THE Coast lost another outstanding citizen in John Fewster, who got a resounding send-off at Stella Maris Church and then at the yacht club, with family and friends celebrating an extraordinary life.
John was the founder of Tacoma Plumbing after coming to the Coast in the early 1980s and building an exceptional business as well as becoming heavily involved in the local community.
He was one of those Victorians who came to the Coast back in the day, realised its potential and ripped in, but helping all he could along the way.
I came across him while I was working at Mooloolaba Hotel, as they did the maintenance plumbing there which was a pretty big job.
His two main men in those days were Bangers and Bob, who would come out at any hour to fix a blocked dunny, broken pipe or whatever else needed to be done to keep the show going.
While those boys were great, to me it reflected what the Tacoma brand meant. They could always be relied upon and that came from the top - Big Foo as he was known.
I think the best way to describe his can-do nature was two guys that worked for him, Dave McLean and Ralph Adams, got an opportunity to buy into the business and eventually owned it thanks to their boss's inclusive nature.
They honoured that by giving others the same opportunity.
Back in the day at the old hotel, I used to deliver the grog for a lot of the tradies' Christmas parties and Tacoma was one of my favourites.
I would deliver the beer and then help them drink it while John insisted on being in charge of the steaks on the barbie.
It was a tradition I looked forward to every year.
A couple of things about the man I will share with you.
He was a bit of a lair and deservedly so, but best described by this memory.
He was a member of Headland Golf Club and also Twin Waters and I played golf with him a couple of times and realised if it was at Headland he would go straight from work in his 4WD but if it was Twinnies he would go home and get his BMW.
On the other side though, I was a battling, over-mortgaged home owner and on more than one occasion sent a couple of his guys around to do a job for me but refused to take any money for it.
I also remember when my employer went into receivership Tacoma got caught for a few thousand dollars, which I felt awful about but he just laughed and said "swings and roundabouts mate”.
They say money can't buy class well John Fewster certainly had plenty of the latter and will be sorely missed but has left an indelible mark on the Sunshine Coast.