INSIGHT: City Golf Club's Sofie Formica poses a question to guest speaker Paul de Gelder, an ex-Navy Bomb Clearance Diver, at The Chronicle Club event on Saturday.
INSIGHT: City Golf Club's Sofie Formica poses a question to guest speaker Paul de Gelder, an ex-Navy Bomb Clearance Diver, at The Chronicle Club event on Saturday. Bev Lacey

No time for fear: Survivor inspires at Chronicle Club

ADVENTURER Paul De Gelder shared the trials and tribulations of surviving a major shark attack at the Chronicle Club dinner, held at the Toowoomba City Golf Club on Saturday.

As the guest speaker, Mr De Gelder recounted his upbringing and the lessons he learnt along the way.

From a young age Mr De Gelder chased adventure wherever he could find it. He transformed from a hoodlum teen, fuelled by drugs and alcohol to a stint working in a strip club. From there he hauled his way up the defence force ladder, working as an Army Paratrooper and then Navy Clearance Diver.

However, in February 2009 his life would change forever. While on a job in Sydney, Mr De Gelder was attacked by a bull shark, losing two limbs and placing his career in jeopardy.

Drawing on everything life had taught him, Mr De Gelder fought back during recovery.

He worked through excruciating pain, challenging himself and surprising the medical staff with his will to succeed.

Having left full time Navy Service in August 2012, after continuing to instruct Navy Divers for a further three years, he now travels the world as a motivational speaker and passionate environmentalist.

The evening was well attended by The Chronicle advertisers.

The night raised $4310 for Toowoomba charity Civic Assist, operations manager Matt Gregg was there to receive the cheque.