CQ in­dus­try stal­wart launches book

Central and North Rural Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

AFTER many years of hard work, Sir Gra­ham McCam­ley has re­leased his book Roads in the Sky – a re­flec­tion on his life in the cat­tle in­dus­try.

Sir Gra­ham had thought and spo­ken about writ­ing the pub­li­ca­tion for many years, but on July 15, 2015, he started writ­ing.

For three and a half years Sir Gra­ham, his fam­ily, friends and staff mem­ber Anna Keehn wrote, gath­ered pho­tos, and scanned di­aries and news­pa­per clip­pings to go into the book. Vic­to­rian cou­ple Jenny Mountstephen and her late hus­band Nick were en­listed to help bring the con­tents of the pub­li­ca­tion to­gether and add in in­ter­views with Sir Gra­ham him­self.

An ex­tract of the bi­og­ra­phy from Page 75 talks about the day Sir Gra­ham pur­chased the fa­mous Tar­tarus stud.

“In 1954, at the age of 21, Gra­ham took his next sig­nif­i­cant step. With his fa­ther, he in­spected a prop­erty called Tar­tarus, two hours from Rock­hamp­ton. It was an 18,000-hectare block of scrub and briga­low, with 1500 head of cat­tle. And a river. The scrub land on Tar­tarus needed de­vel­op­ing, Gra­ham could see.

The block had first been sur­veyed al­most 100 years ear­lier by ex­plorer Henry Horst Brown, who fol­lowed hard upon the Archers (of cen­tral Queens­land ex­plor­ing fame) in 1854.

The prop­erty had three more own­ers be­tween 1859 and 1954. It was pur­chased by Jarvis Collins in 1927 from the Pub­lic Cu­ra­tors’ Of­fice for just £51, a bar­gain due to the in­fes­ta­tion of prickly pear.

Two days after Gra­ham in­spected the prop­erty, the then own­ers, the Lo­gan broth­ers, ac­cepted an of­fer of £28,000.

‘I bought the prop­erty be­cause I loved the river, the Isaac, and it ad­joined Dad’s prop­erty Kaiuroo,’ said Gra­ham, who bor­rowed money to buy the land.

‘I paid £28,000 for the land and some cat­tle, fi­nanced by an over­draft at the Bank of New South Wales, which Dad guar­an­teed.’

Gra­ham said that his fa­ther told him that the best way to train a young man and get some sense into him was to give him a big over­draft and an even big­ger patch of briga­low suck­ers. So far, he was on track.

They car­ried out a bang-tail muster prior to set­tle­ment and took de­liv­ery of a to­tal of 2085 head, in­clud­ing 937 horned here­ford breed­ers.”

The first copy of the book, framed and signed by Sir Gra­ham him­self, was auc­tioned off and sold for $8000 to Karla McPhail.

Roads in the Sky ,is avail­able at the G.E. McCam­ley Group of­fice at 87 Bolsover St, Rock­hamp­ton.

❝ I bought the prop­erty be­cause I loved the river, the Isaac and it ad­joined Dad’s prop­erty Kaiuroo. — Sir Gra­ham McCam­ley

PHOTO: GE­ORDI OF­FORD

BOOK LAUNCH: John Mill­roy, Lloyd Way and Sir Gra­ham McCam­ley with the first edi­tion of Roads in the Sky.

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