Club members plan last ride for mate killed in crash
HE WAS known to all his friends and family as Marbo, and social media was flooded with hundreds of tributes to popular Gladstone man Graeme Walker following his shock death in a motorbike accident on the Gladstone-Benaraby road.
Mr Walker, 55, grew up in Mt Isa, and has Aboriginal heritage.
His sister Corinne Willis said he was a great brother even when they had their scraps, and as a child she had looked up to him.
"Back then his nickname was Grudge, because he played cards with his friends and if he got beaten he used to hold a grudge for a long time," she said.
"He used to take me out on his bike to the picture nights at high school," she said.
"We got up to a lot of mischief as kids."
Mr Walker was a superintendent on the Bechtel QCLNG project, and rode with the Loners Social Motorcycle Club.
Club president, Kiwi, said Marbo had been riding with the club for nine months.
"He was a character - a father figure to a lot of our younger members," he said.
He said Mr Walker saw the club as his extended family.
"He's left behind 16 brothers and I told his mum today, 'you lost your son yesterday but you've gained 16 more'," he said.
"I worked for him. He was my boss, but also a straight shooter.
"If he wasn't giving you lip, he was giving you advice," he said.
Kiwi said Mr Walker had loved being on his bike, on the highway with his brothers.
"He had a pacemaker and problems with his legs, but the one thing you couldn't stop him doing was riding," he said.
"He was the safest out of all of us; he would set his own pace on the road, which was usually slower than the rest and we'd slow down to stay with him."
The motorcycle community as a whole has reached out to the Loners with their condolences, which Kiwi said had been deeply appreciated.
Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg said Mr Walker was a good mate to many and a valued QCLNG team member.
"'Marbo', Graeme Walker, worked with Bechtel for many years in the Gladstone region and his loss in the motorcycle accident last night is a tragedy," he said yesterday.
Another mate will be travelling from north Queensland to pay his respects.
Troy Rowsell, a Far North Queensland Loner, has known Mr Walker for six years through riding their bikes.
"He was a great man and gave a lot to a lot of people," Mr Rowsell said.
"He was a cautious rider that loved to just cruise along."
Friends and family will celebrate Mr Walker's life all the way to his last ride, which will be on a Harley Hearse with a guard of honour by the Loners Social Motorcycle Club and friends.
Contact the Loners if you wish to join "Marbo" in his final ride.
A funeral date was still to be confirmed.
- When I first met the bloke, he's never had a bad word to say about a person. He took you for face value - Kelvin
- He was very welcoming - James
- My greatest memory of working with him, whenever he saw you he'd yell out to you and give you a smile and a wave. Just his smile was welcoming. I'll never forget it. - Rim
- He was all that and he was more. - Cap
- He will leave a very big hole to fill. - Kiwi, Pres
- If the size of Phar Lap's heart was able to fit in a person, it would be in Marbo. - Native, VP