Mar­got Col­son...life is what you make it

Warmer weather on the way

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News - By ROD DAVIS

Her an­ces­tors came to Aus­tralia in 1853 to farm, to own land. They crossed oceans on hope and a be­lief that op­por­tu­nity beck­oned. That life is what you make it. Mar­got Hughes came to Wan­garatta with this same out­look.

Her childhood had been idyl­lic. Sup­port­ive par­ents, a lov­ing sis­ter, fam­ily hol­i­days and faith were ex­cel­lent foun­da­tions. Mar­got earnt her pocket money. Fin­tona Girls’ School was pro­gres­sive, taught stu­dents about com­mu­nity re­spon­si­bil­ity and con­cern for oth­ers. En­cour­aged, she loved ad­ven­tures in the out­doors. Hik­ing at Wilson’s Promon­tory, car­ry­ing packs on the Over­land Track in Tas­ma­nia fos­tered a pi­o­neer­ing spirit. Mar­got learnt to fol­low her in­ter­ests.

In­ter­ests in math­e­mat­ics and chem­istry took her to the Vic­to­rian Col­lege of Phar­macy and reg­is­tra­tion as a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal chemist. This pro­fes­sional life brought her to Wan­garatta, where she worked with Jeff Kay, played ten­nis and joined the Pro­fes­sional Women’s Club.

The two boyfriends court­ing her were left be­hind once she met Ron Col­son. Af­ter eight weeks, Ron asked Mar­got to marry him. Mar­ried to a farmer, she ad­justed to farm life. Learnt to be self-suf­fi­cient in the Col­son tra­di­tion of mak­ing do. Cows were milked, veg­eta­bles grown, sea­sonal pro­duce pro­cessed. Grape­fruits be­came soft, not stiff, mar­malade. She even learnt to make hare paste and but­ter.

Chil­dren of her own took her deeper into the com­mu­nity. Vol­un­teer­ing to hear read­ing at schools; to es­tab­lish the Noah’s Ark Toy Li­brary; joined Kil­lara Par­ents’ Group; worked to achieve school in­te­gra­tion for stu­dents with a dis­abil­ity. Pos­i­tive peo­ple met to achieve posi- tive out­comes, to help make a dif­fer­ence and im­prove their com­mu­nity. One fam­ily, des­per­ate for respite sup­port, cap­tured peo­ple’s at­ten­tion and a com­mit­tee was formed. The lo­cal state mem­ber of Par­lia­ment at the time, Ken Jasper, lis­tened to their pleas. North East Res­i­den­tial Care As­so­ci­a­tion re­sulted from this com­mu­nity sup­port.

Mar­got learnt the im­pact volunteers had when they worked to­gether. That in­no­va­tion and change were pos­si­ble. They take time and energy to achieve, but talk­ing to peo­ple, join­ing com- mit­tees, meet­ing mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and writ­ing sub­mis­sions did bring about change. Mar­got’s up­bring­ing taught her that life was what you make it. As a par­ent she took this one step fur­ther – if com­mu­nity life has short­falls, then get to­gether with oth­ers and over­come them.

On Wed­nes­day, March 30, 1983, Mar­got trav­elled to Mel­bourne with Ron and fel­low phar­ma­cist Helen Guil­foyle for a pre­sen­ta­tion. At Gov­ern­ment House, amid much splen­dour, Mar­got re­ceived a Medal of the Or­der of Aus­tralia (OAM). She rec­ol­lected the mo- ment: “I thought of all those volunteers who had so will­ingly helped to achieve new projects and changes in our so­ci­ety. I was the one who re­ceived the hon­our but they are all the ones who shared in en­rich­ing our com­mu­nity.”

As a pro­fes­sional, Mar­got was one of the first few women who pi­o­neered a ca­reer in the male­dom­i­nated world of phar­macy. As a mother, she made our com­mu­nity a more car­ing, in­clu­sive place. Pi­o­neers in Aus­tralia seem to share the be­lief that life is what you make it.

THE re­cent cool spell which saw Wan­garatta record its low­est day­time max­i­mum tem­per­a­tures for the first week of Novem­ber since 1994 is grad­u­ally be­ing re­placed by warmer days, with our first 30 de­gree spring day likely to­day.

Dur­ing the first week of this month there were un­prece­dented frosts in Western Vic­to­ria, the Wim­mera and in the south east of South Aus­tralia.

Caster­ton recorded its cold­est Novem­ber morning with mi­nus 0.3 de­grees since 1977, while War­rackn­abeal’s 0.5 de­grees was its cold­est Novem­ber morning in 60 years of records.

In South Aus­tralia, Strathal­byn recorded its cold­est ever Novem­ber morning with 1.7 de­grees - break­ing a record which had stood since 1966.

Frosts oc­curred at Path­away, Coon­awarra, Keith and Nara­coorte for the first time in Novem­ber at these places for at least 40 years.

De­niliquin had its cold­est pair of morn­ings for Novem­ber since 1872, with the suc­ces­sive read­ings be­ing 2.2 and 2.3 de­grees.

Last week a cen­tre of low pres­sure ap­proached our re­gion from in­land Queens­land and de­liv­ered some heavy rain­falls at places east of Wagga but light falls else­where, al­though Ruther­glen recorded 14mm to Mon­day morning straight af­ter a frost on the Sun­day morning.

The cur­rent syn­op­tic weather chart is now shap­ing up to a nor­mal sum­mer pat­tern with a zone of high pres­sure ex­tend­ing along Tas­ma­nian lat­i­tudes with a large part of in­land Aus­tralia, par­tic­u­larly in North­ern WA and the cen­tral area of the NT cov­ered by an ex­ten­sive heat low with few in­di­vid­ual cen­tres of low pres­sure.

An up­per level dis­tur­bance is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing over in­land WA and some thun­der­storms have oc­curred.

This up­per dis­tur­bance will be rather slow in reach­ing our re­gion, prob­a­bly not un­til the third week of this month with some thun­der­storm ac­tiv­ity.

Mel­bourne had its cold­est Cup Day since 1995 with a max­i­mum of 15.8 de­grees - the cold­est ever Cup Day was 11 de­grees in 1913 and the hottest was 35.1 de­grees in 1902.

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