GOOD LIFE: Alec McIntosh with wife Betty at a function in the Hall of Memory in Goomeri.
GOOD LIFE: Alec McIntosh with wife Betty at a function in the Hall of Memory in Goomeri. Contributed

Alec McIntosh remembered as community champion

HUNDREDS of people gathered to farewell Alec Frederick McIntosh OAM at a memorial service in Goomeri on Monday.

Alec, who died on January 18, served as chairman of the Kilkivan Shire Council from 1970 to 1994.

Below is a tribute written by his son, Paul.

Alec was born October 13, 1926, in Goomeri to Robert and Agnes McIntosh (née Burville).

The Burville family and the McIntosh family had soldier settlement blocks on Boonaravale Rd and Alec and Don originally attended Kinbombi school.

They tended to milking cows on the home farm, fished in Chippendale Creek and played endless amounts of cricket.

Kinbombi school closed and the boys transferred to Goomeri State School.

More kids to play cricket and football with, said Alec.

Alec left school in 1940 after Year 7 and, with the Second World War happening, labour was scarce in the farmlands.

Alec was put to work on the family farm by grandad Robert.

In 1942 rugby league and cricket started up, much to Alec's delight, with some older men in reserved occupations plus plenty of local teenagers.

Alec McIntosh with former Governor of Queensland Penelope Wensley.
Alec McIntosh with former Governor of Queensland Penelope Wensley. Contributed

Droughts were bad, with the 1941 and 1946 years being exceptionally tough.

Alec got extra work with Charlie Christoffel doing contract work on digging out stumps with mattocks and splitting posts for fence lines.

Hard work but kept him fit for cricket and football.

In 1948 Alec moved to Brisbane to play both his sports in the big smoke to see if he was any good.

He was into cricket and played with a few clubs, mostly with West at Graceville and some A-grade.

Work options were selling electrical goods, then at a foundry and then finally with WD and HO Wills and he was there for more than five years.

Then by virtue of a blind date in that time, he met our mother Betty, who loved dancing. Betty had tremendous extra potential in her soprano career at that stage, however super-smooth Alec asked her to move to

Alec McIntosh with grandsons Adam and Nathan and son Paul at Nathan's 21st birthday.
Alec McIntosh with grandsons Adam and Nathan and son Paul at Nathan's 21st birthday. Contributed

Goomeri as his wife and adopt farm life.

He won the girl with a voice from Brisbane and they were married in May 1951.

The two tall McIntosh boys took over the Boonaravale family farm in 1953.

Alec and Betty had three children - Paul, then Steven who passed away in 1972, and Glenda was born in 1962.

So Alec and Betty on one farm and Uncle Don and Aunty Rae on the other farm with this extended family farming partnership.

It was a busy time, with Mum singing in Brisbane still and organising musicals, eisteddfods, deb balls, the local choir, CWA president and divisional president and Alec playing lots of cricket with local teammates like Trevor Breitkreutz and Uncle Renny Sippel.

Alec was elected into local government as a councillor in 1961 and belonged to a myriad other committees and groups and boards.

At one stage, Betty and Alec worked out they were president or secretary of 32 organisations between them.

The AF and DA McIntosh farming partnership continued until 1980, when Alec and Betty sold their share of the amalgamated McIntosh farms in the valley and moved into Goomeri to build a motel.

In 1970 Alec was elected chairman of Kilkivan shire and met Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, 10 days after this 1970 election.

Alec McIntosh hard at work on a rotunda at Goomeri.
Alec McIntosh hard at work on a rotunda at Goomeri. Contributed

That chairmanship of Kilkivan Shire ended in 1994 when Alec and Mum retired to Cooroy.

Twenty-four years as chairman and nine years previously as a councillor, along with hospital and electrical boards, grants commissioner, vice-president of Local Government of Queensland and many other community-minded activities, gained Alec an OAM that same year.

A great honour for Alec and one of his proudest moments.

Alec and Betty retired from motel life and public commitments to the quiet life of Cooroy ... nearly.

Freemasonry had been a big part of his life since he was 21.

With the move came the opportunity of being a local member of the Cooroy lodge, which badly needed a new building for meetings.

Enter Alec McIntosh to the Cooroy scene.

The lodge embarked on this mission of fundraising and organising.

The couple sold and moved into a smaller dwelling at Tewantin for a few years and then Betty and Alec moved to Gladstone in 2007 to be closer to Glenda and Daryl.

Betty passed away in October 2008 and Alec eventually moved in with Glenda and Daryl in Gladstone.

The last few years were punctuated by trips to the Pumpkin Festival, relocating ripe mangoes from abandoned paddocks, fishing and going to the pool every weekday.

He passed away peacefully on January 18, 2018, at 2.45pm, after having a joke with the hospital nurses.

Alec was a son, a brother, a farmer, a keen and successful cricketer, a handy footballer, an organiser, a husband and father, a good friend, a Freemason and a good self-taught public speaker.

South Burnett

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