Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Pugnacious Political Bulldog Thrived on His Bush Upbringing

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Pugnacious Political Bulldog Thrived on His Bush Upbringing

Article excerpt

HIGHLY respected Central Queensland grazier, long-standing National Party member and former Banana Shire councillor George Cowan died at Landsborough on June 14, aged 78.

He was a man of the land, a man of his community and a family patriarch. But most of all, he was a pugnacious political bulldog dedicated to the stalwart enforcement and defence of his political beliefs.

As Mr Cowan was laid to rest at a funeral in Caloundra on June 18, his wife Margaret, and children, George, David and Rowena, invite Mr Cowan's many friends to help celebrate his life and reflect on his achievements at a gathering at the Jambin Hotel at noon on Saturday, July 23.

Despite being the third generation on the family property in Central Queensland, Mr Cowan was born in Kaitaia, New Zealand, on June 9, 1933. He was the eldest son of a family of two sons and two daughters of George and Alice Cowan.

In 1935, the family relocated to the Callide Valley in Central Queensland, where his grandfather had selected country at Jambin.

Being difficult times, Mr Cowan and his siblings were given a typical bush upbringing Co herding and milking cows in the morning, before setting off on horseback for the three-mile ride to the local primary school.

He gained his secondary education as a boarder at Rockhampton Boys Grammar School. After leaving school, Mr Cowan returned to the family property to join his parents, and later his brother, Bill, in their dairy farming enterprise.

They were early advocates for the Brahman tropical breed of cattle and the family partnership purchased the first three bulls ever sold by the renowned McCamley Lancefield Brahman stud.

At 18 he did National Service with the RAAF in Townsville where he had a whale of a time and made some lifelong friendships including Dick Congram, Tom Duffy, John Rutherford and Bob Stewart.

Mr Cowan joined the Citizens' Military Force in 1960. He was commissioned in 1962 whilst serving with the 42 RQR. He later joined the 49 RQR.

He was active in the army for almost 20 years, served in Vietnam in 1970 and introduced his children to the joy of condensed milk in tubes from his ration packs. He attained the rank of Major and received commendations.

During the late 1950s, Mr Cowan purchased his petrol from Bill Benn's automotive business in Biloela, as he was fairly taken with Bill's second daughter, Margaret.

She had her own plans, focused on moving to New Zealand to work, and setting off to see the world. Undeterred, when Mr Cowan learned Margaret was homesick in New Zealand, he embarked on a three-year correspondence, before finally proposing and being accepted on the condition that he would take Margaret on a world tour.

The couple were married in Biloela in 1962, but the trip took another three years to come to fruition. …

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