Moving tribute for two community stalwarts
MORETON BAY Council this morning paid a moving tribute to two special Bribie Island community stalwarts who passed away last week.
Founder of Cornetts Supermarkets Derek Cornett died last week peacefully at his home while Busy Fingers president Karen Highlands died after battling a long illness.
Division 1 councillor Brooke Savige gave a moving tribute at today's council meeting for both Mr Cornett and Ms Highlands.
"The Cornett family are incredibly well known across Division 1," she said.
"They were incredibly giving in the community and also very successful business people.
"Derek's passing was very sad for many in our community. He will be missed and I give my condolences and the condolences of the council to his family."
Cr Savige said Ms Highlands death was a shock to her and to the Bribie Island community.
"Karen was a good friend of mine," she said. "The work she did in the community with Busy Fingers Bribie Island was incredible.
"She has been fighting a battle for a number of years and I only celebrated a very successful fundraising golf day with her two months ago so hearing of her passing last week was very saddening.
"I pass on my condolences to her family, her friends and the entire community who are feeling very troubled right now at the passing of these two brilliant people."
Mayor Peter Flannery echoed the sentiments, stating they both did a significant amount for the Bribie Island community.
"When there were any fundraising events or any barbecues, everyone went to Cornetts and they got their bread rolls and sausages all provided, usually free, to support the community," he said.
"It's a huge shock to the community over there. Busy Fingers is also a well-known name supporting lots of fundraising events on Bribie Island."
Cornetts CEO Graham Booysen write a tribute to Mr Cornett on the supermarket's Facebook page which received well over 100 responses from people paying their respects.
"Mr Cornett will always be remembered as a true gentleman, an astute business man and as the name sake of our business, will never be forgotten," Mr Booysen said.
He also recounted Mr Cornett's past business dealings since he purchased his first store in Chermside West in 1973, before semi-retiring to Bribie in 1978.
"Leading the way in innovation, Cornetts was the first Queensland supermarket to introduce electronic scanning in 1981, in order to provide fast and efficient service to customers," Mr Booysen said.
"In 2010 Derek Cornett was inducted into the Dr S Haggai IGA Hall of Fame in recognition of his achievements, commitment and contribution to independent Grocer retailing in Australia.
"Over the years Derek and his wife Joan have been involved in many local community organisations and charities generously donating both time and money.
"Derek was club president of the Bribie RSL and awarded Honorary Life Membership in recognition of his service to the club."
Bribie residents and former Cornett's staff shared fond memories on Mr Cornett on the supermarket's Facebook page.
"I had the pleasure of meeting Derek when he travelled out west and stayed at our motel on several occasions. He was a true gentleman and always had a story to tell," Michelle Dougall wrote.
"He gave me my first job at 16," wrote Sue McGill, "was very well-respected and a very giving man."
Kylie Humphreys wrote: "He gave me the nickname 'Fishlegs' within a few weeks of starting at his Bribie Island store and continued calling me it for the next nine years Very thankful for the opportunities he gave me as a teenager. Condolences to his family."
Originally published as Moving tribute for two Bribie stalwarts