Newmarket identity Frank Evans dies

Newmarket identity Frank Evans dies

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ON THE RAIL: Former Newmarket agent Frank Evans, who died recently, was a well-known and respected auctioneer and agent from 1949 to 1982. Photo supplied.

ON THE RAIL: Former Newmarket agent Frank Evans, who died recently, was a well-known and respected auctioneer and agent from 1949 to 1982. Photo supplied.

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Another link with the halcyon days of Newmarket has gone.

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Another champion of the halcyon days of the Newmarket saleyard has gone with the death of Frank Evans, aged 88.

Born at Echuca in 1931, Mr Evans began his agency career in 1949 with John McNamara & Co at Echuca and then at Newmarket before joining Jack Coghlan and Jimmy Matthews at Fisken Read in 1951 where he stayed until his retirement in 1982.

He was an energetic character who was blessed with a strong work ethic and fantastic memory of clients' livestock.

He was a highly regarded agency figure who traveled widely across central and northern Victoria and NSW, specialising in large-scale livestock accounts.

According to his own hand-written memoirs, Mr Evans recalled he sold his first beast at Newmarket in 1951 for the English family of Kerang, while his best day on the selling rail he auctioned 1660 cattle for Fisken Read out of a total yarding by agents of 2000.

He also recounted the strong business relationship he held with prominent parliamentarian and pastoralist, Sir Rupert Clarke, who owned Bolinda Vale, north of Melbourne, and had an interest in King Ranch Australia.

It was through this relationship with Sir Rupert that Mr Evans conducted the sale in 1979 of the then 1200-square kilometre Queensland property, Isis Downs near Ilfracombe, when it was sold to another of his good Riverina clients, Don Armstrong.

The Isis Downs sale, which was conducted on a walk-in/walk-out basis, also involved the sale of 260,000 sheep, 1050 cattle and 150 horses all completed at a value of $2 million.

Such was the extent of the territory that Mr Evans traveled, in 1977 he featured in several Ford Motor Company television commercials that promoted its "Fairlane" range of motor vehicles as reliable workhorses of which Mr Evans owned many over the years.

The task was both financially lucrative and bought him popularity.

Although frequently away from home three to four days a week, Mr Evans was able to establish his own farming enterprise in the Echuca-Moama districts that grew from an initial purchase in 1960 of 120 hectares to a present day operation of 2400ha - an outcome he had the utmost pride in.

Mr Evans is survived by his wife of 64 years Marion, their two sons Chris and Michael, their wives Janice and Jeanette and grandchildren, Oliver, Anna and Nick.

A funeral service celebrating the life of Frank Evans will be held 2pm, Tuesday, December 17 at the Christ Church Anglican, Echuca.

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