Douglas Campbell Mactaggart (M.B.E.) (1926 -2004)

Doug Mactaggart was a well respected identity within the Queensland, and indeed Australian pastoral industry. Through his long 43 year association with his family company, he was well regarded by his family, friends, his staff and clients alike.

A quote from Doug Mactaggart’s biography, as written by his sister Elaine Hart, sums up much of Doug’s attitude to life. Doug was quoted as often saying “if everyone was more humble, if they did not think they had better jobs than everyone else, then it would be a far better world”.

Doug’s sister Elaine Hart reflects on the life of Douglas Campbell Mactaggart

Son of Dan Eric Mactaggart and Maise Elizabeth Eileen Rylance

Grandson of Daniel Mactaggart

There were two of us in the family, he was four years older than me, his sister, Elaine. Growing up he was always the leader in any event. He was my hero and the best brother anyone could wish for.

He attended first the Ascot State School in Brisbane, where he was a member of the school band playing the trombone. In fact music was in his bones and he could play any instrument he picked up including the bagpipes, piano, mouth organ, etc. He went to “Churchie” Church of England Grammar School.

After leaving school, he worked in our father’s company, Mactaggarts Primary Producers Cooperative Association, first as an office boy, then stock salesman, stock department manager, and branch manager in a number of branches around Queensland. Also, for eleven years, he was the chief auctioneer in wool, fat, store and stud cattle, blood horses, hides, skins and properties.

My father Eric Mactaggart was the Managing Director of the company at the time. During his time around Queensland he really got to know the people of the outback. He slept in drover’s camps, and mixed with men from all walks of life. Life had taught him a lot, especially the worth of other people. He had been quoted as saying “if everyone was more humble if they did not think they had better jobs than everyone else, then it would be a far better world”.

In the Second World War, Doug trained in Victoria in the Royal Australian Air Force as a wireless/air gunner, but the war ended before he was called for active service.

During the Christmas holidays Doug was an active member of the Mooloolaba Surf Lifesaving Club.

Newspaper clipping: Courier Mail 28/12/948

He married Glen McPhie in 1953, they had three children, Mandy, Robert, and Catherine. Their home in Brisbane was in Kenmore.

After my father died in 1956, Doug was elevated to the Managing Director position whilst in his early thirties. He guided the company turnover from $8.7 million to a mid -1970’s peak of $53 million and shareholder numbers had grown from 2003 to more than 11,000. Mactaggarts had gone a long way in 123 years and Doug Mactaggart had played a very large role in that expansion.

During his lifetime the pastoral companies saw many changes, and Mactaggarts was no exception. It amalgamated with another company Primaries to become Primac. Then it was bought by a firm called Elders.

Douglas unsuccessfully ran for the seat of Ryan representing the National Country Party in the 1975 Federal Election, despite attracting 20.8% of the vote in a safe Liberal electorate.

My brother Douglas retired early in 1985, at the age of 59, after 43 years with the company. In 1986, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for “voluntary service and service to rural industry”.

Newspaper clipping: “Family’s 100 years of rural service ends”

Looking back on his life I am sure that many people will agree with me when I say “not many Queenslanders will forget such a man, with such a dramatic personality as was Douglas Campbell Mactaggart

He died in 2004 and is sorely missed by family and friends”.

Elaine Hart (September 2022)

The Western Suburbs Advertiser ran with the headlines “Man on the go in Ryan”

Douglas Mactaggart has a shot at Federal Parliament

The year was 1975. Doug stood for the seat of Ryan in the Federal Election. He stood by his strong community and rural beliefs and represented the National Party. He secured a worthy 20.8% of the vote in the safe Liberal electorate.

Posted in : Primac Gurus