In loving memory and respect
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.