My father did many things in his life, and he was hoping to write a book about his life, and was hoping to record his instructions to the younger generation, on Horsemanship, and especially how to break in and train the young horse.
He kept notes, and taped his story onto an old Tape Recorder. I have some of his notes, and some of his tapes, that I hope to record on his behalf in the future.
Some of Dads roles in his life included the following. Dad was contracted by the Army to break in and train horses for the Army for the Wars. This was a massive project to not only find the young horses, or any horses, that could be suitable and trained for war, but to train the horses in as short a time as possible, but to ensure the horses were properly trained.
During the second world war, Dad ran a Taxi Service around the city of Melbourne. I believe he had four and six horse teams, they called them four in hand, or six in hand. He said it was a very busy time, transporting the soldiers to the trains and ships, to go to war, and again when they came home.
My father was also actively involved with buying and selling cattle on behalf of clients, and travelled all over the east coast of Australia, buying up cattle to make complete breeding and dairy herds for his many clients.
When I was living in Melbourne, just a couple of years ago, I met an old gentleman of 95 years. He told me he used to watch the stockmen moving the cattle around Melbourne. Great herds of stock were moved along the streets, taking them to Newmarket Saleyards, or out to the paddocks in the suburbs. This elderly gentleman lived near Hoddle Street, Richmond at the time. He said they were in awe of these men with horses and dogs, moving the cattle along the streets, chasing the wayward stock that broke loose, or went the wrong way, or went into peoples gardens and backyards. His name was Alf Cohen, and he said he knew my father, and would often see him taking a herd of cattle up Hoddle Street, on his way to the paddocks at Kew.
Dad met and married my mother through their mutual love and work with the horses. Dad was 53, and my mother 34 when they married. They started their family soon after, and by the time dad was 58, they had us four children.
My mother had been farming with her family at Lancefield and around the Kyneton area just outside of Melbourne. After her father died, and the family farm was broken up, mum was looking to buy her own farm. As it happened Dad was familiar with the NE Victoria area. He had been moving stock from Melbourne to Wodonga and vice versa.
They moved to Wodonga not long after marriage, and bought vacant farmland on the outskirts of Wodonga. They transported an old weatherboard home onto the front parcel of land, and built a large extension on to it soon after.
My story about farm life with my parents, is about this period in dad’s life, at a time when most people start to think about retiring. He was an exceptional man, a great mentor and provided a huge inspiration to all.
My mother was also a huge inspiration, an exceptional person, and a great mentor. Her story is to follow shortly.
My theme to this blog, and my story, ‘Interesting Life of a Nobody’, A Fortunate Life ,owes much of the story to my exceptional parents. Both were outstanding in their careers and area of expertise. If it were not for the mentoring and inspiration from my parents, I doubt that I would have had such an interesting life.