Vale Clarence Ray Marquardt OAM - 1928-2010

A moving tribute from Clarrie's wife's Joyce and his children, Noreen Brier, Ross Marquardt, Robyn McCormack and Kerri-Ann Condrin.

Son of Augie and May Marquardt (nee Hansen), Clarrie, as he was known, was born 31st August 1928 at Wondai.  A brother, Reg, born 3 years later, died in a car accident in 1971.

Born into a dairying family who bred and milked Australian Illawarra Shorthorns (later known as Illawarras), his father, grandfather and uncle operated the “Oakvilla” Stud. Clarrie lived at Mondure in his youth. In 1940, Clarrie’s father, Augie, began the “Cedar Valley” stud with Clarrie doing the record keeping and participating in breeding decisions etc from the age of 12. In 1950 Clarrie married Joyce Kapernick, moving to the present Marquardt property at Chelmsford, outside Wondai.

The “Cedar Valley” stud exhibited successfully for 60 years, winning championship awards throughout Queensland, including Champion Cow at the Brisbane Exhibition on 5 occasions.  “Cedar Valley Plumcott” was named all Australian AIS Cow and “Cedar Valley Judy” was one of the first Illawarra cows in Queensland to be given an excellent classification.  In 1964, the Marquardts exhibited Champion Cow and Bull at the RNA and had the top production herd in the state.  In 1983 they once again took out the latter award and won every lactation class and the interbreed production award in Brisbane. Cedar Valley offspring have won numerous awards for other owners and in 1979, a Cedar Valley bull was the premier sire at the Milking Shorthorn Show in the USA.

As well as breeding top class cattle, Clarrie Marquardt was recognised as one of Australia’s, and indeed the world’s, top cattle judges.  From his first judging appointment in 1950 when, at the age of 22, he judged the Illawarras and Ayrshires at Beenleigh Show, he went on to be the youngest person to judge Illawarras at Sydney.  He officiated on 5 occasions there, as well as judging at Kiama (the home of the Illawarras) 5 times and at Adelaide and Melbourne Royals.  In 1984 he judged the American Milking Shorthorns at the World Dairy Expo in Maddison, Wisconsin, USA.

In recognition of his commitment to the development and improvement of the Illawarra breed, Clarrie was in 2000 awarded Life Membership of the Illawarra Society – only the 3rd person to receive this honour.  He was a member of the Society for nearly 60 years, serving as Queensland and Federal President.  Following visits to the USA and Europe to assess the value of breeds there, he was one of the first breeders involved in embryo transplants using Red Holstien semen.  The “Cedar Valley” stud exported semen and live cattle to many overseas countries.

Clarrie was actively involved in all facets of the dairying industry.  He was president of the local QDO for many years in the 1980s and 90s, director of South Burnett Co-op Dairy Association and South Burnett Milk Producers.  He was a founding member of the Dairyfarmers’ Action Group that successfully lobbied for the extension of whole milk supply to the areas outside Brisbane metropolitan areas.  In more recent years, he was in the forefront of moves to extend the Tick Free Boundary in the South Burnett.

However, Clarrie Marquardt’s activities were not restricted to the dairy industry, with a lifetime involvement in the local community.  He was President of School P&C Associations at Chelmsford and Wondai throughout his children’s education.  He played cricket, tennis and table tennis with local clubs in his younger days and maintained this sporting interest/involvement as Council representative on the South Burnett Sport and Recreation Committee and Chief Judge at Wondai Races.  Clarrie was a Councillor of the Wondai Shire for 4 terms.  Following more that 20 years as President of the Wondai Show Society, he served as its Patron.  Formal recognition of Clarrie’s long and diverse commitment to the dairy industry and his local community came in 2004 with the awarding of the Order of Australia Medal.

Clarrie Marquardt is survived by Joyce, his wife of 60 years,  four children (Noreen Brier, Ross Marquardt, Robyn McCormack & Kerri-Ann Condrin), 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

CLARRIE   (by Joyce Marquardt, his wife of 60 years)

We fell in love in forty eight,
We were just nineteen then,
And through the years we’ve shaped our lives –
He’s proved the best of men.

Our eyes met across the dance floor,
As I walked through the open door,
And from that magic moment
An enduring love was born.

We were wed in nineteen fifty
And our marriage vows were sworn.
We were so very fortunate to each have found the other,
And for Clarrie and myself there has never been another.

Through a lifetime lived together
We faced both calm and stormy weather.
Through recent years he suffered much –
Life seemed so unfair.

To watch him slowly lose his ways,
Such a heavy cross to bear.
The will of God, beyond our kin,
Can strangely make his call.

But through the silver, golden, diamond years,
We’ve lived and loved and known it all.

As we honour him today,
This man of humble birth,
I’ve been blessed to share his life –
He’s proved his worth upon this earth.

But through the silver, golden, diamond years,
We’ve lived and loved and known it all.

What we are is God’s gift to us,
What we become, our gift to God.

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