Col and Jan Taylor are well known in the Childers and Cordalba community for their volunteer work with the local Rotary Club, QCWA and Meals on Wheels as well as the operation of their farm, Mango Paradise Bed and Barra.
The local couple have been highlighted as part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Our People Our Stories project, which celebrates the community by sharing the profiles of residents.
Col was born in Bundaberg but was raised in Childers.
It's where he first met Jan after she moved to the region with her family from Southport.
Col is a fourth-generation farmer and the story of how Mango Paradise Bed and Barra came about starts with some land and some cane, which had always been the backbone of the Taylors' farming work.
Through years of hard yakka and plenty of tough times, their established farm has continually transformed – growing cane, mangoes, lychees, fish and now macadamias.
“Mango Paradise has seen many changes over the years to stay ahead with changing times,” the duo said.
“From cane farming we diversified into tree crops to try and supplement the cane, and while we waited for the mango trees to produce, we grew sweet potatoes and tomatoes,” Jan added.
“When in season, the farm sells mangoes and lychees to the public through the roadside store.
“Somebody came here one day to purchase some mangoes and told us we had a little piece of paradise, which is where the name Mango Paradise came from.”
Col said the introduction to fish came about when the couple added a 44 megalitre pond to help water the cane.
They filled it with barramundi.
“Our son Paul was only young so I thought I’d teach him how to run a business,” Col said.
“We then we added a second pond and expanded with silver perch.
“From there we added another three ponds, then added another six and now we are up 24 ponds on 12 hectares of water agriculture.”
The Taylors travel to Brisbane every Wednesday and supply live fish to the large fish shops.
“It was a matter of ‘get big’ to keep up with demand and to supply to those customers all year round,” Col said.
The Mango Paradise property has been in the Taylor family for nearly 50 years, with Col’s father originally stepping aside to let he and Jan take over.
“It’s now our time to step aside and let Paul and Letitia come up with different ways of doing things on the farm and pass it on to the next generation,” Jan said.
The Taylors are looking forward to moving to Woodgate.
“We have no plans of stopping, we are just getting started,” they said.
More OPOS profiles: Matt a passionate supporter of community