It was with great sadness that I learnt of the passing of my great friend and colleague, Greville Easte. Greville was a true stalwart of ShelterBox Australia and his drive and enthusiasm will be sorely missed by all. A passionate Rotarian, Greville was the epitome of ‘Service Above Self’ and was rightly proud of the fact that in one year as a ShelterBox District Representative, he raised over $240,000.
For many years, Greville was the first point of contact for all ShelterBox Australia District Reps and Ambassadors and enquiries on the 1300 number. He continued to support me in my role as General Manager until the very end. His knowledge of the workings of Rotary was invaluable and his experience in marketing and sales were of immense help as we worked to move the organisation forward and realise its potential. Grev was an accomplished public speaker and had been a member of Toast Masters for many years. He thought nothing of loading a hefty ShelterBox into his car, driving long distances to set up a tent and promote our cause.
Greville saw that the longterm future of ShelterBox lay with engagement with youth. He was at the forefront of programmes to encourage members of Scouts, Rotaract, Interact and school children to get involved. I remember spending a week with Grev at the Scout Jamboree in Maryborough, with temperatures in the high 30’s, camping out in a Shelterbox Relief Tent. There wasn’t much this hardy old Kiwi couldn’t handle.
Greville was also instrumental in the development of the ShelterBox Interactive game. Together with Jennie Schoof and the Rotary Club of Capalaba, Greville saw the project through from concept to production. The game, which educates players about disaster relief and preparedness and is aimed at ‘children of all ages’. It has been adopted by several councils in Queensland and is being used by the Red Cross in Northern NSW.
In 2014 Greville was recognised by the Board of ShelterBox Australia with an award for:
“For outstanding commitment to ShelterBox Australia and service in the areas of promotion, fundraising and governance.
This award recognises Greville’s service as a representative of ShelterBox Australia in Rotary Districts 9640, 9570 and 9600 from 2004.
Greville also served on the Board of ShelterBox Australia from 2010 to 2013.”
Greville leaves a lasting legacy in ShelterBox Australia and the thousands of families he has helped provide with Shelter, Warmth & Dignity. I will miss our talks on the phone, jokes via email, beers in the ‘man cave’ and true cameraderie. Rest in peace my friend.