Noosa Local Legend Stan Chandler who passed away last week.
Noosa Local Legend Stan Chandler who passed away last week. Geoff Potter

Noosa legend loses fight for life

TRIBUTES have flowed in for one of Noosa's staunchest protectors Stan Chandler - the long-serving president of the shire's residents and ratepayer association.

Stan passed away on Monday after a long illness.

The always gritty Noosa watchdog was fearless in his protection of Noosa's lifestyle and especially of the river and its surrounds.

He was one of the shire's "Noosa legends" who figured in online interviews when Noosa de-amalgamation battle was in full force.

Stan for many years faced down any and all developments the local community deemed inappropriate.

Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington has praised the tenacity of Stan.

"Stan was a passionate advocate for Noosa and a genuine community stalwart," he said.

"He was always willing to take a public stand in defence of Noosa, whether it was against state planning legislation or in opposition to the forced council amalgamations.

"Stan will be remembered as one of Noosa's warriors," Cr Wellington said.

Member for Noosa Glen Elmes was truly mourning "the passing of an outstanding community hero".

"While Stan's politics were different to mine, his passion and drive for all things Noosa, and his particular love for the Noosa River, could never be overstated," he said.

"I particularly remember, immediately after the announcement by the government of the time that the Noosa Shire was to be forcibly amalgamated into the new Sunshine Coast Regional Council, how Stan quickly became one of the most active opponents of this issue.

"I also remember very well that, during a federal election held during this time, Stan was largely responsible for organising a petition in protest of the forced amalgamations and made arrangements for the petition to be available at all the polling booths in Noosa.

"The unforgettable memory that I have of this is the long queues of locals who were more interested in lining up to sign the petition than they were in voting."

Recent NSRRA president and now local councillor Brian Stockwell said: "Stan was one of the Noosa community's true warhorses".

"From the early days in the '70s opposing sand mining in the shire, rallying against massive developments on the North Shore to organising the community poll against amalgamation, Stan had Noosa at heart," he said.

"A past president and life member of the Noosa Shire Residents and Ratepayers Association, Stan was instrumental in advocating the need for better controls on noisy and speeding water craft on the river.

"Always willing to stand up for the battler, Stan took on the Sunshine Coast Council to get a better deal for pensioners living in retirement villages and won significant concessions.

"It's been a privilege to work with Stan over the years and to learn from his polite but determined manner with politicians."

BEHIND the public persona of Stan Chandler the passionate Noosa advocated, was a former teachers' lecturer, who loved nothing more than singing in musicals at the local arts theatre and writing poetry for the love of his life.

For Stan, who died this week aged 86, that was wife Rae, his catch for life after they met as students at teachers' college.

Stan, who grew up in Melbourne, cut his teeth on ensuring a fair go for workers as a staunch member for the Victoria Teachers Union.

"If Stan saw something that was not right, he'd say so. It was the story of his life," Rae said.

After they married, they had country teaching stints before he returned to the city to do a university degree as they began rearing their children Deidre, Stephen and Wendy.

Rae said the couple first came to Noosa during a teaching exchange and were so enchanted.

They bought a property in Tewantin before he retired around 1976. And before long he was involved in organising the residents and ratepayers into an effective community voice.

Stan's daughter Wendy recalls: "We'd laugh at all the crazy things he used to do, the mystery tours."

Stan and Rae loved travel and his overseas adventures took them to exotic places like Peru's Machu Picchu, but his family said when Stan first laid eyes on the Noosa River it was love at first sight.

"He had a lot of fun on the Noosa River," Rae said.

This was despite his boat problems with his little yacht and old wooden boat the African Queen, which he once tipped over near the old swimming pool.

Wendy said Stan was always urging them to get out and about.

He and Rae loved their acting roles with the Noosa Arts theatre and Stan loved to sing.

This no-nonsense man also wrote songs and poetry.

Stan's funeral service will be held at Drysdale Funerals in Tewantin next Friday at 10.30am.

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