Community farewells one-of-a-kind inventor, farmer and dad
THE community of Allora lost a living legend when Ian 'Kookie' Tickle, aged 78, passed away a fortnight ago.
Born and bred in the Allora region, Kookie attended Talgai West State School where he was gifted the nickname that would stick with him for a lifetime, although no-one, including wife Nola or daughter Stephanie, knew how it came to be.
"He was like that - an absolute enigma, one of a kind," Stephanie said.
"He was certainly no chef that's for sure."
Kookie went on to study at the Gatton Agricultural College but could never leave for long, returning to rear beef cattle and always reaching out a helping hand to those in the community around him.
"I think he was an extrovert who just enjoyed company of other people," Stephanie said.
"He had a strong desire to help people if they needed something."
Indeed, it was through his devotion to the local agricultural community that a lasting legacy was cemented.
Over the years, Kookie became a member of the Rotary Club and life member of Rural Youth Organisation Queensland (then called the Queensland Junior Farmers Organisation), Apex Club and the Allora Show Society.
Most notably, he was the Allora Show's field steward for 45 years.
Show president Mark Pillar said he and many others were already "saddened" to think of a an Allora Heritage Weekend without Kookie's iconic cow display or contribution.
"He was just an absolute character," Mr Pillar said.
His spark of ingenuity and resilience, whether it was through building a sprayer on his tractor to poison fence-line weeds or creating a nut cracker that could easily take off the fingers of his grandchildren, is one that Stephanie hopes to carry on.
"In another life, he could have been an engineer," she said.
"We were taught the value of hard work, not wasting anything and what is probably now recognised as a more sustainable way of life.
"From my father I take those values of austerity, community and inventiveness along with the belief in the maverick - to be an agent of change and to inspire an alternative perspective."
Kookie passed away in the Toowoomba Hospital on May 29, following health complications caused by his longtime battle with leukaemia.
He is survived by his wife Nola, their five children and nine grandchildren.