WE REMEMBER: Gympie farewells its 'Scrubby' mayor
A HUGE hole was left in Gympie's community in 2015 with the death of much-loved political and community leader Ron "Scrubby” Dyne, the mayor who led the region through amalgamation.
Mr Dyne played a huge role in the development of Gympie's local government, having first been elected to the Kilkivan Shire Council.
He became Gympie mayor in 2004, a position he held until his resignation due to ill-health in on December 10, 2014.
He had been diagnosed with aggressive pancreatic, liver and bowel cancer.
When Mr Dyne announced his shock diagnoses in August 2104, The Gympie Times joined the community in wishing him a speedy recovery.
"Yesterday's shock discovery that Gympie Regional Council Mayor Ron Dyne has cancer will hit home with a lot of people,” editor Craig Warhurst said.
"Fighting cancer is not an easy journey, as anyone who has been through the ordeal will attest. All the staff at The Gympie Times would like to wish Cr Dyne all the best as he starts treatment.
"We are praying for a full recovery.
"The most important thing with cancer is never to lose heart.”
But that recovery never came to be.
At his final council meeting, Mr Dyne praised his fellow councillors for helping keep the ship on course in the middle of huge upheaval.
"We've brought Gympie Regional Council through amalgamation better than any other council in Queensland,” he said.
"I've enjoyed my time in local government. Fifteen years - it didn't seem that long.
"I think Gympie is on the cusp of greatness.”
More than 800 people were at his funeral, with tears and spontaneous applause throughout the ceremony giving a glimpse of the depth of the community's feeling.
And his legacy has been long-lasting.
He was remembered by The Gympie Times editor Shelley Strachan a year after his death, and last year Mr Dyne was honoured at the opening of the new aquatic centre, with his likeness enshrined on artwork near the entry gate.