Mourners gather to farewell Maryborough's Bryce Whitaker
MARYBOROUGH musician Bryce Whitaker did not want sadness at his wake, just the sound of laughter over a few beers, as stories of his life were shared.
About 150 mourners packed the pews of St Stephen's Uniting Church in Maryborough on Thursday to farewell "the big fella" who was described as a dedicated family man with a generous spirit.
The 72-year-old devoted more than six decades to the Maryborough Brass Band, where he last served as president and conductor.
Neighbour and close friend Carmel Price read the eulogy, saying music provided Bryce with challenges, giving him a sense of meaning, joy and passion.
"The real story of his life started when he was nine-years-old and first played in the band, founded by his grandfather Sam Whitaker," Carmel said.
His instrument of choice was the cornet.
"The band and music in general was his life from that moment on ... he had found his purpose - music - and the band absorbed Bryce."
Family and friends recounted precious memories of Bryce, recalling good times spent enjoying life's simple pleasures and of course - having a laugh.
Bryce Whitaker's favourite motto was, "It's what is on the inside that counts" and those who knew him best said he was a character like no other who would be greatly missed.