist John Quiggan, as well as articles from The Guardian newspaper.”

Ex-Gympie Mayor Mick Venardos said Mr Brown, who he knew through his local council work, was a “passionate representative for the people in his community”.

“Geoff was a person who carried out his responsibilities impeccably,” Mr Venardos said.

Mr Brown’s family will hold a private cremation, with plans for a memorial service later on.