Remembering Sandy Kidd

Remembering Sandy Kidd

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Brendan Wade pays tribute to the late Sandy Kidd.

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Brendan Wade

Brendan Wade

James Alexander Kidd the 'Windorah Legend' left us on March 20, 2019. I think he would take exception to being referred to in the Queensland Country Life as anything but "Sandy".

Sandy Kidd was a larger than life character. Husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Grazier, pilot, councillor, candidate. Referred to as Mate, The Pirate, Captain Chaos and The Colonel. Above all he was a genuine human being who cared more about others than himself. You would remember what Sandy told you and you would never forget what he did. I had a little to do with Sandy from time to time and one thing I can tell you he never forgot who anyone was or what they did.

Larger than life: Sandy Kidd was a genuine human being who cared more about others than himself.

Larger than life: Sandy Kidd was a genuine human being who cared more about others than himself.

Born in Brisbane on January 21 in 1940, he was the eldest son of Jim and Mary Kidd. Like many, he started his education to be boarded at Nudgee Junior College in 1949 and on to the senior college in 1954. He found himself in the same class as other notable rural identities, Jim Scully, Dick Banks and Lex Heinemann, Dr Billy Coman and Dr Joe Ganjemi along with Roger Wickham. He excelled at boxing (which always made you popular at any school).

Sandy loved Nudgee and naturally that led to both his boys, Tom and James (Dude), attending the school also. The girls, Catherine, Denise (Necie) and Helen all attended Lourdes Hill in Brisbane. Although he had to leave school early, Sandy realised the importance of education, not only for his own family but for all. He was a big supporter and contributor to the Priority Country Area Program and gave a lot of time to improving education opportunities for rural kids or "desert kids" as he called them. Look out any bureaucrat who would try to reduce services in rural towns.

Unfortunately Sandy had to leave school in grade 10 as his father was not well and returned home to the family property Mayfield Windorah. Mayfield was settled by Sandy's grandfather, James Kidd, in 1906. Today the Bloodwood tree where the "billy" was first boiled by James is still growing and one would expect that the Kidd generations following will continue the tradition.

Sandy obtained his pilot's licence when he returned home from school; his Cessna 172 VH KLA was his pride and joy.

Sandy obtained his pilot's licence when he returned home from school; his Cessna 172 VH KLA was his pride and joy.

Sandy obtained his pilot's licence when he returned home; his Cessna 172 VH KLA was his pride and joy. Not only was flying his preferred way to cover his beloved channel country, but on many occasions it was used to provide assistance to the wider community in delivering supplies to a property or isolated town during floods. Mercy missions to save a sick or injured child or an expectant mum, the search and rescue of a stranded tourist, child or station hand who had lost their way. He was also of great assistance to the Royal Flying Doctor Service providing advice on the location of remote airstrips.

Bruce Scott, Moothandilla Station, Windorah, a great mate of Sandy and also the Mayor of the Barcoo Shire, provided a eulogy at the service for Sandy at Nudgee College. Bruce was contacted by past RFDS pilots Roger Ruddick and Mick Jeff and stated on their behalf just how lucky and grateful they were to have a friend and mentor in Sandy. "They were so appreciative of the way they were able contact him for advice on flying conditions and information regarding remote air strips," he said.

Leaving school early really was a blessing for Sandy. His grandmother was not well and in 1963 a young nurse arrived at Mayfield to take care of her. That young nurse became Mrs Anne Kidd. Sandy took to the skies with Anne and over the channels, and while on autopilot, asked Anne to marry him. They tied the knot in September 1963 after a short courtship.

Continued next week.

Sandy Kidd realised early on that aerial mustering was the way of the future, rather than on horseback.

Sandy Kidd realised early on that aerial mustering was the way of the future, rather than on horseback.

  • Brendan Wade: 0439 663 060, brendanwade59@hotmail.com
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