Mal made us all safer: Sad loss of our disaster co-ordinator
IF DISASTER was about to strike the region, he was the man to call.
Maryborough's Mal Churchill, who worked as the Fraser Coast's disaster co-ordinator up until last year, died after a lengthy battle with cancer on Wednesday, leaving behind his beloved wife Chris and their five sons, Adam, Travis, Cameron, Trent and Aiden.
But he left behind a lifetime of love and memories along with a legacy of service and devotion to the community.
Mr Churchill served as a police officer for 40 years, using his skills and personal attributes to make the community a safer place.
When he retired from the service, he knew he wanted to stay involved in helping the community and he became a disaster co-ordinator.
He was instrumental in helping the community during natural disasters particularly when flooding hit the region over a number of years.
"There hasn't really been a time where we haven't been proud of him and everything he did," son Adam said.
Gathered around the table at the family home, all agreed that Mr Churchill's main motto in life had been "if a job worth doing, it's worth doing well".
All of his sons have taken his values, including integrity, loyalty, honour and respect, into their respective lives.
Councillor Rolf Light shared memories working with Mr Churchill who he described as an astounding person with a great sense of humour.
Cr Light worked with Mr Churchill when he was the disaster coordinator for the Fraser Coast between 2015 and 2017.
"He was very wise and had a great sense of humour, which lightened a stressful situation during disasters," Cr Light said.
"He was a very calming person.
"He's left a huge legacy and we'll miss him as a great character and his extensive knowledge in disaster management."
Cr Light said Mr Churchill launched and facilitated disaster coordination centres on the Fraser Coast and through his work in Bundaberg.
"He nurtured our community and helped us become one of the most resilient and prepared regions for disasters in Australia," Cr Light said.
"His professionalism and knowledge is nothing less than exceptional.
"We'll continue his legacy in his honour and maintain the standard he's set, I can tell you we will."