Southern Downs gala dinner pays tribute to Springborg
A WHO'S who of Queensland politics descended on Stanthorpe on Saturday night in honour of retired Southern Downs Liberal party stalwart Lawrence Springborg.
Paying tribute to a 28-year career, speakers from all sides of politics as well as community members had their chance to thank Mr Springborg for his efforts in the local region.
Mr Springborg said it was a wonderful event.
"Everyone was exceptionally generous to me and my family," he said.
"And I want to thank them for their kindness and their support.
"In many ways I viewed it as a celebration of being able to represent an extraordinary group of people in a wonderful part of Queensland for such a long period of time.
Mr Springborg said he was grateful for the kindness shown at the dinner.
"It'll be something I remember very fondly," he said.
Southern Downs councillor Vic Pennisi said the evening was organised by the LNP Southern Downs Electorate Council.
"It was simply about recognising the significant contribution that a very decent human made," he said.
"A great crowd of more than 200 people turned out to acknowledge the impact Lawrence had on the region and the state."
Speeches were made by current Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington, Queensland LNP president Gary Spence, former Liberal party leader John-Paul Langbroek, community member Steve Tancred and former Queensland premier Rob Borbidge.
Mr Pennisi said one of the highlights of the evening was a speech from former speaker of the house for the Labor party John Mikel.
"He was a quality speaker, who spoke glowingly of someone he was in opposition with," Mr Pennisi said.
"And I guess what that does highlight was how respected Mr Springborg was."
Another highlight of the evening, aside from the dinner catered by the Granite Belt College of Wine and Tourism, was a humorous movie tribute put together by Godfather Productions.
"That was a lot of fun," Mr Pennisi said.
"There was certainly no shortage of material to draw on from all aspects of Mr Springborg's life."
Mr Pennisi said the whole Springborg family was present at the dinner.
"Lawrence is a wonderfully eloquent speaker and paid strong tribute to his family, acknowledging them for the many years of support," he said.
"On average he spent more than 250 days a year away from home and he thanked them for their patience and love.
"Put simply, Lawrence was the best premier we never had and he worked tirelessly for the Southern Downs community.
"He delivered a lot during his time as our local member and had a wonderful connection to the community and I don't think anyone could argue about the contribution he made."