As you approach Jambin which is 30klms north of Biloela in central Queensland you will notice a sign for the Jambin Hotel/Motel where you can stop for a refreshing stopover. Owners Sue and Peter Wilkie and their staff will make you feel especially welcome and comfortable if staying overnight or if you are just calling in for a cold drink.
At the front of the Hotel is a blackboard where Sue and Peter each day write the names of residents who are celebrating a special occasion. Such as a birthday, the arrival of a baby, an engagement, weddings or other similar events! It is their unique way of connecting with and showing that they care about their community.
Residing on their property ‘Boon Boon’, which is an ancient Aboriginal name for ‘many birds’ they live not far from Jambin. Five years ago Sue and Peter wanted to diversify and expand on their farming practice during a lengthy spell of drought so purchased the Hotel/Motel.
Peter graphically describes life on the picturesque ‘Boon Boon’ as being a combination of lovely rugged range views, an old forest which opens up to softwood scrub and cultivated land. “It’s a great lifestyle here”!
Exporting 1300 tonne of wheat and up to 220 tonne of mung beans in a good year, Peter in addition takes on contract and share farming in the district. He describes this as, “it’s outside work which puts the cream on the top! But it sure is a busy schedule and there are no long weekends or days off”!
Peter is adamant that a John Deere 4710 Sprayer makes for easy farming. He explains why, “The rig allows me to spray 300 acres in a morning. Before it would take me days to cover the same area”! Then he went on to describe other equipment, “Our 7 month old 8335R tractor is just beautiful! My son loves it! The GPS is so easy to operate. In fact it has modernised farming for me”.
Sue his wife paints another picture altogether of Peter’s intense love for the 8335R. Laughing she said, “The only thing missing in it is a television. Otherwise he would live in it”.
Ownership of “Boon Boon’ has existed now for three generations in the Wilkie family as an unbroken chain! And it would appear that Peter and Sue’s three children are intent on maintaining the tradition as all are hoping to be involved in some way in the future once they have finished their studies.
Wrapping up our talk with a comment on the Vanderfield Biloela branch Peter added, “All the blokes there are good”!
Be sure to make a point of dropping into the Jambin Hotel/Motel and say ‘gidday’ if you are ever going that way and you will be sure to receive and experience real country hospitality.