Maurice "Moss" George Lowe, 18/8/39 - 25/3/21
Maurice "Moss" Lowe OAM was always a man on a mission - whether it was his years of service to the Royal Australian Navy, his work in ensuring Launceston veterans' families received their entitlements or simply always being there as a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
And while he would go on to become a key part of improving veteran support in Northern Tasmania resulting in an Order of Australia medal and Launceston Citizen of the Year in 2010, he always held his small-town Mathinna roots close to his heart.
His standing in the community was reflected in the 800-strong attendance at Mr Lowe's funeral at Franklin Grove in Youngtown last week.
His wife of 55 years, Charmaine Lowe, said it was a wonderful celebration of Mr Lowe's life - a life which saw him travel the world with the Navy, making life-long friends and later using his experience to help others.
But it all started at Mathinna, where the couple met as young children at the primary school. Mr Lowe longed to see the wider world, and joined the Navy in 1960 to train at HMAS Cerberus as a gunner before serving during the Malayan emergency.
His talent saw him chosen to travel to the UK to train as an aimer for the new Seacat missile system, resulting in his posting to HMAS Yarra, a time that he enjoyed most in all his years of service.
Commodore Malcolm Baird, second in command on HMAS Yarra, said it was "a great privilege" to know Mr Lowe.
"Not just because we shared service in Yarra, nor because we shared many values such as family and a desire to help others," he said.
"I enjoyed the way Moss met every challenge without letting the bad parts of the challenge change his outlook on life.
"We were so proud when he was decorated."
His nine years with the Navy included serving in Borneo and Vietnam, training countless others.
Mr Lowe's work didn't stop when he was discharged from the Navy, however.
After 15 years with the Tasmanian Fire Service, Mr Lowe joined the Launceston sub-branch of the RSL where he would voluntarily provide "navy specific" advice to help assist veterans in dealing with the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
This proved to be extremely fulfilling, and he quickly took up the veterans' cause.
He was the founding president of the Launceston South Naval Association of Australia, which attracted more than 100 members. In 1995, he was involved in forming the Launceston RSL's Veteran Support Group.
Close friend Laurie Hawkins said Mr Lowe's advocacy was invaluable.
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"Moss proved to be a tenacious lobbyist of federal and state politicians, as well as DVA staff," he said.
"He began visiting members of the veteran community and their families either in their own homes, hospitals, nursing homes and hospices, at times he was working up to three days a week in the pension office and he never complained about the numerous calls to his home phone regardless of the day or time of the call."
Later in life, the walls of the Lowe's garage began to amass certificates and plaques in recognition of his work supporting others.
In 2006 he was awarded the Naval Association of Australia Diploma of Merit.
In 2009 Mr Lowe was awarded the Order of Australia medal for his service to veterans.
And in 2010 he was named Launceston Citizen of the Year for his voluntary assistance to the city's veteran community for more than 23 years.
Charmaine Lowe said her husband could never sit still when he knew someone was in need of assistance.
"He really felt strongly about so many of the veterans, so many of them wouldn't talk about anything before. He once found a 90-year-old woman, and when he went to help her and was doing the records, her husband was First World War, not Second World War. And she'd not had any support really," she said.
"They were entitled to this and he really fought for them."
While Mr Lowe busied himself with veterans affairs, Ms Lowe took on the monumental task of documenting all of Mathinna's 224 men and one woman who fought in World War One. It was as much a gift to the town of Mathinna as it was a gift to Mr Lowe, whose passion for the town and military service never wavered.
Ms Lowe's book, Mathinna: They Answered the Call, was completed and printed last month - a source of immense pride for Mr Lowe who was in his final days after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
"He waited to be able to see the book," Ms Lowe said.
Despite all the work he did for others, Mr Lowe always found time for family and was a beloved father of Bradley, Louis and Wade, and "Pop" to his four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
One of his grandchildren, Jacob Lowe, said Mr Lowe always had a story to tell.
"I remember a few months ago where Lachlan and I sat up past midnight with Pop as he'd tell us many of his great stories," he said.
"I'm sure there are many here today who served with Pop or formed friendships over the years and can attest to what a great person he was. Pop loved mateship; his love for a beer and having a good time with his friends was something that he always portrayed in his stories.
"Pop, we will forever be better people for knowing you."