Vale Gary Balkin
It is with great sadness we say farewell to the founding Father of the Kookaburra Queens.
Mr Balkin was very involved in the growth of Brisbane as a hotelier and restaurateur, Broncos founder, boat builder and so much more.
Inspired by the paddlewheelers in New Orleans, Mr Balkin commissioned the Kookaburra Queen I, launching in 1986. Kookaburra Queen II followed in 1988, launching with the beginning of World Expo 88.
At the time of the launch the Queensland Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson said “The launch of this project is the graduation of Gary as one of Queensland’s top businessmen”
In a recent article in the Village News, Mr Balkin said “I am still proud of the Kookaburra Queens. I built them to last a long time.” He said of his career, “I loved it all – the hotels, the restaurants, the Kookaburra Queens, the Broncos,” he says. “I’ve absolutely no regrets.”
As a tribute to Mr Balkin, the flags aboard the Kookaburra Queens will fly at half-mast this week.