IT is often the case that the successful people in life don't tend to draw attention to themselves.
They are also likely to be fiercely loyal supporters of family and friends. It could well be said these people go through life without recognition and not seek it.
Port Fairy's Richard Matthews was one of them.
Mr Matthews, 75, died peacefully surrounded by his family at Warrnambool's South West Healthcare last Friday.
Mr Matthews was a highly respected businessman, who had spent more than five decades working in the petroleum industry but he preferred to fly under the radar.
His career in the industry began in 1969 when he and wife Pauline worked from a small depot in Port Fairy's Albert Street, delivering fuel to surrounding farms and businesses with one delivery truck.
A number of small fuel distributorships were purchased over the years before retail sites were acquired in Warrnambool, Terang, Camperdown and Port Fairy in 1995.
Matthews Petroleum went on to acquire the Warrnambool BP depot in 2013 and changed its distributorship to BP covering the region that extends from Millicent in South Australia to Geelong and to the north of Hamilton.
His family said Mr Matthews was a tough, loyal, fair but respected businessman who was devoted to his family, work and his passion of harness racing.
He instilled a strong work ethic and care for people into his children which was seen countless times through his involvement sponsoring local groups or offering a word of friendly advice for people.
Mr Matthews filled the role as a councillor on the former Borough of Port Fairy and was the borough's last mayor before it was abolished under the Kennett Government's local government amalgamations in September 1994.
Moyne Shire councillor Damian Gleeson paid tribute to Mr Matthews at the council's October meeting on Tuesday.
"Within our shire he has been a terrific investor and employer," Cr Gleeson said.
"Mr Matthews contributed significantly to probably nearly every sporting body across the south-west. He was a very significant person within our shire."
Cr Gleeson passed on his condolences to Mr Matthew's family, friends and employees.
IN OTHER NEWS
He was chairman of the former Port Fairy Water Board.
In his younger years Mr Matthews played football for Port Fairy before playing in three premierships for the former Yambuk Football Club.
But his sporting love was harness racing.
Mr Matthews was a prominent owner and breeder, who raced numerous good harness horses including Diamonds N Furs, Let Me Thru, Catch A Wave, Lagoon Lady, More Wanted and Lady Patti.
Mr Matthews is survived by wife Pauline and children Cath, Danielle, Paul and David plus their partners and 11 grandchildren.
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