Lorna: A champion of champions

by Ed Lawley

From the pages of the special 8-page commemorative edition pull-out, inside the GC&M News March 29 edition. To read the pull-out in it’s entirety, click the link above.

There are champions. And then there’s Lorna of Arley.

The story starts when Ernest Edward Downes Lawley married Minnie Almira Catherine Clark in 1917. They moved to the 84 acres of scrub land at Reesville which they called “Arley” (named after the village which the Lawley’s originally came from in Shropshire, England). They cleared the scrub, built their home, dairy and farm buildings, and planted pasture and turned it into prime dairy farm land. Their children were Evelyn, Alan and Val. Evelyn was born at home before Maleny had a hospital.

In 1922, Ernie had high hopes for his favourite cow which he had bred (Lorna of Arley) so he decided to walk her all the way to Landsborough railway siding, loaded with a couple of weeks provisions for them both. They had two train changes to Brisbane RNA Exhibition grounds, and Lorna won the prestigious prize of Champion Butterfat Cow of Queensland 1922, with such incredible production figures – she produced 59 litres of milk and 3.5kg of butter in 48 hours – considering the ordeal she had gone through to get there. The milking record stood unbroken for over 40 years. That was his first “Lorna” and her bloodline is still being shown at agricultural shows around Australia today. Amongst a collection of champion ribbons and trophy’s he gathered over a forty year period is a Blue ribbon reading “Maleny 1922 Show”, preserved and on display at Maleny Show 2022 along with other 1922 RNA memorabilia.

Ernie and Alex Bryce along with another unknown put in 10 pound each to kickstart the Maleny Agricultural show in 1922. His son, Alan, and then grandson Edward followed in his footsteps to carry on the family tradition with pride.

Arley Dahlia 35 – 1961
Alan and Ed Lawley

Main image: 1926 Lorna of Arley