THE Diamond Valley and Mooloolah communities were recently saddened by the unexpected loss of one of their true elder statesmen, Michael McMahon.
Remembered by many as the ultimate gentleman and a much-loved colleague, committee member and friend, Michael died peacefully at his acreage property in Diamond Valley.
A well-respected and integral member of the local community since moving to his property Arcadia more than 20 years ago, Michael was always committed to helping others and brought an insightful mind, playful sense of humour and genuine compassion and empathy to all his interactions.
With degrees in theology, philosophy and social work, he had a long professional career with the state Department of Child Welfare, the Family Court and the federal Department of Veteran Affairs.
Michael had long-term involvement in several community committees and organisations such as the Mooloolah Valley Lions, Mooloolah Valley Community Association, Mooloolah Hall and more recently as president of the Mooloolah Men’s Shed project. With his kind counsel based on a wealth of professional experience and worldly knowledge, Michael was dedicated to contributing to the community and was equally held in high regard.
Michael always made time for anyone who wanted to have a yarn and loved a good discussion on a wide and sometimes eclectic range of topics from beekeeping and the natural environment to mental health and concerns for those socially isolated or impacted by COVID-19.
In recent years he was a regular fixture at the local café where he would catch up on the latest local and world news and provide a friendly beacon of engagement for locals. He would listen without judgement and bring a sense of support and compassion that drew people to him.
Michael never shied away from a robust conversation that explored the deeper complexities of life and he loved a good political or philosophical discussion, often served up with a twinkle of mischief and humour in his eyes.
Born in 1944, the eldest in a large family of 11 siblings, Michael grew up in Brisbane. His life-long dedication to helping others was founded at a young age. His initial plan was to become a priest and, as a young man, he travelled to Rome to follow his vocation. He later realigned his professional life towards counselling and social work, getting married and having a family.
Michael is survived by his siblings and three children, Sean, Lorelei and Joe, and their families. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Main image: Michael at his property in Diamond Valley