TOOWOOMBA'S much-beloved town crier Ralph Cockle has died.
The jolly man in a kilt was well known around Toowoomba for adding his characteristic pizzazz, pomp and ceremony to every event he attended or helped to organise.
This year he reluctantly retired from the role when chemotherapy to treat his bone cancer was unsuccessful and his health began to flag.
The much-loved father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away with his beloved wife Shirley by his side early yesterday.
Toowoomba region Mayor Paul Antonio said, "It is with sadness that our community learns of the passing of former town crier, Ralph Cockle."
"Ralph performed his duties as town crier with utmost pride and diligence and brought a remarkable sense of dignity to civic events in Toowoomba for a good number of years.
"His recent retirement due to ill health has left a gap in our city that will not be easy to fill.
"Our thoughts are with his wife Shirley and the Cockle family."
Funeral arrangements will be announced in coming days.
On July 16, 1997, Mr Cockle was officially appointed as town crier after already having taken part in the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers parade on a previous visit.