Hundreds turn out as community hero farewelled
A GLOOMY morning set the tone at Gin Gin Community Church on Saturday as tears fell for a life gone too soon.
SES volunteers directed traffic and reduced highway speed limits surrounding the church and golf club.
Some of Lance's favourite music welcomed some 1300 guests who made their way by shuttle buses or cars to pay their respects to Lance Edward Cislowski, who was killed in a single vehicle accident on February 14.
Friends and family greeted one another with warm hugs and sympathetic smiles, with weary eyes hidden under shaded sunglasses, and damp tissues in hand.
The packed church overflowed into spare rooms and marquees, with projectors and speakers relaying the service to those outside.
After the prayer and hymn of Amazing Grace, eulogies were read by officiator Bevan Rehbein.
Mr Cislowski's love and commitment to APEX, hockey, golf, the community, his electrical profession, Bendigo Bank and, most importantly, his family, were made overwhelmingly obvious.
Mr Rehbein read the words of Mr Cislowski's wife Cathie, who said her world now felt completely empty without her husband who died at 61.
"Valentine's Day is a symbol of love, and love revolved around Lance in every way possible by giving and receiving," she wrote.
"I will miss all of your stupid, ridiculous, funny, hilarious, naughty and fun-loving remarks and actions that you would say in each and every day of our lives together.
"I promise I will continue to look after our girls and grand-children. I love you more than words can say my beautiful darling husband, I miss you so very much."
Master Electricians Australia chief executive officer Malcolm Richards spoke of his long friendship with Mr Cislowski, detailing how much he had come to respect and value the insight and advice his friend had offered from his wealth of knowledge.
In a nod to his great friend and colleague, Mr Richards, on behalf of the chairman and board, made a special announcement.
"We have agreed that from now on we will be renaming the MEA national award for industrial contracting the Lance Cislowski memorial award," he said.
"On a personal note, I've enjoyed my chats with Lance more than anything.
"That cheeky smile and that confronting honesty will be remembered.
"He will be sorely missed."
Mr Cislowski's daughter Katrina Darr said she and her family knew how well regarded her dad was, but had not expected the recognition from MEA.
"We knew he mattered to everyone, but that was really special," Mrs Darr said.
"It's just a shame dad can't be here to see it."
In lieu of flowers Mr Cislowski's family asked guests to donate money which will be distributed among local Gin Gin clubs and organisations.