BY SEAN LUES AT JOURNEYS WORLDWIDE
The Redlands has lost one of its most colourful characters with the recent death of Dick Cijffers. A life-long adventurer and travel agent, what Dick didn’t know about travel probably hasn’t been discovered yet and there are many people whose most memorable holidays were advised and arranged by Dick.
Dick had a truly remarkable life and career, one that he built from scratch through his unwavering passion for travel and adventure. He grew up and was educated in South Africa before travelling to the UK at the age of 21, where he found his calling in the travel industry as a Tour Leader with Penn Overland and Trafalgar Tours. After escorting 12 tours from London to Kathmandu, he founded his own tour company, Capricorn Overland Tours, based in London.
Dick emigrated to Australia in 1987 and settled in Queensland, where he formed Journeys Worldwide and managed the company for over 30 years.
Dick was also a prominent media figure, co-hosting hugely popular talk back radio shows on 612 4QR (ABC), 4BC and Bay FM. His deep love and knowledge for Southern Africa, India, Sri Lanka and travel in general were also recognised when he became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London in 1977.
Dick’s weekly half-hour talkback show on 612 4QR was a front-line favourite with listeners and it was usual for the switchboard to be jammed with waiting callers well before his 11.30am start time. His knowledge was encyclopaedic. One caller wanted to go skiing in India; Dick was not only able to supply her with ski lodge options but also with information about which lodges hired ski gear. His skill at negotiating difficult overseas political barriers was legend and his store of anecdotes – some, sadly, not suitable for broadcast – was inexhaustible. His zebra-striped car was unforgettable and some will recall his occasional escapade of dressing up in a gorilla costume and handing out brochures on the streets of Brisbane
Dick will be remembered fondly by his family, friends, listeners and clients, for his wonderful personality and his dedicated service to the travel industry and the many unforgettable journeys he helped create. He was certainly always up for an adventure and his legacy will be felt for many years to come. Thoughts are with Dick’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.