The business of launching a book, and telling the tale behind the tale, is as exciting as it is busy.

All those speeches! And, once sent out into the warm air of wherever that particular launch happens to be situated, never to be heard again.

So, I am going to publish my words of wisdom in this blog. Here goes for my address in the foyer of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame at Longreach at the end of April (29th April to be precise – the 25th Anniversary of the day The Queen opened the Hall of Fame).

“As always, standing in this foyer, inside this extraordinary building, each portion of which I was so involved in planning, is an overwhelming feeling – the stonework that the larger than life Michael Bullock constructed; the slate tiles that Will Peters laid, all with amazing good humour; the building itself that Irwin Heesom oversaw with consummate skill; so many of the displays, still, that Jean Battersby and Bob Edwards banged heads together to acquire for us.

“What a journey it was! And now, as the baby of the team in the old days, I feel a huge responsibility as the last man standing (so to speak) to honour the wishes of the original directors I knew and loved so well – now for the most part no longer with us.

“The writing of my book, In Stockmen’s Footsteps, was coincidentally timely; it seems that it was meant to happen. Quite honestly, it wasn’t til I was well and truly committed to the task of writing it that the Hall of Fame’s CEO Ben Maguire pointed out to me that its publication was going to coincide with the 25th Anniversary. There was so much serendipity in the entire process of the creation of this book and the opportunity presenting itself to tell the inside story how all this came about, that it’s been a bit freaky actually, as if the ghosts of those who went before and were so passionate about this place were directing proceedings.

“I just hope that it is able to play a major part in reigniting in Australians a sense of the importance of what the Stockman’s Hall of Fame is all about.”

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