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Frederick Charles Turner (1871–1955)

An outstanding pioneer pastoralist in the Goondiwindi, Q., area, Mr. Frederick Charles Turner, died on the 30th January at the age of 84. The late Mr. Turner was born at Windsor, N.S.W., and following the death of his father had to go out to work at an early age to provide for his mother and the younger members of the family. Some years later, entirely through his own efforts and sound judgment, he became one of the most successful graziers in south west Queensland. In this he was greatly supported by his wife, the former Miss Marion Anne Simpson, whom he married nearly 60 years ago.

Shortly after his marriage the late Mr. Turner selected a block of land just out of Bingara, N.S.W., and although it was heavily infested with prickly pear he transformed it into a first-class holding. His ability was quickly recognised by Mr. H. R. Munro, and in 1913 the two went into partnership in Wyaga Station, Goondiwindi, which was then almost a wilderness. It was not long, however, before Wyaga was turned into one of the finest properties in Queensland.

When Mr. Turner went to Wyaga the carrying capacity was about 1500 cattle, but he could see the possibility of sheep grazing on the extensive area of brigalow, and despite heavy pear infestation set out to gain his objective. Gangs of Chinese labourers were employed in cutting and stacking the pear, thousands of acres of brigalow were rung, and the country was fenced and dog-netted. With the advent of cactoblastis to defeat the pear much progress was made, and from 1933 to 1943 a further 76,000 acres were rung and an additional 150 miles of dog and rabbit netting were completed on the property.

Mr. Turner had as his objective 1000 bales of wool, and this he achieved on several occasions. Prior to the partnership being dissolved by mutual agreement in 1944, Wyaga was carrying 55,000 sheep and 8000 cattle.

Apart from his great pioneering work in opening up these areas of brigalow and belah, the late Mr. Turner took an active part in local affairs in the Goondiwindi district. He was chairman of the Wyaga and Billa Billa Telephone Trusts, the lines of which were built under his supervision to Government specification. He was a councillor of Waggamba shire for a number of terms, president of the P. and A. Society, and chairman of the local Hospital Board. He was also interested in sporting matters, and was foundation president of the Goondiwindi Bowling Club, as well as patron of the football and cricket clubs.

In 1940 he retired to The Cottage, Goondiwindi, where he passed his latter years with his wife, and daughter, Miss Jess Turner, in meting out hospitality to a host of friends. He is also survived by another daughter, Mrs. Gordon Brook, and two sons, Messrs. F. and J. Turner. The Turner family holdings now comprise Morennan, which is noted for its Merino stud, Cobblecundy, Dinnadalbi, Nomby, and Gundibilla.

Original publication

Citation details

'Turner, Frederick Charles (1871–1955)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/turner-frederick-charles-982/text983, accessed 20 May 2024.

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