Fondly remembered, sadly missed: Gympie club manager dies
TONY Attard touched many lives during a career which, even towards the end, was all about other people.
The Gympie RSL Club operations manager performed similar functions at the Jockey Club and Phoenix hotels, where he also made many friends among customers, as well as employers and colleagues.
Only a few days before his death, just after Christmas, he put up a Facebook post showing the courageous and philosophical attitude of a person who leaves behind a host of family, friends and admirers.
On December 23 he posted: "To be happy you must let go of what's gone, be grateful for what remains and look forward to what's coming next.”
On December 27, Gympie RSL Club posted the sad news that Mr Attard, 57, had died at some time the previous night.
RSL Club president Alan Birkenhead described Mr Attard as "a shining light at the RSL.”
"He was a kind and caring man who was passionate about the club, its people and its purpose.
"We offer our condolences to his friends and family and ask for your patience during this difficult time for our staff as they process this tremendous loss.
"We will miss him greatly and think of him fondly,” he said.
Mr Birkenhead said Mr Attard had been similarly admired at the Jockey Club and the Phoenix.
Staff and customers from those well known watering holes were among the many people invited to a memorial service at the RSL Club's main lounge at 11am Saturday.
"He touched a lot of people,” Mr Birkenhead said.
"He was very ill but he kept it to himself.
"He didn't want to burden anybody.
"I worked with Tony at the RSL in 2010,” Mr Birkenhead said. "We were both duty managers.
"He'd been there about a year when I started. We had a good relationship,” he said.
Mr Attard leaves behind his widow Lesley, as well as other family and many friends.