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Gympie farewells country music legend

 “Generous and inspirational”: The late 		Fabian Webb of Webb Brothers fame.

“Generous and inspirational”: The late Fabian Webb of Webb Brothers fame.

A Thanksgiving Mass of Fabian Webb, member of the Webb Brothers country music group, was held at St Patrickís Church, Gympie on November 20.  This is an abridged version of his eulogy prepared and delivered by his son, Anthony.

FABIAN Paul Webb was the fifth child born to William Slator and Hilda Madeline Webb, on the July 16, 1930.

The family lived on Thornside, a grazing property, selected by the Webb Family in 1882.

His early education was gained at the Brooklyn Provisional School and his secondary education was at St Patrick’s Christian Brothers College in Gympie, where he was a boarder, college prefect and outstanding athlete.

In his early 20’s, he spent a short time in Brisbane working as an Insurance Broker before returning home to his beloved Thornside.

In 1961,  Fabian married his bride, Tanda Anne Bennett from Ascot in Brisbane.

They met when Fabian was in hospital in the early stages of his diabetes treatment and Tanda was nursing.

They made their home at Thornside, where Fabian worked alongside his brothers Marius and Berard.

Fabian and Tanda had two children – Jane Anne born in 1962 and Anthony born two years later in 1964.

Jane Anne, Anthony and all of the Webb cousins, along with the wives of “the boys’, didn’t see a lot of them during weekends of the 1970s due to the popularity of their country music, performing as The Webb Brothers.

Fabian’s love of music had also been rewarding.

He penned many lyrics and along with his brothers Marius and Berard, as The Webb Brothers, recorded and performed very successfully for more than 50 years.

They recorded many well known songs, Call of the Bellbird, Roo in the Stew and The Palmer River Song to name a few.

Back in 1982, The Brothers opened the gates of Thornside to thousands to celebrate 100 years of Webb settlement on the property and 25 years of being involved in country music.

From humble beginnings, this has now become one of Australia’s premiere country music events, The Gympie Music Muster.

Fabian gave of himself to so many organisations, however he didn’t achieve all of this on his own.

They say, behind every good man is an even better woman and Tanda certainly held up her end.

This year they celebrated 53 years of marriage.

Fabian and Tanda expanded their land and livestock interests in 1993 and purchased the property Toronto, in the Dawes District north of Monto, where Anthony and his wife Helen moved after being married.

Between the two properties there was always plenty of mustering to be done and Fabian was proud of the quality herd that carried the ALO brand.

Fabian was blessed with his first grandchild, Matthew in 1994 and Clare was born in 1996.

He was born in the depression years, but he never let adversity stand in the way of progress.

He had many health issues associated with his Type 1 Diabetes throughout his life, but he never let this stop him from achieving anything.

Among his many achievements were to serve as Kilkivan shire councillor for 38 continuous years; to become the inaugural president of the United Graziers Association, Gympie branch, now known as Agforce; to manage the under 14 and under 16 Gympie Junior Cricket teams and to inspire the creation of The Kilkivan Great Horse Ride.

For these and many other community services, Fabian received awards including Citizen of the Year at the Kilkivan Shire Australia Day Awards in 1998 and the Centenary Medal in 2003.

None was more humbling than the Order of Australia Medal in 2004 from then Governor General, Quentin Bryce at Government House.

A generous and inspirational man.

A true advocate of the bush, the people in it and what they stood for.

He was a man of vision and integrity, a leader, a cattleman who was very proud of his pioneering heritage, an entertainer, a mate to many, a beloved brother, brother-in-law and uncle, a devoted husband, dedicated father and proud pa.

Written by: Guest Contributor
Catholic Church Insurance

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