Glen Traeger, the architect of Goolwa’s Aquafest, has died at the age of 54.
The beloved community man and speedboat enthusiast had a stroke on Friday 31 March after spending the morning on the river and at a 5MU broadcast at Bombora, ahead of the weekend festival. He died in hospital the next day.
The Goolwa Aquatic Club Speedboat Community posted about the news on Facebook on Monday.
“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to report on the loss of our speedboat committee chairman. Glen Traeger was taken from us all suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday the 1st of April. Our sincere condolences to the whole Traeger family. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him,” the statement read.
His wife of 23 years, Tanya, said she and the family are still in shock with the sudden loss and are thinking about just how lucky they were to have Glen in their lives.
“I had the most amazing husband in the world. We never went to sleep without telling each other we loved each other. We considered ourselves so fortunate, we adored each other and adored our kids. He was the biggest supporter of his family,” Tanya said.
“Glen did everything big. He was passionate about everything he did. He loved his old trucks, loved his boats and he lived a full lifetime in his 54 years.”
She says she is blown away by the support of the local community at her home town of Currency Creek as well as in Goolwa, and surrounding regions.
The Lucindale Campdraft Assoc had a minute of silence during a weekend event in the arena in honour of Glen. The family are members of the Fleurieu Campdraft Club.
Glen was a major sponsor of the Mud ‘n’ Tars Motorcycle Club, was the President of the Currency Creek Hall committee, and co-directed ‘Traegers Earthmoving & Transport’ with his wife, since purchasing it from Dig Traeger 21 years ago.
His family’s passion for speedboats is multi-generational. His maternal grandfather Roy Galpin was the founding member of the Goolwa Aquatic Club and his father Dig holds two outright speed records for South Australia.
Neil Oatway, organiser of Aquafest, says his mate will be dearly missed.
“He was a great bloke, a man’s man, he called a spade a spade, he was a special kind of bloke. He was kind and supported anyone who needed a helping hand. He was also an astute businessman,” Neil said, adding that the pair loved a bit of friendly rivalry and banter.
“We both loved boat racing and car racing but he was a Holden fanatic, I was a Ford fanatic, whether it be on the road or on the water. The banter was phenomenal over the years and it was all in good fun,” Neil said.
Glen is survived by his father Dig, mother Bev, sister Anne, wife Tanya, their children Jack and Georgie, and his step-children Kelly and Hamish.
The funeral service will be held at 1pm Tuesday 11 April at 125 Finniss Park Road, Currency Creek. The Goolwa Aqua Club says “feel free to wear jeans and a blue shirt”.
Story by Jennie Lenman
/ Photos of Glen on his family’s prized restored speedboat ‘Fury’, supplied via Goolwa Aquatic Club Speedboat Community / Facebook