MOVING ON: IRIS and Leo Winkler are selling up and moving into town after more than 50 years on their picturesque property at Lake Atkinson.
MOVING ON: IRIS and Leo Winkler are selling up and moving into town after more than 50 years on their picturesque property at Lake Atkinson.

The Winklers reflect on golden era

THERE comes a time in everyone's life when you have to move on.

For Leo and Iris Winkler, who have lived on their picturesque block of land for more than 50 years, they have finally decided to move closer into town and retire.

Since 1950, they have lived on the edge of Lake Atkinson but crop farmer, Leo, is now 83-years-old and he says time has finally caught up with him.

Originally from Stanthorpe, Leo came to the Coominya area to take his produce further, by growing and harvesting everything from grapes, tomatoes and stone fruit to soybeans and lucerne over the years.

“The attraction was the soil and we came to Coominya because it was known for early grapes in the 1940s,” Leo said.

He also had a hand in dairy farming until the mid-1970s but gave it away after they couldn't grow enough food for their cattle.

“We also had a large vineyard until a series of severe hailstorms made things difficult to keep going with that crop,” Leo said.

He said a few years later, heavy frosts ruined their chances for the increased production of table grapes.

“The old vineyard was removed and we got a new one in 1984 that was quite a lot smaller.”

The Winklers reminisced about the pickers they had working with them over the years.

“We used to have all sorts of workers here,” Iris said.

Leo remembered one picker who would talk too much and sometimes get sidetracked from the job at hand.

“He would cut grapes that were too green and then try and hide them, but when the breeze came along they would fall out of the bush,” he laughed.

During this time of working the rich soils of the area, Leo and his wife have accumulated quite a bit of farming memorabilia.

The property has been sold but now they are preparing for the auction of the collectibles on March 12, but first there is an inspection on March 11.

“The Lutheran Church of Lowood is kindly donating their time and resources to cater at the auction,” Iris said.

One of the items for auction is a prized 1927 Dodge utility, which will require some tender-loving care when it finds a new home.

He said there will be a few tears when they move into their new home because of the memories attached to the place.

“I don't think it will worry me to walk out but my wife was upset when all the cattle left. It is the end of an era,” he said.

“We know the community and we are staying in the area.”

The Lake Atkinson property was originally 400 acres before the dam was built and then it was downsized to about 300.

Ray Bachmann of Ray Bachmann Real Estate said they are proud to be the vendors of the home and also to be involved in the auction of the historic collectibles in conjunction with Shepherdson and Boyd.

“Thanks to Leo and Iris for the opportunity to sell their lovely home and run the auction,” Mr Bachmann said.

Some of the collectibles include fertiliser spreaders, mulchers, a grain bin, outdoor furniture, drills, storage cases, motorbikes and more.

For more information contact Ray Bachmann on 5465 1493.


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