The passing of John Malone on March 31, is a significant loss to not only his family, but Bundaleer, Jamestown and the wider community.
John's contribution to the community through many organisations was always diligent, reliable, strategic and enthusiastic. He was especially gifted at making people new to the area welcome, whether it be new employees in the Bundaleer Forest in the years prior to 1995, or more recently visitors to Bundaleer recreation grounds or the Jamestown Visitor Resource Centre, which he frequently manned.
His extensive involvement in agricultural spans five decades, taking on leadership positions, stewardship and judging at local, regional and state level. He was Jamestown Show president in 1977, 1978 and 1986, Patron from 2003-2008, and member of the Cattle Committee until his passing. He was granted Honorary Life Membership in 1997.
He also served as President of the Northern Agricultural Shows Association from 1984-86 and was chairman of the Agricultural Societies Council from 1993 to 1996. As a breeder and exhibitor of Red Poll Cattle, John left his mark at the Royal Adelaide Show, Sydney Easter Show, Wodonga Show and Sale, and countless country shows.
But for John, these successes were far outweighed by friendships he made, such was his love of life and people. He hosted many visitors to his Maleer Red Poll Stud, including international visitors on Australian Cattle Industry tours. He took on presidency of both federal and state councils of the Red Poll Society and devoted more than 45 years at committee level, recently acknowledged with life membership. John had extensive involvement in farm industry organisations, serving on numerous State and regional committees of the South Australian Farmers Federation, and its predecessor, United Farmers & Graziers.
He was a member of the body that set up the Jamestown Truck Wash Facility and was also part of a lobby group which successfully retained Jamestown Hospital's acute services in the 1980s. John was also involved in the organics industry, after he and his son Chris achieved certification as organic and biodynamic farmers in 1991.
Sport was an important part of John's life. He played football, tennis, golf and table tennis and in more recent years played bowls. John was involved with the Bundaleer Sport and Recreation Association from its formation as the Bundaleer Progress Association in 1962. He helped with the volunteer cropping program which funded the establishment of tennis courts, a cricket oval and the Bundaleer Hall adjacent the Bundaleer Picnic Ground. In the last 15 years, John and Veronica have been the contact for hundreds of visitors who have camped at the grounds and hired the facilities at Bundaleer.
John was also actively involved in the St James Catholic Church and was a supporter of greater interaction between the churches, as a member of the interdenominational group. John loved classical music and was extremely proud of his daughter Mary Jane's great talent for singing and was a regular at her gigs. He was a major contributor to planning and managing all seven music and art festivals held in the Bundaleer Forest between 1999 and 2013 and he chaired the 2011 event. The final Bundaleer Festival was held just months after the devastating forest fire. John was a key part of the campaign to replant the forest, save the local timber industry and ensure Australia's first plantation forest remained accessible by locals and visitors.
John was proud to be part of the community's efforts to secure ownership and control of the sport and recreation grounds and co-management of the Bundaleer Forest Picnic Ground. He had a great sense of humour and zest for life, loved steak, red wine and barbecues at Bundaleer. He was a highly social being and made enduring friendships through every facet of his life, whether at school, in cattle industry and show meetings, welcoming visitors to Bundaleer, or just stopping for a chat when shifting the cattle along the road with his beloved dog. He adored his community, his cattle, all things Bundaleer, and most of all, his family. John was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and he endured the rigorous treatment regime with his usual optimistic approach to life. With the loving care of Veronica and family he was able to stay at home until just days before his passing.