In sad news for Good Shepherd Catholic College staff and students, popular teacher Keith Fainges passed away on Saturday.
Keith completed a Bachelor of Computer Science at Queensland University of Technology but decided a decade later that teaching was his goal.
After completing a Bachelor of Education at the University of Queensland, Keith arrived in Mount Isa in 2004. He and wife Karen raised their daughter Jessica in Mount Isa and after her graduation she began work in early education in the city.
Sadly Karen passed away in 2015, though Brisbane born and raised, Mount Isa remained Keith's home.
During his time at Good Shepherd Keith touched the lives of many students, particularly those interested in IT. He was a rabid lover of technology, so when the school obtained a 3D printer Keith was in his element and all new staff received a small Yoda figurine as a welcome.
Star Wars and Lego were passions of Keith's and he loved the Warhammer game as well as dressing up and participating in medieval games. For the 2014 Mount Isa show, Keith worked together with fellow lego enthusiasts Phillip Kemp to build a city made from 60,000 pieces.
The city covered 33 metres and included show rides, buildings, a Back to the Future DeLorean and a moving railway train with 21 metres of track.
Keith encouraged students with like minded passions and was instrumental in assisting students form a team that competed in a nation-wide gaming competition. He also organised the interschool chess competition.
The youngest of Jim and Marjory Fainges' five children, Keith was born and raised in Everton Hills in Brisbane and his love for games and figurines no doubt comes from his parents.
Marjory is a renowned Australian researcher and historian on the subject of the Australian Toy Industry; a subject she has lectured on internationally. Jim's passion was building model railways and designing scale models and he was lucky enough to work as a professional Model Maker for the Department of Main Roads.
In the 1970s Keith and his two brothers joined his mother operating puppets made by their father in shows at shopping centres throughout south-east Queensland under the name Panaroo Puppets. The Queensland Museum holds a collection of 1,000 articles in the Fainges Toy Collection covering the period 1930 to 1970.
Keith's decision to go back to study teaching may have been influenced by his mother having to forego a scholarship to be a teacher when her family relocated to Brisbane from Melbourne.
Intelligent and well-read Keith was a hard man to beat at trivia nights and will be sadly missed by not only the staff and students of Good Shepherd Catholic College but the entire Mount Isa community.
College Principal Mrs Kathleen McCarthy stated, "Mr Fainges was a much loved staff member. His passion for technology, his 'dad jokes' quirky sense of humour, deep faith in God and friendly nature endeared him to everyone. He taught at the College for 16 years and over that time taught thousands of young people from the Mount Isa district. Some of the subjects he taught over that time included Aerospace Studies, Digital Technologies and more recently Information, Communication and Technology. His passing is not only a great loss for the school, but also for the whole community."
Keith is survived by his daughter Jessica.