Fond farewell for a man of the people, Geoff Dingle

PACKED: Part of the huge gathering who attended the memorial service for Medowie's Geoff Dingle held at The Greenhouse at Pacific Dunes.
PACKED: Part of the huge gathering who attended the memorial service for Medowie's Geoff Dingle held at The Greenhouse at Pacific Dunes.

There was standing room only as close to 300 people packed into Medowie's Pacific Dunes Greenhouse on Tuesday for the memorial service of former Port Stephens councillor Geoff Dingle.

Mr Dingle died at 4am on New Year's Eve more than 18 months after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was 69.

He was remembered as a man of the people who loved his family and dedicated his life to his community, his environment, to the many volunteer groups he served, including the Scout movement, and his persistent pursuit of the truth.

Wife Libby spoke of his devotion to his children and grandchildren, the countless volunteer hours he put in, the high and lows of his 14 years on council and his years fighting for worthwhile causes.

State MP Kate Washington acknowledged the presence at the memorial service of current Port Stephens councillors Giacomo Arnott, John Nell and Chris Doohan, in addition to the countless representatives from community groups such as the Scouts, where he was awarded the second highest medal the Silver Emu, Medowie Progress Association, Tidy Towns, and Medowie Public School P&C.

"The huge gathering today is testament to the high regard in which Geoff was held. He was a dedicated family man, a man of principle who took up causes for those who needed help, and a fighter for the truth," Ms Washington said.

Also paying tribute during the service were Richard Appleby, former member of the Tomaree Ratepayers & Residents Association, and Pauline Avery, from Medowie Tidy Towns, who said she "got to know him as the man at the end of a shovel".

Mr Dingle was also a past member of the Hunter Regional Botanic Gardens board, Hunter New England Health Advisory Panel, Koala Plan of Management Committee, Medowie Sports Council, and community centre committees at Medowie, Williamtown and Fern Bay.

He is survived by wife Libby, sons Christopher, Robert and Nicholas, and six grandchildren.

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