Meet a shining diamond in our community, from her dedication to service club, Lions Australia to the operation of Killiecrankie Enterprises where Margaret and her husband Alan Wheatley have been selling Finders Island Topaz and more for over 40 years, to delivering mail to the Northern end of the island as she finishes her weekdays. This local can be seen on the streets counting her feet. Margaret has been using her pedometer to reach a daily goal of 10,000 steps keeping her fit and at her best! Often with her trusty companion, Freddo the dog and a camera swung around her neck snapping photos of what the island does best – Mother Nature. Meet Margaret Wheatley!
What brought you to Flinders Island or have you always lived here?
The place chose me – I was born here. My father came here in 1918 with his family when he was 9 and my mother came in 1935 when she was 5. (Dad was 20 years older than mum)
Which part of the island do you love and what is its appeal?
I love the whole island but Emita & Killiecrankie have special appeal – so serene & the colours are always changing (I’m not big on wind though)
Which pastimes or hobbies keep you busy?
I’m semi-retired – I work 5 ½ days a week instead of the 7 I did for over 30 years. The other day and half are usually taken up with photography, painting, reading & gardening. I also like to go for walks. I’m really lucky that Alan does our housework so I don’t have to spend my weekends catching up.
If you could paint a picture of Flinders Island where would you set up your easel?
Killiecrankie – an extra wide canvas so that I could start where the sea meets the sky and also have the rugged rocky coastline, beach, boats, bush, mountain, eagles & other birds, wombats and wallabies, and the farmland just before sunset – the whole place in one picture.
In the whole wide world – who inspires you?
All my grandchildren – They understand so much more than I did when I was their age!
What local food would you cook for a dinner party
I would need at least 7 courses
i. Silver trevally sashimi (using light soy sauce and local wasabi)
ii. Wallaby tail soup
iii. Australian salmon patties – with herbs out of my garden
iv. Fettucine & meatballs made with wallaby mince & tomatoes & herbs out of my garden
v. Barbecued crayfish with garlic butter sauce (Brymworth garlic of course) & Lettuce Lady garden salad
vi. Roast Leg of Lamb with Bellinger potatoes and vegies out of my garden and Brymworth garlic
vii. Fresh strawberries out of my garden
All served with lashings of Straitwater & Unavale wine
How do you spend your holidays on Flinders Island?
I’m self-employed – what’s a holiday?
Last book, TV or movie you enjoyed
The last book I read is “The Apricot Colonel” by Marion Halligan – It’s an easy relaxing read with an interesting twist at the end.
What would be a positive thing to have happen for the island’s future
Several low impact environmentally friendly developments that would give us extra residents. Then all the businesses would be more viable and would be able to employ more people. I’m thinking low volume high value (value added) farm products like herbs – fresh & dried. Also, tourism related products- things for people to do as well as places for them to stay.
What is your favourite quotation or saying?
I tend to use a lot of quotes that start with “My mum used to say…..”
X Sammi & Megan