A GOOD bloke and great auctioneer has been lost to Australian agriculture with the passing of former Elders stock agent Gary Nowlan in Adelaide last Saturday.
Elders national livestock manager Chris Howie said Mr Nowlan retired in 2008 after serving 49 years and seven months with Goldsborough and Elders in South Australia.
Mr Nowlan started with Goldsbrough Mort in Balaklava as a junior clerk in 1959 with transfers covering Riverton, Eudunda, Murray Bridge, Pinnaroo, Tailem Bend, Burra, Mt Pleasant, Strathalbyn, Willunga and Loxton. In 1965, he was promoted to salesman at Yorketown. He then worked at Jamestown, Wentworth and Millicent. Mr Nowlan became the Lameroo branch manager in 1972 and then managed the Meningie branch.
Mr Howie said Mr Nowlan then moved into the Elders Store Stock department as the store sheep manager for 10 years and finally to Roseworthy until his retirement.
“Gary made an impact wherever he went with his positive, infectious enthusiasm towards everything that he did – always with a smile and always the gentlemen.
“It is always difficult to compare stock agents and auctioneers, but those that have covered a lot of different yards across Australia put Gary Nowlan as one of the best store sheep auctioneers seen.
“His clients were very loyal and his relationship with the buying fraternity was excellent.”
Mr Howie said much has changed and it was a different world of droughts with 10-30 cents being paid for old ewes, no mobile phones, rail and small trucks during Mr Nowlan’s career.
In a 2009 interview, Mr Nowlan, described his attitude to tough times when sheep prices were at a low point, to Stock Journal reporter Alisha Fogden:
“Many quote the 1983 drought, but at least then they were getting a bid.
“You try and sell 40,000 sheep when no-one wants them. But you just had to keep on smiling.”
Mr Howie described Mr Nowlan as a good bloke and an excellent auctioneer, “and when things were tough in the sheep job Gary helped all of us find a home for them.”
In 1984, Mr Nowlan helped pioneer the livestock video auction sales with Elders Pastoral.
“During the 90’s his involvement with auctioneer training schools remains a legacy today for many senior agents in South Australia.
“He would tell the young blokes – look the part, stand up straight, use your hands, be in command and above all else …smile……enthusiasm, urgency and energy,” Mr Howie said.
Mr Nowlan passed away in Calvary Hospital on March 25, 2017, aged 75 years. He was the dearly loved and devoted husband of Margaret of 50 years.
The family and friends of Mr Nowlan are advised that his funeral mass will be held at St. Paul of the Cross (The Monastery), 15 Cross Road, Urrbrae, on Monday, April 3, 2017, commencing at 2pm. There will be a private cremation. In lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Gary may be forwarded to The Legacy Club of Adelaide. Envelopes will be available at the church.