Former staff of Clyde Agriculture, along with family members and other close associates of the company, are being rounded up for a reunion function to be held in Dubbo on the October long weekend.
Owned by the UK-based Swire Group, Clyde Agriculture at its peak was Australia’s biggest wool producer, with 350,000 sheep spread across a network of properties throughout northern NSW and Queensland.
It also carried 13,000 breeding cows and 6500 fattening steers, produced 65,000 bales of cotton and 20,000 tonnes of wheat plus canola, barley and chickpeas, employing a workforce numbering at its height about 120.
Its property portfolio read like a “Who’s Who” of pastoral addresses.
It incorporated such famous station names as “Toorale” and “Beemery” at Bourke, “Wingadee” and “Pier Pier” at Coonamble, “Brewon” at Walgett, “Oxley” and “Merrimba” at Warren, “Wirrabilla” at Walcha and “Thylungra” at Quilpie (Qld).
In addition to the pastoral properties, Clyde in Bourke owned the Darling River Cotton gin and the Port of Bourke Hotel (formerly the Old Royal Hotel). Following a change in investment strategy, Swire embarked on a major divestment program in 2008.
Every one of its properties were progressively sold, concluding with the sale of its Bourke cotton operation in 2014.
Former staff of Clyde Agriculture are being rounded up for a reunion function in Dubbo at the October long weekend.
The historic reunion is being organised jointly by Tony McManus, former station manager of “Toorale”, and Helen Murray who was the company’s commercial manager, based at Clyde’s Sydney head office.
Ms Murray said the reunion offered an opportunity for former Clyde employees to get together, share old times and hear what others were doing.
“So many of us loved working with Clyde and really felt proud of the contributions we made to a fantastic company.
“It didn’t matter whether we worked with cotton growing, livestock, the cotton gin, hotel or other parts,” she said.
“Each cog in the wheel was essential for the company to succeed.”
The reunion will take the form of a lunch, to be held at the Savannah Room at the Dubbo Zoo function centre, starting at 12 noon on Sunday, October 2. Tickets cover a delicious lunch, lots of laughs and tea and coffee.
Everyone will be expected to buy their own drinks, and there is no facility to take along bottles of take away.
On the same evening, an informal meal at the Amaroo Hotel bistro will follow for those wishing to attend.
Ms Murray has asked for interested people to contact her on 0419 991 424 or email email@example.com, or Tony McManus on 0457 781 800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Bookings for Dubbo accommodation can be made online at www.123tix.com.au/events.