Loss of Australasian timber industry leaderBad tidings seem to have been the lot of the timber industry over recent times – tough market conditions and a weak housing sector – but such issues pale by comparison with the very sad news of the death of prominent industry identity and highly respected leader Peter Gunnersen, on 22 August 2012.
Peter was an exceptional contributor to an industry much in need of its leaders and champions. He was most certainly in that elite category. Flags on Gunnersen buildings across Australia and New Zealand are flying at half-mast to mark Peter’s passing and the terrible loss his death has brought to his family, the Gunnersen business network and to the Australasian forest and timber industry.
Along with brother Thorry, Peter led the Gunnersen family timber dynasty for three decades. A larger than life character Peter was also actively involved in many facets of sport, community, clubs, friends and extended family. Widely loved, he was caring, competent and witty.
Peter enjoyed contributing at all levels in the industry and until his recent illness remained active in industry leadership positions, including his work with the Gottstein Trust, to which he was dedicated and very proud. The Gottstein Trustees have expressed their sadness at the news of Peter’s passing. They have paid tribute to his contribution and dedication as the chairman of the JW Gottstein Memorial Trust for 16 years. They note that his service and love for the industry and its people will not be forgotten.
Until relatively recently Peter was also a director of Wood Products Victoria. He was a past director of the National Association of Forest Industries a past president of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries.
Peter was 69 and is survived by his wife Julie, and his children Katrina, Andrew, Christian and Thomas. To his immediate and the wider Gunnersen family the industry extends it sincerely condolences and acknowledges a life of service to the industry, family and the community. Silence in the forest – a might tree has fallen.
A memorial service for Peter will be held on Monday, 27 August 2012 at St Johns Anglican Church, Toorak, Melbourne.
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