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Tuesday, 13 May 2008


The official newsletter of The Drover's Camp Assn Inc. Camooweal

VOL # 5 Issue 1 May 2008

President's Report

Good Day All,

Sorry for the delay with this Cattle Pad but have been quite busy in the memorabilia shed with the art gallery. Have had Jeff Brown, Jeff Simpson and Tom Green helping, a couple of weeks ago Jeff Brown departed but we gained the help of Dave Bramley (a builder) all is progressing nicely.

The festival is fast approaching, don't forget the dates 22nd - 24th August 2008. I believe the town booked out so if you know of anyone coming, tell them to bring their swag. This year we are having Tom Maxwell and Neville Anderson definitely and if our grant is successful we will have Peter Denehy and the Sunny Cowgirls for out entertainment. Shirley and Mike Macnamara are busy coordinating the Australian National Finals of the Bronco Branding to be held this year.

We have just been given another grandstand from Rotary so seating will be even better this year.

Do hope all who were affected by floods earlier in the year have fared well to those who are in the same predicament as Camooweal. I do hope we all get some relief rain soon.

I would like to wish Abe Teece of Cloncurry good health as the poor ol' mate had a couple of bouts in hospital. Look forward to seeing you in August Abe.

Well folks I must push on and promise to do another magazine before festival. Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible in August.

Yours in droving


The Bronze Spur Award

Winners announced at The Drover's Camp Festival in Camooweal on 22 - 24 AUGUST 2008

These awards were first competed for in 1997 and have been an annual event of the festival since.

Original Written Bush Verse

  • 1st Bronze Spur + $250.00
  • 2nd - $100 & ribbon
  • 3rd - $50 & ribbon

The handcrafted bronze spurs are made by Jaye Daley from Julia Creek and are mounted on polished gidyea bases made by Carmel Williams from Camooweal. This unique and prestigious trophy is highly prized by bush balladeers and poets throughout Australia.

To compete in the written verse section please download the nomination form and return with remittance and work by 5th JULY 2008.

For enquiries please contact Ellen Finlay at Undilla Station, Camooweal Qld 4828.(Ph 07 47 482 186).

The Drover's Ball 2008

The Camooweal Town Hall
Barkly Highway

Friday 22nd August 2008
Starting at 8pm till Late

Supper will be provided
Lucky Door Prize

Proceeds going to the Drover's Camp Association


Ray Fryer has donated two beautiful sawn wood slabs. We would like to offer people the opportunity to have their brand (or if you have an old brand from your family) burnt onto a slab for permanent display in the memorial. $150 per brand will be charged with the proceeds going towards running expenses for the Drover's Camp.

Bring your brands to the festival in August and leave your mark on the Drover's Camp!

Drovers Camp Festival 2008
Art Competition and Exhibition

Section 1 "Droving" - Open medium painting - Acquisitive
Sponsor - The Drover's Camp Assn Inc
PRIZE $1000
Section 2 "Australian Landscape" - Open Medium painting - Acquisitive
Sponsor - Norrie Drilling Services Pty Ltd
PRIZE $1000
Section 3 "Aboriginal Art" - Open medium painting - Acquisitive
Sponsor - Dugalunji Aboriginal Corporation
PRIZE $500
Section 4 "Australiana Relic" - Open medium painting (eg. cross cut saw, billy can etc.) - Acquisitive
Sponsor -
PRIZE $500
Section 5 "Junior to Year 12" - Open medium painting non acquisitive 1st PRIZE $250
2nd PRIZE $150
3rd PRIZE $100
Judges Award Sponsor - Lloyd and Wendy Hick PRIZE $100

Download the nomination form and return it to:
The Camooweal Drover's Camp Association
PO Box 21, Camooweal 4828.

National Finals Bronco Branding Competition

23rd & 24th August 2008

Beginner Branding Competition

Novice Branding Competition - Trophy: Peter Clauson Memorial Perpetual donated by Camooweal Butchery & Camooweal Agencies

Singles Branding Competition

Doubles Branding Competition

Town V Town Feature event

Carmel's Best presented entry - Any event $250
Sponsor - Carmel Williams



Download the nomination form and return it to:
The Camooweal Drover's Camp Association
PO Box 21, Camooweal 4828.

Drover's Camp Festival Photograph Competition 2008

Section 1: Cute Country Kids Section 2: Australian Scenic
Section 3: Portrait Section 4: Droving historical
Section 5: Black & White Section 6: Animal/s


1st Prize - $25.00 & Certificate
2nd Prize - $15.00 & Certificate
3rd Prize - $10.00 & Certificate
Judges award - $100.00 (Sponsored by Shirley Macnamara)

Download the nomination form and return it to:
The Camooweal Drover's Camp Association
PO Box 21, Camooweal 4828.



$25.00 + Postage
Contact Slim Jones
Po Box 8883, Mount Pleasant, Mackay Q 4740

Slim Jones


Bundy Swag raffle
Tom GREEN (Ticket Seller) presenting Lyn HUTLEY of Charters Towers with Bundaberg Swag

26-04-1927 - 19-12-1996

Life on the land is all that counts courtesy of Sally BOCK (article was received from Jim's Wife, Dawn CHURCH, article written and published prior to his death)

Jim ChurchIts 12 years now since Jim Church, (pictured) moved to Charters Towers to live, and he still hasn't got used to the change.

Talking to Jim, now 67 years old, you can see the emotion in his weathered face as he remembers the old days. Life on the land is the only life that will ever count for him.

Under his house hangs a collection of treasured relics from the days of pioneering on the land. Every place had its own story, and for Jim each one is like an old friend.

Jim's greatest treasures though, are the memories of his own days in the bush - the droving trips, the horse-breaking days and eventually working his own place.

His wife Dawn and their children, were left at Strathelen to keep the place running for long stretches while Jim shifted cattle across the Gulf for months at a time.

Bearing testimony to the amount of time he spent away, Mr Church recalls arriving home from one trip and hearing his daughter Merilyn ask her mother "Who is that man?"
"I remember the day of my 40th birthday. I was riding away from Fort Constantine to pick a mob of Augustus Downs bullocks to drove to Kajabbi" Mr Church said.

Moving with the times, Mr Church bought a semi when the road trains took over from the role of the drover.

"I carted cattle all over the north for 12 years. We only had singles in those days and we had to work them day and night to keep up."

Life had always been tough for Jim Church. From his days as a 14 year old school boy horse-tailing for his father, to his droving days and his battle to keep Strathelen going.

"Most of my life has been one continuous drought, with a bit of relief in between," he said.


Dear Liz,

Your unexpected mail - Cattle Pads - has been received and most welcome - thank you.

I would have archival material which would relate to my parents period in the NT and the Dempster/McLellan period as pastoralists and drovers. Might I say I am the last of the lineage of the packhorse drovers in our family. Over the years I have travelled with sheep, cattle and horses on the road. Mick Dempster allowed me his knowledge and I spent until 1979 in his company with stock in the far outback. My father, Mick Dempster, was in the NT some 16 years from 1940 onwards. Firstly a stockman doing trips into Wyndham meat works with VRD cattle and it is recorded that in 1944 he was head stockman at Wave Hill. In these years he mustered and handed over the travelling mobs to the Murranju Track drovers who departed Wave Hill. From Wave Hill he organised the transfer of Limbunya to Leahy Brothers and he and my mother with all black staff took over. I do believe Harry McCaulagh and John Crane were at Limbunya before Mick arrived.

Mick had developed a strong relationship with Hugh Farquarson. At the price of 9,000 pounds Hugh wished Mick to purchase Inverway which was not possible due to family circumstance. Mick introduced his Limbunya owners Des and Lou Leahy and Hugh retired. Bill Hammill went onto Inverway.

After 2 seasons at Limbunya, Mick went over to Alcoota again with Leahys in 1946/47 returning to the western side occassionally to oversee Leahy's interests.

After 2 years at Alcoota, Elkedra was his next posting, again with Leahy Brothers. Whilst ringing and droving on the Cooper he met and associated with Val Gardiner ex-Julia Creek - a person much his junior and now a recorded Murranji Track drover. Val was head stockman and Dempster and Gardiner spent many years running the Leahy interests in the NT.

During 1950 Mick joined Harold Mortimer at Idracowra in the Alice regions of the NT as station manager and tank sinker owner/contractor. I hold a nice photo of Mick and his long time friend and employee, Jack King was the drover of the infamous Vesty's road train out of Katherine in the 40's.

With tank sinking complete at Idracowra Mick shifted to Granite Downs in the far north of South Australia and managed the unfenced stations for Ironbark Jim Davey. The tank sinking plant worked with men employed, Mick managed both cattle and machinery. Davey had interests in many cattle stations in South Australia and the NT.

From the NT - SA Mick Dempster returned to the original Dempster holding for his continuing years. I am privileged to have learnt from my father, skills that will quietly disappear. Mick Dempster was a quietly spoken can-do person of some 5'2"in height capable of managing men, livestock and machinery.

Most recently the blackfellas in the Oodnadatta regions say "Him proper good fella - I know dat fella - long time ago."

Mick drove cattle on routes to Quilpie, Tibooburra, Darling, Cockburn, Strezlecki, Oodnadatta, parts of the Canning, Murranji and Barkley. His furthest mob south was into Peterborough, SA. My mother rode with the men - she was a pack bag cook whilst mustering or on the road.

I hope my letter gives your association a point of reference to a source of information that may be held and used appropriately.

Yours Sincerely

Prospect East SA

Mick travelled with mobs from the Cooke to Quinjambi and onto Cockburn many times - a respected Kidman drover. He also carried the royal mail far into the Stnezlecki desert - Tarrowingee New South Wales - Lake Edler South Australia. 1930's I took over the mail when Con Conway finished with his camel buggy. Mick used a motor bike fitted with an out rigger wheel. Bill O'brien was his offsider/helper over the mountain of desert sand hills to get his side car out fit through - camels carried the larger than mail freight. Tarrowingee was a mining town 48 mile north of Broken Hill enroute to the Dempster Station connected by a rail line to Broken Hill.


Rum raffle Raffle ticket
Donated by Post Office Hotel Camooweal

Books for Sale

Keep the Branding Iron Hot - Bobbie Buchanan - $$29.95 + postage
In the Track of Old Bluey - Bobbie Buchanan - $29.95 + postage
Legends of the Outback - Marie Mahood - $25.95 + postage
Battlers of the Barkly - Alf Chambers - $23.95 + postage
Wind on the Cattle - Merrice Briffa - $24.75 + postage
Red Dust Rising - Marion Houldsworth - $30.00 + postage
From the Gulf to God Knows Where - Marion Houldsworth - $33.95 + postage
Maybe It'll Rain Tomorrow - Marion Houldsworth - $33.95 + postage
Barefoot through the Bindies - Marion Houldsworth - $29.95 + postage
Horse Bells and Hobble Chains - Jeff Hill - $35.00 + postage
Traditional Bush Horsemanship - J. F. Simpson - $21.50 + postage
Songs of the Droving Season - Bruce Simpson - $20.00 +postage
The Murranji Track - Ghost Road of the Drovers - Darrell Lewis - $29.95 + postage
Roping in the History of Broncoing - Darrell Lewis - $25.95 + postage
Rodeos and Ringers - Bill Crosbie - $20.00 + postage

Childrens Books

Outback Countout - Norah Kersh - $15.00 + postage
Outback Alphabet - Norah Kersh - $15.00 + postage
Grandma's Precious Chest - Norah Kersh - $15.00 + postage



Street Parade
Bronco Branding
Mail Race
Talent Quest
Selection of Anne Kirkpatrick songs performed at the festival and much more!!!!!

$25 per pack + $5.00 postage. Please place orders with Liz Flood on 07 4748 2022 or post cheque/postal money order with name and address to The Drover's Camp, P.O. Box 21, Camooweal,Qld. 4828.


Aircraft repairs in Camooweal
Doing maintenance on plane Freckleton Garage main street Camooweal 1956
Left Ted BURKE (Council Foreman), Centre Ron ROOKE (Policeman), Right Alex BUCHANAN (Camooweal Aerodrome Officer).

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 May 2008 )
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