Dalveen farmer Peter Bondfield was the first in Australia to own and breed Charolais cattle.
Dalveen farmer Peter Bondfield was the first in Australia to own and breed Charolais cattle. Linden Morris

Granite Belt stalwart passes away

PETER Bondfield, also known as the "voice of Stanthorpe", has said his last words and will forever be remembered by his family and those who knew him.

The 85-year-old father of four and grandfather of 10 was best known on the Granite Belt for his community work. To his family, he was much more.

Son and third child, David Bondfield, said it was sad to see his dad pass, but he died peacefully with his family around him.

"We always say his was a life well lived," David said.

Peter was born in Queanbeyan in New South Wales on July 4, 1928, and was one of a six-member family.

"His first job was when he was 12, delivering milk with a horse and cart, and he left school at 14 to go jackarooing, and that is when he fell in love with horses and the land," David said.

"In his early twenties Dad moved to Queensland and came here and worked for a fellow called John Rogerson, who owned Pikedale Station, and through Pikedale Station was able to save money and take a loan on Palgrove, where we all grew up."

David said his father met the love of his life, Valerie, in the Monaro district in NSW as the result of a polocrosse tournament.

"They then moved here and got married," he said.

Among other things, Peter was very much a family and community man.

"He was a very strong family man right to the end.

"At the end of everything he did during his life, he was so proud of his children and his grandchildren, as his whole life was about family and the community.

"If that is his legacy, that is a pretty great legacy to leave."

David described his father as many things.

"He is a true bush character," he said

"He was generous, he was a character, he was loud and he had a personality that was infectious.

"He was loved by everyone and was passionate about horses and horse riding and teaching people to be able to ride and ride well.

"He was probably in many ways known as the voice of Stanthorpe - everyone knew his voice on the microphone.

"He commentated almost 50 years at the show and also did Apple and Grape Festivals and MC'd show balls."

Peter's family were not the only ones to recognise his achievements.

"He was awarded the Order of Australia medal two years ago for service to his community," David said.

"He was a life member of the Australian and Queensland Pony Clubs, a life member and patron of the Stanthorpe Agricultural Society and a life member of the Charolais Cattle Association."



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