VALE PAT: Mentor, agriculture leader, gentleman passes away
ONE of Warwick's leading stud cattle producers, Pat Flynn, passed away on Saturday, September 29.
For the past five decades, Pat was a leading figure in the droughtmaster cattle, Australian stock horse and pony club community and he was heavily involved in the Warwick Show Society as the chief steward for the stud cattle and sheep section and as a show president.
Current chief steward Shelley Doyle remembers Pat as a true country gentleman.
"He was very easy to get along with, very easy going, very approachable and very knowledgeable," she said.
"He was just a true mentor and he helped everyone and anyone."
Pat was born in Tenterfield on March 18, 1948.
He grew up on the land working on cattle and horse studs and in 1984 he started a long-term association with Boystown by helping the charity establish its first herd of droughtmasters.
At the time Pat said he was confident a droughtmaster stud would instil responsibility and accountability into the boys of Boystown by creating a rewarding hobby that would generate life-changing opportunities for them.
Through Pat's experience of showing cattle with his three sons, he knew the temperament of the droughtmaster breed would be perfect for the organisation's young men.
Boystown cattle became highly sought-after and won numerous awards in the show ring.
At a now infamous Royal Brisbane exhibition, Pat was asked to lead Boystown Andrew into the Tivoli Theatre for an MLA conference.
This exercise involved a police escort, the bull going into lifts and walking across marble foyers.
Cattle from this stud were well sought-after but in 1992 it was shut after Boystown closed.
At the time Pat said he was honoured to help these young men from troubled backgrounds.
"My passion was using the droughtmaster breed to change the lives of disadvantaged and disengaged children," he said.
"Droughtmaster cattle provided many kids with a sense of accomplishment and improved their attitude and outlook on life.
"When we were at a show with other droughtmaster breeders, the boys had a supportive family for the first time in their life."
Pat went on to work with Talgai Stud but his time as a mentor was far from finished.
In 2001 he took a job at Warwick State High School as an assistant in the agriculture department.
Like with his time at Boystown, Pat was keen to get the students involved with stud cattle showing and in 2009 he was asked to take a team of students and the school's angus cattle to Beef Australia in Rockhampton.
While there Pat met with some friends from the droughmaster community and convinced them to donate 14 head to the school's breeding program.
John Doyle was one of the program's students and said Pat's selfless nature was integral to the founding of this droughtmaster breeding program.
"He was a good mentor and he treated all us kids like his own," he said.
Following support and advice from Pat, Mr Doyle established his own stud when he was 14 years old.
"Pat introduced me to people in the droughtmaster stud world and he got me going that way," he said.
"Pat was always there to help you.
"He was one of those blokes that always wanted to know what you were up to and where you were in life. He never forgot about you."
The Warwick High School cattle were well known and highly regarded around the show circuit.
During his time at the school, Pat purchased equipment and paid for students to attend shows and competitions.
Pat contributed to cattle feed, transport and agistment costs to ensure the stud remained viable.
Along with Mr Doyle, Pat helped a number of former students establish their own studs, including Semloh Droughtmasters, Rowan Smith's Droughtmasters and Tony Pozzebon's Droughtmasters.
Swan Creek grazier Tim Eastwell said he owed his success on the cattle showing circuit to Pat Flynn.
"He had a lot of time for us all, no matter where we wanted to go, whether it was in cattle, agriculture, sheep breeding," Mr Eastwell said.
Mr Eastwell runs a commercial herd of Speckled Park breeders and is a regular on the show circuit.
"I probably wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't for Pat," he said.
Mr Eastwell put Pat's success as a mentor down to his kind nature.
"Pat never forced anyone to do anything but he was always there and always supportive," he said.
"Whether it was learning to weld, work with cattle or teaching someone to drive a truck or a tractor.
"Pat was never short of a story and he could tell a good yarn."
Pat Flynn retired from Warwick State High School in 2016.
He passed away on Saturday, September 29, after a long battle with cancer.
Pat is survived by his three sons, three grandchildren and his partner, Emma Thompson.
A funeral will be held at Warwick Cemetery on Friday, October 5, at 1 pm.
If you'd like to attend or have any questions, phone 0428 336 086.