Ingham Daily Press

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‘I hope that big bbq is waiting for you in the sky’: Tributes paid to selfless volunteer Paul Hallam

MP Nick Dametto, Renee Poppi, Paul Hallam and Mayor Ramon Jayo.

TRIBUTES have poured in for Paul Hallam after the selfless community volunteer passed away this week.

The ever-giving community man dedicated his life to helping others.

After arriving in Hinchinbrook in 2013, Paul worked as a volunteer for the council, spending countless hours in the art gallery and at sausage sizzle events.

He was recognised for dedicating more than 500 hours’ service in 2019 and was known for making and donating food art.

The former chef spread his time across multiple organisations – and volunteered to become Ingham Daily Press’ bowls correspondent after the community online newspaper launched last year.

He posted regular results for Ingham Bowls Club, where he also volunteered as a press officer.

Ingham Daily Press co-founder Ben Barbi said: ‘Paul was the most consistent writer we have had to date.

‘Without fail he always had the bowls results.

‘It’s a sad loss for us – and for so many people.

‘Paul’s passing leaves a hole that is going to be hard to fill.’

Ingham Daily Press co-founder Ben Barbi

Councillor Mary Brown, who is mourning the loss of her friend, said: ‘Paul will be sorely missed and is a huge loss to the community.’

Member of Parliament for Hinchinbrook Nick Dametto said: ‘It is with great sadness I share the news of the passing of Paul Hallam.

‘Paul will be remembered by the Hinchinbrook community as a tireless volunteer who found great pleasure in serving the community.

‘Your generousity and friendship will be missed by so many.

‘Thank you for giving so much – I hope the big bbq in the sky is waiting for you, mate.’

MP Nick Dametto

Hinchinbrook Shire Council released a statement paying tribute to the community stalwart: ‘He would take on any challenge, no job was too big or too small, and gave his time without question for the benefit of the community.  

‘He would often create and donate ‘food art’ centre pieces for functions or deliver baked goods to business houses out of the goodness of his heart.

‘Recognition for his unwavering dedication to this community for over 500 hours of service in 2019 alone was one of his proudest moments, and the enormous amount of pleasure and pride that he experienced was his reason for doing so.’

Mayor Ramon Jayo described him as a modest man who lived to give to others.

A statement from Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce read: ‘It is with deep sadness we share the news of the passing of Paul.

‘This absolute gem of a human being volunteered in just about everything he could, including chamber activities.

‘He will also be fondly be remembered for his food art skills, something a lot of Hinchinbrook residents would have at some point sampled.

‘While he may not have been a ‘born and bred Inghamite’, he’s earned the love and respect of our community as if he were one of our very own.

‘He will be sorely missed.’

The late Paul Hallam celebrated his 71 birthday last month.

He grew up in South Australia, graduating from school in 1966 before joining the Royal Australian Airforce and training as a chef.

His work took him around Australia, from Government House in Adelaide to Kangaroo Island and a remote sheep station in his home state as well as a mining camp near Mount Isa in western Queensland.

Ingham Daily Press pays its deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Paul.

May he rest in peace.

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