'Loved helping people': Touching tribute to Fr Dobson
FORMER Sunshine Coast Daily editor Peter Owen has penned a touching tribute to his friend and parish priest Father John Dobson.
Fr Dobson was parish priest at Caloundra for more than three decades before retiring in 2012.
Earlier this week Mr Owen was saddened at the news of Fr Dobson's death.
"I first met John Dobson back in the mid-1970s when I was editor of the Queensland Times and he was a parish priest at Ipswich," Mr Owen wrote.
"'Dobbo' was different from most clergy. He enjoyed life immensely, hated pomposity, was outspokenly critical of some of the ways of his church, quick to immerse himself in his community, and always ready to take on responsibility.
"He started a breakfast Rotary Club branch in Ipswich and was its first president, and became the first priest in Queensland to become a licensee when the Church's St Mary's Hall started hosting functions.
"Dobbo was a keen racegoer and would host a racing mass on the eve of each Ipswich Cup - an event that drew huge numbers of people.
"He liked an occasional punt and once, while reciting a prayer for the dead at Sunday mass, he mentioned the name of a horse he'd unsuccessfully supported the previous day which he was convinced hadn't been trying.
"He loved people, was never happier than when he was entertaining friends, and was great company.
"When we both moved to the Sunshine Coast, I talked Dobbo into writing a weekly column for the Daily. It continued for years - giving pleasure and comfort to countless readers. I think, too, that he really enjoyed writing it.
"Dobbo was a huge influence on the Sunshine Coast - and not just within the Catholic Church. He genuinely loved helping people, and doing everything in his power to make our community better."