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The real story of Robert Stanley (Scamp) White in the public domain is not a larrikin story. It is a story of race fixing and intimidation; “business” dealings that would do a psychopath proud and widespread corruption that made Scamp White a central figure in a Royal Commission five years after his death. Did I mention tax evasion, arson, three or four marriages (I have proof of desertion in two divorces), and only two dead bodies on his properties that were newsworthy? Or that his brother earned a Military Medal, O.B.E., C.B.E. and was finally knighted as Knight Bachelor of the British Empire? The mind boggles.
R.S.White 1889-1951 owned Eskdale Station in the Somerset region of Queensland from 1931 to 1951 and it is not a statement that would make any regional community proud. His widow owned the property until her death in 1979 and she earned the district’s respect. There were no children of this marriage.
As far as I can tell, Scamp White had only two saving graces: his horses trusted him and he was born and bred in New South Wales!
I would like to thank Kev McKee for introducing me to the larrikin stories of Scamp White in Queensland and to Jim Ryan for his book “The Scamp”. The memory of these old cattle men is a treasure beyond price. I can’t compete with the larrikin stories but I can read and a few research skills and the internet verified all the old stories (my apologies, Kev, I often thought you were just having a go) and provided an Aladdin’s Cave from which new stories can now be drawn.
To the larrikins – do your worst; to the racing men –read Poitrel’s obituary; to the cattle dealers – look and learn (and now I am kidding!) And to my other readers: this is the true story of a man with little formal education, considerable political influence and a callous disregard for the feelings of others who amassed great wealth in his lifetime and shaped a culture of corruption in Queensland.
Elizabeth DeLacy [email protected]
The township of Colinton was built around the Standard Dairy Milk factory that served dairy farms selected from the original Colinton Station in 1904. The region had a railway siding, State school, Post Office and School of Arts by the declaration of war in 1914. Many country volunteers enlisted from this region and when the eldest son of the local councillor died of wounds received near Pozières in 1916, the community erected a public memorial to all those who had volunteered to serve. It included forty-three names of factory hands, agricultural workers and tradesmen. At least thirty-two of these soldiers returned to Australia after the conflict but only thirteen came back to Colinton
In 1920 Nestles bought the Colinton Milk factory and closed it so the township began to die. There were no buildings left there after the 1974 floods and the then Esk Shire Council removed the Colinton War Memorial from its original position beside the old School of Arts to its current one beside the D’Aguilar highway. There had not been an Anzac service at the memorial for many years before this publication and most of the old Colinton families have now left the district.
For Colinton’s veterans of WWI (below) who were shell-shocked, disfigured or reclusive these few words may be the only public recognition of their lives
Cecil Oliver Bruce Baker
Robert Oliver Bruce Barlow
Albert Claude Pugh Bleakley
Philip Joseph Caffery
Matthew Walter Campbell
Lawrence Edward Cliffe
Bernard Herbert Collins
John Thomas Coman
John James Fegan
Reginald John Francis
John Hamilton Gault
Lock James Gray
George Henery Hards
Walter Percival Holland
Harold Gordon Josey
Thomas Arnold Lack
Reuben John Lloyd
Harold Falcon William Marson
James Clapperton McLean
Francis Farrington Parkinson
Frederick Henry Peters
John Fraser Pittendreigh
Samuel David Reece
Albert George Riddle
George Edward Robinson
Hugh James Douglas Rose
William Frederick Seib
David Michael O’Halloran Smith
Eric Clifford Upton
This is a story of the horse and the relationship between a horse and its owner, trainer or jockey that produced a local favourite or a regional champion. It is also the story of the development of the race clubs throughout the Brisbane Valley: Nanango 1859; Upper Brisbane Races at Wivenhoe 1872; Esk 1874; Fernvale 1883; Kilcoy-Hazeldean races 1887; Lowood 1892;Crossdale 1901; Blackbutt 1902; Moore 1904; Toogoolawah 1908; Yarraman, 1912 and Linville 1913.
Early racing in Moreton Bay under the English Newmarket Rules allowed exclusive races for ‘Gentleman riders’ only. The Australian Jockey Club developed Homebush (later Flemington) Rules in 1850 without these exclusive conditions as did .the North Australian Jockey Club (Ipswich). Francis Bigge (Mt. Brisbane) was the Ipswich club’s inaugural president and demonstrated his contempt for the Brisbane Race Club that maintained Newmarket Rules by entering a bay gelding renamed Dirty Brisbaneite in the first Ipswich Cup in 1850. He took out the third prize if not the news headlines
Horse breeders dominated early regional race meetings. Charles and William Haly’s horses from Taabinga won the first Gayndah Purse, Corroboree Purse, Impromptu Stakes, Squatters’ Plate and the Burnett Stakes at Gayndah in 1852. And then they returned the following year to win all the advertised prizes again except for the saddle race. McCallum’s Pilgrim won the first President’s Cup at Nanango in 1869 and again in 1870. In 1872 ‘Walter Scott (Taromeo) went to court to prove his part-ownership of what was then called The Nanango Champion’. Ned McDonald’s black gelding Clarence raced at Esk until 1891 winning two Esk Handicaps and every selling race he entered. He finally came second in 1891 and Clarence died the following year. McDonald bought his old favourite back after each selling race win for this club over many years and Clarence played a prominent part in McDonald’s obituary.
At Kilcoy in 1946 Blue Val won a 4th Division Handicap at 5 to 1. He was owned by Bernborough’s Queensland trainer (A.C. Hitchins). So when an old stayer, Yandilla King, unexpectedly won the Stanley River Handicap at the same meeting he was described as ‘the Bernborough of the Brisbane Valley’ and the name stuck. The original Queensland champion broke down at the McKinnon Stakes in Victoria just three days later. And four years before the famous, or possibly mythical, call of Phar Lap first and Daylight second, All Serene won the Hurry Scurry on the Moore Race Course with … a horse called Daylight second. Perhaps we heard it in the Brisbane Valley first.
And so the stories keep coming: the pony mare Wait-a-While who took on all comers to prove she didn’t; the progeny of Poitrel, Melbourne Cup winner 1920, racing at Esk and the court cases to deny injured jockeys Workers’ Compensation. It was these local horsemen (privileged or not) who valued their horses and showed them to advantage on Brisbane Valley race tracks who defined regional Queensland for nearly a century. I hope you enjoy their stories.
Unlike clothes and dialects that are constantly changing, a community celebrates its history by those tried and true recipes that continue to serve the changing needs of its families. The families that contributed to this publication live in the Brisbane River Valley, a recent map of which appears inside the front cover. And many have their roots in pastoral pursuits whose parents and grandparents rode the old stock route that appears at the end of the book.
The recipes reflect a surprisingly diverse cultural background; ranging from the inevitable Anzac biscuits and Aberdeen sausage to Yorkshire pudding and Yoghurt. But we also have Indian Nibbles, Fish Kedgeree, Ginger Pork satays and Turkish Delight and Bill Baillie came home to share his Irish Cream. The Xalapa horse stud in Kentucky had previously shared its punch recipe with the Brisbane Valley horsemen and it masquerades as black tea, hence the stock route map for finding those who imbibed unwisely. The Scots are well represented with Tatties and Neeps, a traditional side dish with haggis and the Cloutie dumpling that the English stole and renamed plum pudding.
But perhaps the most interesting feature of this group of recipes is that it still reflects the necessary independence of communities subject to serious flooding by the Brisbane River and cut off from food supplies for weeks at a time. And so the recipes for homemade yeast, homemade bread, homemade ice cream, homemade chocolate and yoghurt still have relevance in 2019 as they did here in the recent 2011 and 2013 floods. Vacola’s recipe for homemade ginger beer is also included.
There are recipes for traditional fish, chicken and meats as well as some for quail, rabbit and Kangaroo.
Two recipes, perhaps, should be approached with some caution. Fat Rascals will be immediately identified by a Lancashireman and could safely be offered to old horsemen who have not succumbed to the quad bike or the helicopter. Members of this group are often rascals but seldom fat. In the same vein these biscuits could almost certainly be introduced one by one and by name to tuck-shop ladies who share all the stories of the many school-aged rascals in their care. In mixed company, however, and especially with strangers, re-branding might be a wise move in the first instance.
Elephant stew may need some substitution for metropolitan cooks although regional breeders of fat cattle may choose to show off their greatest success stories with this recipe. Other regional cooks are warned that wild pig is definitely not appropriate if an elephant is unavailable.
In the light of the above advice we also draw your attention to a recipe for “Unusual Baked Chicken” that may now raise a red flag in terms of survival strategies in some families. But apart from these minor considerations – Bon appetite from the Brisbane River Valley.
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