Old-Timers: Magnificent Stories from Mighty Australians

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Allen & Unwin, 2011 - History - 342 pages
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Meet Ron Canlin, who one day began sculpting the sandstone walls of his opal mine. Ten years later, every drive and tunnel in Ron's claim is full of wonderful sculptures - the eighth wonder of the world.

Or Peter Venables, with his flowing white beard, puffing his pipe like a character from the pioneering 1800s, whose teams of Clydesdales plough, sow and harvest the crops they eat.

Or Janie Marshall, contract musterer, ex-amateur jockey, known as 'F...kin' Jenny' after her favourite word, which she roars frequently-even in front of the parson! She's as outback as a road train full of emus, and you'll love reading her story.

In Old-Timers, jillaroo, opal miner and bush humorist Sandy Thorne has assembled twenty vital snapshots of Australian life that inspire and enthral with their energy, originality and genuine pioneering spirit.

Thorne treats us to tales from wharf labourers, coalminers, battling cockies, stockmen, spies, prisoners of war, pioneer fishermen, politicians, policemen, pilots and racing and rodeo horsemen. Sparkling with wisdom, wit, forthrightness and irreverent humour, these stories celebrate a courageous national character that squeezes every ounce out of life, through good times and bad.

 

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Contents

Pioneer fisherman
1
From Changi to the wharves
18
Coalminer
29
The most popular publican in Queensland
39
Steamtrain driver sniper sports star
51
Lethal weapon a lifetime of discipline dedication and duty
66
Picture section
78
Wool classer and the baby of his bomber squadron
84
A life with trotters and Telecom
153
Our first Iron Man
170
Cattleman and fighter
186
Contract musterer completely oneoff character
200
Rural journalist and editor
223
Opal miner sculptor
234
British intelligence agent World War II
250
Keeping the past alive
270

A genuine lady
95
Racing and rodeo legend
112
Picture section
122
The battler
124
The last dinkidi Greek cafe owner?
140
Someone who made their dream come true
286
Acknowledgements
303
Aussie lingo
305
Back cover
309
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About the author (2011)

Sandy Thorne has had incredible success with her books. She may not be exactly 'literary' but she spins a great yarn full of humour, life and colour that engages the reader from the first word. A former jillaroo, horse breaker and bull-catcher she is now Australia's first and only female professional bush humourist. She has performed at countless festivals, concerts, conferences and other events as well as on TV and radio all over Australia, New Zealand and the US since launching her first book on 'The Midday Show' by ripping the top off a stubbie with her teeth.

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