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Sport & Events

5 April, 2022

Pony club farewells long loved caretakers

AFTER 15 years living on and taking care of the Mareeba Pony Club’s grounds, longstanding caretakers Geoff and Cheryl Bell have decided it’s time for a change, recently retiring from their positions.

By Rhys Thomas

Longtime Mareeba Pony Club caretakers Cheryl and Geoff Bell have finally released their duties after 15 years.

Initially working for a local building company, Mr Bell was suggested to fill the vacant position of caretaker at the Mareeba Pony Club, and after speaking with the late Cole Thompson, he agreed. 

Mr and Mrs Bell then relocated to the club and lived on site in their caravan for several years before building their own residence on the grounds. 

“Over a period of time we decided to expand from the caravan into a shed to put over the caravan, then later on we just got rid of the caravan and lived in the shed,” Mr Bell said. 

“We just love the outdoor life, my wife loves being outside she doesn’t like being stuck inside all the time – she just loved to get out on the mower and start mowing and doing this and doing that. 

“Our main job there was to keep the grass down, clean the toilets and so forth and keep the place generally clean. 

“Later down the track they expanded by putting in a sand arena which meant a lot more work for us of course, but I didn’t care – that’s what they want we have to step up to the plate and that’s it.” 

Mr Bell said he would always find something to do at the club every day to keep busy and soon, 15 years flew by. 

Mareeba Pony Club president Mark Bowe paid tribute to the long-standing caretakers and wished them luck on their next journey. 

“On behalf of the Mareeba and District Pony Club, we would like to give a big thank you to Geoff and Cheryl, our retiring caretakers,” he said. 

“It has been 15 years of dedicated service to our club and grounds – this is an important behind- the-scenes role and they have played a major part in ensuring safe and clean sports grounds for so many kids. 

“They will be sadly missed and leave behind big shoes to fill. We wish you all the best for your future and don't be stranger's – come in to say hello anytime.” 

Geoff and Cheryl are now hoping to get back involved with the Mareeba Rodeo, a passion they have held for many years but due to commitments at the pony club, were unable to volunteer.

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