At Yukana, we love to get to know our residents and listen to their life stories. This is the first in a wonderful series honouring them, and which we are privileged to share. In this article, we discover a little about the life of Cliff Blackwell.
Cliff was born in Toowoomba in the 1930s. Needless to say, he has seen a lot of changes in his lifetime.
Growing up in Westbrook, just outside Toowoomba, Cliff spent his whole life on the family’s two properties. Sharing the small family home with his two parents and his older brother they were eventually joined by his grandmother, making it a somewhat crowded house for a time.
Cliff completed his schooling at Westbrook, including high school. In Cliff’s words, the high school ‘only lasted three years’, and when he left ‘it fell apart’! He tried his hand at all sorts of things, giving everything a go at school. This included learning to play the piano and drums.
Cliff became a drummer in a band and reflects on the moment he met his late wife, June, at a local dance. He recalls, ‘She was a great dancer’, so he left his drums to boogie with her.
Farming was always Cliff’s first love and the only thing he ever wanted to do. Between growing a variety of crops and increasing his herd of cattle, Cliff just loved it! He helped his family by hand milking the cows until the diary was built, and completing a variety of jobs around the properties.
At the age of 22 he asked for June’s hand in marriage and, as Cliff says, they ‘lived happily ever after’. They took over one of the two family properties and, with tender loving care, the couple managed to breathe life into the property. They had four girls who are now living near and far with families of their own. His love and pride for his family is obvious.
While Cliff started out with 200 acres, he managed to purchase several adjoining properties, tripling the size of his land. Over this time he saw many changes to legislation and technology that impacted the way the property was farmed. He worked hard, improving his acreage, and became a well-known local. In fact, Cliff has a road named after him!
He and June eventually sold their property and moved to Yukana in 2013, where we are very fortunate they chose to call home.
Stay tuned for the next life story from one of our amazing Yukana residents.