• by Gabrielle Johnston 

The Shorthorn family is remembering one of their own with the passing of Margaret Williams, of Marrington Shorthorns, Dubbo. A remarkable and much-loved woman who treasured her family and friends, Margaret was also dedicated to the Shorthorn breed. A truly “delightful” woman Margaret is being remembered fondly by all who knew her. 

With great sadness The Genetic Hub, General Manager, Kylie Winnell, said that Margaret had recently lost her long battle with cancer. On behalf of Shorthorn breeders Mrs Winnell expressed the greatest of sympathy to Margaret’s husband, Howard and their children Alison, Debbie, Susan, Tom and Rob as well as their many grandchildren. 

“Marg touched the Shorthorn breed on so many levels,” Mrs Winnell said. “Her infectious warmth and smile, her passion for her family and the respect she held from the entire breed is a testament to a wonderful lady. She was a true Matriarch of both her own and the Shorthorn family.” 

Margaret was well known across the industry. In particular for her involvement with the Dubbo National Sale team along with her husband Howard. For over 40 years she was an inspiration to many giving tirelessly of her time to support the industry. 

Jason Catts, Futurity Shorthorns, Baradine, first met Margaret in his teenage years. He remembers a remarkable woman who along with Howard achieved outstanding success with their stud. 

“Margaret was one of the most caring and compassionate people I’ve ever met,” Mr Catts said. “She was always in a supporting role. For the Dubbo Show and Sale they would have breakfast for the exhibitors, and also the purchasers. It was a hot breakfast and she would organise that as a courtesy gesture for everyone. She did that for years and years. She did a lot for the ladies committee and also for the youth club,” Mr Catts said. 

Mr Catts said Margaret was passionate about supporting the next generation of young cattle breeders. While, Margaret and Howard’s own children also grew up with the breed and their many grandchildren also became involved. 

“As their kids grew up and got out of the youth, it was only a few years later and there was 20 something Williams grandchildren all being part of the program,” Mr Catts recalled. 

With Margaret there was a real sense of the importance that she placed on family and friends. 

“She was dedicated to her family, friends and the Shorthorn breed,” Mr Catts said. 

“Her family is a tribute to her. Her daughters and her sons have really inherited a lot of her good qualities of being caring and compassionate and thinking of others. I think her legacy really will live on through her family,” Mr Catts said. 

While, long-time friend, of approximately 40 years, Gerald Spry, Spry’s Shorthorns, Wagga Wagga, also recognised the importance that Margaret placed on her family. 

“She was just rock solid with her family and a very kind person. Her children and grandchildren are great young people. They’re awesome and Howard is the same,” Mr Spry said. 

Margaret also impressed people with her positive attitude. 

“Marg always saw the positive side of things. She never saw the negative side of things. She had this magnificent nature. She appeared to be so easy going, nothing was ever a problem,” he said. 

Mr Spry and his wife Lynden regularly caught up with Margaret and her husband at the nationals in Dubbo. He recalls her passion for the breed and her wonderful support for the event. 

“When someone asked her to do something she’d do it. Even if she was flat out and she had other things to do Marg would drop everything and go and help. She was always at Dubbo with the ladies committee and cooking breakfasts and doing everything else around the place as much as she could,” Mr Spry said. 

Mr Spry said they had some “great memories” of times with Margaret and Howard including owning cattle together. 

“We had some cattle in partnership and that was a real success. We had a bull that we owned together that made $55,000 at Dubbo. That was probably one of the highlights to have a bull that made that much money. At the same time we probably sold about $100,000 worth of semen in the bull,” Mr Spry said. 

Mr and Mrs Spry and a couple of friends also enjoyed some wonderful experiences together with Margaret and Howard like the time they took a trip to South Australia to show cattle. 

“We had a trip to Adelaide and it was probably one of the funniest trips I’ve ever had. 

“Margaret was just a delightful person,” Mr Spry said. 

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About Shorthorn

The Shorthorn breed is truly unique, from their distinctive roan colour, to their rich breed history and most importantly, the wonderful community of breeders, there is nothing else quite like a Shorthorn.

The key to the Shorthorn breeds advantage lies in their balanced genetic profile, driven by market participation that has been developed and refined, after more than 200 years of genetic selection under Australian conditions.

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