'He lived a triumphant life': Family honours M'boro pioneer
HE WAS a pioneer in regional aviation, one of the cornerstones of the Heritage City's business community and an honorary member of the Portside Precinct's Walk of Achievers.
Bevan Royle Whitaker died on October 14, aged 90.
He is survived by his children Paul, Cathy and Tony, grandchildren Claire, Luke, Brenton, Lochlan and Callum and great-grandchildren Cameron and Jaxon.
Cathy told the Chronicle she'd always remember him as a down to earth gentleman and loving father whose heart was always in Maryborough.
A long-term Maryborough local, Bevan's journey to become one of the founding fathers of regional aviation started with him driving taxis between Hervey Bay and Maryborough after leaving school aged 13.
After branching out his repair business selling harvesters, trucks and cars, he turned his attention to the aviation industry in the 1970s.
In addition to founding three of his own airlines, he aided Careflight and provided Air Ambulance services in Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
Sunstate Airlines, one of the companies he built from the ground up, would go on to form the bedrock for regional airline QantasLink.
Mr Whitaker also bought Great Keppel and Lady Elliot Islands, the latter he would own for more than three decades.
Cathy spoke fondly of the numerous trips the pair would take out to the eco-paradise.
"There was nothing on that ....