Tributes flow for Jim

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Jim Gilbert’s life was celebrated in style with a strong turnout at the Gilbert Wines property last Friday as the Mt Barker community paid tribute to a much-loved local.

Mr Gilbert was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2014 and fought a courageous battle that helped raise more than $200,000 to help find a cure for the terminal neurological disease.

Mr Gilbert grew up on the family farm in Kendenup and after moving to Perth to live and work in the 1970s returned to Kendenup with wife Bev in 1985 to set up what is now Gilbert Wines.

The winery has grown to become one of the premier wine producers in the region along with an expansion into a cafe business.

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Mr Gilbert’s involvement with local clubs earned him respect throughout the Great Southern sporting community.

Playing football for North Mt Barker, Mr Gilbert was also a committee member and vice-president of the club in the late 1980s. He was also on the Great Southern Football League tribunal.

A keen cricketer Mr Gilbert plied his trade with Kendenup Cricket Club, where he was captain, president and now a life member. He also represented Mt Barker in association cricket and was a president and selector

His viticulture background also led him to serve as president of the Mt Barker Wine Producers.

Mrs Gilbert said her husband had an appreciation for entrepreneurial spirit.

“He had a real admiration for people with big dreams and I think that was a reason he was so loved and well known,” she said.

Relatives of Mr Gilbert’s rallied around him after his diagnosis of MND, with the Hambley family completing a charity swim that raised $187,594. Greg Hambley said the family would continue to fundraise for MND.

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