Fam­ily fills his loss

in the sad­dle for district rodeo rider Pudjo

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50S - Noel Thomp­son noel.thomp­son@cnbtimes.com.au

TED Fuller was born at Coon­adarra across the river from Auburn Sta­tion in or about 1917.

He was a stock­man and drover and, in 1936 he mar­ried May Dodd, who was from the Theodore/Cam­boon area.

In 1937 Eddy Fuller was born. As a boy his dad gave him a nick­name and since then he has been known as “Pudjo”.

Back then there wasn’t much time for school­ing; Eddy did about 12 months at Theodore School. “I was 13 when I went to work at Woolton Sta­tion, drov­ing and sta­tion work was my trade and I did it well.

“Then in 1954 I moved to Coorooa Sta­tion out­side of Black­wa­ter,” Pudjo said.

“Stock work can be a tough game, danger­ous at times, and I had my worst ac­ci­dent at Coorooa.

“I was chas­ing wild cat­tle when my horse slipped and rolled on me leav­ing me with mul­ti­ple bro­ken ribs and in­ter­nal in­juries.”

Pudjo was taken to Emerald Hos­pi­tal and then trans­ferred to Rock­hamp­ton where he spent two months.

He started fol­low­ing rodeos around the Cen­tral High­lands and mixed with his sta­tion work he trav­elled to events in dis­tant towns.

He was still a young fel­low when he had his first com­pet­i­tive ride at Emerald.

“To my sur­prise and very un­ex­pect­edly I came sec­ond in the sad­dle bronc and third in the bare­back.

“Rodeo was then in my blood, and with my friend from Eidsvold, Richard Pope, we fol­lowed the rodeo cir­cuit and nom­i­nated in ev­ery event we could.

Rodeo venues in­cluded Bluff, Comet, Dingo, Capella, Spring­sure and then down through the Daw­son to Eidsvold and Gayn­dah.

He rode with the Aus­tralian Rodeo Cham­pion Lind­say Blace and his broth­ers Gor­don and Frank.

“I spent a lot of time work­ing on prop­er­ties in the river val­leys of the Fitzroy Basin, the Comet, No­goa and Daw­son, I have seen the great McKen­zie River 5 to 6 miles across in flood,” Pudjo said.

“Back to Eidsvold work­ing for the McCord’s at Coon­am­bula when I met my fu­ture wife, Edna Collins, work­ing at the hos­pi­tal.”

They were mar­ried and went back to Olive Vale Sta­tion for a short time. Edna be­came preg­nant with her first of nine chil­dren, they be­lieved Eidsvold was the place to raise a fam­ily.

“I lost Edna 35 years ago to kid­ney dis­ease (but) hav­ing a large fam­ily has helped sup­press the lone­li­ness and loss.

“Our chil­dren, An­nette, Eddy, Diane, Odette, Gra­ham (Billy), Deb­bie, Linda, David and Stephen have been great.”

What ad­vice he could give to young peo­ple?

“I know it’s been said be­fore and I’ll say again; don’t drink, smoke or take drugs.”

PHOTO: NOEL THOMP­SON

HOME AGAIN: Eddy Fuller has re­turned to Eidsvold af­ter a short spell in hos­pi­tal in Bund­aberg

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