Trevor Laver Boat Ramp a lasting legacy
FISHING was Trevor Laver's life so it was fitting the memory of the great man will be forever enshrined in the form of the Trevor Laver Boat Ramp.
Dozens of Laver's family and friends attended the naming of the Tooloola Bends boat ramp in his honour yesterday including younger brother and Australian tennis legend Rod Laver.
Trevor Laver lived a full life until he passed away in 2016, aged 83.
He moved to the Port City in 1952 and his legacy in Gladstone runs as deep as the ocean he loved to explore.
Bending a rod wasn't Trevor's only love, with cricket and tennis his other sporting passions.
Those old enough to remember will recall the days when his sports store took pride and place on Goondoon St.
But when he wasn't swinging a bat or racquet, Trevor would be out on the water, although it wasn't always smooth sailing for the eldest child of Roy Laver and Melba Roffey.
In 1955, Trevor and a group of mates were fishing off a reef near Heron Island when the weather blew out of control forcing them to moor their boat and go ashore in a dingy.
They were stranded after their boat vanished in the storm. With no food the men had to fish with their bare hands and even catch a turtle for meat. They were shipwrecked for four days.
Trevor hadn't married his wife Betty at that stage of his life, but Mrs Laver can still recall the time when Trevor found himself in dire straits.
"I remember they got shipwrecked and my brother-in-law went out and tried to go looking for them, but the wind was blowing so much they couldn't,” she said.
"They lived for a few days on the island. Then an aircraft went overhead so they put a sign in the sand and it came to pick them up and take them back to Heron Island.
For younger brother Rod, Trevor was always someone to look up to.
"Trevor was instrumental in doing a lot of things for me personally, but his life really was a fisherman,” Rod said.
"He did a lot of spear fishing and fishing in the harbour's here. That was the way Trevor enjoyed fishing itself - trying to find fish that nobody else can catch and he seemed to be able to do it.”
Rod's illustrious playing career left little time to go fishing with his brother, but he has fond memories of the times they wet a line together.
"We went out to the Swains (Swain Reefs) a couple of times and that to me, when you're going out not knowing what to expect or where to go, Trevor was always able to tell you a little more than anyone else,” he said.
"He just had that knack of knowing where the fish were or when the rough weather would be coming up.
"He'd be saying 'we should be getting out of here in about half an hour because this is going to be very rough' and I'd say 'I don't like that either so let's get out of here'.”
Rod, or the 'Rockhampton Rocket' as he was known during a career spanning more than two decades, was wrapped with the turnout at his brother's boat ramp.
"A lot came up from Brisbane and they were friends of Trevor's. He left his mark on a lot of people up here. It's great that the Council have made this happen and it's a great honour for the Laver family to have his name here at the ramp.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Mrs Laver.
"I'm sure my husband would be so grateful for everybody who has come today...I know he'd be honoured,” she said.