Tribute to John Mason's civic spirit

REMEMBERED: John Mason was recognised for his civic spirit with a stretch of Cleveland Point foreshore named after him. Mr Mason died at Wynnum on May 22.
REMEMBERED: John Mason was recognised for his civic spirit with a stretch of Cleveland Point foreshore named after him. Mr Mason died at Wynnum on May 22.

CLEVELAND resident and businessman John Mason, who has a beach at Cleveland named after him, has died.

Fondly known for his blue shirt and red braces, Mr Mason planted trees along the Cleveland Point foreshore and provided materials and labour to build groynes to form beaches near his long-term home on Shore Street North.

The naming of Mason’s Beach, instigated by his wife Eva, was in recognition of his civic spirit.

John William Mason was born in Brisbane on August 25, 1929 to William and Elsie. He spent his early years at Rathdowney in the Scenic Rim but the family moved to Brisbane when Mr Mason was four and his father died.

As a young man Mr Mason developed an appreciation for light opera, taking singing lessons with Ruby Dent.

He did a boat building apprenticeship before moving into business, studying accountancy while working.

While married to his first wife Edna, Mr Mason founded a neck tie manufacturing business at Ipswich.

Having bought a quality tie as a study specimen, Mr Mason unpicked it to educate himself on its design. He initially hand-crafted ties at home, before employing staff and setting up in business.

The company reached its peak with more than 100 employees when it moved to Cleveland in 1969. Mr Mason travelled overseas about three times a year, sourcing silk fabrics.

On one of those trips, to Germany in 1973 he met Eva, who moved to Australia and became his second wife.

In the 1970s, Mr Mason stopped the tie business and started Betta Hire, an equipment rental business.

After more than 25 years, Mr Mason sold the business. He researched his family history, published as The Mason Saga, spending hours at the Brisbane Archives and interviewing relatives.

Mr Mason also got into property leasing and later worked with his daughter Nina to establish a caravan sales business at Cleveland.

Mr Mason’s health deteriorated after a fall while watering his garden in March. He died at Wynnum West Blue Care on May 22 at 88.  A celebration of his life was held on June 1.

Mr Mason is survived by his wife Eva, three sons, Dennis, Bill and John and a daughter Nina, two daughters-in-law May and Leonie, a grand-daughter and three great-grand-daughters.