Charles (Gus) Alwyn Mauch OAM was an aviator, glider, historian, family man and tireless pioneer, and has been described as “a true gentleman”.
Charles (Gus) Alwyn Mauch OAM was an aviator, glider, historian, family man and tireless pioneer, and has been described as “a true gentleman”.

Warwick icon will be missed

GUS Mauch may be gone, but his memory will live on in his friends, family, the pilots he taught and future pilots who cruise down Gus Mauch Way at the Warwick Aerodrome.

“I don't care what decisions you make about me, just make sure I'm in Yangan,” Gus once told his son Russell.

And except his last trip to the hospital, that's where the 87-year-old lived until his passing on Monday.

Russell said his father was an amazing man, who loved his family.

“He was a bit of a larrikin as a younger man,” Russell said.

“But he was absolutely safety conscious.

"One of the things he used to teach his trainees was every flight is an adventure and no two flights are the same.”

Southern Downs Mayor Ron Bellingham, who will speak at Gus' funeral tomorrow, yesterday paid tribute to the Yangan man who even taught the elected official to fly.

In March, when councillors were at their community meeting in Yangan, Cr Bellingham remembers Gus sitting in the meeting.

Though slightly older than the rest, he was the first person to ask questions.

“I will always remember that leadership he always had as a person,” Cr Bellingham said.

An aviator, glider, historian and tireless pioneer, Gus spent much of his life promoting gliding and flying.

Born and schooled in Yangan, Gus worked on the family farm, but three nights a week to get his junior pass in rural school, he rode his pushbike into Warwick.

“Many times he told me the story he would finish rural school, ride 20km at 10 at night and get a puncture in his tyre,” Russell recalled.

“He would put it over his shoulders and carry the bike home.

“He was home at around 2am and would be up to milk the cows at 4am.”

The schooling allowed him to join the Royal Australian Air Force at the tender age of 18 and at 19 he was training fighter pilots for combat in the Second World War.

Gus worked in a number of jobs and he and his wife Frances ran the post office until their retirement with Gus doing the mail run in and around Yangan.

Friend and neighbour Lance Clarson, who is close in age to Gus' daughter Helen Lees, said he knew the family all his life.

Mr Clarson's wife Desleigh helped Gus with some household chores along with another Yangan resident and Mr Clarson said his wife would sorely miss him.

“He was a wonderful person to sit and talk to,” he said.

“His brain was spot on and he was sharp as a tack.

"I used to love going down there, looking up the valley and talking about all the things that happened up there.

“He had so much knowledge and he'll be sorely missed in the district.”

Gus had his extensive knowledge of the skies, but he wasn't half bad with his feet firmly planted on the ground either.

He's featured in many a Daily News column for his famous eight-wicket haul.

He was playing for the Meanders team, a composite side from Yangan, Emu Vale and Swan Creek, in the 1948-1950 era when he took 8-6 on concrete on the Queen's Park number two oval.

Russell said Gus would bat with his left hand and bowl with his right.

Gus had a love of tennis and was a fit man until he could play no more, then he became heavily involved in the Gliding Club.

Cr Bellingham said he had known Gus for years, dating back to the 1950s.

“I always had absolute respect for the gentleman,” he said.

As a councillor in the former Glengallan Shire, Cr Bellingham said Gus always demonstrated real leadership and passion for the community.

“He was certainly a personality that was well respected by all, not a shrinking violet when it came to telling it how he thought it should be,” he said.

“He had real refreshing honesty.

"He was so knowledgeable in the field of aviation, many looked to him for advice and he gave it freely.”

In 1994 Gus was awarded the Order of Australia for his role in aviation and gliding.

He wrote the book Wings Over Warwick and in 2005, he was named Warwick Shire's Citizen of the Year.

“He was a born organiser,” Russell said.

“He was a very soft person, inwardly.

"From the exterior, he was big tough person but deep down he was very soft.”

Charles (Gus) Alwyn Mauch OAM is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Helen and Keith Lees, his son and daughter-in-law Russell and Norma Mauch, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A service will be held tomorrow at 10am at St Mark's Anglican Church.

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