Justin Stower and Pauline Grieve at their engagment party last year.
Justin Stower and Pauline Grieve at their engagment party last year. Supplied

Yeppoon miner weeps for fiancee

IT WAS to be the first anniversary of their engagement on St Valentine’s Day.

Yeppoon’s Justin Stower, fiance of 46-year-old Pauline Grieve, who was swept away in a flash flood in Bouldercombe Gorge on Sunday, yesterday remembered her as a “wonderful woman”.

“We were planning on going around Australia. And I was going to take her to see AC/DC for her birthday in a few weeks,” the coalminer told The Morning Bulletin.

It was revealed yesterday that Pauline was separated from her husband Clinton, who had moved back to Cairns.

Mr Stower said the accident was not fair.

“She was the last person who deserved a thing like this.

“It’s a tragic shock. A freak accident.”

He said he’d first heard of the accident on the news while working at the mines at Middlemount, and tried contacting her family at Mount Morgan.

After going back underground, he had a bad feeling and requested to be taken to a phone before ringing Pauline’s sister, Lara Thompson, to learn the bad news. He described finding out as “the lowest point of my life”.

He said he had met Pauline in Yeppoon two years ago while at a function with friends and they’d hit it off.

They were a classic example of opposites attracting.

“I was into sports: rugby league, cricket and she was an artist. We got talking and hit it off and had been together for two years,” he said.

Justin proposed on St Valentine’s Day last year at Michael’s Restaurant on the coast.

He said Pauline would be remembered as a “wonderful, caring and loving person” as well as a talented artist.

“She wasn’t just a mother and a partner, but a friend. She always put others first.

“She was very talented. She never reached her full potential.”

Justin said Pauline had been employed at the Keppel Community Care for about a year working with patients with Down syndrome and other disabilities.

He described her as “very committed” to her job, and having an excellent relationship with her patients.

Justin and Pauline had been living together for about three months, but Pauline had moved temporarily to Mt Morgan.

“She made me become less aggressive. She had a loving influence on me.”

Justin said he would now have to try moving on, and family and friends were on hand to help him through.

“She was not just beautiful on the outside but beautiful on the inside too. I’ll never meet another like her,” he said.

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