Legendary 103-year-old Burnett grazier farewelled
THE North Burnett has said goodbye to one of its treasured icons, farewelling legendary 103-year-old Abercorn grazier Max Hockey at an enormous funeral attended by 200 people.
Mr Hockey began his working life at age 15 labouring at his father’s sawmill, so it was fitting that Mr Hockey’s farewell was in Abercorn Hall, which was built with timber from the mill.
However, it would be beef cattle which became indelibly associated with Mr Hockey – he would end up with 14 grazing blocks in the region, totalling about 10,000ha.
As befits a lifelong beef man, he will now forever rest with his herd: Mr Hockey is to be buried on his beloved Abercorn block.
Aside from his work exploits, Mr Hockey was also one of the most talented North Burnett cricketers of his generation, renowned as a batsman who sold his wicket dearly.
He also gave back to his community by spending 28 years on the former Eidsvold Shire Council.
A family man, Mr Hockey lost his first wife Helen after 53 years of marriage, which produced three children: Heather, David and Patrick.
After her death, Mr Hockey went on to find love again, being married to Kaye Hindmarsh for 26 years.
In his eulogy, grandson Tim Stevens, a winemaker, said his “pappy” was the “healthiest man I have ever known”.
“He loved butter, he loved salt, and he ate two red meat meals a day,” Mr Stevens said.
“He never saw the inside of a gym in his life but was still fitter than any of his bulls.
“He loved an occasional can of VB – I never could get him to sit down and enjoy one of my wines.”
Indeed, at Mr Hockey’s funeral, a six-pack of VBs featured prominently on a table containing his favourite things.
Mr Stevens said his grandfather was wedded to the land.
“He chose not to travel much, not because of fear or dislike of the unfamiliar – indeed, he was always curious for the unfamiliar,” he said.
“He rarely left this district because of his love of home and the people.”
Mr Stevens said Mr Hockey retained his lifelong love of cricket, politics and people right up until the end.
“His aged and exhausted body was failing, but his mind was sharp and his heart was full of love and contentment at the destination he had reached,” Mr Stevens said.
“It was a just end for a man rightly at peace with the soft, extraordinary footprints he left behind.”