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Thursday, 24 June 2010


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

VOL # 7 Issue 2 May 2010

Festival Dates

President's Report

Gooday All,

This year is moving very fast - we only have 12 weeks till festival. Don't forget the dates 20 - 22 August.

We have had some showers here last week (6ml) and this week (4ml). No doubt it will turn cold now.
We have had another couple of sad months, where we have lost Dick Swan (drover) and Roy Windsor (Bronco Brander). Our sympathy goes to their families.
Rotary fellows will be here next weekend to put rain water to the house and a general working bee. Rotary have been so good to us.
We have been successful with Qld Events Grant again and their sponsorship this year is to employ one person for the office from now till September and one person for marketing. Carmel Williams has accepted the office position.
We also won a grant with Gambling Community Benefit Fund and now have a verandah over the cold room and the house and office have been painted inside and out.

Yours in droving, Liz

Drovers Ball


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
Bunch of Strays - Marie Mahood - $25.99 + 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
Maybe It'll Rain Tomorrow - Marion Houldsworth - $33.95 + postage
Barefoot through the Bindies - Marion Houldsworth - $29.95 + postage
Traditional Bush Horsemanship - J. F. Simpson - $21.50 + postage
Songs of the Droving Season - Bruce Simpson - $20.00 +postage (out of stock)
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
Life's Highway - Keith Jamieson -$20 + postage
Outback vs The Wild West - Jack Drake - $29.95 + postage
Not Without His Sons - Lloyd Fogarty - $29.95 + postage
My Yesterdays - Glenville Pike - $25.95 + 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
Outback Songs - Norah Kersh - $25 + postage
Outback Doctor- Norah Kersh - $22 + postage


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. $50 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!

Our Flag

Our flag wears the stars that blaze at night, In our Southern skies of blue, And a little old flag in the corner, That’s part of our heritage too

Australian flagIt’s for the English, the Scots and the Irish, Who were sent to the ends of the earth, The rogues and the schemers, the doers and the dreamers, Who gave modern Australia its birth.

And you, who are shouting to change it, You don’t seem to understand, It’s the flag of our laws and our language, Not the flag of a faraway land.

Though there are plenty of people who’ll tell you How Europe was plunged into night, That little old flag in the corner, Was their symbol of freedom and light.

It doesn’t mean we owe allegiance, To a forgotten imperial dream, We’ve the stars to show where we’re going, And the old flag to show where we’ve been.

It’s only an old piece of bunting, It’s only an old piece of rag, But there are thousands who've died in its honour, And shed their blood for OUR FLAG.

Author Unknown.                                                        

Down Memory Lane

Can you recall stories, characters or events of droving/history? No story is too big or small. We need them all!! Give us a call. We can help you document your memories for generations to come to help them understand our great Australian history.

Recollections of the Rankine Store and Camooweal to Borroloola mail run
by Rodney Watson

The race meeting shifted from the Rankine River Store to Brunette Downs in 1949. Len Lloyd was killed on the race course in 1942 riding a black mare of Tom Lewis’ (snr) called "Winowie".

This is a complete list of the Rankine River Store owners:
1904 - George Watson
1929 - Herbert Lloyd
1941 - Jim Fowler
1948 - Joe Barton
1950 - Harold Crieghton
1952 - Dick Carter
1968 - Jim Dwyer (NAP)
1970 - Store closed

I was on the road with Mick Burns in 1949 with a mob of cows from Newcastle Waters, heading to Dajarra. After we yarded up at the Rankine, we headed into our camp where the cook should have had our evening meal on the go. It was in a hell of a mess, horses everywhere, the stores still unpacked and empty grog bottles all over the place. The cook was choked down with his arm in the fire, Newton was his name (He had a brother around Camooweal called Charlie Newton who was a horse breaker). I put a pound of butter on Newton's arm and wrapped it up. It was in a hell of a mess. Mick sent me down to the police station to get some help. Police used to do the cattle dipping in those days. I can still recall as clear as crystal the copper's exasperated response. "If the bastard dies I'll take him down to the Rankine store and prop him up on the steps and let Barton bury him."

As a kid I remember the old men who did the Borroloola to Camooweal mail run (and return). My Grandmother (Aunty Floss) was a well respected old lady who came to Camooweal in 1890 with her brother, Sonny Conroy, as 5 and 7 year olds.

These old fellows used to visit her regularly:-
George and Don Booth - Camooweal, QLD
Bert Okeefe (Keith’s father) - Camooweal, QLD
Charlie Biondi, store keeper - Anthony's Lagoons, NT
Alex Grant - Daly Waters, NT (later life)
Jim Grace - Camooweal, QLD
Noel Healy - Dunmarra, NT (later)
Clarrie Hudson - Rankine River Store

Clarrie Hudson was the last mailman 1940 to 1946. He was married to a Biondi girl who died and left him with a baby son to rear. Ella and Jim Fowler at the Rankine Store looked after the boy. Fowler died from peritonitis in 1947 on the way to Alice Springs Hospital in the wet season. Hudson drove him but he died en route. Later Hudson married Ella and they sold out of the Rankine Store to Joe Barton. Alex Grant in later years had a grazing licence at Daly Waters in the Territory. He ran a few cattle and worked on the P.M.G. telegraph line as a linesman. He was a real old gentleman. Noel Healy owned Dunmarra, NT and one of his daughters had the bottom Pub in Camooweal and also the Argent in Mt Isa (war years). Jim Grace lived in Camooweal and was a brother-in-law to Massey Hood.


Can anyone help us with these enquiries?

I was hoping to get some information on my grandfather Samuel (Bill) Cussens and/or my father Cameron (Cammy) Cleary, both of who lived in Camooweal in the early years...1940’s onwards. Just stumbled on your website...attempting to find a copy of "The Last Droving"?
Unsuccessful…. Might try some other source.
Thank you & looking forward to your reply
Miriam Cleary

Perhaps with your historical outback background you can help.
Somewhere I have seen a map showing an old stock route called the Overlander Trail, but can’t locate it again to determine just where the stock route ran. Do you have any information on this that might help identify same. I know of a country song called the Overlander Trail, and assume it relates to the same stock route. Somewhere out back of beyond and leading south/south east. Not sure & would like to identify same. Can’t find anything on the web. Any hints would be appreciated. Many thanks for your time.
Keith Bagley.

Dear Liz
For some time I’ve been writing a book which is the story of a past Barkly identity who in his young days was a cattle drover, stockman, head stockman, manager of Alroy Downs, part owner of Eva Downs, manager in his retirement of Watson’s store at the Rankine until his health declined and he went South in 1936. You may be able to be of some assistance as to the likely number of drovers in a team to handle mobs of 1,000 head in drives to Wodonga in the 1800’s. Or perhaps you could point me in the right direction for such information.
Thanking you,
Stewart K. Beattie

In Memory of Roy Windsor
1939 - 2010

Roy Windsor

It is with great sadness we tell of Roy Windsor’s passing. Roy passed away while competing at the Bronco Branding Australian Championships at Birdsville on 8th May 2010. Bronco Branding was Roy's passion and he competed in many events in his lifetime. Roy and Mal Debney won the Bill Brooks Memorial last year. Roy was born in Boulia and grew up there before coming to Camooweal in the 70’S. Roy and his wife Hazel worked on Rocklands Station for many years and they retired from Mudgee outstation to live at Camooweal. We offer our sincere condolences to Hazel and all of Roy’s family and friends.

Vale Dick Swan

1922 - 2010

Dick Swan

Dick Swan was a great old bushman who came to our festival in 2006 and it is with sadness we tell of his passing.
Dick Swan was born in Charleville, a son of a drover, Charlie Swan. Dick continued the tradition, droving for nearly 50 years himself and working in the NW region of Qld. In an interview with the North West Star, Dick recalled doing a 15 week trip with 2000 head down the Diamantina in the 1950’s. Rodney Watson recalls buying some fine horses off Dick at Dajarra and spoke fondly of Dick. This country was made on the backs of great people like Dick who worked from a very young age in some of the most trying conditions. Dick was buried in Mt Isa on the 29 April, 2010.


First Prize
First Prize

1st Prize was won by Damon Hearl from Cairns Qld. Many thanks to Marie Handly for the donation of this beautiful rug

Second Prize
Second Prize

2nd Prize was won by Scrubba Watkins from Remark SA. Thank you to Debbie Hilton for her exquisite mounted photo.

DVD set

2009 DROVER'S FESTIAL DVD - TWO DISC PACK FEATURING - Street Parade, Bronco Branding, Mail Race and Walk up performances. Selection of Dean Perrett, Tom Maxwell and Jeff Brown 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.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 July 2010 )
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