There were doubts about the legality of Eddie’s action – later proved unfounded – and he missed a season due to a leprosy outbreak at Cherbourg. He spent his last 30 years in a psychiatric hospital, dying in 1978. The Australian Dictionary of Biography says: “He was perhaps the only hero detribalised Aboriginals had in the 1930s.”
Cherbourg is 10 kilometres from Murgon and is a self-managed community. It only takes a few minutes to find the cricket ground, flat and still somewhat green in a typical dry winter in this region called the South Burnett.
It’s lovely country to drive in. The towns sport art deco touches, the hills roll like a rumpled bedspread and every field has something to look at: cattle, horses, goats. Many crops abound in the red soil here, but mainly peanuts.
It’s daunting to think every peanut grown commercially from northern NSW to Cape York ends up in the silos at Kingaroy. The museum across the road in Haly Street explains the process. Alas, mechanisation robbed the industry of such ingenious devices as the Little Wonder (a combination thresher/winnower), while the art of stooking – the piling of peanut bushes to dry in the sun – is dead.
So I’ll never meet a stooker or a Stulpnagel. But I’ve found Barambah, and while tempted to celebrate, I daren’t ask for a glass of Green Death at the pub in Murgon, just in case they have some.
Six And Out (Pollard Publishing Company), which contains That Barambah Mob, is out of print but is available on secondhand sites such as Abe Books.
VISIT discoversouthburnett.com.au, queensland.com
The South Burnett region is only a few hours by road from the Sunshine Coast, so why not combine a trip with a stay at the award-winning RACV Noosa Resort, where members get 25 per cent off accommodation when booking direct. VISIT: racv.com.au/resorts or call 07 5341 6300.
Members also get discount entry to many Sunshine Coast attractions, including Australia Zoo – go to racv.com.au/tickets