Firie dies as Fingal Head burns
ANDREW “Packy” Turnbull died doing what he loved - helping and protecting others.
The retained Kingscliff Fire Brigade firefighter has been remembered by family and friends this weekend as “one in a million” who helped anyone with anything.
Mr Turnbull's older sister, Annette Turnbull Keighran, said her “little, but bigger brother” was a kind-natured person who loved his family and his footy.
“You could always count on him. He would help out anyone with anything,” Mrs Turnbull Keighran said.
“He has helped people his whole life. He just always loved helping people any way he could.
Mr Turnbull passed away from a suspected heart attack while battling a grass fire at Fingal on Friday night.
He was 35.
Mr Turnbull leaves behind five children and two step-children.
His youngest, Kiara, is only 12 months old.
“He loved his kids and he did anything for them,” Mrs Turnbull Keighran said.
“He was a bit of a larrikin and always the life of the party. He would have a drink at the pub and it wasn't just a handful of people but everyone who knew him.”
Mr Turnbull was a retained fire fighter for the Kingscliff Fire Brigade for eight years.
He volunteered with the Banora Point SES for five years prior.
“Helping others was just such a big part of his life. He recently loaned his car to a mate because Andrew only needed his bike to get around town. It was always done out of the kindness of his heart,” Mrs Turnbull Keighran said.
Mrs Turnbull Keighran established a Facebook group page in memory of her brother about 11am Saturday.
At time of print last night the group, “In Memory of Andrew Packy Turnbull”, had reached more than 250 members.
On the website, one friend wrote “all our prayers goes out to the Turnbull family RIP u (sic) will be missed in a big way throughout the community of the Tweed area.”
Another wrote: “My deepest sympathies go to the Turnbull family. I went to school with Packy and I am so grateful I took the time to talk to him at our reunion. I was in awe of the fact he had 7 kids. A wonderful and friendly man has been taken too soon. RIP.”
Mr Turnbull's cricket team, the Cudgen Cricket Club, forfeited their match on Saturday in honour of their fallen team mate.
The Girl's Night In fundraiser at the Cudgen Leagues Club on Saturday held a minute's silence in honour of him and his family.
Mr Turnbull was born in Murwillumbah District Hospital and lived his life in Kingscliff.
He attended Kingscliff public and Kingscliff high schools.
Recently he worked at Kingscliff Beach Hotel as a security guard.
He spent 25 years with the Cudgen Leagues Club, starting in the under six division before rising to A-Grade.
After a bad knee forced him off the playing field at the age of 31, Mr Turnbull retained his loyalty to the club by offering his assistance anyway he could, including as a strapper and as a coach.
“You would always see him down there on a Sunday,” Mrs Turnbull Keighran said.
He also took part in touch rugby at Cudgen.
League was a hobby shared amongst Mr Turnbull and his four sons.
“It has always been part of his life,” she said.
Mrs Turnbull Keighran, who now resides in Sydney, last saw her brother at a 60th birthday party for their father in Kingscliff a week ago.
“Seeing him then and just saying goodbye. That was really important to me,” Mrs Turnbull Keighran said.
“Before that I hadn't seen him since Christmas. I'm just glad his family and friends were able to see him one last time before the end.”
- Send us your tributes to Andrew Turnbull. Either SMS 0428 634 025 (type TWEE followed by a space and then your comment) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
•“Fun times with a fun bloke.R.I.P my thoughts to all who have had the pleasure of spending time and knowing this big man we will all miss him but will live on in our hearts forever.” Shane Peverelli
•“To Cliff and Gwen and ALL the extended family my deepest sympathy A tragedy for all to lose one so young and loved Ann Cullen.” Ann Cullen
•“You wil be missed mate xo rip.” Kirsty Anne Matthews