Lasting legacies of Max Williamson

Max Williamson will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather and passionate advocate of his community.

Mr Williamson died last week and in recognition of his incredible life, The Express spoke to his family and friends about his 82-year journey.

In the words of his daughter, Susan Williamson, "Dad always loved being in The Express ... he would have been so proud".

Max Williamson worked at the SEC as a civil engineer and services superintendent. He was photographed last year holding an invitation to the opening for Hazelwood Power Station. file photographs

Max Williamson worked at the SEC as a civil engineer and services superintendent. He was photographed last year holding an invitation to the opening for Hazelwood Power Station. file photographs

Max Williamson's passion and dedication to see Morwell grow and prosper combined with his ability to get the job done will be his lasting legacy.

Mr Williamson died suddenly from health complications at the age of 82 last week. He has been remembered as a fierce community advocate who dedicated more than six decades of service to the Morwell community.

Born in October 1935 at Brighton to Mary Elaine (Mollie) and Henry Samuel Williamson, he grew up in Blackburn with his three brothers - Rod, Doug and Dal and sister Marilyn.

His family recalled how he often told stories about the times he would deliver eggs around the neighbourhood on his bike - and collecting pippins at Brighton Beach.

"Which did make it sound like a Famous Five kind of childhood," his daughter, Susan Williamson, 56, recalled.

Mr Williamson spoke at the Savige Memorial unveiling in Legacy Park, Morwell in 2010.

Mr Williamson spoke at the Savige Memorial unveiling in Legacy Park, Morwell in 2010.

Mr Williamson started his working life as a draftsman at the State Electricity Commission's Prahran office before completing a Diploma of Civil Engineering at Swinburne Technical College in 1958.

During his early SEC days he would attend the Box Hill Town Hall Saturday night dance - the venue where het met the love if his life Betty.

The couple married in June 1958 before travelling to Morwell by train to start their life at the State Electricity Commission quarters. Mr Williamson was appointed to a civil engineer at the time.

They had two children, Susan born in 1962, followed by Peter two years' later.

Mr Williamson oversaw the restoriation of Airlie Bank Homestead. He was photographed with Latrobe Valley U3A members Lorraine Bull and Marianne Olwell at the organisation's headquarters opening in May.

Mr Williamson oversaw the restoriation of Airlie Bank Homestead. He was photographed with Latrobe Valley U3A members Lorraine Bull and Marianne Olwell at the organisation's headquarters opening in May.

Advance Morwell secretary Keith Brownbill recalled Mr Williamson as a "highly intelligent, practical person who had a vision for his town and a capability of putting ideas into practice".

"There would be very few people who would have made as bigger contribution to Morwell and the Latrobe area than Max Williamson," Mr Brownbill, a former Morwell High School principal, said.

"My first contact with him was when he was a member of the Morwell High School advisory council and he played a pivotal role in the supervision of the building of a fine new theatre and assembly hall at the school.

"Max's contribution over his period of 60 years in Morwell in many fields was almost unparalleled."

Mr Williamson joined the Morwell Jacyees in 1966 and went on to serve as the community development chairman and was elected Outstanding Jaycee of the Year in Gippsland.

According to his family, one of Mr Williamson's proudest moments was establishing the Latrobe Valley Sheltered Workshop Association - now Latrobe Valley Enterprises.

Advance Morwell chairman John Guy (right) remembered Max Williamson as a person who could get the job done.

Advance Morwell chairman John Guy (right) remembered Max Williamson as a person who could get the job done.

"While he may be physically lost to our community his memory will live on through the projects he was involved in over years of active service to his community," close friend and Advance Morwell chairman John Guy told The Express.

"His membership of Morwell Jaycees, the Morwell Lions Club and Advance Morwell led to his participation in many varied projects that have over the years improved the lives of many in our community."

It was not uncommon to see Mr Williamson at an Australia Day or Anzac Day event, often wearing his red Lions Club of Morwell polo shirt, having joined the club in 1976 where he remained a member of until his death.

Mr Williamson was a member of the Lions Club of Morwell for more than 40 years. Pictured on Australia Day last year with club president Kevin Pullen at Kernot Hall.

Mr Williamson was a member of the Lions Club of Morwell for more than 40 years. Pictured on Australia Day last year with club president Kevin Pullen at Kernot Hall.

Some of his lasting legacies will be remembered through his involvement with Advance Morwell; overseeing the restoration of Airlie Bank Homestead, the development of Legacy Place and annual Christmas decorations in the streets of Morwell.

Despite retiring in 1990, he remained an active member of the community serving with several other organisations in until his death. Not surprisingly, he was named the 2016 Latrobe City Council Senior of the Year in recognition to his community service.

Mr Williamson in 2008 when Christmas decorations were damaged on Church Street in Morwell.

Mr Williamson in 2008 when Christmas decorations were damaged on Church Street in Morwell.

Mr Williamson is survived by his wife Betty, children Peter and Susan, daughter-in-law Gillian and grandchildren Josh, Eva, Mae and Samuel.

His family invite members of the public to attend his funeral tomorrow at the Latrobe Valley Funeral Services Chapel, 437A Princes Drive, Morwell from 1.30pm.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop