Vale Terry Burke

Vale Terry Burke

Tributes flow for former Tamworth stock and station agent

Caitlin Reid@CaitlinReid201

See: https://www.theland.com.au/story/7649103/a-true-gentleman-tributes-flow-for-terry-burke/  8 Mar 2022, noon

Featured Image: VALE TERRY BURKE: Terry Burke has been described as “one of the industry’s finest” and a “true gentleman”. Photo: Supplied. Gratefully acknowledge ‘The Land’ newspaper.

TRIBUTES are flowing for long-time Tamworth local Terry Burke, who is being remembered for his remarkable life as a stock and station agent and his love for the racing industry.

Mr Burke died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on Sunday February 27 at 82 years old.

Described as “one of the industry’s finest” and a “true gentleman”, he was a founding partner of respected livestock and rural property agency Burke & Smyth, a past president of Tamworth Jockey Club and life member, and a much-loved mentor to many.

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Borroloola Mob @ Sunrise

Borroloola Mob @ Sunrise

Featured Image: The ‘Borroloola Mob’ @ Sunrise Studio in Martin Place

Borroloola Mob @ Sunrise One of my most unusual assignments was delegated by my daughter Kirsty. Kirsty was Legal Advisor to the Northern Land Council in Darwin. Part of her ambit included the Borroloola Community from the South Western shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria. It’s about 1000km by road from Darwin; the last 700 of it is dirt. Kirsty was directing a Land Claims Appeal through the Supreme Court in Phillip Street. My role was to accompany the ‘mob’ from the Menzies Hotel in downtown Sydney to the Supreme Court. Kirsty had to be there earlier to prepare. It was a most interesting journey! We had socialised the night before so we knew one another. My mate Dave Hardy is in the two-tone horizontal striped jumper and blue baseball cap at the front of the picture. Dave was an Elder of the tribe but had been ‘in trouble’ before. He was a most intriguing character. Just after this photograph was taken we ran into my friend and acquaintance Hamish Gidley-Baird. Hamish had lived in Darwin for 6 years and had actually been to Borroloola. The indigenes feel very much at home although I don’t think any had ever been to Sydney before? We tried to arrange an NRL game the night before but unfortunately the home fixture was at Parramatta. It was a bridge too far. Progress was sluggish at times until Martin Place. I seem to have disappeared? Note the warm winter clothing! David Koch and the ‘Sunrise’ Team at the Channel Seven Studio in Martin Place were just finishing the morning news segment. It was 9:30am. There was instant recognition and the Borroloola Mob just piled into the studio. David Koch and the team were intrigued. To their great credit the Borroloola Mob were welcomed with open arms. The photo opportunity was too good to miss.

Alec Wiseman

Alec Wiseman

Featured Image: Alec Wiseman performing in the Campdraft at Scone Bushman’s Carnival

Belltrees was fortunate to have the legendary stockman, Alec Wiseman on the property for 55 years, working with four generations of the White family. He arranged for four or five Belltrees mares to go down each year to Ernie Cowley at Glendonbrook for breeding to Bobbie Bruce – WH. On a couple of occasions he also sent his own good mare, Mopsy, which is how he bred his good stallion, MUSTER – FS HSH

Country Comfort

Country Comfort

We have a gender based division of labour in our homestead; especially when it comes to garden maintenance. The very recent ‘La Nina’ Summer has meant that lawn mowers especially have been heavily and very regularly resourced. We now have four. Two are petrol-fuelled ‘sit-on’ mowers; one is an electric battery powered hand-mower and the ‘pits’ is a mildly geriatric hand powered petrol model. Guess which I’m allocated? We have a very large lawn. I’m not trusted with the ‘sit on’ varieties; not since I discovered by serendipitous trial and error they did not mow stones?

The ’Featured Image’ (see above) is not an accurate portrayal of our labour allocation at work. The reclining lady bears no resemblance to my very good-looking much younger spouse. The ‘gentleman-at-work’ is remarkably like my ex-brother-in-law; an ex-National Hunt Jockey in England? However, it could be me mowing the lawn!

PS This post is meant to shock?!?

The Ageing Process III

The Ageing Process III

Featured Image I: ‘Being a Cheese’

Now well into my eightieth year and about to complete eight decades on earth I sometimes reflect philosophically on the ageing process? Every night in the RSL Club we are assured that (of )departed veterans ‘age shall not weary them nor the years condemn’. I’m not nearly so convinced; but then I’m neither?

Very recently I’ve attended memorials for many close friends and relatives; some younger, some older. There’s no doubt “they’re grabbing them from our paddock now”.

In the following few pictorial vignettes I thought I’d add some lighter touches? It makes me feel better! I think I might be a very fully mature Gorgonzola by now?

The Ageing Process II

The Ageing Process II

Featured Image I: ‘Age of Reason’

Now well into my eightieth year and about to complete eight decades on earth I sometimes reflect philosophically on the ageing process? Every night in the RSL Club we are assured that (of )departed veterans ‘age shall not weary them nor the years condemn’. I’m not nearly so convinced; but then I’m neither?

Very recently I’ve attended memorials for many close friends and relatives; some younger, some older. There’s no doubt “they’re grabbing them from our paddock now”.

In the following few pictorial vignettes I thought I’d add some lighter touches? It makes me feel better!

The Ageing Process I

The Ageing Process I

Featured Image I: ‘Age of Discretion’

Now well into my eightieth year and about to complete eight decades on earth I sometimes reflect philosophically on the ageing process? Every night in the RSL Club we are assured that (of )departed veterans ‘age shall not weary them nor the years condemn’. I’m not nearly so convinced; but then I’m neither?

Very recently I’ve attended memorials for many close friends and relatives; some younger, some older. There’s no doubt “they’re grabbing them from our paddock now”.

In the following few pictorial vignettes I thought I’d add some lighter touches? It makes me feel better!

Alabama Races

Alabama Races

Featured Image: Poster for the Scone Jockey Club’s meeting at the “Alabama” Racecourse, near Scone on Saturday 28th April 1945.

It sounds like a film set from ‘Gone With The Wind’ but for a short period of time the Scone Jockey Club raced at the “Alabama” Racecourse, ‘near Scone’. This was situated on the “Alabama’ Property adjacent to the wooden Allan Bridge crossing of Pages River on the Segenhoe/Aberdeen Road leading to Kia Ora Stud. It’s hard to imagine today where the racecourse was situated but it must have been on the flatter country across the bridge?

I believe ‘Alabama’ was owned in 1945 by Alan Cooper who was a known strong supporter of racing. Ray Bowcock later acquired the property and it was where five times champion stallion ‘Delville Wood’ was laid to rest following his relocation after the dispersal sale(s) of Kia Ora Stud in 1959/1961. I believe the ‘Alabama’ portion was sliced from the original Segenhoe block?

Scone Race Club replaced the Scone Jockey Club by 1947 when the first Cup Meeting was held at White Park in May of that year. President Doug Robertson and Honorary Secretary Cec Parry were the drivers of the new initiative. Thankfully the late Harley Walden has documented the whole story which was recently augmented by the author.

WWII was grinding to a halt in Europe and the Pacific. There remained much zealous fervour and ardent patriotism for the war effort plus auxiliary services and supporting hospitals for returning injured veterans. The poster refers to the upcoming Muswellbrook Patriot Race Meeting? There were many such fund raisers throughout the Upper Hunter including Wingen, Stewarts Brook, Kars Springs, Gundy et al.

John Merton Harris

John Merton Harris

See also: https://sconevetdynasty.com.au/holbrook-stud-and-the-harris-family/

Featured Image: The front cover of the Memorial Service booklet for John Merton Harris held at the Anglican Church in Denman. I was privileged to be there in a COVID-19 ‘limited congregation’.

The passing of John Harris marked the end of an era in Thoroughbred Breeding in the Upper Hunter Valley. John was the last of the older ‘traditional-style’ breeders which evolved in the 19th century and was refined throughout the 20th century. I refer to the family-owned and run farming enterprises. The one surviving exception is Widden which Antony Thompson has successfully reinvented as a large commercial enterprise now also successfully entrenched in Victoria.

The image of John Harris on the front cover defines the man, his genre, gender and generation. His younger brother Alan had pre-deceased him. John and I share a common bond in the formation of the Hunter Valley Bloodhorse Breeders Association (HVBBA, now HTBA) in 1978. We were two of an original committee of 12. Only Hilton Cope and myself survive today! I still warmly regard John Harris as a conservative foundation ‘rock’ on which we constructed the new enterprise. John was also intimately involved in many, mainly Denman, initiatives including Shire Councillor, Church Warden, RSL Club and President of the Denman Jockey Club.