John Mawer was involved in developing Gladstone, and had a passion for sailing.
John Mawer was involved in developing Gladstone, and had a passion for sailing.

John Mawer worked to make Gladstone better

JOHN Anthony Mawer has been good to Gladstone and Gladstone has been good to John Mawer.

That is how the man who was heavily involved in shaping what Gladstone is today will be remembered.

Mr Mawer was 76 when he died on December 20 after a long period with a lung disease.

He was born in Crayford, Kent, in England and studied to become engineer officer on oil tankers regularly sailing around the world.

Mr Mawer moved to Australia in 1965. He married Gail in 1966, but they separated and he fell in love with wife Robyn in 1987.

They had six children between them - Deb, Sonya, David, Luke, Matthew and Katrina.

Mr Mawer's family grew to seven grandchildren.

His two passions were the ocean and his family.

In a tribute written by nephew Philip Collard, Mr Mawer was described as an adventurer.

"The first thing both sisters felt was that John seemed to live a James Bond life, with his spearfishing, scuba dives looking for lost treasures and diving on shipwrecks, piloting his own plane and yacht, regular adventures along the coast and Australian hinterland," Mr Collard said.

Son David Mawer said in the eulogy his father didn't enter yachting regattas to win, he just had a great affinity with the ocean.

"With his yachts, he entered a multitude of blue water classics, had a near-death experience at being swept away on Heron Island, ran aground during the Bowen to Hamilton Island race, ran aground during Airlie Beach to Port Vila race, hit sandbars, navigational markers, ships and other boats," he said.

Mr Mawer's daughter, Sonya Hinz, said not only did her father have a great sense of humour and a compassionate nature; he was motivated.

"He was interested in making Gladstone a better place. He had his hand in everything," she said.

"He was an amazing family man. He always put his family first."

Mr Collard said Mr Mawer would be missed by everyone who had met him.

"I am sure people will agree that John had presence; an aura not found in all men, as there was always something quite special about him, so it seems incredible that he will no longer be around," he said.


  • Pivotal in the construction of the marina precinct of Gladstone while on the port authority
  • Worked on the building of Gladstone powerhouse components including stacks and electrostatic precipitators
  • Involved in the development of the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre
  • Assisted in the introduction of "lollypop ladies" or pedestrian crossing traffic controllers to Australia
  • Assisted in the Gladstone Maritime History Society acquisition of the HMAS Gladstone II
  • Pivotal in the development and manufacture of steel railway sleepers

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