This article by Caroline Tang was first published in The Wimmera Mail-Times on 13th of January 2012.

WIMMERA flying identity Werner Grossenbacher died from an illness on Monday, aged 93. Mr Grossenbacher was an original member of Horsham Flying Club.

He was involved with the club since it began in the mid-1960s as the Wimmera Soaring Club.

Mr Grossenbacher was also a Collingwood fan and told the Mail-Times in August 2010, 'The black and white will win because they are the best team'.

Horsham Flying Club president Arnold Niewand said members were saddened to have lost a 'real icon' of the club.

"We understood in his later years, he did suffer quite a bit from illness," Mr Niewand said.

"We are really sad to have lost a member of his calibre."

Mr Niewand remembered Mr Grossenbacher as a 'very enthusiastic' member of the club who always greeted people with a smile.

"He was always a jovial chap and was passionate about his flying," he said.

"He was quite a good pilot and pretty well always made it back home.

"As a volunteer member he was always willing to help out.

"He supported other people in their flying and in the organising and running of the club."

Mr Grossenbacher was involved with the club's move from its original Dooen location to Horsham Aerodrome.

He owned a glider in partnership with another man and for years the pair would fly to other Wimmera towns on weekends.

Mr Grossenbacher, who migrated from Switzerland to Horsham in 1950, was also a popular women's hairdresser in the 1950s.

He owned a chain of salons in Horsham, Warracknabeal, Ararat and Ballarat.

Mr Grossenbacher is survived by wife Yvonne, sister Ruth, son Mark, daughter-in-law Carol and grandchildren Adam and Sophie.