Face of the saleyards
Man of the land still involved
JOHN James entered the world in 1937 and lived at Casino, New South Wales, until he was eight.
He then moved to the family farm at Cedar Creek Rd near Moonford.
On the farm the areas of productionwere dairy, beef cattle, pigs and grain crops.
The farm covered 1200 acres and there was also a 5000-acre forestry lease.
Young John started at Gatton Agricultural College in 1951.
His first job was cutting timber with his father using a cross-cut saw. The timber was moved by horse to a central point for collection by a contractor to be sent to Monto sawmill. Horses were still used in the 1950s and John James still fondly remembers that time.
“Yes, there were horses working then and I can still name them – Bonnie, Blossom, Diamond and the lazy one Tiger,” Mr James said.
When not engaged in the rigors of work Mr James was a keen sport- sman, playing cricket and tennis for the Moonford teams. In 1973 he gave cricket away and joined the Monto Bowls Club and served 33 years on the committee with some breaks in between.
He gave up dairying when it went from cream to milk and went to work for stock and station agent Joe Quinn. Mr James continued working for him until the business was purchased by Dalgetys. He then stayed on as manager for Dalgetys for three years before buying them out and trading as John James Livestock and Property.
In the mid 1980s John James bought the Monto Saleyards from the late Brian Schimke and these are now used for Monto Cattle and Country’s fortnightly Fat and Store Sales.
In March 2002 he sold that business to Donna and Brad McInally who had worked for Mr James.
But the change did not mean Mr James was stepping away from the business.
“I still work for them on the sale weeks and continue to hold a current real estate and auctioneer’s licence,” Mr James said.
“Very occasionally I will sell a pen of cattle to relieve the other auctioneers.”
Mr James is not doing too badly for 75 years of living and has some thoughts about why he has lived a long life remaining active and productive. Work hard, play sport, run a cattle herd, go fishing, and bowl he said.
AUCTIONEERING HAND: John James knows the best deals at a cattle sale.