Uncle John's Story: From New Chum to Bush Man by John H. R. Anderson
An insight into life in South West Queensland from 1885–1939 as seen through the eyes of John Anderson.
The story in this book conveys Uncle John's arrival as a new chum to Queensland, his journey to learn the skills of a shearer and stockman out west, his search for employment and the joys and lows of his life from 1885 to 1939.
It was love of horses that tempted John Anderson and his brothers to move to Australia. At the age of 18, John found work mustering and herding cattle at Stuarts Creek, Roma, and later he learned to moonlight scrubbers in the Carnarvon Ranges.
John built up a sheep property near Charleville but unfortunately was beset by drought and family tragedy. As employment opportunities diminished, John was forced to leave his young children in the care of others and go droving bullocks and horses from Longreach, Queensland to Cooper Creek to Maree in South Australia.
Plans to improve themselves repeatedly came undone with the vagaries of recurring droughts, imprudent decisions and the brothers' obligation to care for their disabled brother, Frank. This put a strain on their finances and the ties that bound the brothers together.
In later years, ill health impeded on John's ability to work full time and he moved to Carinya, Injune, where he built a small dairy farm. He resided there quietly until his death in 1943.