Family fills his loss
in the saddle for district rodeo rider Pudjo
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.”
HOME AGAIN: Eddy Fuller has returned to Eidsvold after a short spell in hospital in Bundaberg