VALE - WARWICK OUTRAM
|Warwick Outram in 2013.|
Photo: Barry Clark
Few people have served the Bribie Island community in so many important ways, over so many years, as Warwick Outram. He passed away peacefully on 7 September 2017 in the company of his loving family.
Warwick lived 43 of his 90 years on Bribie Island, serving in many business and community roles, and documenting the rich history of the Island. He came with his wife Dot and family in 1974, at the time of the Brisbane floods, and took over the lease of the Bongaree Caravan Park for his retirement.
Born and educated in Newcastle Warwick grew up during The Great Depression, and became the youngest trainee technician with Burroughs Ltd during WW2. As a young man in a pioneer Information Technology industry he was required to take on significant responsibilities, travelling extensively to service customers with Adding and early Computing machines. Over the next 31 years with the company he progressed through the ranks, managing the transition to decimal currency, until a major job in a Capital City became inevitable.
That’s when Warwick and Dot decided to opt for a different lifestyle for their family, and came to live on Bribie Island to run the Caravan Park. Over the next 43 years Warwick was committed to his new home, devoting his energy and business skills in so many ways for the good of Bribie Island community. He served as President and Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce for 10 years, and for 20 years compiled the “Holiday Guide and Business Directory” to promote the Island's tourism and services. He volunteered on numerous community committees and Projects, including the Golden Age, Heritage Walks, the concept of Museum for Bribie Island, and for Council to recognise the value of the Island's rich history.
It was Warwick who coined the phrase “Bribie Island – the Cradle site of Queensland” in recognition of the first landing by Matthew Flinders and Bongaree in 1799. He started writing articles for the local “Island and Mainland News” newspaper in 1993, which led eventually to him writing his first book of “Heritage Tales”. The more he wrote, the more the fascinating stories emerged from long term residents, and over the last 20 years he has written, and personally published 57 books about Bribie Island History and heritage.
His wife Dot became very sick and they gave up the Caravan Park while he nursed her to her end in 2001, while developing commercial fishing interests and representing the Queensland State Fishing industry. With his Information Technology background, he worked hard to keep pace with modern computer developments, capturing historical records and an extensive photo collection.
In 2006 he moved to Bribie Cove Retirement Village where he continued his prolific writing, resulting in Bribie’s most extensive history book production. All typed, compiled, illustrated, printed, bound and distributed by an octogenarian who had a passion for the Island's rich and colourful past. As each of his 57 books were produced, copies were sent to both the National and Queensland State Libraries, as well as Queensland University and the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, and local Libraries. Warwick was also commissioned to write a “Remembrance Handbook” for the RSL Community Link, and the History of the “Chamber of Commerce”. He was invited to be the Patron of the Bribie Island Historical Society when it was established in 2008, and dedicated several of his books to the Historical Society including the “Bribie Bridge 50th Anniversary” in 2013.
Warwick was still writing about his beloved Bribie Island until just a few weeks before he died.
Warwick recently celebrated his 90th Birthday with 24 of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who have all remained living in the area. He was a very determined and generous man, who stood by strong principles and was determined to leave a legacy for future generations. He believed firmly in the old saying
“Happiness is found along the way, not a reward at the end of the journey”.
Bribie Island Historical Society