Elder shares rich life

First rodeo ride at the ten­der age of 15, the last at 53

Central and North Burnett Times - - DOMAIN -

FAM­ILY, cul­ture, cat­tle and rodeos fea­ture highly in the life of Eidsvold elder Os­car Chap­man who, at 77, has fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries to share.

Os­car’s mum didn’t make it to the old Eidsvold Hospi­tal in time, so he was born on the hill nearby.

He re­mem­bers his teacher Tom Knox de­spite not be­ing a reg­u­lar at­tendee at school.

“I only went to school to Year 4. Mostly Iwas out­work­ing,” Os­car said.

“I learned to read and love comics and westerns.”

Os­car de­scribes his life as lucky be­cause he com­peted in rodeos from age 15 to 53 but has never had a bro­ken bone.

“On my first ride when I was 15 I won the novice bronc and went straight into the open,” he said.

“I learned to ride at Deep­bank Sta­tion. There were a lot of tough horses there. I learned to work cat­tle there, too.”

Os­car also got the at­ten­tion of his fu­ture wife, Lil­lian, while rid­ing in rodeos.

“I rode bet­ter when she was watch­ing and used to show off for her,” he said.

He chalked up many rodeo wins over the years at Eidsvold, Monto, Mt Perry and Mun­dub­bera, and won the last ride he had at age 53.

He knew RM Wil­liams well, de­scrib­ing him as “a nice man” and re­called tak­ing him to see hand­prints and be­ing taken back to his home to share a meal.

“I only rode in RM gear. It’s good to ride in,” he said.

Os­car and Lil­lian had 10 chil­dren. While they were grow­ing up, Os­car worked on many cat­tle sta­tions and trav­elled to Vic­to­ria once for the grape har­vest with Lil­lian’s cousin.

Pride in his fam­ily and in­dige­nous her­itage are ob­vi­ous. In his younger days Os­car trav­elled by train to cul­tural her­itage meet­ings as far away as Cler­mont and once trav­elled to Lon­greach as a mem­ber of the Land Coun­cil.

Re­cently he gave the Wel­come to Coun­try at the open­ing of the Bur­nett Ma­sonic Lounge and Sun­room at Eidsvold’s Mul­ti­pur­pose Health Cen­tre, which is now his home, and watched with pride as his grand­son, Jer­maine Bee­z­ley, per­formed an in­dige­nous play for the chil­dren at Eidsvold State School.

Photo: Sue Har­ris

PROUD GRAND­FA­THER: Os­car Chap­man at­tended the Eidsvold per­for­mance of his grand­son Jer­maine Bee­z­ley last week.

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