Ex-sta­tion owner had real pas­sion for Pil­bara

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

A for­mer long-term res­i­dent of Mill­stream Sta­tion who wrote a book on the his­tory of the area and re­mained pas­sion­ate about the Pil­bara all his life, died last month, aged 95.

Doug Gor­don owned and man­aged the Mill­stream pas­toral prop­erty with his brother Stu­art from 1954-1964, in­her­it­ing it from his par­ents in the days be­fore it was part of Mill­stream-Chich­ester Na­tional Park.

He wrote a book of North West mem­oirs called The West Pil­bara: Sail and Teams to Bulk Car­ri­ers and Bi­tu­men, and a pic­to­rial map of Mill­stream he drew aged about 12 can still be seen at the old home­stead at the na­tional park.

Fam­ily friend and for­mer sonin-law Ross New­man gave the eu­logy at Mr Gor­don’s fu­neral in Ger­ald­ton on Fe­bru­ary 28 and said Mill­stream had al­ways been a “beloved” place for Mr Gor­don.

“For Doug, and later his own chil­dren, this was the ul­ti­mate play­ground — with fresh­wa­ter streams, lush gar­dens and tow­er­ing date palms set amid the harsh beauty of the Pil­bara,” he said.

Born on a sta­tion in Bro­ken Hill, NSW in 1921, Mr Gor­don moved to Mill­stream as a child when his par­ents bought the sta­tion from the Cook­son broth­ers.

He moved back to Mill­stream af­ter fin­ish­ing school, and again af­ter serv­ing with the RAAF in World War II, and he and wife Mil­dred raised their chil­dren on the prop­erty.

Mr Gor­don and his brother man­aged the sta­tion for a decade be­fore sell­ing to the Kennedy fam­ily in 1964 and mov­ing to the Mid West, and it be­came a na­tional park in 1982.

He was also an ac­tive mem­ber of the Pil­bara com­mu­nity who ran a Roe­bourne gen­eral store and a Wit­tenoom butcher’s shop, was a judge at North West horse race meet­ings, served on re­gional road boards, and was a mem­ber of Freema­son’s Fortes­cue Lodge and Hard­ing Lodge.

Picture: Marg Bertling/ Pil­bara Site Pics

Doug Gor­don and daugh­ter Sue Mitchell at the Hard­ing Lodge 125th An­niver­sary Ball in 2014.

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