Image: The Commodore 64 computer (courtesy wikipedia), which introduced computing to homes around the world and started Goldon Oliphant on a path that earned him the tag, "real computer whiz".
AFTER a busy decade buying, renovating and selling houses in preparation for retirement, Gordon and Carole Oliphant planned their move to Macleay Island as their last.
The couple had a tortuous introduction to island life after the bank closed two minutes before their solicitor arrived for the settlement.
But after a flurry of faxes and approval from the owner to move in, the Oliphants and their beloved pooches – two Maltese-Shiatsu crosses and a faithful 14-year-old Labrador – unloaded at their new home on High Central Road.
About three hours later on that night of April 28 – less than one month before his 62nd birthday – Gordon, who had a respiratory condition, called for his medication, but his breathing difficulties worsened quickly.
THE tragedy of his sudden death reflected in the notice that Carole placed in the Classifieds to thank property agents Trevor and Helen Ehrlich, of Raine & Horne Macleay Island, for their help in "getting me settled".
"Trevor arranged for me to borrow a fridge and organised John from Motivated Maintenance Man to mow the lawn, put up a temporary fence and help deliver the fridge," Carole said this week.
"Even though this was a sad day it was made less complicated and [the support] gave me time to grieve for my loss. I can’t put in words the appreciation I owe these people for their help."
WHEN Carole and Gordon met in the late 1980s, she was working at Royal Brisbane Hospital and Gordon, despite his trade as a fitter and turner, was building fibreglass boats.
Gordon was already much experienced on computers after starting with a Commodore 64 in the 1980s. The couple ran a business using his imaging skills to present funeral and wedding packages.
In the late 1990s they opted for a new life in renovation and bought and sold in South East Queensland between Hervey Bay and the NSW border, and Gordon forged ahead with his multi-media computer work.
"It was a bit of a family joke – every time we sold Gordon would upgrade his equipment," Carole said.
"He was a real computer whiz, absolutely great. I have 200 DVDs -- all the back-up disks he used. He put a tribute to the BeeGees on Youtube."
BOATING and fishing were also among Gordon’s interests. Carole had to cancel his order for a 17ft Dominator, which would have set him up to fully enjoy the island lifestyle.
Carole and Gordon created a big family, bringing together a total of seven children from previous marriages. Eleven grandchildren are now part of the fold.
The family plans to gather at Tangalooma on Gordon’s birthday next May 23 to spread his ashes in Moreton Bay.
Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times.