SPECIAL DAY: Pat and Rita Rowlands admire the hitching rail named in Pat's honour.
SPECIAL DAY: Pat and Rita Rowlands admire the hitching rail named in Pat's honour. Ruth Jones

Community celebrates Pat

LOCAL and much loved member of the Central Queensland community Pat Rowlands has been honoured at his 90th birthday party in Rolleston this month.

Born in 1927, Patrick Ivan Rowlands was the fifth child in a family of seven.

His parents instilled in him, as a young child, the admirable qualities of honesty and hard-work which have stayed with him all his life.

He grew up in a small town called Jimna, located 50km west of Nambour, Queensland, and attended the one-teacher school there.

Pat's sister Joan Doo, said Pat had a "particular disinterest in school.”

"And all the more so when a timer truck or bullock team came past the school to go to the local timber mill,” she said.

With a passion for horses, Pat got his first job after he finished school at Yabba station, Jimna.

It was after his time at Yabba, he made the move to central west Queensland

He started working as a young ringer in the Central Highlands, working at Planet Downs, Rolleston for a time.

On boxing day 1955, Pat married Rita Collins in Yeppoon.

The pair have lived and worked on various stations in the area ever since.

They have two daughters, Claire who lives in Newcastle and Jill in Mackay.

Their granddaughter Bree lives in Townsville with her son, Isiah.

In the early 80s Pat and Rita settled at Mira station, Rolleston, working for the Edwards family.

Mira was sold to Ron and Diane Pullen from Nebo and Pat and Rita stayed on as caretakers.

Rolleston local, Ruth Jones said Pat and Rita have always taken a "genuine interest in the younger generation.”

"The kids love the stories that Pat often tells about his days working and travelling around the area,” she said.

"He still occasionally helps muster on the same horse he has ridden for the last 20 years.”

On March 19 friends and relatives gathered in Beazley Park, Rolleston to celebrate the milestone.

The Pat Rowlands Hitching Rail was erected in his honour.

Joan who now lives at Golden Beach, spoke at the event sharing Pat's life story with the community.

"Although Pat and I are separated geographically, he has always been the big brother I have looked up to,” she said.

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