Alpaca industry leader lived a large life and many friends
AS family scattered Brett Winterbine's ashes across a northern Queensland property yesterday, they remembered his larger than life, vibrant personality.
Last month, the 38-year-old alpaca breeder was found dead in his pool by his flatmate at his Bajool home. His beloved toy poodle Polly sat beside the pool, pining for her owner.
The executor of his will, best mate and colleague Kelli Pfeiffer, explained because Brett was so young, the coroner needed to exhaust every possibility as to how he died.
"However, they don't believe there was any foul play involved and suspect he experienced a health issue while cleaning the pool which caused him to drown," Kelli said.
Brett's body was released to his family last Tuesday. His body was cremated and yesterday at a family only service, Brett's ashes were scattered at a property where he and his family had enjoyed many treasured moments, and in the same spot his mother's ashes were scattered three years ago.
Born in Rockhampton, Brett attended school in Gladstone and then travelled extensively, making a plethora of contacts and mates wherever he went.
"It's ironic really," Kelli said. "He had travelled a lot and only moved back to Rockhampton a year ago to the place he was born, and this is where he passed."
About five years ago, Brett began breeding alpacas.
Kelli, who runs Pfeiffer Park Alpacas in Hedlow, Rockhampton, met Brett about four years ago, and they became fast friends.
"We spoke on the phone often, mostly about all things alpaca," Kelli said. "In the beginning we would speak every few days, then it became several times a day. Four years on, it was still the same. We always hung out together at shows and events. He was so much fun to be around."
Brett became heavily involved in the industry, and held roles including the convenor of the Alpaca Section of Royal Brisbane Show and overseeing Australian Alpaca Week for several years.
Later he took on convening the Alpaca Section of the Royal Toowoomba Show and was the chief steward and on the organising committee for The Caves Show.
He was instrumental in getting an alpaca youth group off the ground in the Central Queensland area. He also took on the vast role of convening the State Alpaca Conference - Focus 2012.
Brett started a successful luxury alpaca transport business while at the same time growing his alpaca herd, both in numbers and quality, and was achieving well in the show ring.
The 2m tall (6'7") man who loved everything big, including cars, floats and furniture - and his very small toy poodle - and lived a large life will be dearly missed. Brett is survived by his father James and brother Richard.
Brett's friends and family will attend a memorial service at Calliope's Cedar Gallery Chapel on November 17, from 2pm to celebrate his rich life.