BIG LOSS: John O'Brien (left) had a passion for rugby league.
BIG LOSS: John O'Brien (left) had a passion for rugby league. Contributed

Lockyer Valley stalwart John O'Brien passes away

JOHN O'Brien's tremendous contribution to the Lockyer Valley community, after arriving in Gatton in 1957, will be felt for many years to come.

He was an instrumental figure in the sporting and business landscape, as well as an strong supporter of several charities and the local Anglican church.

In the 1970s, Mr O'Brien was crucial to starting the Gatton Junior Rugby League Club and the creation of the Gatton Leagues Club - which is now the Cahill Park Sports Complex.

An avid rugby league fan, as a player he captained the Gatton Hawks to their premiership in 1963 and was later named a life member and club patron, loathing to miss a game, after many years as a sponsor.

Mr O'Brien was also an influential figure at the Gatton Jubilee Golf Club, serving as club president and patron for many years and overseeing the development of countless local junior golfers.

In 1966 he purchased the Gatton Shell service station and then set out to start John O'Brien Toyota, which grew into one of the country's leading Toyota dealerships.

He also actively supported the Cancer Council and Salvation Army.

After a long battle with sickness he passed away peacefully last Friday at the age of 82.

His funeral will be held at St Alban's Anglican Church, on the corner of Railway St and Spencer St, Gatton, this Friday.

The service starts at 10am.

An in-depth story on Mr O'Brien's legacy will feature in the March 28 edition of the Gatton Star.