Bundaberg's Jim Quaite will be remembered as the man who helped create Hockey Queensland and put hockey on the map in Bundaberg.
Bundaberg's Jim Quaite will be remembered as the man who helped create Hockey Queensland and put hockey on the map in Bundaberg. Contributed

Tributes flow for Bundaberg great and stalwart of hockey

HOCKEY: "It's hard to believe what he did could be done in a lifetime.”

Bundaberg's Jim Quaite will be remembered by those who knew him as being a family man dedicated to his business and his love of one sport - hockey.

Quaite died suddenly last Thursday at the age of 85 after battling heart issues for almost two decades.

He leaves behind a legacy that might never be matched, particularly in hockey.

Quaite was instrumental in establishing and setting up what is now Hockey Queensland.

In 1995, he amalgamated the men's and women's association to set up the one entity, breaking down barriers that led to Queensland becoming the dominant force for the sport.

He would serve as president from the start until 2001, overseeing the building of the State Hockey Centre and the hosting of the international competition the Champions Trophy.

But not only was Quiate an astute administrator, he knew plenty about the game.

He represented Queensland and helped The Waves Cities dominate the Bundaberg Hockey Association competition with 16 straight titles from 1960 to 1976, which Quaite captained 10 of them.

He also represented the Rum City and led the side to a win in 1967 at the state championships against Brisbane that featured five Kookaburras players.

Finally, he could coach, guiding the women's under-17, under-19 and open sides to national titles for Queensland.

He did it all and was officially recognised with an Order of Australia merit award in 1990 for his services to the sport.

Quaite also has life memberships in the BHA, Hockey Queensland and Hockey Australia for his achievements.

"He was a down-to-earth humble man with an enthusiasm, energy and knowledge of the game that helped Queensland teams become a leading force in all ages/teams,” Hockey Queensland participation manager Margaret Dilger said.

"As a coach, Jim's forward-thinking ideas took hockey in Queensland to a new level and then - as an administrator - led Hockey Queensland to become the organisation we have today.

"Jim was a true gentleman and great statesman for the sport. His legacy to hockey is far reaching as a player, coach and administrator. He will be missed by the hockey community.”

For Quaite's family, he was the man they could rely on in times of need.

He ran his own electrical business away from hockey, which still runs today through his son Robert, and was happy to live and bring up his family in Bundaberg.

Quaite moved to the region in 1949 and lived here until his death after being born in Townsville.

"He gave them (family) strength in times of trouble, wisdom in times of uncertainty and sharing in times of happiness,” Michael Edgar said on behalf of the family.

"He was extremely happy in his own environment.

"He was a great friend to a lot of people.”

Edgar, who is also writing the eulogy, said the family told him Quaite was a wonderful man that always had time for people.

"With his ability in hockey he could have gone anywhere,” he said.

"He was very close to his family and had a great value of life.

"He didn't tolerate fools but didn't have a go at any that failed.

"He believed in having a go and that was one of his mottos.”

Quaite is survived by his wife Elsie, his children and children-in-law Marion, Carol and Gary, James and Rhonda (dec'd), Robert and Barbara and his eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

His funeral will be held on Friday at the Branyan Gardens on Cummins Road at 1pm.