Maleny and Ekka identity dies aged 95
A MALENY identity who was at the helm of Brisbane's famous Ekka for years has died aged 95.
Sir Walter Burnett was president of the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association - the RNA Show - from 1983 until 1997.
Sir Walter was born and bred at Maleny where his parents ran the Maleny Hotel.
After attending the Anglican Church Grammar School - Churchie - in Brisbane as a boarder, Wally, as he was known, returned to Maleny and established himself as a pharmacist.
He opened a combined newsagency and chemist shop in 1944, living in a residence at the rear, according to an article by a member of the Burnett family on the Maleny Historical Society's website.
After observing a need for a pharmacy at Beerwah, he opened a chemist shop there in 1966, and with faith in the future of Maleny and district, built a new chemist shop next to the newsagency.
He became involved in the Maleny Show Society, where he acceded to the role of president and later supported as a patron.
He went on to become president of the RNA Show and a building at the Brisbane showgrounds was named after him although it was removed during redevelopment.
His role as a leader extended to the Freemasons, where he was a Grand Master at the United Grand Lodge of Queensland.
Sir Walter's funeral was held at the Churchie chapel in East Brisbane on Friday.