Fatal crash claims macadamia pioneer
RETIRED macadamia farmer Kenneth Gibbon left his Fernleigh home early on Thursday, to get his tractor tyre repaired and get back to spray his mangos.
But he never made it home.
His car collided with a Bdouble along the Pacific Highway and the 84-year-old died at the scene.
His daughter Jennifer Benham said her father was a very active person.
"He was always doing something," she said.
"He had a veggie garden and a little orchard of fruit trees. He had every kind of fruit tree you could possibly want."
Mr Gibbon was well-known around Lennox Head where he grew up as one of nine children. His three surviving sisters Delia, Dorothy and Yvette still live there.
Jennifer said her father was a builder by trade and built a lot of the houses in Lennox Head in the 1960's and 70's, including his own home.
He had also co-owned two trucks and a haulage business with his brother.
Up until a few years ago Mr Gibbon, and his wife Betty, worked their Fernleigh macadamia farm, but more recently they had leased it, she said.
The couple moved from Lennox Head to Fernleigh in 1980, when macadamias were just getting going.
"It was a pioneering industry back then," she said.
"He planted this macada- mia farm himself from scratch."
Fishing was always his passion, but when Jennifer and her sisters Judy and Dianne were children he was also a professional fisherman with his own trawler.
Mr Gibbon was a crack shot and active member of the Lismore Gun Club with a huge group of friends.