Tim Clifford (1945 – 2008)


Fellow Primac Guru, Vic Perkins, reflects on his time working and socialising with Tim Clifford.

” A little known fact was Tim’s prowess in the kitchen. I for one can vouch for many a terrific feed knocked up by him on the many overnight stays I had in Kilcoy. Tim was the sort of person everyone wanted to know he just had that easy going and likable personality whereby he got along with everyone. I personally remember his greeting on catching up with him ‘how are you going matey”.

Vic’s story of his memories of Tim Clifford continues:

Tim’s long agency career started in Miles in 1963!

“Tim started his agency career at Miles with Australian Estates in 1963 or 64. He then decided to make the move to the private agency business of Copeland & Co. at Bollon from  1965 & 1966″.

1966 saw a move for Tim to Mactaggarts, forging a long association with a great Pastoral Agency!

“This was followed by a stint in Mactaggarts at Mitchell Branch from 1966 and 67, followed by a move to Surat Branch in 1967 and 1968. Tim then transferred to Brisbane office for the years 1968 and 1969. This was the nature of the agency business in those days where any enterprising young staff were often moved about to further their experience. Tim’s auctioneering career took off here under the guidance of Don Milligan who was Mactaggarts head auctioneer at Cannon Hill. Tim became well known and was highly regarded particularly to the cattle buying fraternity, many of whom would have known his father Con Clifford, who was also an ex Mactaggarts branch manager before moving into cattle buying  in the Burnett district”. 

Some photos of Mr Con Clifford given to Primac Gurus by Margie Clifford to Marg Barton at our 2021 reunion. (Facebook November 9 2021)

Time spent at Cannon Hill Saleyards proved his auctioneering excellence!

“Tim excelled as an auctioneer in Brisbane both at Cannon Hill where Mactaggarts were particularly strong in the cattle side, and also at Kilcoy Branch where he sold regularly. He was transferred there (Kilcoy) as manager from 1969 to 1972, after Mactaggarts took over the very successful business of Persehouse and Co. Tim built up a strong following, in both the Brisbane Valley and the Burnett areas, as well as the local Kilcoy district, with both producers and buyers. Tim, in the early stages prior to the takeover of Col Persehouse’s business operated from the company home in Kilcoy and his home also became a second home, to many of his clients who came and went at will”.

On the move, this time to Central Queensland!

“The next big move for Tim was to Rockhampton Branch from 1972 to 1976, then back to Mitchell as manager from 1976/77″.

Marriage and a family!

“Following Mitchell, Tim transferred to Hughenden Branch as manager from 1977 to 1979. Tim married Margaret in1978 and in time, with Margaret, became the proud father to two daughters Katie and Zoe.

This was followed by a transfer to Ipswich Branch from 1979 to 1980. While at Ipswich, Tim accompanied a consignment of Jersey cattle to Indonesia. Ipswich was followed by a move to Winton Branch as manager from 1980 to 1986, and then Roma Branch 1986/87.

Tim had a total of 21 years with both Mactaggarts and Primac. In recognition of his loyalty and dedication, he had the rare honour of being presented with a bronze sculpture done by the acclaimed Eddie Hackman on his departure”. 

A long career with Mactaggarts/Primac comes to an end, when a new challenge presents!

“Tim’s next move was to the McIver Corporation as logistics and public relations manager, and became a very valued member, due to his wide contacts with both cattle producers and meatworks operators. On the disbandment of that business Tim worked for Byrne Trailers, another household name in the cattle logistics business. Tim then moved on to Frasers Transport in a logistics, and a liaison role until his untimely passing”. 

Vic’s candidly described Tim Clifford as a workaholic!

“Tim would have to be described by anyone that knew him as a compulsive workaholic who never sat around waiting for something to happen. If he wasn’t on the phone talking to clients, he was chasing up buyers. As my time working with Tim was back in the Cannon Hill days, I cannot fill in a lot of gaps but at least was able to obtain his work history with the very much valued help of his wife Margaret Ann.

Some of the names of other staff both Mactaggarts and Primac who worked with Tim over the years included Ross Tucker, Bill Steer, Hughie Urquhart, Miss Sims,  John Moody,  Fred Morgan, Jim Gibbs, Col Palmblad, Graham Nicholson, Allan Leach, Mal Walker, Ross Keilar, Warwick Butler,  Trevor Weiden, Ian Lovegrove, Jim Salmon, Peter Cavanagh, Bruce Retschlag, Phil Myers, Daryl Crouch and Steve Burnett, some of whom unfortunately are no longer with us.

Anyone who has any further remarks in reference to Tim that they feel should be known feel free to pass it on to me as I said I can really only account for my days working with him back in the late 60’s early 70’s.”

Vic Perkins

Tim Clifford’s Biography has prompted some further quotes. Here’s a sample:

“Tim Clifford was one of the real characters in Mactaggarts and Primac who I was fortunate enough to know and work with. When I was a young inexperienced Branch manager of Kingaroy branch in the early 1970s I was at a branch managers conference in Brisbane and Tim was also in attendance as the new manager of Mitchell branch. Tim had first worked as a stock salesman in Mitchell under Ross Tucker in 1967 and Ross was followed by John Deane and then Stan Cook before Tim was transferred back to Mitchell as manager. Our General Manager, Jim Heading was in the middle of giving all the managers a training talk on how a branch manager should handle a client with a certain finance situation. Jim asked Tim how he would approach such a problem. Tim rose to his feet and quick as a flash he said. “ Mr Heading I would check with Miss Sims and take what action she recommended”. From my recall Jim Heading said “good call Tim as Miss Sims would always make the right decision “.

Jerry O’Sullivan. (Facebook 23 November 2022)

“Have fond memories of Tim when I spent a week with him and Marg in Winton when on my way from Quilpie to manage Mt Isa. They were great hosts and could not do enough for us while we waited for the river to go down. Tim was a salt of the earth bloke dedicated agent and fiercely loyal to the Company. He was also one of the funniest blokes I’ve knower – he would keep every one laughing at boring mag conferences! Was a pleasure to catch up with Margie at the reunion. Cheers Scott”

Scott Lusby: (Facebook 23 November 2022)

“I was in Alpha when Tim was at Winton and in Mitchell when he was at Roma. He was an enormous help to me at Mitchell. He was a walking encyclopaedia of “what to do / not do” in every agent situation”.

David Morgan: (Facebook 23 November 2022)

“A champion bloke. – how good is it to read about his achievements and to have a record of this great Guru put together by other Gurus. Thanks everyone for your efforts.”

Richard Handley: (Facebook 23 November 2022)

“Yes Vic my association with Tim was at Kilcoy when I was in Kingaroy & Murgon in the late ‘60s & early’70s 😊 Had a great friendship with him & named our first born after him Tim Dixon now 51 😊 I well remember the house he lived in with the office at the front in Mary Street on the left on the way into Kilcoy from the west 😊 Kept in touch with him at Winton but then lost contact 😊 I do remember Tim joining Fraser’s Transport as operations manager I think after his Winton days 😊

Barry Dixon: (Facebook 7 November 2022)

“I took over from Tim at Kilcoy in a sort of a fashion. At the time I was at Cannon Hill, Tim was transferred I think to Rocky in 1972 (I not sure exactly) and Doug Mactaggart sent me to Kilcoy until they found someone as I was only 20 or so.

First the was David? for a short time, the me again, then Corrie Luxmore short time, them me then Hartly Lennod short time. Doug Mactaggart called me in after Hartly left as all the chopping and changed was not a stable situation at Kilcoy. His words were something like this “Cameron I am sick of sending you to Kilcoy. You better go there permanently.” Tim had a offsider or outsiders, John L Sullivan and Bruce Brown. Unfortunately it was me and Gail Smith nee Richter. Without her assistance it would have been tough.

My welcome to Kilcoy on my first occasion was something to remember. Tim had this magic smile and great laugh. He was a chick magnet, this caused a bit of trouble. Say no more, I walked into the bottom Hotel on my first day and a local approached me and said you are the new Mactaggarts bloke, p— off your not welcome here. I did not know what I had done but I was to learn there was a story behind this welcome. I was playing A grade football in Brisbane at the time so I was pretty fit. I ignore him and his mate. So I took my drink with everyone looking at me as they knew me welcoming committee had a reputation. Next think he drives his heal into the top of my foot, no better invitation to clear the air. Within a few months he and I became good friends, but that night I was Tim’s elected punching bag, or proposed punching bag”.

Glen Cameron: (Facebook 7 November 2022)

Margaret Clifford makes a presentation to the Miles Primac Gurus exhibit!

On Sunday the 29th October 2023, Tim’s wife Margaret Clifford, together with her daughter Katie, met at the Miles Historical Village Museum, to make a very personal presentation to the “growing” Primac Gurus exhibit.

In Tim’s memory, Margaret and her family, presented to the delegates of the Primac Gurus committee, a beautiful bronze casting, depicting a Santa Gertrudis Bull and his handler. The statue, was presented to Tim Clifford, in Roma, on the 18th September 1987. Tim was leaving Primac, to commence a new opportunity with McIver’s Transport. The ceremony was to recognise his 21 years of continued employment with Primac Limited, having commenced at Mactaggarts Mitchell on the 9th March 1966.

Primac’s Regional Manager, Norm Jenner accompanied by his executive assistant Zelda Black, travelled from Toowoomba to make the presentation. Margie Clifford recalls the Primac Roma staff gathered at the residence of Warwick Butler, they then had to lure Tim along under some false pretence, as Margie recalled ” Tim desperately tried to avoid the limelight, especially when the focus was on him.”

That aside the presentation was made, and Tim secretly appreciated the acknowledgement, recognising his long career with Primac.

On behalf of Primac Gurus, we thank Margaret Clifford for her generous contribution.

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