Farewelling Mrs Va­lerie Bond­field

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE -

VA­LERIE Bond­field lived a rich and full life with fam­ily and friends com­ing to­gether re­cently to cel­e­brate the Dalveen stal­wart’s many achieve­ments.

The 87-year-old mother of four and grand­mother of 10 passed away on July 14. She will be re­mem­bered as a strong-willed, hard-work­ing coun­try woman with an abun­dance of en­ergy.

David Bond­field be­lieved his mother had lived a full life. Va­lerie Bond­field (nee Garnock) was born July 28, 1930, at Kuringai on her fam­ily’s cat­tle and sheep prop­erty near Bom­bala in south­ern NSW’s Snowy River re­gion.

She moved to the Gran­ite Belt with the love of her life, the late Pe­ter Bond­field, in 1953, where they man­aged and later owned prop­erty in Dalveen.

“At that time, it was quite a ma­jor move mov­ing from south­ern New South Wales to Queens­land,” third child David said.

“It was quite a lovely story, them hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to come to Queens­land to man­age a prop­erty and sub­se­quently bought that prop­erty and de­vel­oped it to be­ing very well known.”

It was not the first time Va­lerie had been to the Gran­ite Belt. Her mother, He­len, was the daugh­ter of AFC Roger­son of Pikedale near Stan­thorpe, where Va­lerie spent many hol­i­days.

Va­lerie met Pe­ter at the age of 21 play­ing polocrosse in Bom­bala.

A year later the pair were mar­ried at a Dar­ling Point church in Syd­ney be­fore start­ing their new life at “Pal­grove” which be­came an in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised name in the sheep and cat­tle in­dus­tries.

As Pe­ter be­came part of var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions in the com­mu­nity, Va­lerie was never far be­hind.

They were in­volved with the Agri­cul­tural Show So­ci­ety, the Ap­ple and

Grape, open gar­dens scheme and Pony Club.

“My fa­ther was al­ways an­nounc­ing, mum was al­ways get­ting kids or­gan­ised and ready,” David said.

“Mum was quite self-eva­sive but ex­tremely strong.

“She was the glue that kept the fam­ily - in terms of she wasn’t the front man but she al­ways there mak­ing sure ev­ery de­tail was cov­ered.

“She worked hard on the prop­erty but was al­ways a lady and al­ways gra­cious.

“But she al­ways made sure no one was left in the cold.”

Va­lerie had a life­long in­volve­ment in the show so­ci­ety in dif­fer­ent sec­tions in­clud­ing sheep, spin­ning and weav­ing, cook­ing and eques­trian. She even helped judge in some sec­tions.

On top of that she started up a craft shop on the prop­erty “Starth­garve” near Dalveen where she and a group of friends sold plaited leather belts, home-spun and hand-knit­ted jumpers, cowhides and home­made pot­tery, and re­mained a high­way des­ti­na­tion for more than 20 years.

“She was very proud – she never called them her achieve­ments, but in her own ways she was ex­tremely driven.

“She in­stalled in all her fam­ily the sense of fam­ily, but also be­ing the best in what you can be.

“She was very proud of her fam­ily and grand­chil­dren.”

David be­lieved his mother lived her life to the fullest.

“She could not fit any more into her life,” he said.

“She was very much loved by fam­ily, grand­chil­dren and all those who knew her be­cause she was so kind and giv­ing.

“She left an im­pres­sion on ev­ery­one who met her.

“It was cer­tainly a life that could be well and truly cel­e­brated when she passed away.”


GRA­CIOUS LADY: Va­lerie Bond­field al­lowed vis­i­tors into Pal­grove dur­ing var­i­ous open gar­dens.

Young Va­lerie Bond­field.

Va­lerie and her late hus­band Pe­ter Bond­field.

The Bond­field fam­ily at the Stan­thorpe Show in 1968 (Va­lerie is sec­ond from the right).

Va­lerie rid­ing side sad­dle.

Va­lerie with her grand­chil­dren.

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