Our Peo­ple - Mar­garet Virgo

Cat­tle, nee­dles and Aussie life­style for Mar­garet Virgo

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - Weekly pro­file on our peo­ple by Courier jour­nal­ist Jar­rah Loh jloh@ ne­me­dia.com.au

BORN in Bri­tish Columbia, Canada, deep in the Rocky Moun­tains, Mar­garet Virgo started out a long way away from her cur­rent home.

Though it isn’t ter­ri­bly dif­fer­ent from where she now re­sides in Piries.

“I grew up do­ing a lot of fish­ing, hik­ing and horse­back rid­ing,” said Mar­garet – all things she still en­joys to­day in the Mans­field Shire.

And while there is also snow here, it’s not ex­actly on the level she was ac­cus­tomed to grow­ing up on her par­ents’ horse ranch, where it wasn’t out of char­ac­ter to be ice skat­ing on their pond, or speed­ing around on snow mo­biles dur­ing the colder months.

Mar­garet lived a great life as a Canuck, but one day, on the back of noth­ing more than a strong sense of ad­ven­ture, she flew across the other side of the world to see what was Down Un­der.

“Aus­tralia was al­ways a place I was fas­ci­nated by,” said Mar­garet.

“When a friend and I were young we al­ways talked about surf­ing and go­ing to Aus­tralia – then one day she did, and in­vited me over.”

So, Mar­garet re-homed her cats, sold her prac­tice, packed up her dogs and jumped on a plane.

“I came in 2000 dur­ing the Olympics with a one-year work­ing visa,” she said.

Seven­teen years later and she is now an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen with her own acupunc­ture prac­tice, a Dex­ter cat­tle stud, two chil­dren and a lot of horses.

“It has just al­ways felt like home,” she said.

“It is some­what sim­i­lar to Canada – sim­i­lar val­ues, qual­ity of liv­ing and peo­ple.

“Aus­tralia has a nice and easy life­style – and your car doesn’t freeze in the win­ter.”

Af­ter a stint in Queens­land, where she got sick of the heat and hu­mid­ity, Mar­garet moved down here to Vic­to­ria, where the cli­mate was closer to what she was used to.

And it didn’t take long for her to es­tab­lish her own prac­tice.

Mar­garet has been a reg­is­tered acupunc­tur­ist s i nce 1997, and al t hough s he now t r eats l ocal farm­ers, na­tional sports peo­ple, diplo­mats, vet­er­ans, school teach­ers, t rades­peo­ple and ev­ery­one else – it wasn’t that long ago that acupunc­ture was seen as some­thing un­usual.

“When I first came to Aus­tralia, it was con­sid­ered unique that I had train­ing in spe­cific sports acupunc­ture, which is how I got my orig­i­nal visa,” Mar­garet said.

But now cus­tomers come from all walks of life.

“Peo­ple usu­ally con­tact me t hrough t heir own r es­earch, as t hey are frus­trated t hey can­not find help through any tra­di­tional meth­ods.”

But away from the nee­dles, her other pas­sion is those lit­tle Dex­ter cows.

Mar­garet owns and op­er­ates Windy Val­ley Dex­ters, which she es­tab­lished al­most a decade ago af­ter fall­ing in love with the small Ir­ish breed.

Con­sid­ered a ‘ dual pur­pose’ breed, they pro­duce a mar­bled beef, and also high-qual­ity milk, all in a mini pack­age.

“They’re just such amaz­ing and unique per­son­al­i­ties and I l ove them,” said Mar­garet.

With their smaller size, you can al­most fit a cow into a sin­gle acre, which makes them per­fect for lesser acreages.

“They are the per­fect breed for hobby farm­ers and home­steading,” Mar­garet said.

So, Mar­garet is very happy in her home, far away from her first one.

And al­though she still has a bit of an ac­cent, there looks to be no look­ing back.

“I con­sider my­self Aus­tralian,” she said.

“I love it here and it is my home.”

PHOTO: Jar­rah Loh

HOME SWEET HOME: Mar­garet Virgo grew up in Canada, but is happy be­ing a true Aussie now.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.