A sad farewell to Bill Coghlan
An excerpt from the Eulogy given by RASC Honorary Fellow Mr Philip Bruem AM at the funeral of Bill Coghlan on 4th August 2014 in Albury, NSW.
William Humphrey Coghlan (Bill) was born in Kensington, London on the 13th of December 1923 and passed away on the 27th July 2014.
As a pilot in Britain during WW 2, Bill flew many missions over Europe carrying parachuters and dropping supplies behind enemy lines. Bill spent several months following the war flying C-47 Dakotas over Europe bringing allied servicemen and prisoners of war back home to England.
In the years that followed the war, Bill worked on various stations in NSW until 1949 when he purchased 1000 acres near Griffith NSW, which he named Ingleden Park. Bill married his first wife Mavis that same year and he and Mavis had 4 children together – Tony, Ian, Gerardine and Ngaire.
Ingleden Park was a fairly bare block when first purchased by Bill and Mavis (just 4 paddocks) and during the first years the only horsepower they had were Clydesdale draught horses. In the decades that followed, Ingleden Park through hard work and determination, was developed into a show piece that excelled in the production of prime lambs, stud cattle and rice.
Bill loved his Red Poll cattle and his First Cross (Border Leicester/Merino) ewes and prime lambs as well as his sheep dogs.
Bill established Ingleden Red Poll stud in 1953 and developed it to become the preeminent Red Poll stud in Australia. At his first showing in Sydney with three stud animals and a steer the Ingleden stud cattle won Senior and Grand Champion bull and Junior and Senior Champion females. The steer placed third against all breeds on the hoof, and fourth against all breeds on the hook. In the following years the stud won many stud and steer championships, including champion steer carcase at Adelaide Royal.
The sheep were a great love and pride for Bill who won many champion carcases in competitions at Sydney Royal and elsewhere. Three carcases that Bill produced were selected to represent Australia at Smithfield in England, where they were placed third.
Mavis passed away in 1987 and Bill retired to Mollymook, NSW in 1994.
Always involved in agriculture, Bill was:
- President and Life Member of Griffith Agricultural Society
- Chairman and Life Member of the Agricultural Societies Council of New South Wales.
- President and Life Member of the Australian Red Poll Society
- President of Australian Registered Cattle Breeders Association.
- Chairman of the Council of Murrumbidgee College of Agriculture and on the Board of Orange Agricultural College.
- A councillor of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW from 1973. An Honorary Vice President and Honorary Life Councillor. Bill served on many committees , most notably as Chairman of the Cattle Committee.
- An Honorary Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth.
Through Bill’s active involvement with the RASC, he met Lindsay McLaren from Scotland who was a Councillor of the Royal Highland Show. Bill and Lindsay married in Scotland in 1990 on Bill’s 67th birthday.
Bill and Lindsay shared a very happy and fulfilling marriage with mutual interests in agriculture and Lindsay always by Bill’s side. They lived at Mollymook in NSW from 1994, travelled extensively, (particularly to the UK and to RASC conferences) and always maintained their interest in agriculture and the show movement.
Bill Coghlan gave meaning to the word “gentleman”. He leaves us loved by his extensive family and his many friends.