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A large crowd gathered at Barry Watts Oval in Maclean on Monday afternoon, to farewell Maclean Bobcats Senior Vice-President, John Allen, who passed away suddenly on 5 February. Image: Lynne Mowbray

Maclean farewells Bobcats stalwart

Lynne Mowbray |

The Maclean community came together on Monday afternoon to farewell the popular local businessman and Maclean Bobcats Senior Vice-President, John Allen, who passed away suddenly on February 5.

John’s niece (and unofficial daughter) Kylie Wilson presented the eulogy at the service on behalf of their family and thanked the community for coming together to celebrate John’s life.

“John Donald Allen was known by a few names, JB, Barron, dad, grandad and other names I would prefer not to mention,” Kylie said.

“John was born on 31st July 1957 in the Southport Hospital; the eldest of four children.

He went to school on the Gold Coast, before finishing up at Miami High at the age of 14. John began working in one of the six family butcher shops on the Gold Coast; this is where his butchering career began.

In 1977 the family sold up and moved to Nambour. John continued to work for his father in the butcher shop until Don lived his dream and purchased an Abattoir in Stanthorpe.  John worked in Stanthorpe for roughly seven years and met some great friends. 

Eventually John returned to the Sunshine Coast where he continued working and managing butcher shops, mainly with Doug’s Family Meats at the Big Top Maroochydore. This is where he met the love of his life Joy and her son Shannon. 

Within six months of meeting Joy, the couple were married in1992 on the sunshine coast. 

Not long after, the newlyweds moved back to Stanthorpe for John to continue in the family abattoir business, Don Allen & Co.

He worked on the kill floor and in the office as head salesman.

At  that time John was president of Queensland Country Meat Processors for a number of years and was instrumental in starting a ‘Young Guns’ programme for young workers around the state of Queensland, to increase their managerial skills and leadership qualities.

John and Joy raised their family with Shannon, their two amazing boys Mackenzie, Ryley and myself (Kylie), in Stanthorpe.

As the boys got older, their love for soccer grew and John became heavily involved in the sport.

In 2007 after the passing of both of John’s parents, the family business was sold and John and Joy decided to make the move to Maclean where they purchased Maclean Variety Meats

John took great pride in all his products, entering in the sausage king competition every year and winning an award of some description.  The new smokehouse was a venture that brought him immense satisfaction and his Christmas hams were being greatly sort after.

Throughout the 11 years at Maclean Variety Meats, John and the boys enjoyed their soccer with John continuing his involvement by coaching.  This involvement increased to positions on the board of the Maclean Bobcats and a Vice-President role.

Sponsorship of the Bobcats was a major focus for John, as was helping any committee, organisations or junior sporting club within the Clarence Valley, from Nippers (which he was a member in his younger days at the Gold Coast) to netball players and even orchid clubs.  He could be relied upon to sponsor or donate to their causes as he had a big heart – willing to help at the drop of a hat.

John’s role within the Maclean Bobcats also included being a delegate at North Coast Football’s meetings and a delegate for the Sports Council.  He liaised with any sporting groups on behalf of the club.

John was instrumental in negotiating funding for Barry Watts Oval for lighting and drainage through Federal Government Grants.

At every game, John would be at the BBQ cooking up a storm before heading to the coach’s bench.

He was well known for his firm coaching and fierce speeches at half time.  Coffs Harbour players knew to look out for the Maclean fellow in the Akubra.  John’s end of match speeches that were held at the Maclean Bowling Club, were highly anticipated for his humour and inappropriateness.

His love for the Bobcats and his Maclean Variety Meats was evident in all he undertook.

John’s cheekiness and clever wit will be greatly missed.”