Tambo's Marilyn Hobbs farewelled

Tambo community champion, Marilyn Hobbs remembered for her dedication

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Strongly dedicated to her family and the community of Tambo, Marilyn Hobbs was farewelled earlier this month.

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Marilyn Hobbs was born in August 1950 and passed away on June 20 this year.

Marilyn Hobbs was born in August 1950 and passed away on June 20 this year.

Marilyn was born in Charleville on August 4, 1950 along with twin brother Bill. The twins were delivered by the renowned Dr Lou Ariotti.

Due to wet and boggy roads, parents Ted and a heavily pregnant Noela Hooper sought the help of the Royal Flying Doctor Service as there was over 50 inches of rain in 1950. The conditions necessitated Ted clearing the claypan over the Barcoo River at Tambo so they could safely land and take off.

Marilyn grew up at the family home, Kootchie, Tambo, first settled in 1905 by her great-grandfather WJ Hooper, who came from Talwood Station, Goondiwindi.

She grew up with four siblings - elder brother Richard, twin brother Bill, and sisters Robin and Jenny.

Life on the land in those early years were mixed with isolation from town, a happy family life, socialising with neighbours, and station work.

At the age of 10, Marilyn attended St Hilda's School at Southport (1960-1967). Annabel Knowles (nee Gore), a school friend recalled 'Zoop', as they called her, was always popular.

Her favourite subjects were speech and drama, and art. It was in Mrs Munro's art room that she learnt the foundations of the art she would practise for the rest of her life.

Marilyn was awarded the St Hilda's Special Prize for Art in 1965 and 1967 and she won the Queensland Girls' Secondary Schools' Club art competition in Brisbane in 1967.

After school Marilyn began a passion for nursing. She worked at the Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney then St Andrews Hospital in Brisbane, where she gained lifelong medical skills.

Marilyn married local grazier Howard Hobbs and went to live at Tarrina, Tambo. Howard's mother Dolly said when she came to Tarrina that "Marilyn was so bright and cheerful, she was a breath of fresh air when she came into a room".

Family was everything. Katherine came along in 1971 and William in 1973. Station life continued, along with droughts, floods, fires and good and bad seasons.

Long term friend Jan L'Estrange said Tarrina had been the love, the rock, and the glue in Marilyn's life.

"Her unbreakable relationship with her family and so many others who worked there stands as testament to the many incredible memories she created," Jan said.

Marilyn saw a need for advanced learning for young children and instigated a playgroup for Tambo children in the recently closed convent school. This was a great success and functioned for many years.

Women's health was another interest. She was highly involved in early meetings in Brisbane to set up mobile breast screening in Queensland. This practice continues today.

Marilyn became a councillor on the Tambo Shire Council, a position she held for four terms. She made her home and her life at Tambo and was passionate about her beloved community and the bush in general.

She later became a state Tidy Towns judge and travelled Queensland in that role.

Marilyn became a qualified JP and a marriage celebrant, travelling far and wide marrying people, including two nieces and one nephew.

She did external university studies via distance education and obtained a teaching diploma for speech and drama through Trinity College of Music in London.

Later in life she graduated from Central Queensland University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in social work, to be better informed and able to navigate the available services to put to use in her own community. She was subsequently awarded a Community Volunteer Award for her work in Tambo.

Art was always a passion from childhood. Marilyn found time to paint, especially later in life. She loved painting local landscapes, buildings, trees and chooks.

As an avid gardener Marilyn transformed both the Tarrina and William St gardens into showpieces and won many garden competitions. She had 187 rose bushes at William St and during her last months in Tambo those roses continually bloomed and flourished.

She embraced and lived each and every day with a smile, positive thoughts and enjoyed life to the end. We know our future is better because of her contribution to our community.

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