Vale Pat Coleby

Farewell Pat Coleby

Patricia Mary Coleby 3/2/1928- 1/6/2015

Pat ColebyPat Coleby was one of the pioneers of natural farming in Australia. She has died at the age of 87 on June 1st 2015 after a lifelong love of looking after the wellbeing of farm animals. She was passionate to share her discoveries and fortunately for all of us Pat has left a living legacy in the form of books.

Hugo and I were privileged to get to know Pat well and to discuss ways to help farmers without the use of synthetic fertilizers and other toxic products. We first had the pleasure of meeting Pat when we discovered her book Farming Naturally and Organic Animal Care in 1991 when we were selling animal stock supplements at our farm supply store, Greenfields of Lilydale.

We felt strongly that animals needed to be self selecting natural minerals and when Pat found out that we were selling them she would always put us in the index of her books as they were hard to source. In total Pat wrote 7 books which were reprinted many times and translated into other languages.

All books are well indexed and referenced and provide excellent resources for any farmer and/or animal lover.

Her writings are all based on her extensive experience in the animal and farming world. Pat didn’t just make a decision about animal health she was a keen observer of animals and when animals died, in the early days she would take them to Werribee Animal Research farm where the animal was dissected and she would work out where the cause of death originated.

Pat’s knowledge spread far and wide and over the decades she received thousands of calls from all over the world from people seeking advice (and remember this is in the days before the Internet.) When she started she was one of the first ever to make sense to people who knew that they wanted to support animals the best they could without conventional treatments and grow their crops and pastures without synthetic fertilizers and weedicides. In fact Pat highly recommended seaweed and other naturally occurring minerals to correct many common ailments.

Her recommendation to treat snakebite with Vitamin C whilst highly successful was ridiculed by the establishment. It is now an acknowledged course of action.

When Hugo and I would visit Pat the phone would ring frequently and you would hear Pat answering. After listening to the reason they called, her 1st question would be “Have you read my book?” If the answer was yes she would then say go to page such and such you’ll find the answer.  She was happy to talk to the person and help, often suggesting a soil test from SWEP laboratories as well as making available a range of free choice minerals. However if they hadn’t read the book she would become quite short with a person and tell them to read the book before they wasted any more of her time on the phone! Fair enough, we thought.

This ensured keeping some time for herself. Pat was busy always reading more books, newspapers and following up consultations with her 1000’s of clients. Pat thoroughly researched all matters of interest and I can remember her extensive records on every conceivable mineral that was known in existence at that time. With her passing it is a great loss to all of the natural carers of our lands and our animals. On behalf of all who came to know and love Pat and her teachings we say “Thank You!!!!!”

Finally from Pat in the conclusion of her 1st Book: Farming Naturally and Organic Animal Care “I would like to take this opportunity to support you, the reader, in your quest for a better system of farming and consequently healthier environment. Hopefully the information in this book will have helped you in that important search”.

A clever person solves problems – A wise one prevents them

Pat took this quote from Dr Stuart Hill when he addressed a talk on organic agriculture in 1993.  She went on to say that “I think that describes my approach to agriculture in general and animal care in particular, very well.”

The philosophy of prevention being better than a cure is a recurring theme throughout all her writings.

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12 Responses

  1. Pat Coleby came to our area to speak to the Best Wools Group and stayed with us overnight. The Q & A over breakfast was a delight to remember. We felt so honored to have met her. Several of her books are well read in our home and we just cherish her ideas and knowledge. Farewell to an amazing lady, who has left a priceless legacy.

  2. R.I.P. Pat Coleby. Thank you for all your work in bringing the knowledge of Natural Living to the masses who are struggling to remember what Truth looks like.
    Your name will be remembered, and echoed in the Future, wherever Wise people gather to speak.

  3. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh it’s so wonderful to meet some people who believed in Pat as much as I did. I first met her in about 1987 at A Seymour Field day, and I never regretted it. Many is the time I’ve sat in Pat’s lounge come kitchen and heard her on the phone, and they were as you have said, from all over the world. I would laugh after some one would phone her and her opening question ( and what have you been feeding.) I followed her teachings and will continue to do so so because they work.And it’s surprising me at how many people phone me now, and ask what I think they should do, because of so and so. And my opening question is usually ( what are you feeding.) I’ve had several people call me their Guru, well I’m here to tell you there was only one Guru, and that was Pat Coleby. This is so wonderful and thank you for putting it on your page. Rest in Peace Pat. you will be very Sadly missed.

    1. Hi Marj
      Your comments ring so true!
      We also still have many questions for Pat and feel her loss so keenly.
      May I email you also with these questions?

  4. RIP Pat..we have lost a legend..I pray that your teachings will be passed on for many generations to come. .I deeply regret never having had the honor of meeting you in person.

  5. It’s July 2016 & I have just read of Pat Coleby’s death in June last year. I cannot say I was a friend of Pat’s. We did not meet often enough for that. But I did hear her talks often and was able on a number of occasions to speak with her on an informal way.She was a marvel with a deep wisdom on all to do with soils and livestock. I sought her advice on a number of occasions for my organic farms. And yes I had/have her books. Always she had insights that clarified the problem and pointed to a solution.

    Pat was even a fount of wisdom with human health as I discovered on one occasion when my former wife was sick with a debilitating & malingering mysterious virus back in 1996…Twenty years ago ! The doctors were no help at all. I discussed it with Pat.She asked “Are there mosquitoes around your home ?” And when I answered yes, Pat exclaimed “Ross River virus !” She went on to suggest a remedy. A tea spoon of Hydrogen peroxide in a glass of water each day. And a teaspoon of silver iodide solution. Both to be taken for a month to kill the viral organisms in the blood causing the disease. Well my former wife did as suggested..And the symptoms were relieved.After a few weeks she was able to resume work.

    So a year & a bit after her death at 87, I am a bit saddened..But she lived such a life of intense dedication, activity and goodness. And trained so many others to walk in her footsteps.

  6. R.I.P Pat Coleby, I’m very saddened to hear of your death, your advice was very helpful to me over many decades of living on a farm and pet care, your advice saved me money on Vet treatment by keeping my pets and farm animals healthy through diet and healthy land, your books are my go to for any ailment that my pets might be suffering, my daughters also now follow your methods, they grew up hearing me always talking about the amazing Pat Coleby and your books and great advice, thank you for your lifetime of dedication to Natural Petcare

  7. G’day
    I came across Pat Coleby’s books a long time ago and have bought and used Natural Sheep Care for my two lawn-mowers here in Central Vic for decades now. Until yesterday I had a copy of Natural Pet Care, but I gave it to my son who’s left to walk around Aus. I really want to replace it but I’m having trouble finding it anywhere. I gave it to him for the treatment protocol advised for snake, tick, spider, tetanus and travel sickness, and while it’s fresh in my mind now I know I won’t remember it, so I’d like another copy.
    Do you know where I can get a copy, or how I request a new print run of the most recent edition? The only one I’ve found at the moment is a secondhand one in a NSW bookshop that they want to sell for $110 dollars!
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    1. Hi Lindy
      We will ask her family re reprints. However, I have just googled and there are still books
      available online. Let us know how you go.
      Thank you for your comments

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