HUGE HONOUR: UQ Gatton Past Students' Association president Mark Pace presenting Clive Gilchrist with his Life Membership certificate in 2019 at a reunion lunch at the Gold Coast. Photo: Contributed
HUGE HONOUR: UQ Gatton Past Students' Association president Mark Pace presenting Clive Gilchrist with his Life Membership certificate in 2019 at a reunion lunch at the Gold Coast. Photo: Contributed

Burnett pays tribute to well-respected agriculturalist

A FORMER Murgon resident will always be remembered for the impact he had on the Burnett agricultural industry.

Edward Clive Gilchrist, 98, fondly known as 'Clive,' sadly passed away peacefully on the Gold Coast on June 6, 2020.

Last year Clive was awarded a Life Membership certificate for UQ Gatton Past Students' Association at a reunion lunch on the Gold Coast.

President Mark Pace who presented him with this worthy accolade said he would always remember Clive for his quick wit.

"He was as sharp as a razor blade, there were no flies on Clive," Mr Pace said.

"Clive was the second oldest member of the association."

"He was incredibly fit up until a few years ago.

"When we held reunions on the Gold Coast, he used to walk to them from his home."

Born on September 21, 1921 in Toowoomba, Clive attended Helidon State School where his broad interest in farming developed through agricultural project clubs.

At age 13, Clive enrolled into the Queensland Agricultural College in 1934.

He graduated from the college in 1938 with a Diploma in Stock, 2nd Class Honours.

 

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Murgon and District Development Bureau president Leo Geraghty OAM said Clive had lived many lives before settling down in the South Burnett.

"Clive was a most admired, influential and respected member of the Murgon Development

Bureau.

"In 1938 Clive worked as a livestock buyer for Vesteys, a large British meat conglomerate, then with Redbank Meatworks before serving for five years in the 2nd AIF during World War 11," Mr Geraghty said.

"After the war he worked with another branch of the conglomerate Riverstone Meat Company on the NSW central coast.

"Using his deferred pay and a little savings, in 1947 Clive bought an 80ha dairy farm in the Currumbin Valley, where he milked cows, kept pigs and grew bananas for 14 years.

"Next came a posting to the Bureau of Tropical Agriculture near Innisfail, in Queensland's wet tropics as an Agricultural Adviser.

"In the wet tropics, Clive assisted the development of Utchee Creek Tropical Pasture Research Substation, and the early stages of King Ranch Tully River Station, a large and successful enterprise owned by the famous Kleberg family in the United States.

Clive showing off his cheeky side as he knocks back a couple of wines.
Clive showing off his cheeky side as he knocks back a couple of wines. David Gilchrist

 

However, it was in the mid 60s that Clive and his wife Molly moved to Murgon for a job opportunity.

"He qualified as a senior Adviser in agriculture, and in 1966 he became farm Adviser and stockfeed consultant with the South Burnett Co-operative Dairy Association at Murgon, in the rich South Burnett farming region.

"In addition to consultancy work in all aspects of rural activity, he was instrumental in the

establishment of a substantial milling enterprise in Murgon on Gesslers Rd.

"After retiring at 60 in 1981, Clive promoted the Murgon Leather Company now known as

Teys Australia Murgon, which processes 12,000 to 18,000 hides weekly.

Mr Geraghty said Clive had continued his interest as an investor in a wide range of primary industries.

One of Clive's children,  David Gilchrist, said his father always put the community's best interest first.  

"He came into the South Burnett area with new ideas after working in different places across Queensland and changed how they did a lot of things," David said.  

"My father was an interesting bloke and put a lot of work into the Murgon region.  

"He upset a few people along the way but he was a community minded person.  

"For example he first put up the idea for Barkers Creek to be turned into Barkers Dam, but the local farmers didn't like it and wanted him to be sacked.  

"Then a few years later Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen proposed the idea and now it is a dam."   

Until last year, Clive led an active life, taking part in Tai Chi and walked everywhere.  

Clive is survived by his children David, John and Helen Delahunty, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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