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Wave Hill Spurs donation to Kununurra Museum

posted 8 Jun 2016, 22:16 by Kununurra Museum   [ updated 9 Jun 2016, 07:51 ]
A Talk & Presentation by 1940's Stockman, Donald Howard is to be given at the Kununurra Museum next Tuesday June 14th 2016 at 7pm. All welcome.

 An Ord-Victoria Rivers Region stockman who was at Wave Hill and other NT & Kimberley stations back in the 1940s, Donald Howard, is to visit Kununurra next week and there will be a presentation event at the Kununurra Museum. Donald will give a talk and will be presenting his genuine hand-made, 'Fred Gutte spurs' or 'Wave Hill spurs' to the Kununurra Historical Society to go on display at the Kununurra Museum on Tuesday June 14th 2016 at 7pm, all welcome to attend.

Donald Howard holding his Wave Hill Spurs
 President of the Kununurra Historical Society, Andrew Barker, has been in communication with Donald Howard since 2012, receiving regular updates (as new archives) from Donald as he has written his memoirs, proof-reading and offering advice. The “Fred Gutte” spurs were described by Outback Magazine as “literally worth their weight in gold.”  Fred Gutte was a  highly skilled blacksmith at Wave Hill station in the 1940’s and Donald has personal reminiscences in his memoirs describing some days working with him in the blacksmith's shop at Wave Hill, which are a priceless record. Photograph to right shows Donald Howard holding his Wave Hill spurs.

 Guttye made the spurs to his own design and sold them to stockmen and drovers on their personal order. The spurs became famous on every stock route and station throughout northern Australia.  Donald said he had paid Mr. Gutte  several old-style round tins of Log Cabin for the job.

 "A few months ago I presented the museum with 'The 1886 Rosewood Penny' which I found on Rosewood Station near the NT-WA border,” Donald said, going on to explain that they were droving cattle from Wave Hill station to the Wyndham Meatworks.  "While watching cattle graze during ‘dinner camp,' I was scratching some small squares of dried mud left in a creek bed after the Wet, when one square failed to break up. I gave it an extra poke then picked it up and found an 1886 English penny which is now on display at the Kununurra Museum."
1886 Rosewood Penny on display with Mrs Tom Kilfoyle's Travel Trunk and Rosewood Branding Irons


 The 1886 penny is now 130 years old, that being the same year that we are commemorating this year, when Wyndham was proclaimed a town at Cambridge Gulf, the northern hub to the Halls Creek gold-rush that set in that same year. The 1886 penny is now on display with Mrs Tom Kilfoyle's 1890's travel trunk, and some 'well used' TK & JK Rosewood Station branding irons at the Kununurra Museum. Donald said he hoped his donations would not only be a welcome addition to the museum’s collections but would 'spur on' others to give items of significance to this growing regional collection.

 On other occasions during his stay he will also be speaking at the Anglican church on Family Life as the Rev. Donald Howard. The local Anglican minister (the Rev. Gary Alexander) said that his guest speaker would concentrate on family life and show how biblical principles were still a strengthening influence in modern homes. Rev. Donald Howard will speak at 9.30am at the Anglican Church on Sunday, June 12th then at 5:30pm on Wednesday 15th at the Sandalwood Sanctuary (Research Station Road - Mock's old dairy). On Sunday, June 19th he will address the Anglican Church at at 9.30am and in the afternoon, will speak at a combined churches gathering in Whitegum Park at 3.30pm.

 Donald Howard worked on Territory and Kimberley stations, including Wave Hill and Flora Valley. He was  one of the finalists in the Steer Riding at the Negri Races in 1948, in what was virtually the Championship Steer Ride of North–West Australia. He hopes to launch a book of his exploits next year at the Kununurra Museum.

WANTED! - RM Williams Cuban Heels

 If you have an old pair of RM Williams Cuban Heel Stockman's boots you no longer use, please consider donating them to the Kununurra Museum as the fitting item to display the Wave Hill spurs on. Please contact Andrew at the Museum (hopefully before Tuesday).

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