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• Ed A’Bear with the huge group of islanders who turned up to wish him well at a special Russell Island farewell function.

One of the stalwarts of the island real estate industry is calling it a day.

Ed A’Bear has decided to pull up stakes and is headed for ‘retirement’, joining wife Barbara on Bribie Island.

Barbara left Russell a couple of years ago to re-establish her art and art supply business that was once located on Russell Island.

Edward has been travelling between his two island homes for that period of time, until now.

“I am leaving Russell Island reluctantly and will miss the island lifestyle,” he told The Friendly Bay Islander.

Edward A’Bear’s background is South African.

He grew up in Johannesburg, went to boarding college, attended the famous Rhodes University and obtained a Bachelor or Commerce, and put his musical talents into a Rock Band!

He left South Africa before everyone else did, way back in 1978.

He moved to Brisbane in 1981 and started his career in Real Estate with Jones Lang Wootton heavily involved in commercial real estate.

Edward established Ray White Real Estate on Russell Island in 1999, later selling to Ian and Christine Larkman.

He then established Ray White on Macleay Island and ran it for nine years before moving back to Russell Island three years ago, establishing E.A’Bear Realty.

Ed A’Bear has seen it all over the past 17 years on the islands.

He is particularly proud of his involvement in island commercial real estate growth which brought much stability to the islands.

“When I first came here land was selling for $5000.

“I remember taking out an advert on the back of a TV program in Brisbane, and that started a huge rush of interest and sales.

“I had to buy a 12 seater bus to meet the demand at the time,” he said.

“Russell and the other islands were different back then.

“It was a colourful tapestry. I have met thousands of people in that time and have totally enjoyed it.”

He admits that today the islands are ‘different’ and are ‘changing’.

That is why he supports the island name change for Russell Island to the dual name, adding Canaipa Island.

“I think the islands have a sensational future. You can feel a groundswell that is affecting real change, and I have to say the The Friendly Bay Islander has made a difference, particularly with its Zero Tolerance program.

“It is also pleasing that we now have a council that is proactive when it comes to the islands, finally”.

Ed A’Bear says he will miss our southern islands.

“Where else can you live so close to the mainland with our current property values.

“They can only go up,” he says.

Ed A’Bear has passed on his real estate interests to the iapproved group, headed up by Paul McManus.

“It is time for others to have a go,” the real estate veteran added.

Life on Bribie Island will be different for Edward and Barbara, but perhaps not so different.

The other side of Ed A’Bear is Edward the pianist and musician.

“I wouldn’t mind getting a little three-piece group together and get into playing regularly again in public,” he said.

Well Edward, don’t forget to put our islands on your agenda for a musical visit - just so you can catch up with all your island friends!



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