Date of Birth:
14 May 1936 to April 19, 1993
Place of Birth:
Posthumously 1 November 2001
A member of one of Mudgeeraba's pioneering families, Samuel John Franklin lived and worked at Mudgeeraba all his life, attending the Mudgeeraba School before becoming a butcher.
Affectionately known as The Local Butcher, he also had a love of equestrian sports, represented the Gold Coast at rugby league and was the Southport District junior tennis champion in 1953 and 1954. But it was an axeman that he particularly excelled, winning world and national championships after having represented Queensland at the Centenary of Woodchopping in Tasmania in 1970.
A member of the Queensland Axeman's Association, John also represented Australia in competitions in Hong Kong and Jakarta in 1977 and in Port Moresby in 1981, having in 1979 become the world tree felling champion. In 1981 he claimed the Champion Iron Man title for underhand, standing, sawing and tree felling in an Australian record 5min 10sec, a crown he repeated several times during his career along with the Australian tree felling championships of 1982 and 1985.
John won numerous other woodchopping titles, always competing with passion but always remaining a humble champion, a true Australian and an all-round good bloke. Church man, Rotarian, bush fireman and active leader of almost every sporting and community group in Mudgeeraba, he entered local government with the same zest he had for sport, giving his all for the community.
One of the first to be awarded the Albert Shire Community Service Award, he went on to become a member of the Albert Shire Council in 1982 and served with distinction until his death in a tree felling accident on April 19, 1993. He was a member of numerous communities during his eleven years in council.
Apart from the Albert Shire Community Service Award John Franklin was awarded the Queensland Fire Services Medal for more than 30 years of continuous service and was a Life Member of the Albert Australia Day Foundation.
Highly regarded within the community, John was honoured posthumously by the establishment of The John Franklin Memorial Fellowship Trust, which provides scholarship funding for an outstanding young candidate each year.