DESPITE adverse weather conditions restricting travel for some family and friends who had hoped to attend the service, around 200 people gathered on Saturday May 14 at the Gregson & Weight Chapel in Caloundra to honour the life of Margaret Mary Wild. Officiated by lifelong family friend Garry Franks to a packed venue that saw the service live streamed across the country; family, friends, and community members came together to celebrate Margaret’s life which was, by all accounts, full and wonderfully involved in her family, her work, and her community. Remembered as a highly intelligent warm-hearted woman with a great sense of humour, throughout her long life that spanned nearly 100 years, Margaret was known to be articulate and eclectic in her interest with an engaging curiosity for the world around her.
Margaret was born at ‘Ellersley Farm’ at Booroom near Calliope on October 30, 1922. Nicknamed Bonnie by her father, she had six siblings, and in her early years the family moved to a mixed dairy farm at Ubobo. At the age of 13 she was enrolled at Brisbane State High School where she excelled academically. She went on to study at Teacher’s Training College with her first appointment at Miriam Vale State School followed by a position at Commissioner’s Flat School near Peachester the following year.
It was while working at this school that Margaret got to know the Wild family, and in particular Laurie Wild who she went on to marry in 1943. The couple first resided at ‘Ashdown’, a dairy in Peachester before moving to a dairy property at Bald Knob in 1945 where they raised a family of six children: Brian, Meralyn, Kayrene, Graeme (deceased), Rodney and Ian. All the Wild children attended Maleny School and Margaret was incredibly involved in the school tuckshop group for many years.
From 1949, both Margaret and Laurie were heavily involved with the Maleny Show. Margaret’s contribution was always with the catering, and she continued her involvement with the Maleny Show Society well into her 90’s. In 2020 she was awarded the distinction of honorary life membership.
In later years, along with her good friend Robyn Simpson, Margaret started judging the cooking at the CWA branch, divisional and State levels as well as at local shows.
She loved being involved with the Peachester History Group and this stimulated many stories, along with friendships. Margaret had a keen love of reading which was evident throughout her life, and loved to write, do crosswords, and always kept a diary which recorded her history.
Laurie and Margaret retired to their property ‘The Park’ at Coochin Creek, however in 1994 they decided to sell and move back to Maleny – this time as ‘townies’ living in Walkers Drive. This gave them the opportunity to join Maleny Senior Citizens Club which proved to be a major source of support to Margaret over the following years, especially after Laurie’s death in 1995.
Margaret never lost her love of cattle and horses, and had a keen eye for quality cattle, horses and even dogs and her knowledge in these spheres was always appreciated; she particularly enjoyed watching the younger generations ride. A loving and involved grandmother to 18 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren and a great- great- grandmother of nine, she was known as Aunty Margaret to some, Aunty Bonnie to others, and a friend to many.
Neighbour and long standing family friend Cr Winston Johnston said Margaret was a lovely intelligent woman with an incredible memory to the end, and he admired her greatly.
“She was a beautiful person who was always happy, and she will be greatly missed by many,” said Cr Johnston.