WITH A heavy heart tradies and friends have joined forces to pay tribute to a loyal husband, father and son, Greg Roberts, who died after a workplace accident at St Leonards near Geelong.
The group of 18 mates came together at the weekend to finish two homes in Portarlington that Greg had nearing completion.
Meanwhile his shattered family spoke of a man who was loved by everyone who met him.
Greg's Buninyong-based parents Ron and Betty said the love shown by the tradies have honoured their son, who was a much loved and admired builder and mate.
Born and bred in Ballarat, Greg was educated at Mount Clear Primary then at St. Patrick's College. He leaves behind his wife Lou and their four sons.
"Greg gave his all to his family," mum Betty said.
"He was a very happy and loving son and brother. It was always bright and fun when Greg was around us. He was our rock."
"His little boys were his pride and joy. He was their 'biggest, best daddy'. He would say 'absolutely', he wanted them to join him in his building business in the future. They were going to be just like their dad."
Betty said Greg had been blessed by "so much happiness over the past six years, we are grateful to that and his legacies are huge".
"His smile said it all," she said. "Greg has been well known and loved all over Ballarat, and most recently had moved to Ocean Grove to pursue his emerging work in the construction of designer homes on the Bellarine.
"People quickly discovered that a high quality builder and great bloke had come to town.
"They wanted Greg to build their dream homes. He did that with the utmost professionalism and pride.
"It does help to know how much he was admired."
So admired, in fact, that at the weekend a heartbroken but determined group of his tradie friends made the trip from Ballarat to finish his job at Portarlington on time.
Mount Clear builder Paul Kodorenko (Koders) said he was shattered to hear what happened to a friend he had known for 20 years and was determined to help out.
"We went right through our trade school together, our careers sort of shadowed each other a little bit," he said.
"We heard of the accident, and as the news came through of how severe it was, we wanted to see what we could do work wise to help out Lou and the family to get that job done.
"He was the most genuine, honest person. The more people you talk to, the more you find out how well liked he was around town. Everyone knew him in some way, shape or form.
"He was just a common theme in so many different friendship circles."
Mr Kodorenko said the group came together because they knew Mr Roberts would do the same for them.
"We've done this because he would do the same for anyone at the drop of a hat," he said.
"If someone else was in this situation he would be the first guy to hold his hand up to try and get it done.
"We were always there for each other.
"So many people put their hand up to work on Saturday to help finish the jobs off, all different trades - plumbers, carpenters, electricians.
"We should be ready to hand the keys over at the end of this week.
"They are a couple of two-storey townhouses on the Portarlington esplanade. They're quite amazing jobs. It's such a shame he's not going to be there to hand them over to the clients himself."
Betty said the family wished to thank individuals and companies who have offered their kind words and support, in particular Camerons Steel in Ballarat.
Greg is survived by his parents Ron and Betty, sisters Kerryn, Susan and Christine, wife Lou and their four children Jackson, Austin, and twins Hughey and Cooper.
Greg's memorial will be at The Mercure Inn on Main Road at 11am on Wednesday.
TRIBUTES FROM THE COURIER READERS FOR GREG ROBERTS
My thoughts are with the whole family. Such a devastating loss. - Michelle Egglestone, Ballarat
You really were top of the tops Robbo and you will be missed incredibly. - Keith Aston (Keithy), Ballarat