05 Feb Feel Good February – Paying it Forward – Greg Klease
Here at Gladstone News we always try to find the positive side of the news and to spotlight all the great things that are achieved in our community by good people every day.
This month we will feature four community leaders in our “Feel Good February” Feature. These men and women have shown a level of generosity and service to the local area shaping it into the ‘town with a big heart’ that we know Gladstone to be.
We met Greg Klease at the former Reef City Ford showroom which he has recently given over to the Sunrise Rotary Club’s Bikes to Wheelchairs project and talked about his philosophy of giving back:
“We’ve owned the building since 1988 and it was a Ford dealership from 1971 until about 2016,” he said.
“We’ve currently got it listed for sale or lease and while it’s just sitting here empty we thought it was a great idea. I said you can use the previous spare parts area to continue the wheelchairs,” he said.
“Behind that shed, there are six trailers belonging to Blaze Aid – who repair fences for primary producers after floods or fire – we’re doing that free of charge for them too because they’re all good people,” Greg continued.
“As long as it’s a non-profit organisation I’m happy to help out because I believe when you have success in life you’ve got to put back. You have to put back into the community.”
Greg has a long history of volunteering in the Gladstone region both before and after his retirement from paid work: “I was twenty-five years with VMR where I worked my way up to be the deputy chief of the patrol, I’ve been involved with the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal for 15 years and just helped with fundraising since 1988 since I moved here from Emerald,” he said.
“People who retire and say they’re bored, they ought to get involved with the community because there are so many places where you can help,” Greg said.
“I remember being a young guy in Biloela back in the 1960s and there were people in business who saw things in me that I couldn’t see, so they gave me a chance.”
“I’ve always worked on the theory when I got old enough I would give other people a hand. Pass it on.”
In the year 2000 I was awarded Citizen of the Year, in 2002 I was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Prime Minister for services to the community and in 2005 the Calliope Shire awarded me the Citizen of the Year.
“I’ve never asked for any of the attention but awards have always prompted me to do more because I think doing good is contagious. It rubs off on the people around you,”