No corrections yet
VICTORIA'S OLDEST "BULLOCKY"
Passing of Mr. John Rippon Link Broken With Glamorous Past
"A cloud of dust on the long white road, and the teams go creeping on, Inch by iuch with the weary load, and by the power of the greenhide goad, The distant goal is won." The old order haa changed, giving place to the new, and no longer do "the teams go creeping on." A link with that more leisurely, aud -no doubt, glamorous past was broken on Thursday with' the passing of Mr. John A. Rippon, of Camperdown, Vic toria's oldest "bullocky r" That fine old pioneer was one of the last original "bullockies," and probably the oldest, when he answer ed the final call at the age of S5 years. He was born at Birregurra in 1554, and when a mere ten-year-old youngster was driving a yoke of oxen in a plough on his father's selection. Later he began work for Mr. Charles Beal, of Bleak House Station, Warn i:oort. At 14 years of age. Mr. Rippon, then a mere stripling, but of powerful physique, left Birregurra for Irrewil [ipe, where he joined Mr. E. T. Silk's sawmill. When IS years old he cart ed his first .load of timber to Purrum bete station with team and waggon, the timber was used for building pur poses, and the journey proved the Qrst of many thousands that had crowded the years that had slipped Umost silently by in which "he follow kl the occupation of a "bullocky." rha.t first journey held a fascination "or the youthful Rippon, and he- left" ;he employ of Mr. Silk to join the service of Mr. W. T. ManJfold_ r as a carter. For ten years he served him, nul served him well. Then he left md joined Mr. W. I. Winter-Irving at rirrengower. His first job was to jreak-in four teams of red Devon bul locks, which he afterwards used to scarify the Swan Marsh area. After :en years, Mr. Rippon, now a middle iged man, grew tired of Tirrengower, nul returned to Mr. Manifold's em jloy. He worked on his Carpendeit n-operty in the forest and split count less thousands of messmate posts, .vhich were carted northward to Cam jerdowu. "BULLOCKY AT HEART" Finally Mr. Rippon, a "bullocky" at lieart could not rest any longer from iiis true occupation. He left, and be ;an carting on his own, and in the long years that intervened his experi ences were Avide and varied. Wirid gil, Purrumbete and Talindert were llways his destination. Bridging Tomahawk Creek was Mr. Rippon's most arduous experi ance. Before a team could cross the river spars had to be felled and laid in bridge fashion. Waist high in water and slush, men were'bullocks, too, straining every muscle to assist the striving team to lift the heavily loaded waggons. Round Manifold's swamp at Weerite, Mr. Rippon fre quently Encountered the early blacks. They never gave trouble, and were quiet and inoffensive. His reminis cences, given to a journalist a few years ago, form a very interesting and historical link with the bygone days, now obscured in a haze of tra dition; or. lost, perhaps, for over, in the limbo of half-forgotten things. The funeral took place at the Colac cemetery on Saturday and was large ly attended. There were many beau tiful floral tributes from friends and relatives. The coffin was borne to the graveside by Messrs Percy. Arthur. Cecil, Neil, Harry and James Rippon (sons), while the pall was supported by Messrs J. Whytcross. P. T. Me- Grath, F. Sharp. W. T. Russell. T, Harvey, G. Kilburn. H. (.'onway. A Skinner, R. Burnett. J. Missen. P McNamara. J. Black. A. Mc-Leod. D Cuttrbert, W. 'Marwood .1. Xehill am: I ex-Cr. J. Bauni. The services at the mortuary par lor and at the graveside were eon ducted by the Rev, \Y. V. Lines, ol Alvie, and the funeral arrangements were in the hands of Mr T. W. Shar 'row.