Tributes flow for the late Charles Wood­ward

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

LO­CAL com­mu­nity lead­ers this week paid trib­ute to tourism iden­tity Charles Wood­ward, who died last week.

Mr Wood­ward and his fam­ily grew the CapTA com­pany from hum­ble be­gin­nings in the 1970s to a tourism pow­erhouse with im­por­tant as­sets in the re­gion, in­clud­ing the Wildlife Habi­tat in Port Dou­glas which it bought from founder John Mor­ris around 10 years ago.

Mr Wood­ward was also a sig­nif­i­cant phi­lan­thropist and formed the ac­tion group Com­mit­tee for On­col­ogy Unit at Cairns Hospi­tal (COUCH). He also played an in­te­gral role in the for­ma­tion of the Liz Plum­mer Cancer Care Cen­tre

Port Dou­glas busi­ness­man John Mor­ris knew Mr Wood­ward well.

“All of us in tourism will sorely miss Char­lie, he was a pi­o­neer in ev­ery sense of the word.

“His abil­ity to think out­side of the square is ex­em­pli­fied in many of the CapTA busi­nesses such as adding ad­ven­ture tourism to our pre­vi­ously owned Cairns Zoom and Rain­for­est Dome, and the Wildlife Habi­tat,” Mr Mor­ris said.

“Charles Wood­ward was a pi­o­neer of the re­gion’s in­dus­try,” said Tourism Port Dou­glas and Dain­tree ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tara Ben­nett.

“Charles was an in­no­va­tive leader ded­i­cated to not only the tourism in­dus­try but the re­gion’s com­mu­nity through his char­i­ta­ble work that will im­prove the lives of many cancer pa­tients into the fu­ture.

“The Wildlife Habi­tat in Port Dou­glas has thrived un­der his guid­ance and lead­er­ship.

His legacy con­tin­ues with his three sons who are very ac­tive in the fam­ily busi­ness the CaPTA Group with Ben Wood­ward, direc­tor of sales and mar­ket­ing, also the vice chair of our or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

May Ju­lia Leu, who knew Mr Wood­ward for many years, paid her own trib­ute to the tourism pi­o­neer.

“Char­lie was a true icon of the TNQ tourism in­dus­try, as well as a gen­er­ous con­trib­u­tor to the well-be­ing of the com­mu­nity.

“He had a deep pas­sion for tourism in our re­gion, see­ing the po­ten­tial for na­ture based tourism ex­pe­ri­ences long be­fore many oth­ers,” she said.

“My hus­band and I first met Char­lie in the mid 1970s when we lived in Ku­randa, and spent a few days work­ing on his Or­ange Farm.

“The farm quickly trans­formed into a multi-award win­ning ad­ven­ture tourism at­trac­tion, the Rainforestation Na­ture Park and the CaPTA busi­ness group ex­panded into Port Dou­glas and Cairns.

“At the 25th an­niver­sary of the Wildlife Habi­tat Port Dou­glas, Char­lie spoke to me about the pride he felt for his three sons (Michael, Ben and Peter) and his happiness about their ac­tive in­volve­ment in the fam­ily busi­ness.”

2017 Cairns re­gion Ci­ti­zen of the Year Charles Wood­ward

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