One man's story of pastoral WA

15 Dec, 2004 10:00 PM
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EVERY Australian has been raised on the myth of the bush, yet many have forgotten the primitive conditions and the adversity which sculpted the characters who settled our rugged outback frontier.

One Man's Story by Colin Price is a novel that gives an accurate and moving description of the WA pastoral industry at the turn of the century, when vast tracks of land became leases and our forefathers looked to a vacant horizon and decided to stay.

The story follows the life of Bob Williams, who becomes a jackaroo at the age of 13 when his father arranges for him to work with Charlie Bolton, an elderly bachelor and part owner and manager of Bulla Downs, a coastal sheep station north of Carnarvon.

Bob begins his traineeship carrying out the most menial tasks on the station, before earning Charlie's respect and being given the responsibilities of the senior stockmen.

Under the tutelage of Charlie, an outstanding manager and pastoralist, Bob develops from a boy to a man alongside a diverse group of peers, united despite age or background by isolation and the lore of the bush.

The story follows Bob's life as jackaroo, drover and contract musterer before he becomes a successful station manager in his own right.

This is the story of a love for the land and the animals that live there; and of friendship, loyalty and respect for indigenous men and women who were such a significant part of a formative chapter in the history of our nation.

The author has constructed a tangible picture of early station life and a true understanding of bush characters, underpinned by his own experiences in the pastoral rangelands over many years.

Colin Price has written two other novels, They Came to A Country, and They Came With Courage, which can also be purchased by contacting 9310 3132 (phone or fax) or colin.price@bigpond.com.

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