CAMPBELL Gunn, who died last month, was one of the senior statesmen of the Brighton community – a former municipal councillor, Rotarian, bowls enthusiast and farmer.
Mr Gunn was, as he would have said with a whimsical smile, “in active retirement”. The patriarch of Tea Tree’s well-known family of farmers passed away suddenly on Friday March 12. The funeral was held one week later, on what would have been Mr Gunn’s 82nd birthday.Brighton Mayor Tony Foster was among the estimated 300 mourners at the funeral. “The large number of mourners came from throughout the community,” Cr Foster said. “Campbell was one of nature’s true gentlemen and was so well-respected.”
He recalled the four years when he and his old friend served as councillors together.
“Campbell was fairly conservative and never rushed into things. Even when he retired as a councillor he was always happy to give sound advice or a second opinion if I phoned to ask for it.”
Mr Gunn had two terms as a Brighton councillor – from 1966 to 1977 and from 1993 to 1996.
In an interview in Brighton Community News last year, Mr Gunn recalled his years as a councillor. “It probably wasn’t good having a second spell as a councillor – too much homework, too much reading.”
The Brighton Council chambers were originally at Pontville, the seat of local government until the late 1970s when a vote was taken. Campbell Gunn wanted to rebuild the chambers at Pontville, but Council voted to build a new one at Gagebrook instead.
Until he retired from active farming, Campbell Gunn lived with his family at the historic homestead “Glen Quoin” on Back Tea Tree Road, in Tea Tree.
The farming property had been given to Campbell’s great-great grandfather William Gunn by Lieut-Gov Arthur as a reward for his “patriotic exertions”. William led colonial soldiers in a confrontation with Matthew Brady’s bushranging gang at Sorell and lost an arm in the conflict.
In his later years Campbell and his wife Anne, a former district nurse in Richmond, lived in a smaller house just 2km from ‘Glen Quoin’. Their two sons Ronald and Christopher farm sheep and cereal crops on the property. Ronald, the eldest son, lives in the historic homestead and Christopher lives close by.
A third son, Andrew, is a stock manager in Victoria’s Western District and Campbell and Anne’s daughter Elizabeth is a nurse in Launceston.
Cr Foster said after the funeral: “Campbell Gunn will be sadly missed by many in the Brighton community.”