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Bowles, John (Jack) (1872–1933)

by U. E. Parry-Okeden

The passing of John Bowles, in Brisbane on February 17 will be sad news for many old-timers in the Port Curtis, Springsure, and Burnett districts, where he spent most of his life. Born on Warrill Creek, between Harrisville and Ipswich in 1872, he "went bush " as a lad, being "broken in" by the late Sandy Stewart, a well-known drover of those days. As a young man he was for a long time with the old Barker family, up Gladstone way, and was head stockman for Frederick Barker on Mt. Larcombe until the place exchanged hands. About 31 years ago he went to Hawkwood, De Burgh Persse and Sons' well-known station in the Burnett, where for five years he was stockriding and horse-breaking. Then he took on the head stockman's job at Consuelo, Bigge and McConnel's run, in the Springsure district, where he stayed for eight years. Returning to Hawkwood as head stockman 18 years ago, he later took over the management, which he held until four years ago, retiring then to live quietly in Brisbane. I desire shortly in this writing to touch a personal note, which, if truly expressive of my feelings, will, I believe, find an echo in the makeup of many old hands and old friends of his and mine. Jack Bowles was a typical bushman. Of fine physique, a splendid horseman, either on a rough 'un, a camp horse, or through the timber, and a good cattleman. I can visualise him now, when in his 'fifties, winning a camp draft a Mundubbera, a tall grey-haired man, with fine hands and seat, competing against the younger men, and worthily holding his own. I was a neighbour for some years, and we camped out together, mustered together, and vied with each other at many a picnic race meeting and country show. He was always a quiet, unassuming man, strictly honourable, a thorough sport, and withal softhearted and generous to a degree.

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Citation details

U. E. Parry-Okeden, 'Bowles, John (Jack) (1872–1933)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/bowles-john-jack-1176/text1171, accessed 19 June 2019.

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