Sprints stalwart will be missed
ONE of the founders of the iconic Leyburn Sprints, Margo Jones, passed away this week after a six-month battle with cancer.
Mrs Jones was the original race secretary for the event, holding the position for 13 years, and her name is likely to remain synonymous with the Leyburn Sprints well into the future.
Mrs Jones, who lived in Brisbane but was a regular visitor to the area, is survived by her husband John, her two sons and her grandchildren.
Former Leyburn Sprints president Leon Broughton, who worked closely with Mrs Jones during his year on the committee, said she was an incredible organiser.
"The sprints wouldn't have happened without her," he said.
"Without her knowledge and her willingness, it would have been extremely hard.
"She made sure all the cars were safe before racing, she did all the occupational health and safety measures, applied for licences and helped with all the paperwork.
"And, for the first six years, she did it all for free."
After that period, Mrs Jones and her husband realised they had to begin charging the committee for their work so as not to run at a loss - though Mr Broughton said with the amount of hours they dedicated, they were only charging $1.50 an hour.
Mrs Jones and her husband John also had a lot to do with running the Gold Coast Indy.
Mr Broughton said she had lived for motorsports.
He said Mrs Jones, who was in her mid-50s when she passed away, would be remembered as the generous soul she was.
"She was extremely bubbly. She could soften any mood," he said.
"That being said, she was a straight shooter and could very easily pull people of any age, gender or background into line.
"She was a good, strong-willed person and very caring and incredibly thoughtful."
Southern Downs Mayor Ron Bellingham said he was saddened to hear of her passing, "particularly at such a young age".
"From my recollection she was passionate about the Leyburn Sprints, as many people from the area are and have been," he said.
"I think it's as a result of people like her that such things continue within our region. Her interest in the Leyburn Sprints and her dedication, as a significant amount of her time was dedicated, will be always much appreciated."