(l-r) Geoff Cawley , Rebekka Battista, from Our Kids, Kevin Poole, from the Opera at The Channon and  Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crewmen, Patrick Wallbridge,  pose for a portrait with Dylan Parks, 10 from Clunes, at the childrens ward at the Lismore Base Hospital, ahead of the Opera at The Channon in July. Photo Jerad Williams / The Northern Star
(l-r) Geoff Cawley , Rebekka Battista, from Our Kids, Kevin Poole, from the Opera at The Channon and Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crewmen, Patrick Wallbridge, pose for a portrait with Dylan Parks, 10 from Clunes, at the childrens ward at the Lismore Base Hospital, ahead of the Opera at The Channon in July. Photo Jerad Williams / The Northern Star Jerad Williams

Former doctor and 'Lismore treasure' will be greatly missed

FORMER local GP and well-known community member Dr. Geoff Cawley passed away last Saturday morning, aged 84.

He is survived by his wife Val, his two sons John and Rob, daughter Jen and his eight grandchildren.

The doctor was well known around the Northern Rivers for his professional, community, volunteer, fundraising, religious and personal deeds.

He used to suit up for Opera at the Channon, but he also flexed some muscle as the local bell ringer at St Andrews Church.

Dr Cawley was as important as a member of the Rotary Club of Lismore as he was a member of the Anglican Parish of Lismore.

Anyone who met Dr Cawley knew of his outgoing personality, intelligent conversation and joy de vivre.

Dr Cawley grew up in the Brunswick Valley and Lismore, where he attended Lismore High School. As a student, he participated in a number of Eisteddfod events as a singer, the most recent in 2012 when he returned as a guest performer.

After completing school, he travelled to the UK for medical training.

He worked as a Lismore medico and as the Lismore coroner for decades, a time when he started his community service as a member of the then West Lismore Rotary Club, where he would often be seen in charge of the barbecue at the North Coast National Show.

Dr Cawley was also a presenter on 2NCR-FM (now River FM) with his Classical Music program.

His participation in the local Anglican church went beyond the basic duties of a devout parishioner, he was also a member of the choir and congregation at Saint Andrews for decades, and the local bellringer.

Dr Cawley was involved in the saving of the Cassia trees in Daley Street, in the development of Musica Viva, Opera at the Channon and other community projects.

He used to come to The Northern Star's offices and sit next to me until I gave him my full attention, so we could plan how to get the community to support his many charity projects.

Each one of his visits were the highlight of my day.

Mr Cawley was remembered for his accomplishments and his personal virtues by Our Kids' Rebekka Battista, with whom he organised many fundraising events.

"Geoff was such a wonderful supporter of Our House," she said.

"His contribution to our community was instrumental.

"I loved his voice singing in the choirs and joining in at the Opera at the Channon. Geoff is a Lismore Treasure.

"On a personal note, I went to school with his daughter and my dear friend Jen, and Geoff championed my journey in the church and my charity work.

"He was such an encouragement and joy to work alongside, as he loved this city and loved gathering people and giving back.

"He will be greatly missed."