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Thursday, 02 April 2009


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

VOL # 6 Issue 1 March 2009

2009 January Flood, Georgina River
2009 January Flood, Georgina River
Georgina Bridge
Georgina Bridge
Kaeser Creek
Kaeser Creek
Looking to the cattle yards on western side of the Georgina Bridge
Looking to the cattle yards on western side of the Georgina Bridge
Road to Urandangi
Road to Urandangi

President's Report

G'day All,

Well what a lovely start to the New Year in this area. I feel for those who were flooded in the Gulf and Ingham also those who suffered the bushfires in Victoria and other states. So far we have had 38inches of rain here...the grass is something! Will include some flood photos in this edition. On the 10th February we had almost 11 inches in 12 hours, the water ran through the shed but luckily there was no damage done...thank goodness we have 2 feet of road base gravel on the floor. The two caves near the rubbish dump both overflowed, ran across the road into Nellie's Waterhole and then into Kaeser Creek...what a sight!!!!!

In January Col and I were summoned to Mount Isa for the Australia Day Awards where we were presented with the Community Event Award for the Drovers Festival. What an honour and privilege, a truly big surprise, so to whoever nominated the Festival, thank you. It was great to be in front of the Mount Isa Rodeo.

We are starting to really get into this year's Festival, don't forget the dates 21, 22, 23rd August. We are certainty getting some enquiries through our web site, (www.droverscamp.com)

On the 11th March I had a sad phone call to let us know that Marie Mahood had passed away, my prayers and thoughts are with her family, no doubt Marie will be once again droving in the higher pastures.

We are looking for a retired couple (with own van) to help out at the Drover's Camp with the shed during the tourist session. Power and water would be supplied. If anyone knows of someone please contact us. The community and I feel these people would be an asset to the camp also the Camooweal community.

DroverWell folks til next issue.
Yours in droving,

The Bronze Spur Award

Winners announced at The Drover's Camp Festival in Camooweal on 21 - 23 AUGUST 2009.

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 and complete the entry form and return with remittance and work by 3rd JULY 2009.

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


  • Maximum of 4 (four) entries per competitor and three copies of each poem.
  • All entries to be neatly printed or hand-written legibly, and a maximum of 100 lines.
  • No name to be written on the entry, but must include a cover sheet.
  • The competition is open to all writers, and to previously published material which has not won a prize but may have been commended by judges elsewhere.
  • Poems to be keyed to the theme of rural Australia, its people, animals, way of life and values.
  • All poems must be written in traditional rhyming bush verse with balanced meter, in the style of the ‘Old Masters’.
  • All entrants shall be able to reclaim entries at the Festival. There will be no return mail-outs.
  • Judges decision will be final and irreversible.
  • The Association reserves the right to display the winning entries and use in publications put out by the Drover's Camp.

Entries cost $5.00 per poem, payable to The Drover's Camp Assn. Inc., mailed to:-


Australia Day Award

Col & Liz Flood


This community Event is famous all over Australia.

It brings together old friends to reconnect and is keeping the history of the outback alive,while involving the younger generation of Australians to facilitate an understanding of the deep dedication and sacrifices made by prior generations to give future generations a sense pride and a source of knowledge, in the way of the workings of outback communities and their way of life.

It is a celebration of Authentic Australians, incorporating a unique blend of what it is about to be at the grass roots of the outback.
Recognising a way of life and the essence of the outback, that transformed this country in its early years.

Each year this unique event draws together people from all walks of life to remind us of what it is to be an Australian and why we love the bush so much.

What better tribute to Australia Day than to recognise this remarkably unique event, THE CAMOOWEAL DROVERS FESTIVAL.


Tom & Ann Starr
Tom & Ann Starr
Born 1879 at Young, NSW. Not very much is known about his early life, but it is thought that, at around the age of 13 or 14 he left home with one of his brothers to find work. They traveled around without much success until at one station property they were asked if they had any experience with breaking-in horses. Because they needed the work they said they had. So this was Tom's introduction to the workforce. He had a lump on his arm that he always attributed to being kicked by a horse during this initial job.

He went to Queensland and became a drover. The following is an extract, dated 21/7/1909 of a reference given by Rockland Station Pty.Ltd. "The bearer of this, T. Starr, has been droving for the Rocklands Station Pty. Ltd. for the past 12 months, and during that time has made most successful trips. Anyone employing him will find him steady, sober and remarkedly good with cattle."

In 1911 he married Frances Ann Burr, born 1893, at Camooweal, Queensland. Frances' parents were described on the Marriage Certificate, as Alfred and Annie Burr, nee Powell, and her father's occupation was that of Carrier. They had 6 daughters.

Tom must have given up droving and settled in Camooweal, Mrs Rose M Williams of Cloncurry recalls "Tom did a mail coach run from Camooweal to Burketown calling at Station Properties. He would do his change at Gregory before going on to Burketown. Mail going south from Burketown to Brisbane was taken by boat. Mail for Cloncurry and another coach took places in between."

Tom Starr later sold the Mail Run in order to buy "Rockey Glen Station". He continued contract droving and it appears his brother-in-law Bill Burr, looked after the property when he was absent. Tom subsequently sold "Rocky Glen" and bought Mt Roseby, as Special Lease, and formerly part of Coolullah Station. Mt Roseby was later sold to a man named Lynch.

In 1921, together with George Isaacson, his brother-in-law, he purchased "May Downs", as a station near Mt Isa. It was purchased from Jack O'Keefe and, at the time, was 180 square miles. The two reportedly paid 100 pounds for the property. By 1924 the area was hit by drought and in 1927 both men were forced to seek work away from the Station. George returned to droving and Tom moved his family to Cloncurry. Tom must also have returned to droving, because his nephew, also a George Isaacson, tells a story about Tom's working life.

"The incident happened in 1926 or thereabouts. Tom Starr was droving a mob of cattle from Wave Hill Station in the Northern Territory. He got to the Rankin River that has a small store. Most of his goods were quite a few months old as he only got his stores probably once or twice a year.

"Tom Starr was not a mean man, but he hated waste. His next stop from Rankin River was Camooweal where he could get fresh supplies, maybe as fresh as what he obtained from Rankin River as all goods had to come from Burketown. Old Tom got down to spuds that he required. He said, 'I have four men and a cook. Counting myself that's six people - five days to Camooweal at two spuds per day would be 6 by 2 per day by 5 days would 5 by 12 equals 60 potatoes plus 6 for losses through some going bad. Give me 66 spuds as that will keep the bastards quiet till I get to Camooweal.' After Tom's story got known, he was known as ‘One Potato Tom’. The story was told by some as one potato a day, but the first I heard was two."

The family moved to Charters Towers after about five years, living in Kings Street, and later in a large house with verandahs, and a tennis court, on Hackett Terrace.

During the late 1930's the family moved to Townsville, Tom purchased a house at 17 Edward Street. Shortly after the start of World War Two the family moved to Brisbane and then to Ipswich but returned to Townsville after the war.

In 1946-47 Tom and Ann bought a small farm at Pine Mountain, near Ipswich, but after some time, they eventually moved to Hamilton Street, Booval. Here he had a vege garden and a few chooks.

They had 23 grandchildren and all can recall hearing Grandpa (Tom) recite "The Man from Snowy River" and "Clancy of the Overflow" and many more in full. He would entertain his grandchildren by cracking whips that he had made himself. Tom had a rather large moustache and he would say, "a kiss without a moustache is like an 'hegg' without salt". The extra 'h' was forever in his speech. His wife would tell stories of how the she would help aboriginal women deliver their babies. Life out West was a life where everyone helped everyone in any situation.

Tom and Ann was a very special couple. Tom died in 1964 and his Frances Ann survived him until 1977.

Easter raffle


Voucher for 200 Litres of fuel (diesel or unleaded). $2.00 per ticket or 3 for $5.00
Drawn Saturday 11th April, 2009 at the Drover's Camp
Tickets available P.O. Box 21, Camooweal 4828

DVDs for sale



FEATURING - Street Parade, Bronco Branding, Mail Race and Walk up performances. Selection of Neville Anderson, Peter Denahy and Sunny Cowgirls songs performed at the festival and much more!!!!! $25 per pack + $5.00 postage. Please place orders with Liz Flood on 07 47482022 or post cheque/postal money order with name and address to The Drover's Camp, P.O. Box 21, Camooweal 4828 Qld.

DVD set


Bronco Branding Bronco Branding

2008 Australian Bronco Branding Championships at the Drover's Camp.
Watch all the action at the Competition and Presentations for 2008.
$25 per pack + $5.00 postage. Please place orders with Liz Flood on 07 47482022 or post cheque/postal money order with name and address to The Drover's Camp, P.O. Box 21, Camooweal 4828 Qld.

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

Brand Owners

Camooweal Drover's Festival

21st, 22nd & 23rd August
Come to Camooweal!!

Drovers Camp Festival

FLOOD 2009

Georgina River
Georgina River
Georgina River
Georgina River
Drover's Camp
Drover's Camp
Road into Myuma camp
Road into Myuma camp
Austral Downs Station
Austral Downs Station
Barkly Highway Soudan Station
Barkly Highway Soudan Station
Railway line between Cloncurry and Julia Creek
Railway line between Cloncurry and Julia Creek
Drover's Camp Memorabilia Shed
Drover's Camp Memorabilia Shed
Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 April 2009 )
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