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Region farewells a real rural achiever
The Monaro and region is mourning
the loss of well-respected grazier,
A large crowd attended her
funeral at St Patrick’s Church
Cooma, on February 17.
The following obituary has been
adapted from a eulogy delivered by
her eldest son, Kenneth.
Wendy was born in Cooma
on January 18, 1941, the eldest
daughter of Ken and Bess.
Together with younger sister
Pam, they had a very unusual
childhood, with Ken being crippled
with polio and losing their mother
Bess who died when they were very
Ken’s condition meant he had
be helped to achieve the amazing
things he did.
His sheer determination and
strong will to work was instilled into
both Wendy and Pam from a young
If they hurt a finger or a nail whilst
working ,he was often heard to
remark “God gave you hands to
use, not look at”.
Being unable to take the girls
anywhere, Gunyah, school and the
love of animals became their life.
Wendy was schooled at Berridale
until the age of 14 and was then
sent to board at Meriden Church of
England girls school in Strathfield,
where she excelled academically
and was a very keen sportsperson,
playing basketball and hockey.
She continued to play for many
years, earning herself a name as a
formidable opponent, being able to
run from one end of the field to the
other for the complete match and
watch out if you crossed sticks with
Upon completing her Leaving
Certificate in 1958, she returned to
Gunyah to help her father who had
just started a Hereford stud, having
had a Merino stud for many years
When Pam returned home
differences of opinion on the way
things should be done meant that
Ken, in order to keep the peace,
allotted Wendy to hep with the
cattle and Pam the sheep and from
this time forward, cattle became the
love of Wendy’s life.
Wendy became well respected as
a stud breeder with a good eye for
any sort of livestock. In 1978, she
started the Gunyah Poll Hereford
He love of stock was very
strong and she was always very
proud of the number of her cows
who lived to be over 20 years of
age. Droughts, especially for an
extended period of time, were
always very hard for her to take.
Over the years Wendy enjoyed
taking large teams of cattle to
shows, even if they weren’t always
completely broken in...
championships at the highest levels
over many years and Wendy’s metal
water buckets became legendary.
In her younger days while at
Sydney show, Wendy would go to
the races at Randwick and always
dressed up for the occasion, some
of the rare times she was seen in a
Over the years she received
numerous invitations to judge
at shows all around Australia,
including royals. Often she was
the first lady to be given this
In 1976, Wendy toured England
and Scotland where she judged
at Kelso Show. A Scottish family
who have since moved their stud
to Australia told Pam a story only
recently on Wendy’s visit to view
They had never had an Australian
visitor before so the father and his
seven-year-old son waited excitedly
for Wendy to come. Upon arrival,
Wendy, in her usual fashion, jumped
the fence in one fluid motion to view
the bulls. The young boy, taken
aback, ran inside to his mother
exclaiming “there’s a wild Australian
lady out there jumping our fences”.
In 1980, Wendy married Ted
McCallum and together they had
two sons, Kenneth and Robert.
Wendy and Ted took Gunyah Studs
to even greater heights.
Off the property Wendy involved
herself in many rural and community
groups, even more so in her later
In 1995 she was the South East
Regional finalist in the NSW Rural
Woman of the year award. She
served several years as a director
on the Rural Land Protection Board
and was also involved with NSW
Farmers. She served three years
as president of Monaro Merion
Association. She was involved over
many years with the Cooma Show,
serving as president and receiving
Wendy also had a long
association with the Cooma
Monaro and Snowy River Historical
Her love of trains saw her
involved with the Cooma Monaro
railway, where she became a
licensed train driver.
Even with all these activities,
Wendy still found time to pursue
several hobbies. She loved her
garden, was a keen photographer
and travelled all over Australia.
Wendy also loved her chooks and
fought a lifelong battle against foxes
to maintain a steady flow of eggs.
Wendy left an indelible mark on
everyone she came into contact
with – everyone has a Wendy story.
One of the interesting for
Kenneth, having a different surname
to Wendy was that often people
would not realise the connection.
These people often tell him the
most interesting stories of his
mum, tending to not hold back on
the details of exactly what Wendy
said to them and what was said in
Wendy was never one to mince
words and called things exactly as
she saw them, whether talking to
someone in the cattle yards or the
Prime Minister of Australia, as Bob
Hawke discovered one night during
Canberra show in the early 80s.
Over the years, Wendy tried to
teach Robert and Kenneth many
things – some of it stuck, some
didn’t but they said the greatest
lessons she taught were learned
simply on reflection of the way she
lived her life.
The boys learned the value of a
hard day’s work, the importance of
contributing to the community in
which we live, that gender should
never be viewed as a disadvantage
in any walk of life and that you
should love and be passionate
about the profession you chose.
For all of these the boys will be
forever grateful and Wendy will be
Wendy Hain – January 18, 1941 – February 10, 2017
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