Bush Rogues....and colourful characters

Submitted: Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 21:04
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Gidday

I’m writing a couple of short autobiographies on a couple of blokes in East Gippsland. One I know well, but the other not much at all, apart from bush stories.

The latter, I believe, came from the Swifts Creek area and was renowned in the district for two things:

Dumping fertiliser whilst flying over a Football match (probably Bruthen or there about).

Flying under one of Gippsland’s River bridges.

For the life of me I can’t remember his family name. Any help you can give me would be appreciated.

PS I cound'nt find anything on Google.

Regards

Kim
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Reply By: fisho64 - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 21:16

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 21:16
now dont bite my head off-but if your writing them and they're about someone else-they arent AUTObiographies!!

:-)
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Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 21:20

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 21:20
I stand corrected.

LOL

Kim
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Reply By: Member - RockyOne - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 10:21

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 10:21
Hi Kim & damm dog, Wish you well in your projects. As I have seen so many real old timers who did it the hard way, disappear from the scene in the short 27 years we have been in Emerald, Qld, it is indeed a shame to see all their stories which will remain un-told forever go with them. Now you mention Swift Creek, we have done three magic adventures with Geoff & Lista Portman including one through the Victorian high country. They planned a smoko stop one day, at Swift Creek and informed us this is where they started before the got their spread where the big fires were. (Pleased to hear they were apparently ok. No doubt due to Geoff's bush craft taking precautions) I wish the Portmans best of luck in what ever the are doing these days.
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Reply By: Member -Chops - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 11:43

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 11:43
Gday Kim,
This crazy man is Ben Buckley (sp?) from Benambra. Local councillor, and regular candidate for State and Federal elections.

Cheers
Col
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Follow Up By: Kim and Damn Dog - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 16:37

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 16:37
Gidday Col

That's the bloke.

I did a Google search today and found Bob Steven's had already written a book on him entitled 'Buckleys Chance'.

Here's an article from the Age for those who might be interested:

Pretty cheeky on the wing
April 26 2003

Nabbing goals or flying a plane, Ben Buckley was almost out of bounds, writes Paul Daffey.

In giving his all for Benambra, the most isolated football club in Victoria, Ben Buckley is renowned as one of the more colourful identities in the game. Stories of his deeds stretch far beyond his home town outside Omeo, in the high country of East Gippsland.

For several years, Buckley often finished a day's work as an agricultural pilot by swooping on the players at training. On one occasion, a player responded by booting a footy at his light aircraft. "I saw the ball come over the plane," he said.

Another time, he tipped his plane on its side and flew through the pine trees behind the Benambra oval.

Such antics prompted former television host Mike Willesee to send a reporter to egg on Buckley, who during the 1980s was the mayor of the Omeo shire. Buckley played up for the cameras by dumping a load of plasterers' lime on the Swans as they went about their drills.

The shenanigans didn't go down well with aviation authorities, who tried to cancel his licence. "Around here, we use the rules as the guide, not the gospel," Buckley said.

His attitude reflects a life of not quite ignoring the rules, but keeping them to one side. The third of seven children, he made his initial break with convention when he left his family's dairy farm at Balnarring, on the Mornington Peninsula, at 15.

"It got a bit crowded," he said. "I became an adventurer."

He worked at Mount Buller hooking felled trees up to tractors and in Queensland at a sugar mill. At 18, he became a deer hunter in New Zealand.

To prove a killing, he was required to cut the skin off the last joint of the tail and hang it from his belt. His record was 18 in a day, which earned him ?30 - more than three times the average weekly wage. "That was in the days before helicopter-harvesting," he said.

Buckley earned his pilot's licence in NZ at 21, setting him on the path towards fertilising crops from the air. Back in Victoria a few years later, he set up business at the foot of the mountains.

Buckley's marriage into a Benambra football family ensured that he would leave behind his days as a winger with rugby union club Rotorua High School Old Boys and return to his native game.

He hared up and down a wing or tried to steal goals from a forward pocket. "I was an enthusiastic tailender," he said, throwing in a cricket twist.

On retirement, he served Benambra as goal umpire and, in recent years, as president. Last month, the 66-year-old stepped aside to allow Mick Gribble to take over. "It was a bloodless coup," Buckley said.

The handover of power had been delayed by the fires that ripped through the high country in February. During the disaster, Buckley ferried firefighters around in his plane and, with his family, turned his home into a wayside stop for those escaping the flames. A sign proclaiming their house as the Benambra Refugee Centre, written in Texta on a plastic lid, remains fixed to the front fence.

The fight over the past month has been to ensure that Benambra keeps its football team. About five players have been turning up for training under Gribble, who continues to search for a senior coach.

Doug Vickers, the former Richmond football manager who became principal of the Benambra school, which closed last December, has agreed to fill in as coach in the Swans' opening match of the season at Buchan today. Fourteen players have committed to taking the field, including a carload from a share-house in Glen Waverley.

Secretary Anne Faithfull said the club was confident of fielding a full team. She was also confident that Buckley would do a sterling job in his customary role as goal umpire, where he waves flags that are white with a red "V", emulating the Benambra guernsey. Still, Faithfull said his sense of fairness was beyond question.

"There's no doubt about him," she said.

Regards

Kim

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Follow Up By: Member -Chops - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 17:11

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 17:11
Thats certainly him Kim. I've known Ben off and on for 30 years from when I lived at Swifts Creek and involved in the Tambo Valley FL. There was also a story doing the rounds that the, then, National Safety Council were trying to have Ben's pilot licence suspended because he happened to be in one of the African Nations and saw the NSC choppers being used to ferry mercenaries around attack zones. Ben fought it in the courts and I think won. I believe he was one of the people that exposed the NSC for what they were-a Facade headed by a fraud.
Cheers
Col
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Reply By: cycadcenter - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 13:37

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 13:37
Does anyone know the name of the woman truck driver who used to do the Cape York run in an old MANN truck i believe.

She reportedly could pick up a 44 and lift it onto the back of the truck.

I think there was something about her displayed on the wall of Archer River Road House.

She was killed when some pipes rolled off the truck onto her.

Anyone have any further details.

Thanks

Bruce
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Follow Up By: Member - Graeme W (NSW) - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 14:21

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 14:21
Hi Bruce,

That would be Toots Holzeimer.

Graeme
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Follow Up By: Member - Ed C (QLD) - Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 18:49

Sunday, May 02, 2010 at 18:49
Toots

;-))
Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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Follow Up By: Member - Howard (ACT) - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 18:16

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 18:16
if my memory serves me coprrect the MAN is in the alice springs truck museum
cheers
Howard
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