February 10, 2018
Wondai Memorial Hall was filled to overflowing on Friday afternoon for the funeral service of the “patriarch of Wondai”, former Mayor Percy Iszlaub, AM.
The service was led by Lutheran Pastor Mark Doecke, the same man who conducted the recent funeral for Lady Bjelke-Petersen in Kingaroy.
Percy’s beloved Wondai and District Band filled the stage, and played hymns during the service.
Sports guru Russell “Skippy” Exelby and former South Burnett mayor (and former Wondai Shire Deputy CEO) Wayne Kratzmann read obituaries which covered Percy’s sporting, council and community activities in detail.
Skippy said friends like Percy were rare and described him as a “bloody good bloke”.
“We have a lost a great man and I have lost a precious friend,” Skippy said.
He said Percy was ahead of his time, giving a voice to people in society who didn’t have a voice, and making a difference.
Skippy recalled that Percy regarded Cherbourg rugby league player Frank Fisher as great a player as Wally Lewis, and believed it was a great injustice he never had the opportunity to play for Australia.
Several close relatives of Frank Fisher were present at the service, including Cherbourg elder Aunty Lillian Gray, Frank Malone and Cherbourg mayor Arnold Murray.
Wayne described Percy as a role model, a statesman and an orator, and pointed out that in the 56 years of local government in Wondai from 1948, there were only two mayors, Les Smith and Percy.
He said Percy’s legacy was around us all to see today … from Boondooma Dam, the Timber Museum, water and sewerage infrastructure, town streetscapes, the showgrounds, the racecourse. the art gallery …
Percy sat on many boards including health, tourism, electricity and rail; and was either president or patron of many Wondai not-for-profit organisations.
“Percy Harold Iszlaub Jnr is the greatest man I have ever known,” Wayne said.
“Our job now is to all step up a notch for humanity and the common good. He has left a huge void to fill.”
Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington and Deputy Mayor (and former Wondai councillor) Kathy Duff read the Bible passages.
Also in attendance was former Deputy Prime Minister (and former Kingaroy mayor) Warren Truss – who actually defeated Percy in a National Party pre-selection contest – and former Member for Callide Jeff Seeney.
Pastor Doecke summed up the feelings of the hall: “Percy Iszlaub was a good man; he was an honourable man”.