Even a hailstorm could not stop Kingaroy solicitor Trevor Gibson from receiving recognition for his 50 years as a Queensland Law Society (QLS) member.
On Wednesday night, Trevor was set to be awarded his 50-year membership pin from QLS CEO Rolf Moses in recognition of his commitment to the Society and the profession at the Carrollee Hotel.
A huge hailstorm was also forecast that night and passed over ahead at ceremony time, hitting the hotel’s roof and making a deafening noise.
The speeches were paused for a bit but then South Burnett District Law Association (SBDLA) celebrated the achievements of one of their own.
Trevor with SBDLA President Ebony Morrison.
SBDLA President Ebony Morrison said: “It takes a particular type of integrity and dedication for a practitioner to work successfully in a rural environment for 50 years.
“Trevor is a credit to himself and has done a great service for the legal profession in the area.”
The hailstorm could not stop celebrations.
Trevor entered into Articles of Clerkship with Donald Trenerry, a partner of the Toowoomba firm Cleary & Lee, on 11 March 1968 and started studies at the University of Queensland as an external student.
He completed his articles at Dean Gillman & Thompson under Jim Thompson in 1972 and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland on 14 August 1973 and to the High Court of Australia in 1988.
Post admission, he worked for Dean Gillman & Thompson before accepting a position with B J Melrose at Miles in April 1974. Trevor acquired the practice and ran it as a sole practitioner under the name T J Gibson & Co until May 1998. The practice was then acquired by Sheehan & Co of Chinchilla.
In August 1998, Trevor joined Roberts Mason & Co at Kingaroy, the firm then became Roberts & Kuskie, and more recently South Burnett Lawyers. He was a Partner in the firm South Burnett Lawyers with Scott Roberts from 1 July 2003 until the firm merged with J A Carroll on 24 January, 2020.
Since then, Trevor has undertaken locum work for local firm KF Solicitors.
He is enjoying “semi-retirement” and giving the local lawyer “a break”.
Trevor has seen a lot of technological changes in his 50 years of practice.
“There are technology changes and time pressure changes,” he said. “You used to be able to send something in the post and wait a few days for a response, now with email there is a flood of emails before you’ve had first cup of coffee.”
One thing that hasn’t changed is Trevor’s involvement in this local district association meetings. He has also enjoyed attending annual symposiums at the Gold Coast.
“As a sole practitioner for 25 years, I would look forward to the symposiums,” he said. “There is professional isolation when you practise in one lawyer town. It was great to catch up with people, and the recent developments in law and technology.”
Rolf said he was honoured to share the moment with Trevor, his wife Lynn and his colleagues from Kingaroy, Sunshine Coast and Murgon.
He said Trevor had shaped the profession in the region, mentoring many lawyers and supporting the community over decades.
Trevor has a passion for rugby league, and has been awarded life memberships of several clubs, most recently the South Burnett Rugby Union Club. He was selected as an Olympic Torch Bearer in 2000 and ran the section at Memerambi, just north of Kingaroy.
Trevor has undertaken pro bono work for many sporting and community organisations.
He was a formation member of Heritage Nanango Community Funding Ltd, a joint venture with Heritage Bank following the withdrawal of three major banks from the town.
Since the branch opened in December 2001, more than $15 million has been injected into the community by HNCF through grants, sponsorships and local employment. Trevor still serves as a Director.
Outside of the law, Trevor is now spending time fishing, gardening and enjoying mountain biking on the rail trails in the area.