Michael Pengilly MP

Member for Finniss

Michael Pengilly MP, Memeber for Finniss

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Appropriation Grievance - Grant Gilbert

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Mr PENGILLY ( Finniss ) ( 20:03 :50 ): I would like tonight to say a few words about a wonderful South Australian, an astute businessman, a great husband, father and grandfather who sadly died in the Angel Flight crash last week in Mount Gambier. That man was Grant Gilbert of Mount Barker. He was born on 13 October 1938 and, very sadly,
passed away on 26 June this past week. Grant was an institution in Mount Barker
and around South Australia. His generosity knew no bounds. He was an astute
businessman and, as a matter of interest, from 1963 until last week he was a
member of some 30-odd organisations.

From 1976 until now, he was managing director of Gilbert Motors Ltd Automotive group. Some of the organisations that Grant was involved in and some of the awards he received
included Citizen of the Year Local Government: Australia Day Award for Mount
Barker in 1987. From 1956 to 1979, he was a life member of the Association of
Apex Clubs. In 1997, he received the James D. Richardson Honour Award for
Hahndorf Lions. From 1981 to 1985 he was a councillor and deputy mayor on the
Mount Barker District Council.

From 1995 to 2003, he was deputy chair to me, after the former chair, Grant Petras, left for Queensland. He was my deputy for a number of years on the Hills Mallee Southern Regional Health Association. From 1986 to 2001, he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mount Barker District Soldiers Memorial Hospital. From 1999 to 2005, he was the South Australian government appointed member of the Nurses Board of South
Australia on which he served two terms. He had an amazing life.

From 2006 to 2012, he was a council member of SHINE. He was a member of the Mount Barker Concert Band and German Band. He loved playing the trumpet. The list goes on. I will not read it all out, but the contribution that Grant made to South Australia, and Australia more so, was profound. He was one of the most generous people I have ever met.  He was acutely and intensely loyal to everybody he had dealings with, and I can
only speak highly of that from a personal point of view.

He was loyal to the extreme to his wife, Margaret, and his family, and that was borne out at a large gathering at Auchendarroch at Mount Barker yesterday where a number of people spoke in a tribute to Grant. His dear wife, Margaret—who he referred to as Lady Margaret, I might add—said that Grant did not want a funeral if anything happened to him. They were just to do what they had to do and that was it, and he did not want
any speeches. But as Margaret reminded us at the gathering yesterday, he did
not put that in writing, so we had an hour to an hour and a half of a lot of
comments about Grant.

I specifically wanted to talk about the time I worked with him on the Hills Mallee Southern Regional Health board. That was a regional board that worked extremely well, and in my view was the most successful regional board in the state ever brought into place by the
former Liberal government. We did an enormous amount of work with Grant Gilbert
and, I might add, Kevin Eglington who was the regional general manager. We
achieve lots of things across the country from out as far as Pinnaroo and
Lameroo down to Kangaroo Island and Meningie.

Grant had a huge amount of respect for humanity and he always did what he could for people. It did not matter who they were. If he thought he could do something for people, he would. It was added yesterday that he did not suffer fools well. He and I got on
particularly well on that score because it is a failing of mine, I am afraid.
But be that as it may, Grant's legacy to the state is profound, particularly his legacy to Mount Barker where the Gilbert family are well known in business.

He and his brother, Rob, took over the business from their father, the late Roy Gilbert, and they run it in a highly successful manner to this day. They have branched out into other things.  Grant was known for his capacity for work, along with his friendly and funny nature, but behind that sense of humour lurked an astute brain. His family were always
at the forefront. Grant liked nothing more than to be able to have people at
his and Margaret's home at Mount Barker and have functions there.

Grant was still giving until his untimely death in the tragic airplane crash at Mount Gambier. He was doing an Angel Flight. The CEO of Angel Flight spoke yesterday. Grant came to Angel Flight at the end of last year. This year has been his great contribution. In
less than six months this year he had done around 40 Angel Flights to all parts
of the state. This is at his cost and his time. He was a very special man. I
know he had flown into Kingscote Airport regularly.

As I indicated yesterday, he had been to Port Lincoln and Mount Gambier numerous times and everywhere else. That was Grant: he just gave and gave and never stopped giving. I am sure his family will strive to do exactly what Grant did. They are a very proactive family.
They are a great family, a lovely family. I had all the respect in the world
for Margaret when she got up and spoke yesterday. She was just wonderful. Of
course, his nephew, Tom, spoke as well along with other people. The world is a
far better place for having had Grant Gilbert in it. He will be very sadly missed.

Can I also say that tragically there were two others who perished in the accident. The other family are known to me, not directly through the ones who were sadly killed but through the Redding family, who are originally from Kangaroo Island. It really was a
terrible day. Grant was just so meticulous. He was an absolute perfectionist in
everything he did. What happens, happens. In closing, I wish to record again my
deep admiration and respect for the late Grant Gilbert of Mount Barker. May he
rest in peace.

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