CHAMPION OF DALBY: Jim Buckley has been a great leader in our community for a long time.
CHAMPION OF DALBY: Jim Buckley has been a great leader in our community for a long time. Sam Flanagan

Jim Buckley devoted to community

IN A world which seems increasingly short on time, few have given up more of their own than Jim Buckley.

The 83-year-old has been a pillar of our community for more than 50 years, so the Dalby Herald thought it would be nice to take a walk down memory lane with Jim.

Born in Dalby on November 3, 1934, Jim was one of five children and attended St Columba's School.

"I enjoyed my schooling and my football and soccer, as most kids do,” Jim said.

His whole family had a deep passion for music, which he shared. In his youth Jim mastered the tenor horn, cornet, trombone and clarinet.

Due to his father suffering heart problems, Jim finished school when he was 14 so he could work and support the family.

"I got a job in a hardware store and enjoyed it,” he said.

"I was only there for about two years re-stocking the shelves, ticket writing and doing window displays.

"Before I knew where I was, they appointed me as manager... I had senior men underneath me who probably resented this young bugger coming on.”

Jim ended up staying at Downs Hardware for almost 10 years.

Jim married his wife Shirley in 1957 and had one son Nicholas, who is married to wife Michelle and they have two children, Zoe and Jessica.

Following a job selling hardware right across southwest Queensland, Jim returned to Dalby and got a job at Dick Lynam's sports store.

Dick wanted to get into hardware and knew Jim was the man for the job.

Jim created a hardware store beside the sports store and managed it for a number of years before it was bought out by IBC.

"They looked at us and said 'hey, this is what we want in the country'. So they came along and started waving dollars.”

Jim handled the handover and stocktake before Dunlop bought out IBC.

He stayed on as manager and, along with the hardware business, was tasked with managing Dunlop Tyre Service and Olympic Tyre Service

"Even though I said I knew nothing about tyres, they said 'that's the job, so you do it'.

"I ended up doing the books for the Miles, Chinchilla and Roma branches as well. I was a busy boy, I can tell you.”

Jim ended up buying out the hardware component of the business and called it Buckley's Paint and Hardware before it joined the Home Hardware group.

Jim initially retired in 1986 but that didn't last long.

"I was sitting around for three months and I was going bloody mad... Peter Butters called me and said 'come and give me a hand'.”

That "hand” at Butters Warehouse ended up lasting 18 years.

Jim has been extremely active in community groups since joining Rotary in 1970, where he served as president on three occasions.

Through the club, he ran the Australia Day breakfast in the park, trailer raffle and the bar at the Rotary rodeo.

One of Jim's proudest achievements as a Rotarian was being involved in building Ningana from the money the group raised from the rodeo.

"We were able to achieve a lot because we had a lot of good people on the committee,” he said.

Jim is still involved with Rotary, as well as the Men's Shed.

He and Shirley have been influential in the develop- ment of Ningana where they have served as both volunteers and management board members.

Jim is currently the vice-president.

Construction of the chapel at Ningana also ranks highly in Jim's achievements.

Jim and Shirley were awarded 2011 Citizen of the Year by the Western Downs Regional Council.

The devoted volunteer has just been re-elected for his fourth term as president of Dalby Meals on Wheels and is excited by the challenge.

"I'm working closely with our local member and council to get some things together.

"I'm not saying we're not doing well, but there's always room for improvement.

"If you stand still, it will slide past you.”

Jim certainly hasn't made a habit of standing still.

Construction of the chapel at Ningana also ranks highly in Jim's achievements.

Jim and Shirley were awarded 2011 Citizen of the Year by the Western Downs Regional Council.

The devoted volunteer has just been re-elected for his fourth term as president of Dalby Meals on Wheels and is excited by the challenge.

"I'm working closely with our local member and council to get some things together.

"I'm not saying we're not doing well, but there's always room for improvement.

"If you stand still, it will slide past you.”

Jim certainly hasn't made a habit of standing still.


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