Thursday, May 18, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The loss of someone close is devastating and knocks your world out of kilter. Everything feels different and you know things are never going to be the same again.
The great benefit of a funeral and a subsequent wake is that you get to share the grief and somehow it seems more bearable when you know there are others, people close to you, who feel the loss the same way.
The Gardian Group lost our CEO, Peter Phillips, on the 7th of May and his funeral was on Friday of last week.
Peter was a husband, father, brother, brother-in-law, son, uncle and cousin and nothing can compare to the pain felt by those closest. All you can do is support those who are suffering the most.
And that’s what we did. But Peter was also more than just a boss to the rest of us. He was our mate and Gardian people were able to be there for each other as well as for his close family members.
Everyone was in shock last week, stunned by the loss of a leader and mate. But we are a close tribe and we all gathered around, checked in with each other, sharing the pain of the loss.
But we also owed it to Peter to celebrate his life. He lived a big life, audacious and energetic and generous and entertaining and there are plenty of funny stories to tell and recall. And we’ll continue to do that.
Coming back to work on the Monday, the loss and feeling of something missing was there and that won’t change.
But as I went through the process of getting moving again, it was Peter who flicked the switch in my head.
I thought about what he created, a thriving business that includes a real estate agency, mortgage broking, insurance broking and financial planning, employing about 75 people in total.
And I imagined him thinking: I haven’t set up all this, built the business to what it is today for it to fall apart. You’ve got a friggin’ job to do so get to it and don’t hold back.
I know that’s what we will now do. There is a sense of duty to help the business succeed, help it grow and build on the success that is already there.
We have a duty to be the best we can be for our clients, work harder than ever, be more focused than ever on getting them the best possible result.
A few years ago, Peter was the driving force behind creating the words for what we call our Just Cause. It goes like this: “At Gardian, we pledge to give of ourselves by EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS together, UNITING our family and community. Leaving ETERNAL footprints for all to follow.”
One of Peter Phillips’ legacies is he had already set out for us what to do now.