Warren was inspiring
WARREN Persal’s life was inspirational on many levels but his private deeds of gentle generosity to individuals facing hardship put him in a class of his own. Who he helped by quietly paying medical bills and education expenses, by sending men and equipment to fix problems, will never be known but the stories will be told for generations.
Even his close family was not always aware of who was given a helping hand by the big-hearted son of the Fraser Coast but when his death a week ago was announced a rare surge of emotion rippled through the region. On many lips the response was the same “he helped so many people.”
Warren Persal earned his fortune the hard way. As a young man he dug holes by hand and strung lines on ladders to take high voltage power lines through some of Australia’s most rugged country.
Indefatigable, restless and visionary, his formidable memory was matched by an uncanny ability to quickly grasp complex scenarios. His creed was to “get the job done on time and don’t skimp on quality”.
He loved people and he loved the Fraser Coast, from Hervey Bay and Sandy Straits to Brooweena. As his business grew he could have prospered more in Brisbane but he chose to keep his headquarters in Maryborough, to employ local people and to invest in Fraser Coast businesses.
He fretted about the lack of jobs for young people and was our greatest sponsor of youth activities and projects that had the potential to create jobs.
He never swerved from his solid values as his wealth grew. In a world strewn with cheating and greed, he stood like a beacon: honesty, trust, diligence and loyalty were synonymous with the man who would still settle on a handshake. He enjoyed his wealth but lived modestly: his greatest pleasure was sharing what he had.
Time will show how lucky we were to have known Warren Persal.