Mayor George Seymour paid tribute to Bevan Whitaker.
Mayor George Seymour paid tribute to Bevan Whitaker. Alistair Brightman

FAREWELL: Mayor pays tribute to M'boro aviation pioneer

A FRASER Coast aviation pioneer has died.

Born in Maryborough, Bevan Whitaker left school at 13 to help run the family service station business and began a mechanical apprenticeship at 17.

After starting his own repair business, he branched out into selling harvesters, trucks and cars, expanding his interests to include dealerships across Queensland.

In the early 1970s he turned his attention to the aviation industry and founded Sunstate Airlines.

This evolved into numerous interests in Queensland's tourism industry including the purchase of Lady Elliot Island and Great Keppel Island.

Mayor George Seymour said: "Through hard work and determination Bevan built up his business and played a very significant role in the development of Queensland as a tourist destination."

"Young people can look to Bevan's legacy as inspiration to follow their dreams."

Full tribute to come.