On 31 July, 2015, the Bowral Memorial Centre was not large enough for Brett Worner’s memorial service. Photographs flashed before our eyes, giving everyone there many frozen moments of a productive yet short life. Brett’s friends and family spoke of love and laughter, a caring and loving father, brother, uncle and friend.
I am indebted to Steve Butcher, Brett’s brother in-law, and Hunter sub-branch member Scott Tipping for assistance with the slide presentation.
Brett Lindsay Worner was born in Bowral on 10 February, 1969. The youngest of five children, he attended Mittagong Primary School, then Bowral High. In his early years he may very well have come across a bit of local basalt or Hawkesbury sandstone that planted the seeds (or grains) of interest in his mind for things to come.
He attended Wollongong University for 18 months, studying engineering. This was not Brett’s thing, so he then moved to Western Australia to live with family and work in the mining industry. He worked in Telfer, Broome, Cue, Marvel Loch and Laverton, extracting many commodities including gold.
Brett married Sam in Alaska and then they settled with their two boys for a number of years in Australind, WA, where Brett was manager of Giacci Quarries at Bunbury. Brett then changed jobs and became the quarry manager/contract crushing manager for Pioneer Concrete, and roamed all over the state.
Brett and the family moved back to NSW in November 2002, where he became manager of the Kulnura Quarry on the Central Coast.
I became friends with Brett through the IQA and Brett organised movie weekends in Sydney for me, my wife Lisa and his wife Sam. These weekends became an annual event, and we enjoyed them very much. One of the highlights was the Szechuan chicken Brett found for us; Brett and Sam always laughed with me as we attacked a 20cm high pile of chilli and chicken. It wasn’t until later that I found Brett loved his spicy food and grew hot chillies.
Brett was a valuable and much liked member of the IQA’s Hunter sub-branch committee for many years, always quick with a smile and a big handshake. He helped us through our loss in 2014 of Lindsay Maloney, as we raised money for Lindsay’s family. Brett’s legacy is difficult to measure but his family and the quarry industry are all the poorer with him gone. Keep makin’ those big rocks smaller, mate!
Greg Thomson is secretary of the IQA’s NSW branch and secretary of the NSW Hunter sub-branch.