Rural Notebook | Tough ask as loose ends tied up for ewe competition

UP IN THE AIR: The Burdekin district in Queensland has been ravaged in recent times. This Cessna muster is a regular job in more normal seasons.
UP IN THE AIR: The Burdekin district in Queensland has been ravaged in recent times. This Cessna muster is a regular job in more normal seasons.

BATHURST Merino Association is busy tying lots of ends as it puts finishing touches on the 2019 Maiden Ewe Competition.

We all realise how difficult it must be to put a program together at the last minute, when merino flocks aren’t as popular as in years past, flocks of Dohne and meat breeds are common and very dry conditions persist.

The event will be held on Friday, March 1; the bus will leave the McDonald’s rear car park and return by 6pm for the presentation dinner.

Tickets are available from Kirby on 0401 402 351 (text) or email

Costs are: dinner at RSL $25; bus and lunch only $25; bus, lunch and dinner $50. RSVP closes February 25.

Details of the upcoming wether trial will be available on the Maiden Ewe Competition day or by phoning Kirby or Rob McLeod on 0427 311 973.

GETTING THERE: As our season dries off quite quickly, these sheep are almost ready for market after grazing on a good brassica crop for several months.

GETTING THERE: As our season dries off quite quickly, these sheep are almost ready for market after grazing on a good brassica crop for several months.

Off and racing

BATHURST Regional Council has left no stone unturned in its planning for the Blayney 2 Bathurst Cycling Classic on Sunday, March 17.

This has developed into a major sporting event for our region and the few hours that some of our roads are closed is probably a small price to pay for a great spectacle and a big day out for many.

The hay bale challenge is a good reason to take some people you love for a drive and a few photos several days before the classic.


Looking back

LOTS of long-term Bathurst residents are enjoying Dave Free’s excellent postings on his Bathurst Memories Facebook page.

Perthville Neighbourhood Group included several historical photos on the page and an image of former stationmaster Gerald Jones and his daughter Ellen in the early 1960s caught my eye.

Mr Jones, assisted by Garry McGuinness and others, loaded 30,000 bales of wool per year on quite a few occasions.

None of this was done mechanically, but with two pronged bale hooks being the work tools.

Much of the loadings were carried out at weekends and the wool producers involved have never forgotten Gerry, Garry and the crew for their willingness to work hard for our industry.

The big move

LONG-TIME Bathurst residents Ray and Wilma Willott have decided to move to a Sydney suburb to be close to family members.

Ray was a livestock and general carrier across the tablelands for much of his working life and both partners were involved with Bathurst’s community life over many years.

Ray has been an active member of Bathurst Lions Club for decades and a Probus member in later years.

I know that many friends in our part of the world will join me in wishing you much happiness in the future.

Thank you for your work and your friendship, Wilma and Ray.

Birthday boy

HAPPY 90th birthday to Adrian Ryan in Bathurst.

Adrian drove the Dairy Farmers milk tanker for many years to collect from local dairy farms.

I’m told that if Three Wise Men were needed from Bathurst, Adrian Ryan would probably have been one of them.

Shedding jobs

DURING a recent ABC Radio interview, a grazier from Ivanhoe stated that four registered shearing contractors once operated from his town in our state’s far west.

With the change from woolgrowing sheep to the “shedders” whose fleece falls off, the town of Ivanhoe now has no shearing contractors and work in the sheep industry must be really scarce.

With these drastic changes must come a serious economic cost to the shops and businesses in most country towns.

Peace offering

SEVERAL Perthville residents gave me their very definite views on the type of action that they want Bathurst Regional Council to take regarding the flood mitigation works that are underway.

Thanks are due to council for taking decisive action in terminating the services of the former contractor for the project and resolving for council to get the floodworks completed on a quicker timeframe.

Some residents and ratepayers believe that the Vale Creek urgently needs dredging and widening for some 1300 metres so that floodwaters will flow quickly through the village.

My opinion is that all concerned would be wise to smoke the peace pipe with council, both levels of government and government departments who are stakeholders.

This column is just a sideline commentator, but I think peace and goodwill should achieve a positive result.

Diary dates

Friday, March 1: Bathurst Merino Association Maiden Ewe Competition. RSVP due now.

Thursday, March 7: Bush poetry and ballads night at Perthville Hall, 7pm.

Saturday, March 30: Wether Trial Shearing at 438 Cow Flat Road, Georges Plains.

Friday, March 22: Chad Morgan at Burraga Hall.

Wool report

A TOTAL of 40,165 bales were offered in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week. 

The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 2011 cents a kilogram, up 16c/kg, which continued the run of price rises over the last five weeks. 

The smallest offering of merino fleece in the last 12 months saw gains in all merino categories - from 10c/kg for the finer wools and around 25c/kg for the medium to broad types. 

Crossbred demand remained strong, with 28 micron seeing the highest prices since 1983.

Next week will see 42,469 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

“WHY do you call your father-in-law the Exorcist?” he asked. “Because whenever he visits, he rids our house of all spirits,” she replied.


THEY were a perfect match: she was a hypochondriac and he was a pill.


A CONFIRMED bachelor left $1.50 in coins as a tip for a waitress. She told him that tips were an indicator of character, lined up the three coins and said: “The first coin tells me that you enjoyed the food; the second tells me that you appreciated the service; and the third tells me that your father was also a bachelor.”