GREG Fitzgibbon was a working-class bloke who lived for his family.
Born and raised in Carrington, he worked on and around ships for most of his life.
It was in Carrington, on a ship, where he tragically died.
Mr Fitzgibbon, 56, of Adamstown was killed on Sunday night while working on board the Chinese-registered bulk carrier Weaver Arrow.
The stevedore was killed when a 20-tonne pallet of aluminium being loaded on to a ship at Carrington fell on him.
Long-time friend Mal Lingard said yesterday that the man nicknamed ‘‘Gaf’’, because he was Greg Allan Fitzgibbon, was a working-class character who everyone respected.
He was also a devoted father to daughters Georgia and Taylor, both aged in their 20s, and husband to childhood sweetheart Linda, Mr Lingard said.
Mr Fitzgibbon went to work at sea early in his career and started work on the wharf in 1986.
Maritime Union of Australia Newcastle branch secretary Glen Williams said Mr Fitzgibbon was a well-known wharfie and union member.
‘‘We’ve had messages of sympathy come through from right around the country,’’ Mr Williams said.
‘‘He knew a lot of people and was very well respected on the waterfront.
‘‘The younger guys among our membership are struggling to come to terms with it because he was a bit of a father figure to them.
‘‘Everyone looked to him for guidance.
‘‘He nurtured a lot of people on the wharf.’’
Mr Williams said counselling was being arranged for workers.
A funeral for Mr Fitzgibbon is expected to be held early next week.