In lov­ing mem­ory and re­spect

Isis Town and Country - - Life -

ALCOLM CAMP­BELL, was born Oc­to­ber 15, 1932 at the Isis Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal Childers to Wil­liam John and Bertha Camp­bell.

One of 12 sib­lings, he is sur­vived by his beloved wife of 52 years Shirley, son Don and daugh­ter in law Marama, daugh­ter Rhonda and son in law Dean and his grand­chil­dren Lach­lan, Ethan, Chloe, Aroha, Royce, Rhia, Rana, and Bry­den.

Mal­colm was a de­scen­dent of a lo­cal pioneer farmer who was a coun­cil­lor and orig­i­nal di­rec­tor of the Isis Mill in 1897.

Mal­colm was not “back­ward in com­ing for­ward” and freely gave his opin­ion and ad­vice.

Whether it was about God’s pur­pose in your life, how to run a cane farm, when is the best time to sell your cat­tle or what it means to work hard, he was con­stantly giv­ing his ‘two bob’s worth’ and ques­tion­ing the knowl­edge of oth­ers on th­ese top­ics.

His mem­ory for dates and events was al­most fault­less and he could tell you the ex­act year for al­most ev­ery event in his life – such as 1956 when he put his foot on the scales while calves were be­ing weighed, to add ex­tra weight, or in 1960 at age 28 he ‘had a bit of a ner­vous break­down’ be­cause he’d worked for so long and ‘hadn’t got much’ and won­dered what life was all about.

Be­ing a part of a large fam­ily meant that Mal­colm had many chores from a very early age. Be­fore go­ing to school he would have to milk the cows and of­ten de­liver milk. Even on the week­end when mates came to play, chores would have to be done first. In fact Mal­colm said that his fa­ther was never very happy when other kids came to play be­cause this would dis­tract him from his work. Mal­colm left school at the age of 15 and worked at home for a year be­fore be­gin­ning his life as a cane cut­ter, jacka­roo and even grape picker.

This work took him all over Queens­land and led him on many ad­ven­tures, most in­volv­ing ‘plonk’, mo­tor­bikes, or horses.

Mal­colm’s teen years took an un­ex­pected turn fol­low­ing an accident that crip­pled his fa­ther which meant that Mal­colm and his broth­ers Jack and Colin had to take on the run­ning of the fam­ily’s Spring­vale property at Ap­ple Tree Creek.

Mal­colm was still ac­tively run­ning Spring­vale even af­ter his can­cer di­ag­no­sis and this property re­mained a great source of pride for him as he worked hard to con­tin­u­ally make im­prove­ments.

While Mal­colm at­tended Church at Cordalba ev­ery Sun­day as a young lad, he ‘hardly went to Church’ from the ages of 13 to 30.

At the age of 30 Mal­colm got to know his fu­ture wife Shirley af­ter see­ing her at the ‘Pic­tures’ with her mum and sis­ter and giv­ing them a lift home.

They went out a few times (al­ways in the pres­ence of her mother) but af­ter not see­ing each other for a while, Mal­colm in­formed Shirley “I’ll take you out again if you don’t bring your mother along.” Mal­colm’s brother Colin also went out with Shirley and said to Mal­colm “if one of us doesn’t ask her to marry her, some other fella will!” This was enough of an in­cen­tive for him and they were mar­ried in 1963 when Mal­colm was 31. It was at the same time as meet­ing Shirley that Mal­colm also found God. His faith in God re­mained con­stant from this time on.

Mal­colm and Shirley brought a cane and cat­tle farm at Cordalba as soon as they were mar­ried and it was here that Mal­colm passed away – at home with Shirley by his side as she had been for 52 years. Much to Mal­colm and Shirley’s dis­ap­point­ment, soon af­ter mar­riage it was dis­cov­ered that they were not able to have chil­dren. Mal­colm will­ingly ad­mit­ted to be­ing shocked to find out that tests showed it was he who was un­able to have chil­dren. Af­ter look­ing into fos­ter­ing, they even­tu­ally adopted two chil­dren in 1968 and 1969.

As with ev­ery­thing in his life, Mal­colm saw this as be­ing part of God’s plan for his life.

Mal­colm was well known for his ba­nanas and ve­g­ies… some of his most well-known pro­duce was his pota­toes, let­tuce and beet­root with many of you read­ing this prob­a­bly hav­ing en­joyed some of th­ese. He was well known for his con­ser­va­tion of run-down farming land, adopt­ing early meth­ods to re­gen­er­ate land that had been eroded over the years.

He stud­ied all he could about gen­er­a­tions of cat­tle herds, ex­per­i­mented with cross­ing Brah­man and Drought­mas­ter breeds, al­ways in pur­suit of his dream “team”

His com­mu­nity ser­vice in­cluded sup­port to the Isis Dis­trict PA&I So­ci­ety (of which he was a life mem­ber) where he was Stew­ard of the fat cat­tle sec­tion, and be­ing a mem­ber of the Church where he had been an El­der of the Pres­by­te­rian and Unit­ing Churches.

In his later life, Mal­colm and Shirley made many sa­fari trips around Aus­tralia with Fron­tier Ser­vices, a fam­ily an­ces­tral visit to North­ern Ire­land and a Cat­tle­man’s Union visit to Por­tu­gal and Spain.

They made many new friends along the way and Mal­colm spoke of th­ese as be­ing some of the most mem­o­rable mo­ments of his life.

An­other favourite place for hol­i­days was Woodgate where Mal­colm en­joyed be­ing with the grand­kids – play­ing cards, mas­ter mind and other board games, go­ing swim­ming and go­ing to the oval to play cricket.

Lawn Bowls be­came a loved ac­tiv­ity where they added new friends, a tes­ta­ment to which, Mal­colm’s wake was held at the Isis Cen­tral Mill Lawn Bowls club af­ter the burial.

He spoke of his re­gret at not hav­ing taken up bowls ear­lier, hav­ing started at the age of 80.

Dur­ing his life, Mal­colm’s fam­ily wit­nessed his courage many times, par­tic­u­larly in cir­cum­stances where his per­sonal safety was at stake. Each time he was in­jured, he found the strength to pull him­self back to full health.

As ex­pected, his hair was bald­ing and grey, his skin was wrin­kled and sun hard­ened and his hands rough from years of hard work how­ever Mal­colm’s mind was still as ac­tive as ever and even in his fi­nal days he was still talk­ing about all the un­fin­ished work and jobs he had lined up to do.

In his last test, he bat­tled can­cer with the same courage and de­ter­mi­na­tion he had shown all his life, hang­ing on against the odds.

Fi­nally he de­cided in late Septem­ber that enough was enough, de­cid­ing to go home from hos­pi­tal so that he could see his much-loved ba­nana trees, gar­den and the views of the mill.

This was made pos­si­ble by the sup­port of the Pal­lia­tive Care Team from the Bund­aberg Hos­pi­tal and the Blue Care Nurses.

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