It took a few red wines for Maleny author Jack Wilcox to completely understand his subject matter - the colourful Fr John Dobson, reports The Sunshine Coast Daily.
Fr Dobson was parish priest of Caloundra for 30 years, before retiring in December and being reappointed University of the Sunshine Coast Chancellor in January.
Last weekend Mr Wilcox launched his second book, A Parish Odyssey, the Dobson Years, which recounts Fr Dobson's life and his impact on the Coast in the past three decades.
Mr Wilcox spent three years researching Fr Dobson, interviewing him and those close to him, and spent a week at the priest's property. "After a few red wines, we discussed 101 things about John Dobson. My very first interview was with his mother," he said.
Mr Wilcox said there were three communities in the Caloundra parish - Maleny, Landsborough and Caloundra - when Fr Dobson arrived in 1982. "As he left there were 13 communities - Kenilworth, Maleny, Landsborough, Beerwah, Golden Beach - a whole string of them," he said.
"He's defied the Catholic Church hierarchy in maintaining this approach. It was a worry for us now that he's gone, that it might slip back."
Mr Wilcox said the book was a story of how Fr Dobson saved Caloundra and likened his involvement to Homer's Ulysses, an odyssey spanning two decades.
Mr Wilcox said during Fr Dobson's time at the parish, women became more prevalent and significant.
One of the priest's sayings was fitting in reflecting this. "'Michaelangelo never sculpted the statue of David. David was always there. What Michaelangelo did was release him'," he said.
FULL STORY Plotting a priest's odyssey (Sunshine Coast Daily)