THIRTY-FIVE YEARS A
MR. BEDFORD HACK'S CAREER.
On Tuesday next Mr. Bedford Hack, the manager, of the Sewage Farm, will retire from the Government service, in which ne has been engaged in various capacities ic ' 35 years. Although 73 years of age, Mr.
Hack enjoys robust health, and he might have continued his duties at the farm with advantage to the State for many years if the Septuagenarians Act had not rendered it necessary for him to retire. Mr. Hack has had an interesting career, and a repre- sentative of "The Advertiser" called upon him on Wednesday and asked for some par- ticulars regarding his experiences and con- nection with the Civil Service.
"I feel very fit," was Mr. Hack's intfo .íducíory observation, '"although over 70 years of age, and I don't like the idea of leaving the institution with which I have been connected so long, but of course 1 have to go. Much kindness has been shown towards me since youv stated in ''The Ad- vertiser' that I .would retire next week, and it is pleasing to go out of the service ?with the knowledge that I have never had trouble worth mentioning with any other officer, and that my management of the farm las given complete satisfaction to the Hydraulic Engineer."
You have passed the allotted span of years? ,
*Yes. I was born on August 10, 1835, and left England in September, 1836, with my parents on board the Isabella, which was in charge of the late Captain John Hart, who settled down at Port Adelaide, and became Premier of the State in 1866. I was educated in Adelaide, and at the age of 15 went with the Keeling and Kirkham families to Finniss Flat, now known as Ashbourne, to learn dairying. Twelve months after that the gold diggings at Ben- digo broke out, and I went over there with my father and two brothers. We stayed there nearly two years and did fairly well After returning to Adelaide I went to New South'Wales with my brother Edward to join my uncle, Stephen Hack, who had a large dairying establishment at Brocklesby, on the Upper Murray, about 50 miles south of Albury. \ stayed there 12 months/ and then was engaged by Mr. Hume, the owner of. the run on which the dairy was situated. a6 stock keeper, and took a large mob of cattle to Melbourne during the drought of 1853. I came back to Adelaide and was employed by the late Mr. Edward Stirling as stockkeeper on his property at Ran kine'.sv Ferry, Point Sturt, where I har,, charge of the cattle. At the end of 1856 Mr. stirling sold his cattle to the late Mr. Donald Gollan, and I delivered the lot after crossing the Murray with them at Wnods' Point.. From there I went to Pernuna (now known as Angepina) station as" manager, for^the late Hon. John Baker. My uncle Stephen and I spent a couple of months in the desolate country 'far away from the bounds of civilisation.'-looking for springs * which' had been reported as exist- ing in the Lake Torrens . district. We visited v Babbage's Blanchewater, station, which had just-been discovered-that is the spot which gave the place the name of Blanchewater. On coming back to town I persuaded Mr. Baker to purchase the.blocks which .had been set out by Mr.', Babbage, ?who was a^ïovernment explorer- This was in 1857. - In 1858 the late Mr. Henry Dean ?wastsent.-up.as overseer of. the newly acquired area, and I stocked .Blanchewater in »1859 with 1,500 head.. -Mr. Dean stayed there as overseer, hut I returned to Ade- laide, and left Mr. Baker's-service.
AÍPartne'r\of Sir Thomas Elder.
"Afterwards I joined my father on the Coorong,'-where he had- a dairy, and we stocked the country, known as Bonney'» Cap, east>- of the« Coorong., While ,1 was there the representatives of Mr. Baker, who had gone to--England,- wrote-and asked me to' return a8 manager of ^fhat gentleman's northern'station, which I did, and I con- tinued to serve as manager until 1861. In
that .year the late Sir Thomas Elder went np to'have a lookat what is known as Lake Hope, on the Coorong, which had recently been discovered by the Stuckey Brothers, of Manuwalkaninna. >Sir Thomas, or ,Mr. Elder,' as be was then, decided to take up
the country and stock it with cattle, ant the late Henry Dean and I joined him a partners. We purchased cattle at Beltani and 1,000 heifers from Wilpena, as well a¡ all the cattle at Ulanawortuna und Mubera tana, and removed them to Lake Hope ii 1862. The partnership .igreement was foi seven years, and at the end of the perioc we were 'droughted' out and pretty wel smashed. The partnership was dissolved but Messrs. Elder and Dean carried on wit! about 1,500 head ont of 10,000.
"Later on 1 was married, and I rented from the late Mr. Norman, a dentist, the property near Milang known as WatsoE Park, which subsequently passed into the hands of Mr. W. L. Marchant, and a couple of years ago was repurchased by the Govern- ment'as part of the Burnside estate. My first year there wa-? a dry one. The 'pros- pects of the second year were pxceedmgly bright. I had a 40-acre crop as high as my head, which everyone in the district esti- mated would yield fully/30 burfiete to the acre. It was a magnificent sight, and 'Î thought my luck had turned, but red rust
set in with disastrous results. After the
machine had been going for some time on the crop my brother remarked that he had not heard grain falling in it. We cleaned up, and there was not a grain larger than a caraway seed. The crop, which had pro- mised to yield 30 bushels to the acre, had been ruined by the rust, and you may gather what the return was like from the fact that I sold to the late Mr. J. Borritt, of Lang horne's Crerk. the whole of my harvest for 37/6. including the new bags m which the grain had beeu placed. He took away the crop from that 40-acre block in a spring cart, with one horse, quite easily. That smashed me up completely, and there I was, with a wife and one child and no money.''
With the Overland Telegraph Party.
When did you go to the Northern Terri-
"I could not .get anything else to do, BO decided to take advantage of a chance of joining the party which was going to the Northern Territory to finish the. Overland Telegraph-line. I agreed to serve under Mr. R. C. Patterson, who was in charge, at 10/ a day. When we boarded our vessel at the Port Mr. (now Sir Charles) Todd came to me and said-*We know you have had con- siderable bush experience, and you will be appointed assistant to Mr. Rutt, who is Mr. Patterson's assistant engineer. We shall expect you to start out from, the Roper and find a practicable road from LeicbardVs crossing to the Elsie, where you will meet the parties from Port Darwin,' When we got to Melbourne and were arranging for rations Mr. Patterson reported that the Roper scheme had beem. abandoned, and turning to me he said-'I want you to start this afternoon by steamer^ for Sydney to join Mr. (afterwards Sir) 'R. D. Ross, and assist him in purchasing horses and bullocks for use, on the1 line. You will ship them and take charge of them on board.' I did so, and eventually the Golden Fleece sailed from Sydney with 200 bullocks and 20 horses bound for Port Darwin. The Himalaya took a second consignment. I lost only three of my stock, while le were lost on the Hima- laya, which arrived a week later with dry tanks and the stock parched. I-sent four tanks of-water from the Golden Fleece for the Himalaya stock, or there might have been more deaths. Mr. Patterson, Mr. Rutt. and the,others, who had come on from Melbourne, met us at Port Darwin, and I Mr. Patterson told me I was to be ap-
pointed a sectional officer at £250. South- port, on the Blackmore River, was tbe great starting point, and when we got to the Elsie I was faced with, four miles of water, and bad to ford the cattle. Mr. Mclachlan, from Depot No. 1 camp, was with me, and four months passed before we could yoke any"of the stock. Mr. Ralph Milner had found his way there with between 1,000 'and 1.500 sheep from Kopperamanna, and I Mr. Patterson purchased the lot for
I rations. At the end of the four months Mr. Patterson had got down to the Roper, and
| he sent up^rations by packhorses, ancL-dur
ing the remainder of the time I was trans- port officer between the. Elsie and 'the Roper, carrying wire and rations,.
A Present Legislator as Telegraph , I Messenger.,
"Sir Charles Todd spent some time at the serene'-of operations, but he-was" not there when the work was completed." When the Southern and Northern sections of the line were a long way apart Mr. John Lewis, who is now a member of the Legislative Council, appeared on the scene in charge of a mob "of horses which he had brought from Adelaide, and as he knew the country" the Postmaster-General engaged him to ride
with messages between'the two points so that through'communication could be estab- lished. Mr. Lewis continued to act as messenger until the ends were joined at Frew's Ironstone Pond.-. It was an interesting' ceremony, and Mr. Patter- son broke a bottle which contained brandy-A very «mall quantity. I can assure you-to christen the united wire». Six of us pulled tlie wire» together, and when Mr. Patterson hooked them and the ends were made secure he let go. and away the wire flew into the air. Mr. W. A. Howley, the postmaster of Hindmarsh, was with us a» operator, and he sent tlirongh messages of congratulation to various people and then transmitted nie-sages from tho members of the party to their relations and friends in Adelaide. The great work w.is then com- pleted, and all that remained to be done was to pack up and prepare to return home. We. next went to the Roper Landing and thence to Maria Island to.await the ar- rival from Port Darwin of the Omeo, which brought us back to Adelaide. This was in November. 1872. We had been away from Adelaide since August, 1871, and I had had very fejy communications from my wife.
In the Civil Service.
''My connection with the Civil Service be- gan on January 1, 1873, in the Survey De- partment, and after serving as Crown lands ranger, warden of goldfields, and a valuer of 1888 improvements, I was retrenched in 1889 and given six months' leave on full pay. However, a fortnight before the ex- piration of my leave I was appointed man- ager of the sewage farm, and I have held that position ever since, a period of 19 years. I am happy to say I have made it a paying concern and that my management has given the utmost satisfaction to tho Government. The area has been increased by 160 aeres during my term, and the general responsibility bas increased also, be- cause the drainage area has been much en- larged.' but I have managed to dkpose of the whole of the sewage satisfactorily, and it is pleasing to know that my efforts have been successful and to be congratulated on every side."