Fairway to heaven: Headland’s ‘dear friend’ mourned
There's a seat near the 12th hole at Headland Golf Club overlooking the lake that will soon bear the name of beloved clubman Brent Dalby.
"Dalbs" was a member of the Alexandra Headland club for more than a generation and a giant of the Sunshine Coast hospitality scene.
But after a two-year battle with bone cancer, Mr Dalby died "peacefully" in palliative care 12 days shy of his 70th birthday, which was on Thursday.
Mr Darby is survived by wife Jo and children Faithe, Brad, Jessie and Shannon.
Those closest to him gathered for lunch on Thursday at Bistro C in Noosa to "stare out to sea" and reminisce about their "dear friend".
Restaurantuer Roscoe King said it was a "low key" but fitting way to send off a man he called his brother.
Mr King said "Dalbs" was a funny, quirky man who was a giant of Mooloolaba hospitality scene from the early '80s and '90s.
Mr Dalby ran some of the most popular restaurants in Mooloolaba - Charades, Eatcetera and Gossips, which Mr King owned, and later See Restaurant and The Boatshed.
Mr King said in those days, people like Mr Dalby were the real owners. They ran the show.
"Identities kept the wheels turning, and he was an identity," he said.
"We used to say it was a bit of a rat pack and he was part of it.
"He loved Frank (Sinatra) too, that was played for his send off."
It was Mr King who first introduced Mr Dalby to the industry.
"He wasn't an employee, he was like an owner. It is a very rare beast in this day to have people of that ability," he said.
"He was charming too."
Mr King recalled one of the more amusing memories he had of his old friend.
"We used to tell him he could have been on the Olympic diving team," Mr King laughed.
"One day he was coming down the stairs at the old Thommo Pub (now Pub Mooloolaba) and he tripped.
"He went through the window. He was fine but he did this big pike with a half twist.
"We would tell everyone that story."
Mr Dalby, who was a member of Headland for more than 30 years and eight as golf manager, enjoyed a career highlight on the 14th hole back in 2013.
Using a five iron and armed with a deep breath, Mr Dalby landed the first hole-in-one of his life, after an estimated 2500 rounds of golf.
"This is an amazing club and there's so much camaraderie between all the members and I am very happy that I got it (hole-in-one) here," he said at the time.
Now, just metres from that same spot where he slotted that ace, Mr Dalby's name will join his mates on the 12th hole.
"It's one of the nicest parts of the whole course, tranquil beyond belief. I couldn't think of a better spot," Mr King said.