‘Prankster’ became community stalwart

Daneka HillNorth West Telegraph
Calum as a young man
Camera IconCalum as a young man

Valued Marble Bar resident Calum MacIver has died three months after retiring from his job as landscaper of the community gardens.

Praised as the reason the Pilbara town stands as an oasis in the harsh country, the 71-year-old was a lively musician, keen boatman and devoted husband.

Born in Scotland to a farming family, Calum left school at age 15 to take up an apprenticeship as a carpenter, later emigrating to New Zealand at 23 chasing work.

It was there he met and married wife Kuini, or Queenie as she was known, before they travelled together to Australia, working throughout WA, eventually settling in Marble Bar.

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Megan Williams, who has known the MacIver family since she was a young girl, said she was very close to Calum after his wife died two years ago.

She said although they never had children, the couple had raised plenty of puppies and kangaroos between them.

“He came to Marble Bar for six weeks to do a carpentry job and 40 years later he was still here,” she said.

Calum’s sister Anne Walkingshaw said her brother was a “rascal and a prankster” when young.

“His life was all about Queenie since he met her — I’m glad he’s at peace and not suffering,” she said.

Fellow Scotsman Bob Kelly met the MacIvers in 1977 and became close friends with the couple, naming his son after Calum and asking the MacIvers to be godparents to his daughter.

“Many the night at the old Iron Clad Calum would be sitting at the bar playing his squeezebox accordion and singing Scottish songs,” he said.

With 37 years of service at the Shire of East Pilbara, going from backhoe operator to parks and gardens, Calum was recognised as the organisation’s longest-serving employee.

“A lasting part of his legacy is in the immaculate presentation of Marble Bar, proudly carried on by the team he trained,” the Shire said.

Fellow Shire worker Arthur Godfrey said Calum was a real “North West spirited” person.

“He came around and fixed all my bathroom up for me for a couple of cartons and things like that, that’s the sort of guy he was,” he said.

Calum’s funeral took place at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park in Padbury, Perth, and he was buried alongside his wife.

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