SADLY MISSED: First responder John Bellerby is presented an award by Chief Superintendent Russell Cooke at the QAS Wide Bay LASN awards ceremony last year.
SADLY MISSED: First responder John Bellerby is presented an award by Chief Superintendent Russell Cooke at the QAS Wide Bay LASN awards ceremony last year. Mike Knott BUN130916AWARDS16

Tributes for much-loved local man killed in car incident

"ADMIRABLE", "vibrant" and "selfless" are just some of the words that have been used to describe Woodgate man John Bellerby by those who knew and loved him.

The 72-year-old local was tragically killed on Monday night while crossing the Esplanade at Woodgate.

A Queensland Police Service spokesperson said officers were investigating the traffic incident that happened about 7.40pm.

"Emergency services responded to a traffic incident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian at the intersection of Esplanade and Second Avenue," the spokesperson said.

"Preliminary information indicates the pedestrian, a 72-year-old Woodgate man, has taken a few steps out on the road before the vehicle has struck the man."

Mr Bellerby was declared dead at the scene.

The news has shocked the small beachside community, with many paying tribute to Mr Bellerby's constant hard work within the town.

Bundaberg Regional Council Deputy Mayor Bill Trevor said he knew Mr Bellerby well.

"John was a pillar of the community - he gave his all and he will be sorely missed," Cr Trevor said.

 

LARGER THAN LIFE: Tributes are flowing for John Bellerby, 72, who died after being hit by a car on Monday.
LARGER THAN LIFE: Tributes are flowing for John Bellerby, 72, who died after being hit by a car on Monday.

Woodgate Bowls Club secretary Wayne Nelson said Mr Bellerby, who was a QAS first responder and part of the Woodgate Rural Fire Brigade, was a much-loved character.

"John brought so much joy to everyone around him," Mr Nelson said.

"He will be missed by many.

"He was always the first one to give you a hand, nothing was too much trouble for him and it's a real big loss out here."

Members of the Woodgate Men's Shed also paid their respects, saying Mr Bellerby was a "larger than life character".

Long- time friend Gloria Newby said Mr Bellerby had quite a reputation in the community, having spent more than 20 years in town after arriving with wife Andrea from Victoria.

"Before he came here he was in the police service as a dog handler, he was a ranger, he was tobacco farmer, he was a publican - he was many things," Mrs Newby said.

"John and Andrea came to Australia as Ten Pound Poms in their late teens.

"They have two daughters and now two grandchildren."

Mrs Newby said many events and organisations that have become tradition in Woodgate were thanks to Mr Bellerby.

"John was instigator of lighting up our Christmas tree on the Esplanade," she said.

"He was instigator of the first responders group in Woodgate and he was in the fire brigade for many years.

"It was his idea to do a lolly drop on Christmas Eve every year for the children and he also started the Easter Fair."

Mrs Newby said Mr Bellerby also had a passion for his many roles in the Woodgate Rural Fire Brigade where he was a first officer, equipment officer and president.

"Our community will be mourning this loss for a long time."



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