With the recent sad passing of Margaret, Friends of Mill Place chose to honour and remember both Marg & Toby with a star on the Ri-con Cooroy Christmas Tree this year.
“Cooroy and the community meant so much to Mum and Dad so it is a wonderful tribute to them to be memorialised on the tree,” said their son Andrew Brown.
Toby was born in Charleville and Margaret at Cooroy and they met at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in Brisbane where Margaret was a theatre nurse and Toby a wardsman. They shared a love of the country and as Cooroy was always close to Margaret’s heart, they moved to Cooroy in the early 70’s after the birth of their son Andrew. On moving to Cooroy, Toby took up real estate and Margaret worked at the Gympie and Cooroy Hospitals and local medical practices.
Both sides of Marg’s family, the Balls and Dukes, have a strong history within the Noosa Shire including James Duke being the first Chairman of the local Council and Margaret’s father Colin was also a councillor who served for 30 years.
Margaret and Toby adored living in Cooroy and became very well known around town enjoying many good friendships. Both Margaret and Toby were very involved with the Cooroy- Pomona Lions Club, the Cooroy scouts and the Noosa District Swimming Club in the early days. Margaret played a big part in gaining support for a second pool in the district that was eventually established in Tewantin.
Toby was a real character and local identity and was often described in the Cooroy Rag as the unofficial mayor of Cooroy. His real estate agency was more a meeting point for the oldies around town to have a cup of tea and catch up on the town’s news. Toby was involved with the Cooroy Memorial Hall and was instrumental in getting Cooroy a town clock. He was a great supporter of the local community and was also awarded an outstanding citizen award.
When Toby’s health deteriorated during the late 1990’s Marg was there to nurse him till the very end. This was of course an extremely hard period of her life but she coped so well and always maintained her inner strength while on the outside she kept up her trademark smile. After Toby’s passing, Marg kept up her community work with Pomona Meals on Wheels and until recently also helping out with Friends of Mill Place as well as judging in the Lions Youth of the Year Contest. She was thanked for her hard work by the community by being given various community honours.