‘It will be one of the biggest funerals Mackay’s ever seen’
TIM Mulherin's legacy in Mackay stretched from his childhood on Kippen St to his final moments in hospital.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson has paid tribute to the community champion whose roles were many and influence profound.
Cr Williamson recalled growing up just down the road from the man who became an unofficial mentor, reflecting Mr Mulherin often put politics aside in favour of those he felt mattered most - the people and community.
"I have known Tim for a very long time," he said.
"He's a couple of years younger than me, but known him for a long time.
"I've read the tributes and he's being remembered for a great many things but the main thing is that he's just a good bloke."
REMEMBERING TIM MULHERIN:
Cr Williamson said political allegiance did not matter to Mr Mulherin when it came to Mackay and what the region needed - "his passion and commitment to people always came first".
"That was the mark of the man, always," Cr Williamson said.
"Tim was in touch with me all the time, and introducing to me people he thought could help.
"He was always trying to figure out ways to beat Rocky or Townsville.
"Every time he was at any function he was asking what else can we do?"
It was during one of their final conversations that Cr Williamson said Mr Mulherin was probing what came next after the successful opening of the Mackay Ring Road.
The Mackay Hospital and Health Service board of directors chairman had mentioned attracting extra services in the sector, Cr Williamson said.
But beyond the lobbying and campaigning for Mackay, he said Mr Mulherin's enduring positivity was something that never once wavered.
"It caught us off-side how difficult his cancer battle was," Cr Williamson said.
"It was such a shock this morning. He was just so positive right up to the end."
Planning will now turn to Mr Mulherin's funeral, complicated because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cr Williamson said it was still early days in regards to the final farewell but one thing was for certain: "It will be one of the biggest funerals Mackay has ever seen".