What a Wonderful Life - Harold Thompson

Walter Harold Thompson known to all in the dairy world as Harold was born on April 21,1941, living his whole life on the property Alfa Vale which was established by his grandfather, Harry Thompson, in 1911.

Harold married Nancy on May 18, 1963 and they had five children, Allan, Jenni, Bruce, Steve and Helen.

It is difficult to establish when Harold first became a member of the I.C.S.A. but the membership of W H Thompson changed to W H Thompson & Sons in 1963.  Harold’s name first appears on the Provisional Judging Panel in 1965 and he was nominated by the Queensland Branch of the ICSA for promotion to the Royal Panel on December 8, 1976.  Harold travelled the country judging at shows including Perth WA and in Tasmania.  On these trips he also occasionally carried out classifying work.

Harold was first appointed to the ICSA Queensland Branch committee on August 15, 1978 and was a member up until his passing.  The Queensland Branch bestowed him with Life Membership in August 2010.

Harold was a founding member of the Wide Bay Burnett Illawarra Cattle Club from its inception on January 13, 1979 and served as President from February 5, 1994 to February 4, 1996.

His involvement with the ICSA continued at a Federal level, representing the Queensland Branch as a delegate from September 29, 1990 for many years and holding positions on the Classification Committee and IDP Committee.  He also acted as an ARCBA delegate from 2004-2006.

Following deregulation of the dairying industry, Alfa Vale Stud was dispersed on 7th July 2000, changing its operation from dairying to cropping and beef, and Harold took the opportunity to become a Councillor on the Royal National Association Brisbane, a position he held up until recently.  His involvement with the RNA started much earlier though through the Alfa Vale stud which had considerable success particularly in the production classes.  Harold was a Life Member of the RNA and in fact the Thompson family had four generations of Life Membership.

Harold's devastating accident in October 2007 when he was hit with a falling tree branch and became a quadriplegic, didn't slow him down and he continued to attend as many meetings as he was able.  His wheelchair became an off-round vehicle with him tearing around the farm much to the concern of Nancy.  His son Allan told a story at the funeral where Harold, within the last twelve months, was out running up and down the hill rolling in the newly gravelled road with his wheelchair.  Harold's involvement in the farm and the community could not have continued however without the support of his wife Nancy.

Brief Stud History – Alfa Vale:

1907 Harry Thompson selected a block of land on Wheelbarrow Creek for his mother
1911 He selected the block across the road which is where the house and yards now stand
1917 Commenced dairying under a sheet of iron across corner of yard
1919 Built proper dairy and installed milking machines – dairy rebuilt in 1957
1920 Bought Registered Bull –Greyleigh of Greyleigh
1922 Bought first car – Mystery Queensland and very soon after built some of the first grids in the district
5/8/1922 First registration in I.M.S. Herd Book
1924 Bought Gentle of Sunnyview – Midge 5th of Sunnyview – Nellie 4th of Sunnyview and Gentle 6th of Sunnyview.  These cows were all Greyleigh blood.
1929 Bought Reward of Fairfield
1932 First exhibit to Brisbane Show
1936 Bought Penrhos Pansy – Reserve Champion Cow Brisbane RNA and later Dam of Penrhos Pansy’s Pride.
1937 House destroyed by fire while at Brisbane Exhibition
Jan 1937 to June 1938 Reward daughters win 3rd in All Australian Lactation competition.
            Alfa Vale Evenline – 715 lb fat – first cow in Queensland to produce 4 lb fat officially in 24 hours.
            Alfa Vale Star 2nd – 703 lb fat – set Australian record for age, a J4 at that time and for many years.
            Alfa Vale Model 2nd – 785 lb fat – 8276 lb fat for 12 lactations, also Champion Butterfat Cow Brisbane RNA 1936 and 1937.
            Alfa Vale Gem 4th – 716 lb fat
            Alfa Vale Laura – 735 lb fat
            Alfa Vale Fussy – 708 lb fat
            Alfa Vale Gentle 2nd – 743 lb fat – Champion Butterfat Cow Brisbane RNA 1940 from 72 cows competing.
            730 lb fat average – most uniform production team.
1939 Penrhos Pansy’s Pride – Reserve Champion Bull Brisbane RNA
           Penrhos Pansy – Champion Cow
           From 92 entries – Alfa Vale won 1st Nellie 4th, 2nd Gentle 2nd, 3rd Laura, 4th Model 2nd, 6th Model 4th and 7th Model 11th.
1940 Alfa Vale won 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Butterfat Brisbane RNA with Gentle 2nd, Model 4th and Model 11th, also Champion Bull.
1941 Pansy’s Pride again won Champion Bull.
1942 Greyleigh Dispersal Sale bought Gem 77th, Gem 139th and Gem 150th.
1950 Purchase Greyleigh Bacon
1951 Started to cart our own cream to Nanango factory
1959 Installed hay baler
1960 Bought Sunnyview Bonnie’s Standard ex Yarranvale Bonnie 8th and by Royal Standard.
1963 Bought Sunnydale Spice
1965 Bought auto header
1.4.1967 Walter Thompson passed away
1972 Connected to bulk milk
1973 Bought Lemon Grove Tenorise
1975 Commenced doing own AI
8.2.81 Harry Thompson passed away suddenly having been born on Eronvale Station at Hodgson Creek (20 km south of Toowoomba) on 18th July 1886 and attended the Spring Creek State School.  He had Life Membership of the AIS Society recommended at the September 1976 meeting of Queensland Branch.  He was laid to rest in the Nanango Cemetery beside his wife who predeceased him in October 1957.
24.4.81 Heifer sale at Alfa Vale
1986 Overseas genetics were first introduced
1990 Pit silage was stored for later use
October 1992 Rebuilt dairy to herringbone from a four unit walk through
1995 Champion Milk and Fat + Protein (All Breeds) at Brisbane RNA – Alfa Vale Midge 99
February 1997 Replace milk vat and modify building to suit.


News Flash