Reunion will give nod to heroes of the long paddock

Reunion will give nod to heroes of the long paddock

Local Business Feature
SADDLE UP: The Blackall Drover's Reunion on August 29 will highlight droving's significant contribution.

SADDLE UP: The Blackall Drover's Reunion on August 29 will highlight droving's significant contribution.

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Part of Blackall's 150th celebrations will be the B150 Blackall Drover's Reunion.

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A KEY part of acknowledging Blackall's close connection to agriculture will be the B150 Blackall Drover's Reunion on August 29 at Ram Park.

This event will include the unveiling of the Drover's Wall, a brick structure holding bronze memorial plaques with the names of those involved in droving throughout the Blackall region.

Each plaque holds seven lines of inscription and a motif of a stockman sitting under a tree.

There will be a droving re-enactment to bring to life a practice that helped developed much of inner Qld.

Organiser, Jane Scobie, said former drover and long-time resident, Stewart Benson, hatched the idea. 

“We now have around 60 plaques which commemorate close to 100 Blackall based people who were involved with the droving industry, shepherds, horse tailers, stockmen, cooks, ringers and the like over the past 150 years,” Ms Scobie said. 

”We feel it is important to remember these people as too often their history slips through the cracks of time as they quite often were illiterate, or almost so, and not a lot of written records have been kept by their families.

“We have been given a small collection of photographs , Stock Route Permits, and  receipts which we will display on the day.”

Asked if he was looking forward to the event, Mr Benson replied: "Oh my fur coat."

“I've been here all my life and I could see all of the older folks are going,” Mr Benson said. 

“I was in the droving game from a kid. I could see all those names disappearing.

“I just reckon I always wanted to do something for the town so this is my little contribution to Blackall.”

Mr Benson’s father was a sheep drover who took mobs of sheep to the Blackall wool scour when they shore them and washed the wool there. 

Mr Benson has also done the legwork in pulling together the reenactment. 

“We’ll have a mob of sheep come over the bridge,” he said. 

There will also be a bullock team, working Clydesdales, a working mule and donkey and sheep shearing. 

Helping to further acknowledge the region's livestock and red meat connections will be the Blackall Heartland Festival Barbecue Cook-off Competition.

The competition is set for Sunday, August 26 at the Blackall Showgrounds, 

Teams of two people will have to prepare and cook a meal for two or more people using a barbecue (gas, wood or camp oven).

The hero ingredient must be beef, lamb or goat.

All other ingredients and theme of the meal are up to the competitors.

Meals must be finished for presentation at 12.30pm.

For more information or to register, contact Rachel Noble: noble@bigpond.com or 0400 022 417.​ 

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