Mov­ing on

Three Pil­bara leg­ends leav­ing

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

One of the Pil­bara’s most recog­nis­able and colour­ful res­i­dents for the best part of half cen­tury has called time on his life in the red dirt.

Glenn Con­nell has never been one to shy away from the spot­light dur­ing his 43 years in the re­gion — his short shorts, “flanno”, boots and big hat have made him a lo­cal leg­end, while his pen­chant for chew­ing peo­ple’s ears off has left those who have met him usu­ally with a unique story to tell.

For the past 23 years the his­toric Pyra­mid Sta­tion has been his home, a place of many tales to which the Con­nell fam­ily has added plenty more.

Mr Con­nell’s chap­ter in the history of Pyra­mid Sta­tion is com­ing to an end.

He is mov­ing to a farm in New Nor­cia, so he can spend more time with his wife and two daugh­ters.

“I’ve seen this place change a lot since 1974 from be­ing a kid rid­ing out on the train to Sam­son jetty, to Kar­ratha which was just a shop­ping cen­tre and the de­vel­op­ment of Bul­garra,” he said.

“I used to drive through Kar­ratha and I would al­ways say ‘one day, there will be traf­fic lights here’. There were a few pre­dic­tions I made way back then which ac­tu­ally have turned out right.

“I have a lot of great mem­o­ries, there will be a lot I’ll miss about liv­ing out here ... don’t you worry about that.”

Not only has Mr Con­nell been a quirky char­ac­ter in the re­gion, he has also been one of its big­gest ad­vo­cates for ac­knowl­edge­ment of the Pil­bara’s pas­toral history.

He has a room full of his­toric arte­facts found on his many ven­tures out and around Pyra­mid Sta­tion as well as a head full of sto­ries from for­mer pas­toral­ists and early set­tlers’ an­ces­tors who have taken the time to stop by.

The sto­ries may be lost with Mr Con­nell’s de­par­ture, but he said the arte­facts would re­main boxed up to be do­nated to who­ever “gets their s .... to­gether” and builds a mu­seum in Roe­bourne.

Mr Con­nell said the move to New Nor­cia would bring his fam­ily back to­gether again.

“I’ve been out here three years by my­self and the girls have been in town,” he said.

“I never thought I’d leave the Pil­bara — you hear peo­ple say all the time, ‘the red dust gets in your blood’.”

Mr Con­nell won’t be with­out some of his Pil­bara com­forts — his leg­endary hat will still be on his head and he says while he has no idea how he will do it yet, his ex­ten­sive horn col­lec­tion will be mov­ing with him too.

Sheila the don­key, the one he rode at the Pan­na­won­ica Rodeo, will also go come along for the ride as will Sheila’s best mate, a pet cow named But­ter­fly.

Nr Con­nell said there was ev­ery chance he would en­ter Sheila in horse com­pe­ti­tions down south.

The cur­rent man­agers at nearby Mal­lina Sta­tion­will move into the Pyra­mid Sta­tion home­stead to be­gin writ­ing a new chap­ter in the Pyra­mid Sta­tion story.

Pic­tures: Tom Zaun­mayr

Pyra­mid Sta­tion man­ager Glenn Con­nell. In­set: Mr Con­nell and his don­key Sheila in the lo­cal bar­rel race at the Robe River Rodeo in Pan­na­won­ica.

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