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'Always generous with his time'

Caravan industry mourns death of highly
respected visionary and developer

Ian Beadel  Have your say                

THE Caravan Industry Association of Australia is mourning the passing of "industry forerunner and legend" Ian Beadel.

"Ian was a highly respected and well-known businessman, mentor, stalwart of the caravan and camping industry and friend to many across Australia and around the world," the industry's peak body said.

Mr Beadel and wife Diana have been at the helm of NSW's popular and multi award-winning North Star Holiday Resort at Hastings Point since December, 1980.

"Ian's vision, drive and passion to provide his guests with an unparalleled standard of service and facilities at North Star set new benchmarks for the industry," the association said.

"He was always generous with his time and happy to share his knowledge with staff, individuals and the wider tourism industry."

The association's chief executive, Stuart Lamont, described Ian and Diana as "visionaries in our industry, constantly developing their property to build a caravan park always with the customer in mind".

"Ahead of the curve, Ian was very giving of his time to others in the industry ... a character large in life and in contribution. He will be sadly missed," he said.

Mr Beadel and his wife devoted their life's work to North Star.

Their incredible story began more than 40 years ago when the couple gave up farming life to pursue their dream of owning a caravan park.

'Hastings Point site was little more than swampy paddock'

After viewing countless sites from Cairns to Tasmania, they arrived at Hastings Point ... often describing the caravan park they inspected in 1981 as "little more than a swampy paddock", with a basic amenities block, no infrastructure or sewage and just a couple of staff.

Today, North Star is said to be the only 5-star rated holiday park in NSW and one of only two caravan parks in Australia with a 5-star rating in the nationally accredited Star Ratings program.

The Beadels have continually upgraded and revitalised North Star, adding new facilities and attractions at every opportunity. It is also home to a marine environment centre, one of Australia's finest marine study centres and visited by around 4000 students annually.

"Our philosophy has always been to provide an 'experience' that meets our visitors' expectations and represents great value for money," Mr Beadel once said.

He was chairman of BIG4 Holiday Parks from 1996 to 2002 and was a member of the National Caravan Industry Steering Committee (CRVA) since 1997.

He was responsible for the introduction of Caravan Industry Traineeships and their subsequent review every five years.

He also founded the Australian Caravan Park Training School at North Star, which over the years trained thousands of prospective park managers and employees in the fundamentals of caravan park operations and management.

The association said Mr Beadel would be sadly missed by the close-knit team at North Star, which he always referred to as "family".

"His legacy will live on, with Diana at the helm of the wonderful holiday playground that they so thoughtfully and tirelessly created over the past 40-plus years," the association added.


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the prior written permission of Dennis Amor.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
All Rights Reserved

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