Gladstone senior Esmond Weinholz with  students Jasmine Harris (L) and Robyn Wood (R).
Gladstone senior Esmond Weinholz with students Jasmine Harris (L) and Robyn Wood (R). Matt Taylor GLA270619PAST

Our Priceless Past: The Story of Mr Esmond Weinholz

"Do a right not because of a reward, do a right because it's right.”

ESMOND Weinholz was born on September 8, 1942, to William and Muriel Weinholz, near the cattle yards on the way to Maryborough Hospital.

He was the fifth of seven children, with older siblings Mavis, Elsie, Keith and Esther, as well as younger siblings Arthur and John. Esmond's father died due to appendicitis complications, when Esmond was around 14 months old.

He recalled "It had a hard effect on the family”. Sometime after this tragic event, his mother remarried a cane farmer. Esmond saw him as a supportive figure in his childhood, yet, it didn't compare to a father figure.

A few years later, Mr Weinholz attended Pialba State School, where he completed his scholarship in Year 8, then, leaving aged 14 years.

Esmond had a deep interest in his religious beliefs of Christianity.

This led to great gratitude, as he remembers the Christians who opened their lives and homes to him. He clearly remembers the 21st birthday party that they gave him.

Whilst we spoke with Esmond, he retells the significance of flying to him, as he longed to continue to do so once more.

Getting his private pilot's licence in Bundaberg, it was the book Jungle Pilot by Nate Saint that encouraged him to buy a Cessna 172 plane on February 6, 1967. "I wanted to fly for the missionaries like in the book,” he said. Esmond told us of the many trips he took, including two trips to Papua New Guinea.

Starting his working life as a general farm hand, Esmond left home aged 16 years.

In the Hervey Bay and Bundaberg areas, he worked in mustering, ringbarking and cane cutting etc.

Embarking on the journey to Central Queensland, Esmond began roadbuilding and completed a course of scaffolding and rigging.

A memory that Mr Weinholz treasured dearly, would be in 1972, when at a Christian youth camp at Hervey Bay, he met the "love of his life”.

Esmond George Weinholz and Kerry Joy Schmierer married one year later, in the Gayndah Baptist Church, followed by a romantic flying honeymoon.

They set up home in Gladstone where Mr Weinholz had bought land and was building a house. He says, "It would be easier building it then, than now”.

Six years later "children began arriving”. Their first child was Samuel (1979), followed by David (1982), then Daniel (1984) and then their last child and their only daughter, Sarah (1988).

The couple now proudly has eight grandchildren. Esmond to this day still loves to talk of flying and swimming, and Kerry still has a passion for education and loves sharing in the learning experiences of others.

Their beliefs for God and church have not ever been in doubt and we believe their marriage was destiny-bound by God Himself.

They both agree that "faith and family are so important for resilience, when tragedy for bad times strike - which it inevitably will in life”.

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