An Old Gundagai Boy Takes a Run Round 6 March 1924 The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, Agricultural and Mining Advocate
A few lines received from Mr. J. F. Quilter, of Claris Park, Junee. He tells me he has just returned from a tour around the district where he was born – Gobarralong - and meeting some of the old identities he so well remembers when they were boys, merry, merry boys - when they were boys together.
Mr. Quilter saw the old spots where the old homes stood in the days before the '52 flood, and also the present fine homesteads which have been erected in their stead.
My friend says it was very pleas-ant to see worthy descendants of the grand old pioneers still occupying the land which was first settled about 1823.
The explorer Sturt camped on the Murrumbidgee at what is now Mingay in 1829.
In those early days Warby owned Mingay and Darbalara, and in 1828 those "grand old English gentlemen," the brothers Peter and Henry Stuckey, took up Willie Ploma in 1829.
The Stuckey Brothers had Willie Ploma stocked with cattle & horses on Sturt's expedition in 1829.
During his ramble, Mr. Quilter met a son of Henry Stuckey, Mr. Archie Stuckey, the much - respected "Squire of Tarrabandra."
A chat about the "Old Ins" and old times and places you can bet took place between these young coves, to the pleasure of both.
Three Gobarralong families whose names will never die - the Crowes, the Carberrys and the Luff's - were also visited, and old-time memories exchanged.
Mr Willie Luff has been very ill, but is on the improve.
Miss Sarah Luff, who so efficiently kept the Post Office at Gobarralong for many years, was also chatted with.
It was Miss Luff that Mr Quilter's sister the late lamented Mrs Quilty carried on her back from the house to higher ground on the night of the '52 flood.
Mr Harry, Crowe, J.P.. Shire Councillor, and member of Land Board, still keeps North Gobarralong on the map for his wool -always brings prices well above the average.
The younger branch of the pioneer Carberrys - William, Tom and Arthur, and Herb. Romie and Joe - are like old Johnnie Walker, still going strong.
Herb still wields the willow, and has a young aspirant to fame in the grand old game, young Vin.
Over on that beautiful little watercourse, the Adjungbilly Creek, the spot where the Quirk family, an old and respected Wagra family were reared.
Mr. "Tom" Givney was interviewed. This gentleman is the "same old Tom", as happy as Larry under the smile of the big hill. Tom's tomatoes and veges. are as good as they were 30 years ago.
Down the creek, the ever hospitable "Shadybrook" was visited, the home of Mrs John Pierse.
But, alas, the sad news of the awfully sudden and cruel death of her son, Edward, had just been received, and a sorrowful home it was, for a mother mourned a son.
Mr, Quilter was the recipient of the hospitality of Mr and Mrs J. T. Cole, who have done so much to give Darbalara a world-wide fame.
He was shown the grand herd of Milking Shorthorns that are so ably controlled by the most capable man in Australia to-day.
Time was all too short to thoroughly inspect, and Mr Quilter was loth to leave Mr and Mrs. Cole and daughter.
Strange as it may seem, Mr. Quilter's first essay on the land was to conditionally purchase the portion the Darbalara homestead now stands on.
The station held preemptive rights over the homestead.
It was then owned by thee Osborne family, who even at that early period had some splendid milking cows, and the Darbalara "Melba's" are descended from the H.O. brand of the days of long ago. Those were the good horses and horsemen - the Osborne Sons, of Wagara, and the Keighrans, of Brungle Station.
Though now residing far from the spot where he first saw the light, Mr Quilter has a very warm corner in his heart for good old Gundagai and Gobarralong, where he still has big interests, having purchased the 'Ellamatta' property, so long held by his late brother, James.
The ramble through the Murrumbidgee Valley was thoroughly enjoyed by our friend.