Accident claims Byron character
MULLUMBIMBY's Cliff Jones will be remembered as a man who always had time for others.
Cliff was found dead about 10.30am on Wednesday in the Ocean Shores Country Club dam.
It's believed his ride-on mower overturned, leaving Cliff trapped in the dam.
Cliff had celebrated his 66th birthday on Monday and was due to have dinner with his best mate, Don Foulds on Tuesday evening.
"He was one of those special people in life and he will be hugely missed, not just in Mullumbimby, but in the whole of Byron Shire," said Don.
"There's no one around the area that doesn't know Cliff Jones."
Don said Cliff always worked hard to provide for his family.
"I used to jokingly say 'you're going to die working' and that's exactly what he did," Don said.
"Everyone is stunned and they just can't believe it because Cliff was just so good at what he did.
"He was six foot tall and bullet-proof."
In his lifetime Cliff worked harder than almost anyone.
He grew bananas in Middle Pocket, devoted time to the Tidy Towns project and had been an alderman at the former Mullumbimby Shire Council.
He also ran his own lawn mowing business and was a barman at the Mullumbimby Ex-Servicemen's club for more than 40 years.
A Byron Shire Council spokesman said Cliff worked with the council's outdoor crew for 20 years until the mid '90s.
"Staff remember Mr Jones as a very likeable bloke and are saddened to hear of the tragic accident," he said.
Outside work Cliff had a passion for gardening - especially orchid growing - and he loved fishing.
"He was a very good fisherman. I reckon Cliff could catch fish in a puddle," Don smiled.
He said his mate always had time for others.
"He was generous, good-natured and just a champion bloke," Don said.
"When anyone would ask Cliff how he was he would always say, 'I've never seen it better'. That was his philosophy on life," said Don.
"He was one of the amazing people in the world and it's just a tragic loss."