Brushman of the Bush dies.

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:20
ThreadID: 138017 Views:2101 Replies:15 FollowUps:8
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Jack Absalom OAM, one of the Brushmen of the Bush has died at 91 years of age.
An absolute legend, Jack was an artist and bush survivalist along with other talents and a 'generous' style of communication. He will be missed.
The ABC News item is here.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:26

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:26
Allan, you beat me by 2 minutes, and you posted while I was typing!

I guess a few of the younger members have no idea who Jack Absolom was - but for the older members, I know many will be saddened to hear of this great bush characters passing.

The ABC article only just touches on Jacks interesting and amazing life, and life skills.
His cheery nature and "can-do" attitude to everything he approached - even to making instructive films and videos - denotes the status of the man as a legend, and as one of those rare breed of tough bushmen, that seem to be getting less and less in numbers every year.

These are the same resourceful, intelligent and independent blokes who performed outstandingly during WW2 as Commandos, and in other leadership positions, where they gave both the Japs and the Germans a hard time.

The world is a poorer place for Jack Absoloms passing and I trust he's now enjoying meeting up again with many of his long-gone mates. RIP Jack.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:35

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:35
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Agreed Ron. Jack had such a cheery enthusiastic style. The only thing he sold was his love of The Bush. Having a bigger hat does not make others a bigger man. lol
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil 'n Jill (WA) - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:42

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:42
Very true Ron - I picked up one of his survival books very early in my 4wd years and handed it down to the next generation. Very practical information and so genuine in his TV presentations. Top bloke.
Vale Jack Absolom.

Regards - Phil
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Mar 25, 2019 at 10:35

Monday, Mar 25, 2019 at 10:35
I enjoyed watching (and reading the stuff he did with Reg) his shows. I didn't know he was a commando. Is there any links of who he served with? I have family members who were ww2 commandos. They certainly didn't feel too respected unfortunately after their service. It wasn't until the 50's and 60's that their style of warfare was valued and the SAS was formed from their lessons learned. RIP Jack.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Mar 25, 2019 at 12:00

Monday, Mar 25, 2019 at 12:00
Sorry, GBC - perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my description of Jack. I wasn't saying he was actually a Commando - I was saying he was out of the same mold as the WW2 Commandos - many of whom were good bushmen to start with.

Jack was a bloke with resourcefulness, toughness, initiative, leadership ability, observation ability, fearlessness, a great understanding and perception of the areas he lived in - and an ability to turn his hand to anything he attempted, with a great deal of success.

These are the same qualities and characteristics of the WW2 Commandos.

I guess having to become a breadwinner at an early age after his Dad broke his back probably led to a lot of Jack's outstanding character - but I believe he was also born with a great deal of innate abilities.

Jack was born on Remembrance Day 1927, which meant he didn't turn 18 until after WW2 ended.

I hope that clears it up for you. My apologies for the lack of clarity in my initial post.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Mar 25, 2019 at 12:10

Monday, Mar 25, 2019 at 12:10
Ah roger dodger. I thought he might have been young. My great uncle passed this year @ 98 Y.O. - he was one of the last. 2/5th then 2/7th 'double black diamonds'. I'm always keen to learn more.
Cheers for the heads up. Have a good one.
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:35

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:35
Here's an earlier ABC article on Jack, from March 2018.

ABC - Jack Absalom on his unconventional Outback life

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:36

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 11:36
Still got his cook books from over 35 years ago...RIP.
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Reply By: friar - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 13:27

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 13:27
My camp oven cooking started with one his cook books about 35 years ago also, always in the car with the road maps.True Aussy Bush Man.
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Reply By: OBJ - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 14:12

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 14:12
Yes, Allan .. I consider him a loveable rogue. We visited his gallery in Broken Hill en route to Cameron Corner. He strongly advised us to travel via Moomba Gas Field, and to call in and get fuel and ask for the free bag of ice once we had paid for the fuel.

It was shortly after 9/11 and we arrived at Moomba and waited at the gate for quite some time for security to came to OK our entry, but nobody turned up. We then drive in and bought fuel. At that point a security guy asked if the car at the pump was mine and I replied that it was. He said he wanted us off the place immediately...and none too polite about it either.

I went to the car. I had also picked up a small hammer which I was going to pay for with the fuel. When I got to the car,I asked if he could fixed up for my fuel .. Nope, back in and pay for your fuel and then "p*ss off".

I paid, but got no ice ... and had a bloody good laugh as we drove out .. while delivering a spray to the rude security dude.

RIP Jack ... a true legend!!!!
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 15:07

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 15:07
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I worked with Santos from the very beginning, in Adelaide and at Moomba and beyond.
I can't remember just when it was that they closed the site but I do remember the reason. Tourists were coming into the servo then proceeding beyond the No Entry signs to drive around within the gas plant which was bloody dangerous. Could not understand why Santos did not configure it to leave part of the servo accessible to tourists whilst closing off access to the plant.
I'm surprised that you got through the gate without challenge. Maybe the security guard was remiss which may explain his angst.

I guess that Jack was not up-to-date with the site closure.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 14:32

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 14:32
"People only eat damper in the bush because they cant cook bread in a camp oven" Jack Absalom

It was that quote that got me into camp oven cooking.

I've never seen two better dressed camp cooks than both Jack and his uncle Reg.

Another legend gone!

Cheers

Anthony
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Work - a 40 hour interuption to my weekend!
Too many places - too little time

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Reply By: axle - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 14:47

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 14:47
Hi Allan, Yes he will be missed!, Excellent knowledge on most topics,and probably the only bloke that would get to his destination in his Mits Sigma just as easily as those in a 4wd...lol.


Cheers Axle
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Reply By: Stevemac - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 15:33

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 15:33
Love your “generous style of communication” remark ;)
Learned a thing or two from his old books and later videos, which also had their element of amusement. Great character.
Had the pleasure of meeting him last year and he mentioned he had prostate issues. Whether this had any impact on his passing, I don’t know.
RIP Jack.

Edit: whoops... meant to be a follow up of Allan’s original post
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 17:32

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 17:32
Vale Jack Absalom, a true gentleman of the bush.

Macca.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 19:21

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 19:21
Jack was terrific in his day, encouraging people to get out and off the tar. He had some great ideas for survival and keeping your car going in awkward and breakdown situations. Much of his ideas are no longer relevant because of technology but were great in their time. A lot of his episodes we in normal cars of the day, a Sigma Wagon comes to mind. One tip I took from him and implemented for many years, even decades was to pump your spare tyre to double the normal road pressure and carry a double ended Schrader hose so you could transfer half the pressure to your slow leaking tyre. Saved me many times changing to the spare and got me to the servo for a repair. Not a bad innings 91 yo. He had an interesting life and a great artist to boot! He will be missed greatly! Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

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Get out and do something instead!

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Follow Up By: Member - Harry C - Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 19:59

Sunday, Mar 24, 2019 at 19:59
Called in to his gallery on the way back from Streaky Bay last September and to my delight he was there. I was lucky enough to have a good conversation with him . A memorable event.
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Follow Up By: Candace S. - Monday, Mar 25, 2019 at 08:26

Monday, Mar 25, 2019 at 08:26
I just finished watching the video. Indeed, some of the Bush repairs were very clever, but irrelevant on a modern vehicle. However, the hose for siphoning air from the spare Tyre is a very interesting idea. And one I had never heard of before.

BTW, the kangaroo infestation shown in the video was amazing! And I thought the Flinders were overrun last year when I was there. That was nothing compared to what what's going on in that video footage! :o
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Reply By: Shaker - Monday, Mar 25, 2019 at 11:11

Monday, Mar 25, 2019 at 11:11
We always used to enjoy Jack’s shows & at least he lived to a ripe old age. I know mentioning spelling is a sore point here, but it was disrespectful of Channel 7 to misspell his name this morning, it’s not hard to check.
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Reply By: qldcamper - Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 10:02

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 10:02
Sorry to hear about your loss April, if your reading this my thoughts are with you.
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Reply By: duck - Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 13:55

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 13:55
I built Jack a couple of boats & was lucky enough to travel with him in the late 70's & mid 80's, he taught me how to cook (or a least yelled at me) & as previous threads always had a funny yarn but the funniest thing was when he showed how to start that sigma by jacking the backup & spinning the the rear wheel & it fell off the jack & started to drive away by its self (that never got on his survival movie) but after we all fell around laughing, Jacks wife Mary deserved a gold medal for putting up with all those bad jokes, wicked sense of humour, a lovely lady she would say don't worry how much he yells at you its his way of communicating, she is a close relative of explorer William Wills
He will be mist & it’s probably only Alby Mangles & Ben Crop that left of the well-known ones left of that era now
RIP old mate
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 14:45

Tuesday, Mar 26, 2019 at 14:45
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Much has been published about Jack Absalom but this story on the ABC's 'Off Track' just a year ago, describes Jack's life pretty well. This was a digest of an interview and the full 25 minute audio is linked at the bottom of that article.

It is to be hoped that the ABC will soon air a special on Jack, perhaps on Australian Story or such. His whole life was colourful, from start to finish. And he lives on still in his artworks.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Phil G - Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 at 23:21

Thursday, Mar 28, 2019 at 23:21
Thank God for Youtube! I watched a lot of Jack's shows in years gone by and he was one of my inspirations for travelling the outback in a Corolla in the 1970's and 1980's (along with Jeff Carter)
Last year I was fortunate to meet Jack in his Gallery for the first time.

But at least we can sit back and relive what Jack had to offer:
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Jack+Absalom
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