The Men from Snowy River

Townsville Daily Bulletin

5 December 1950

L.B. writes from the East Kimberleys about the men "from Snowy River":-

Mr. A. P. Macnamara, known locally as "Galloping Pat," now retiring from the Kimberleys to take up residence with his wife in their Sandgate (Brisbane) home, managed Lissadell Station for nearly 20 years.

Pat comes from a well-known Snowy River family. His father, the late Thomas Michael Macnamara, who passed away at Griffiths some years ago, aged 94, was the man whom Banjo Patterson immortalised in his poem, "Clancy of the Overflow."

Pat's mother, Theresa Mary, was sister to Jim Troy, the original "Man from Snowy River." Pat has been good enough to let me browse through the numerous cuttings from old papers and various other documents which substantiate beyond all doubt the truth of these statements.

Actually the ride was not down Kosciusko's side, as the poem runs; it was down the hills behind Wagga. Pat says that from Troy's place you could see the hills in the direction of Tumut, and it was from Troy's place that the 1,000 colt of "Regret" got away.

The men who rode in that epic chase were Tom Macnamara, known always as Clancy, his cousin Andy, and Jim Troy with his brother Tom. The horse ridden by Jim Troy was named "Mungo," and as the poem states, he was weedy and undersized, but Clancy stood by Jim and "I think we ought to let him come," he said. Jim died at Cootamundra when he was only 33 years of age.

Of the 13 children born to these old pioneers, eight survived. The men stayed with their first love, the land, and the daughters did likewise and married men of the land.

Despite the fact that his parents were both born in Wagga, and Pat himself also, he still has the Irish twist to his tongue, handed down by his grandparents. About five feet eight inches tall, of stocky build, with a thick mass of greying hair and bright blue eyes, Pat won his nickname by his habit of galloping everywhere he went.

When he first came to Lissadell, long before the advent of the mail planes, it was just part of his job to swim a horse across the swollen Ord River to get mail and papers, but as Pat says -"those little crocodiles won't hurt you, they're fresh water crocs; it's the big jokers you have to watch out for."

That may be true, but I would not trust myself in the deep holes of the Ord with the fresh water crocs I've seen. They still have too many wicked-looking teeth for my liking.

Pat expects to be leaving next month for Brisbane, but whether a home by the sea will make up to him for his years spent in the East Kimberleys remains to be seen.

Can a man who has lived his whole life in free, unfenced country, ever really settle down to life bounded by a picket fence? I have my doubts, but we all wish him well.