When Max McCormack was looking for something to keep him busy after he retired a role as secretary of Jersey Australia’s Tasmanian branch proved just the job.
Now after more than two decades in the role, 89-year-old Mr McCormack has officially retired.
Mr McCormack has been secretary for 24 years and said it is the people that he will miss the most. “I’ve really enjoyed working with the people, they’re really good people,” he said. When Mr McCormack started the job, he did not know anything about dairy farming or Jerseys.
“I’ve listened to people talk about Jerseys a lot over the years,” he said.
The branch recently hosted a farewell dinner where Mr McCormack was presented with a distinguished services award for his 24-year contribution. In nearly 100 years, the Tasmanian Jersey branch has had only five secretaries. Mr McCormack took over from another long-serving secretary, Harold Hawkes, who recommended him for the job.At the time, Harold was president of the Devonport Trotting Club and Mr McCormack was secretary. “Harold was leaving so he suggested I might take it over,” Mr McCormack said. “I grew up on a mixed farm, but it wasn’t dairy. I probably milked one of the house cows when I was in primary school, that was my only connection with dairying.”
Mr McCormack soon grew to love everything about the industry, especially the farmers.“I came to enjoy the secretarial work and particularly the people involved in dairy,” he said.
Mr McCormack was secretary of the trotting club for 32 years and also the Tasmanian Holstein society for eight years. He was also a Devonport North Rotary Club member for 39 years, including roles as president and treasurer.
“When you get involved with those sorts of jobs, no-one wants to take over,” he said.
Mr McCormack was known to go above and beyond normal expectations for the Jersey branch.
“In the earlier days there was more to do because all the registrations came through the state secretary,”he said.
“Later on, when it became computerised, it all went straight to Jersey Australia so that changed. Every year we organised a local on-farm challenge as part of the Great Southern Challenge and that took a bit of work.”
Mr McCormack also played a major role when the branch hosted the national conference in 2014.Although still in good health, Mr McCormack said he felt it was time to retire. “It comes to a stage when it’s time for someone younger to take it on,” he said. “It has been a terrific interest for myself and my wife Peg, who loves coming along to the events and dinners.
”While retiring from the secretarial work, Mr McCormack hopes to keep in touch with the branch.
“They’ve already said that if the conference comes to Tasmania next year, they might be able to use me alittle bit,” he said.
Treasurer Geoff Heazlewood said Mr McCormack was a very well-respected administrator in his previous work and in his role with the Jersey club.
“He came recommended to us by Harold and he has been an excellent secretary,” Mr Heazlewood said.
“He was particularly good on correspondence and was very committed to doing the job.
”It is expected one of the state committee members will now take on the secretarial role.