Knowing he is terminally ill with cancer, retired stock and station agent and resident in the Boorowa district since 1988, Graham Simmonds has made one last gesture of generosity while he is physically able.
His body may be broken: but his mind is sharp and his spirit of unselfishness has no known boundaries and he has made one final call in appreciation of the support he and his wife Julie have received from the volunteers associated with the Young branch of CanAssist.
Now ravaged by the illness and barely able to stand, Graham was on hand at the Boorowa Show with Julie to take a final look at one of his steers being prepared for the Sydney Royal led steer classes by students at Murrumburah High School.
The autumn-2017 drop steer was born of one of Mr Simmonds’ Angus cows and sired by a Sprys Shorthorn bull named ‘The Detonator’, owned by Chris Corcoran, a close friend of the Simmonds’.
When the blue roan steer was marked, Mr Corcoran suggested to his friend perhaps he should enter it for the 2018 Sydney Royal and have the Murrumburah High School prepare it for him.
Mr Corcoran’s wife Ingrid is a teacher at that school, and impressed by the program led by agricultural teacher Jan Young, she introduced Graham and Julie Simmonds to Mrs Young who has had tremendous success preparing steers for sale for the Victor Chang Heart Foundation.
“Graham was immediately receptive, and said what a great idea,” Chris Corcoran said.
Mr Simmonds will donate his share of the proceeds of the sale of the steer at the Sydney Royal to the Young branch of CanAssist, and Mrs Young has indicated her students will forgo the cost of feeding and preparing the steer and donate their share to CanAssist.
“Graham is hopeful the steer will attract a good price in Sydney,” Mr Corcoran said.
“He knows he wont be able to get to Sydney to see it sold, but at least he has seen the steer through it’s preparation.
“Maybe he will live long enough to be able to present the money to CanAssist.”