Jim Salway, late of 'Mimosa Banks' Cobargo, passed away in Hillgrove House on October 18, 2020. His funeral service was held, between showers of rain, at the Cobargo Showground Cattle Ring - a piece of turf on which he had done many laps, exhibiting his much-loved Jerseys.
The only son of Brimmer (Cliff) and Thelma Salway, Jim (Alan Earnest) was a brother to Shirley (Benny - dec) and Marjorie (Proudfoot). He grew up on the family dairy farm, 'Glencraig', attending Cobargo Primary and then Bega High (boarding at the hostel in the late '50s), until he left school in third form. An accomplished athlete, he won the Senior Boy Champion at 15 years of age. On leaving school, he honed his craft in breeding and showing quality Jerseys and establishing himself as a young judge with a keen eye.
In 1966, he was a part of the Cobargo trio (including mate John 'Tuddy' Welsh and brother-in-law Barry Benny) to head to the Bega Roosters, when they won the grand final. The reunions of this team and Roosters presentation nights brought Jim much joy over the years.
He married Madge (Cochrane) in 1969 - 'Popular Show Couple Wed' the title of the Bega paper at the time, with Madge being a successful equestrienne. Madge and Jim spent the next 38 years dairying at 'Glencraig'. They had four children in the early '70s - Diana, Julie, Greg and Steven.
While dairy farming and fatherhood are both full-time gigs, he did love the other gig - pacing. His wonderful neighbour and mentor Clem Smith taught him much about horses and they enjoyed trips away to the trots and sales. Jim bred, raced and sold a few of his own pacers during the '70s and '80s. In his latter years, he was a regular at Sapphire Coast races, parking himself on the railing outside the members, where he could give cheek to anyone below.
Jim's successes in the cow ring were far too prolific to mention. Highlights however, include:
1997 - Melbourne Royal, his 5 heifers won all their classes culminating in him winning the Premier Exhibitor Award. One of these fine heifers went on to win the Champion Heifer at International Dairy Week (IDW), the largest dairy show in the Southern Hemisphere, in 1998 - completing Dairy's Triple Crown. Jim never cried, but he did on this stinking hot day in Tatura, Victoria.
2005 - Sydney Royal with 3 head, 23 ribbons including Champion & Reserve Champion Dairy Cow, triumphing with Supreme Dairy Cow with a perfect score of 5, when Jim's Glencraig Prince's Interest beat his friend, Rocky Allen's great Holstein cow, Alexandra. Jim and Rocky travelled together to Sydney this year, with every bovine on the truck winning a blue ribbon - a remarkable effort for little Cobargo.
2011 - Jim's heifer Glencraig Expo Mistletoe won three Champion classes - under 3 different judges. One judge Murray Souter saying she was "the best Jersey heifer I've seen."
Words from others who could not attend Jim's funeral due to Covid restrictions include:
"Jim was always held in high esteem in the Jersey world and there would not be many stud breeders of any breed in Australia, who did not know, or heard of him."
"There are not many breeders, if any, who can boast winning broad ribbons at all major shows."
"Jim had a natural ability to know what a good cow should look like and it was this ability why Jim was invited to judge at many shows."
In 2008, Jersey Australia presented him with the Distinguished Service Award for Jersey Breeding.
In 2014, the prestigious Lex Bunn Dairy Industry Award was presented to Jim at IDW. The first exhibitor from NSW to win the award, Jim would spend 14 hours travelling to the Goulburn Valley with a truck full of cows - often having local lads Brett Jessop, Thomas Pearce or Rocky Allen accompanying him. Jim's many fellow competitors and friends granted him this award in recognition of his unsurpassed and ongoing commitment to encouraging youth to become involved in dairying, exhibiting and the show movement and for his tremendous input to the 'Pedigree Dairy Industry'. Jim was the first Jersey breeder in NSW to use embryo transfer in the late '80s - a scientific marvel of the time.
In 2018 the Camden Showground Steward's shelter at the judging ring was named the 'Jim Salway Stand', in recognition of his success at, and contribution towards the NSW State Jersey Show over many years. In the late '90s, Jim purchased a few good Holsteins to add to his strong dairy herd - "a bit more milk in the Winter." He showed these cows successfully also.
His final awards were granted this year, when in March he received The Royal Agricultural Society and Agricultural Society Council for his 'substantial and selfless service to his local community and committed support for agricultural shows.'
Jim was a competitive man and while his achievements and awards were significant, gladly received and well-deserved, he remained a humble man. He enjoyed many close friendships, some spanning generations, was a giving neighbour and friendly local. Jim's health had troubled him for the greater part of 40 years and considering this, his tenacity in soldiering on was quite remarkable. He spent his last 12 months at Hillgrove House - beautifully cared for by the Earth angels that work there. 2020 was extremely difficult - the Cobargo fires, dementia, Covid...
Jim is survived by his family, wife Madge and children Diana and Matt, Julie, Greg and Louise, Steven and Donna. He was Jimpop to Zane, Saxon, Piper, Ava, Lily, Chase, Delilah & Joseph. He was endearingly called Jimpop by many.
A firm handshake, a beaming smile and trademark laugh, that was Jim.
Hardworking, generous, modest and loyal, that was Jim.
A man always ready and willing to help others, a trusted and honest friend, that was Jim.
Simple pleasures for a simple man - Madge, cows, his kids, shows and races, grandkids, a good laugh and a good feed, cash in his wallet and rain.
Jim Salway - always remembered, already missed.