“Born in Wilcannia, western NSW, moved here with my parents, brothers and sister. My dad was a soldier settler in 1954, lived in the Parndana camp during land clearing until ‘57 and then moved out to farm on Mount Taylor Road.
Life on the farm was pretty lonely those days, there was nothing there. A soldier settler farm was bare, just house and shed. You milk cows, try to earn money on the farm and put up fences to get paid so the parents can earn money to keep you alive while the farm is being developed and before it became viable. That was the only life, there wasn’t another one. There was no choice, there was no TV, or power, everything was kerosene lamps and candles, you went to bed early at night and got up early in the morning to milk cows, carried your gun wherever you went shooting kangaroos, pigs and goats and wallabies and whatever. It was pretty much it; it was pretty easy. I didn’t have much of a family life, with housekeepers and mixed marriages. Straight out of school I didn’t know anything I have done most of my learning from other people.
Ian Bunker was a mechanic, contractor, allrounder. He’d teach me anything I wanted to know. Des Johnson and Gary Wallace, I felt pretty close to them.
Roger Borgmeyr taught me how to shear and crutch. Roger was born with a handpiece. We were neighbours, and grew up together we used to have a lot of fun together in those days. he was only three or four years older than me, did a lot of shooting together those days, crutching, shearing, mucking around.
I was working away while I was single, then met up with Val. We were both soldier settler kids, met when we were little and then met up again in ‘68 or ‘69; we got married in ‘70. Last year, when Val had a stroke while we were away; was a sad time because it happened completely out of the blue.
I am not as active as I could be anymore. I do miss work, even though I work all the time. I am just getting less useful. I work because I enjoy it. I enjoy working with people but I should probably retire soon.”