Suncoast Christian College paid tribute to the legacy of a former Member of Queensland Parliament, the late Gordon Simpson, with a ceremony to officially name our upgraded sporting field after him, in recognition of his work over many years for our College and the Suncoast Church community.
The ceremony honoured Mr Simpson’s community work which included 10 active years as a member of the Suncoast Church Board where he helped to expand and develop the College campus.
Special guests at the Simpson Sports Oval Naming Ceremony were Gordon’s daughter Fiona Simpson MP, Member for Maroochydore and his wife Norma, who took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
About Suncoast Christian College oval
Over the 40 year history of Suncoast, the oval has grown from a small dirt yard and lonely volley-ball court, to a facility that now includes space for two full-sized soccer fields (and is the home ground for Suncoast Football Club), four courts for tennis, basketball, netball and volleyball. One of the significant features of the oval is the rubberised athletics track – used to train Suncoast track and field athletes.
Suncoast Christian College Principal, Mr Greg Mattiske comments:
“The College oval is a place where students compete and hone their sports and athletic skills, but it is also a place where students develop character through sport and develop important attributes such as trying your best, persistence, being a team member and being gracious in winning and in defeat. It is also a place where community and belonging happens.”
The oval entrance archway was designed and constructed by members of our talented maintenance team; Paul McClean, Rick Paulsen and Errol Blank with sandstone pillars supporting the arched sign. Suncoast College Captain Alex reflects;
“The solid sandstone pillars will always remind us of the rock upon which our community is built – the literal sandstone of the hills surrounding us, yes, but more importantly, the pillars are a visual reminder of the rock that is God’s truth, upon which we should all build our lives. Gordon Simpson’s legacy is one of standing firmly upon the rock of God, and of building his life upon the solid foundations of God’s love, truth and wisdom. This archway entrance will forever remind us of what can be achieved when a life is lived for God.”
About Gordon Simpson
Gordon served 15 years as the State Member for Cooroora, from 1974-1989, contributing much to the Sunshine Coast region, including instigating the State’s abolition of death duties and overseeing the development of new Coast State schools and training facilities.
After leaving politics, Mr Simpson continued to serve in the local community, including joining the Church Board where he oversaw the expansion of the College boundaries. When the opportunity arose to buy neighbouring local property, he recommended they do so, to realign boundaries and sell off what they didn’t require which in turn helped pay for the expansion. This was indicative of his strong business principles which he used to serve others.
He believed that the school was building young lives and these practical and innovative ideas helped secure a bigger future.
Prior to entering politics in 1974, Gordon was a local farmer of wheat and sheep in the Victorian Mallee, and then dairy, beef and tropical seed production in Queensland before sugar cane farming at Yandina. Together with his wife Norma, he also was a company director and had development interests near Noosa, and wrote an agricultural column for the Nambour Chronicle.
In his younger days, Gordon was made an Honorary Member of the Agricultural Engineers Association and the Grasslands Society of Victoria for his service in developing new industry and historically innovative engineering. He felt humbled and honoured in his later life to have, along with so many other wonderful people, given his talents for his beloved church and its beautiful College. As well as serving at Suncoast Church on the Committee of Management, he was also an Honorary Church Elder.
Suncoast Christian College Principal, Mr Greg Mattiske remembers Gordon:
“This year at Suncoast Christian College we are celebrating our 40th Anniversary, and we can think of no better way than to name a significant facility after a person who played such a significant role in the history of the College.”
Suncoast College Captain, Grace Eegdeman notes:
“Mr Simpson has left a legacy that certainly will never be forgotten, and we are so honoured to have this as a part of our heritage here at Suncoast. Gordon Simpson gave of himself and his working life to serving the community through public office. We are inspired by his example and the ways in which his work, often behind the scenes, has created the Coast and the Suncoast community that we now all enjoy. The wonderful school we are privileged to be a part of today is because of people like Mr Simpson and his family, who have gone above and beyond, making sacrifices and having clear visions for the future. May we be inspired by your example and live our lives as people who make things happen.”
Mr Mattiske comments further;
“Gordon achieved many wonderful and amazing things. But first and foremost he was a man of faith and family. We know he loved God with all his heart. Having a relationship with God and serving Him to the best of his ability was absolutely central to Gordon’s life, which is also what we aspire to do at the College. So it is fitting that we commenced our service today with a song that acknowledges the joy, purpose and fulfilment we find in pursuing a life in God.”