The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame hosted the 26th annual Drovers’ Reunion on the Labour Day weekend to great acclaim by the 50 drovers and their families who travelled thousands of kilometres from around Australia on their annual pilgrimage to meet their mates again in Longreach.
The original number of drovers tallied 240 when the Muster was founded by the late Jim Cuming 26 years ago and this year was particularly a time of reflection and remembrance when four plaques were placed on commemorative bottle trees at the Drovers Grove in a memorial service honouring those who had passed away in the past year.
This was followed by the mounting of a commemorative leaf to honour Jim at the Eternal Muster memorial wall in the open-air chapel.
The Drovers’ Reunion has been very ably and professionally run by Hank and Berry Cosgrove who each year travel from Brisbane to the delight of the drovers and their families.
They are assisted by a fantastic team of droving friends and helpers and the staff at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.
The drovers enjoyed a fun-filled weekend including camp oven dinners, group photos, Lachie Cosser’s highly acclaimed Outback Show, and extensive visits to the Stockman's Hall of Fame to view the new exhibits.
One such new attraction is the Indigenous Heritage project depicting the lives of the Indigenous stockmen and stockwomen.
This is proving a very popular addition to the Hall of Fame and continues the never-ending stories of the lives of the drovers and their families down through the generations.
The Drovers’ Reunion is a celebration of the huge contribution made by drovers across the country and the part they played in the livestock industry in the past, and their stories and lives are treasured and honoured by the Stockman’s Hall of Fame.
The Outback Games is always a highlight of the weekend where every event from boiling the billy, damper making, whip cracking, driving the nail, throwing the rolling pin and a unique drover’s special, throwing the boot at the dog, keep alive the traditions of the stockmen and women and are very keenly contested.
This year the drovers were challenged by a group of young people who demonstrated great skills and gave the old drovers a run for their money, winning several events.
The overall winner of the sash for the champion ringer across all events for the very first time was won by a very talented lady drover, Noelene Lindsay from Dalby.
Damper making: 1st Desley Chicken, 2nd Bill Cooney
Billy boiling: 1st Jenny Perkins, 2nd Noeleen Lindsay
Whip cracking: 1st Azzie Fazulla, 2nd Bill Ward
Boot throw: 1st Jackson Kelly, 2nd Brock McCoy
Nail driving, mens: 1st Mick Gallagher, 2nd John Gillies
Nail driving ladies: 1st Judy Cosgrove, 2nd Hanna Cossor
Rolling pin mens: 1st Jackson Kelly, 2nd James Fergusson
Rolling pin ladies: 1st Keeleigh McCoy, 2nd Patsy Ward
Cricket wicket: 1st Ailsa Mole, 2nd Merv Buckley
Horse shoe throw: equal 1st Geoff Barber and Ailsa Mole, 2nd Brock McCoy