‘He was a good bloke’: Olive Estate’s founder leaves legacy
BENEATH the green gardens of Olive Estate, was once cattle country where thousands of beasts were run, but the vision of one man, Ralph Olive, transformed it into what it is today.
The estate he created in honour of his father became his legacy last month when he passed away on October 24. His death marked the end of a long family history of farming at Mildura Parkhurst.
Olive Estate in North Rockhampton was once farming land owned by Ralph's father George.
Before the streets, parks and houses were constructed the Olive men spent hours on the land mustering.
Ralph Olive's daughter Lindy Cook said her father rode the same horses to school at Parkhurst as they used to muster cattle on the weekends.
"Ralph loved his livestock and his horses," Mrs Cook said.
"He loved riding and was a natural horseman - even giving polocrosse a go on his beloved horse Sally for a short while."
As the youngest of seven children born into a farming family, Mr Olive embraced life on the land and carried the passion throughout his years.
"Being a very practical person and over his many years of farming and cattle raising, he could turn his hand to anything and was in fact a bit of an inventor," Mrs Cook said.
Another daughter, Joanne Dickson, said he came up with innovative ways to manage different situations on the property.
He called the Parkhurst property home for all his life, but also spent time working on the family farms at Zamia Hills and the McIntyre surrounding Jim Crow on Yeppoon Road.
In 1959, he cemented his connection to the Mildura Parkhurst property, marrying his wife June and living in their own house on the farm.
Following in family tradition, Mr Olive then included his own children in working the land by growing tomatoes, watermelons, grain and cattle while the children grew up on the farm.
His son Grant Olive said the property was a family affair with all hands on deck.
"He was a good bloke. He was a fair but firm man," Grant Olive said.
The property also became a community hub of activity.
"The Olive household was and still is a place where you were always welcome, a place to drop in to for a chat and to have a cup of tea," Mrs Dickson said.
"Ralph and June's home at Mildura became a haven for them and a tennis court was built.
"The family and local community have many great memories of tennis days and nights at the Olives."
In 1991, the renowned farming family added another project to their name when Ralph and June got approval for the first one-acre block development in Parkhurst.
The Olive Estate was then founded and soon became a namesake for the family with many streets named in honour of loved ones.
Ralph never wanted any recognition for Olive Estate. He wanted it to be a memorial for his father.
He tended to many gardens throughout the estate and constructed a bridge leading to a park in the garden for local children to use.
"Ralph was a true gentleman, a man of great integrity, honesty and selflessness," Mrs Dickson said.
His work ethic, pride and efforts will now become his legacy since his passing on October 24.
He is survived by his wife June and their children Grant, Linda, Joanne and Mark, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.