Tributes flow for the late Charles Woodward
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