Monto community in shock after death of teacher, Lionel Cavanagh.
Monto community in shock after death of teacher, Lionel Cavanagh.

Monto community is in shock

THE CLOSE-KNIT Monto community is in shock following the death of 55-year-old high school teacher Lionel Cavanagh in a crash at Yarrol on Thursday.

The popular teacher and a 64-year-old Biloela man, whose name has not been released, died when their cars collided on an unsealed section of the Monto-Mt Perry Road about 50km from Monto.

A woman in her 80s was airlifted to Bundaberg Hospital with serious chest injuries.

Friends and former students of Mr Cavanagh shared fond memories of the man they nicknamed “Mr Cav”, whose teaching career spanned three decades.

“Mr Cav did a lot for the Monto community and will be missed sadly,” former student Charlene Keegan said.

“He was a great teacher. The funniest thing I remember about Mr Cav was when I forgot my hat in agriculture class one day, he made me wear this plastic hat.

“I guarantee you I never forgot my hat again after that.”

Terri Howkins, whose son was taught by Mr Cavanagh, said her entire family would miss him.

“He might have been a very rough man on the outside but he had a heart of gold when he was passionate about things.

“I think one of the best things that the school did was introduce cattle club (with Mr Cavanagh).”

Under Mr Cavanagh’s guidance, the Monto State High School cattle club won numerous awards.

The Bundaberg Police Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the cause of the smash, which happened at the crest of a hill.



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