A hard day’s night

Host: Nerrima Station
Written by the Mick Courtney – Manager, Nerrima Station.

The stock camp works from dawn to dusk, as much as is required. This kind of work routine can be hard going, and when you add to that the fact that we all live in each other’s pockets as well, things can get pretty intense! We have found the best way to combat the inevitable stresses that arise is by attending as many social events as possible (convenient I know!)

The year’s social calendar got off to a pretty high standard with the Inaugural Stockmen and Matrons Ball held at Willare Roadhouse in June. Sally Courtney along with Kira Boswell (Willare) organised the event, and wanted to create a Black tie Ball that was held outdoors in a formal decorated setting . . . It was made as a fundraiser for the Derby Hospital. Weeks beforehand dresses, shoes and bags were ordered and anxiously awaited upon – mail in the Kimberleys can sometimes be a bit erratic.

200 people attended the ball from all over the West Kimberley, as hoped, there was a great mix of people attend, including locals from Broome, Derby, Halls Creek, Fitzroy, the Pilbara, as well as nursing staff and station folk. With 23 sponsors on board, a number of these businesses attended also bringing an interesting mix of businesses associated with the cattle industry. From all the feedback received, the ball was a great success, fabulous food, great atmosphere, stunning formal setting, and brilliant music thanks to the fantastic seven piece band from Broome that had everyone up dancing all night!

3.1 copyThe beautiful setup at Willare Roadhouse.

3.2 copyJudging the Best dressed ladies, Matt Wood (Blina Station) who was our MC . . . he seemed quite at home in this role!

3.5 copyJudging Best Dressed Men of the night!

3.6 copyJudges making the tough decisions . . . Tony Hutchinson (Major Sponsor) Sally Courtney, Gen Kane (Ex Derby Hospital Physio), Ben Battlery, self appointed judge/friend all the way from the Pilbara!

Of course a lot of socialising occurs at rodeos. Get a lot of hard working, like-minded people together, add a splash of alcohol, and a whole weekend off work, it’s a recipe for a good time! Various members of the camp competed in everything from camp-drafting to bull riding and anything in-between, and once the competing is over, the real fun begins, around campfires, comparing events from the day, and reliving the stories from the latest muster.

3.3 Jacob station buck jump copyJacob Dunn competing at Derby rodeo earlier this year.

Cricket Day –

Recently we had the ‘Nerrima and Neighbours Cricket Day’. Sally’s interest in running events and getting people together, saw the beginning of an annual Cricket Day starting out five years ago at Liveringa. It was initially a social match for Nerrima and Liveringa however interest grew from other stations and mates wanting to participate, consequently it soon expanded! We got a little more serious and got sponsors on board for prizes and it became an anticipated day for many stations to attend!

This year was the third one held at Nerrima. Up to 70+ people would make the effort to come out to Nerrima from a number of stations in the West Kimberley as well as mates and people associated with the industry. Held in September for the reason that no other events were on this time of year, with the exception of the Picnic Stockmen races in October.

It takes a couple of days to set everything up and during the preparations excitement reaches a fever pitch. It culminates in everyone getting up and making final preparations on Saturday morning and then racing to get a shower before people start to turn up! The day starts with everyone being split into two teams, at this point the drinking starts and the cricket gets underway. Some matches with up to 30 players a side, which is a lot of cricket needs to be played! Everyone’s experience of the day is different, for the cricket enthusiasts it is a sports dominated experience, for those who are less enthused by cricket it is a day of catching up with old friends and making new ones.

3.4 copyEnd of match group Photo in 2013, Photo prop compliments of  the Looma Police troopy – Ken and Chris were also keen cricketers on the day!

3.7 copyPresentations are conducted after dinner and thanks to many local businesses in Derby and Broome, (such as Elders, Landmark, Derby One Stop Shop, Totally Workwear, Derby Stock Supplies) a number of players headed home with some appealing prizes. After the presentations the entertainment is always surprising and never dull with some very unique dance moves attempted after a little too much sun!

Other social occasions we try to ‘grace’ with our attendance include race days. Recently Nerrima participated in the Picnic Races in Derby, which involves station workers racing their own station horses. Our horses are in no way trained to race, at least not trained to race against other horses. If you let a weaner run down the course in front of the horse we would probably have had more success! However it is the taking part that counts right?!

3.8 copyDave Milton pipping Jacob Dunn to the finish line in this year’s Head Honchos race at Derby Picnic Races.

Although we love an excuse to get off the station and socialise with a new bunch of people, nothing is more entertaining than relating your experiences of the night before and listening to everyone else’s ‘adventures’ the next day!

Tribute to Justin ‘Juddy’ McDonald

This year we didn’t see some of the regular likeable faces attend our cricket match . . . Last year three choppers flew in for the weekend, including our good mate Juddy McDonald, a close friend of ours. With the recent tragic loss of the very likeable and loved Juddy in a helicopter accident, it has been tough time for many of us. One thing I’d like to make a small mention of, is how remarkable it has been that so many people in the Kimberley have rallied around to try and provide some support to Juddy’s family . . . makes you feel a little proud when you pass on this news to our southern relatives of the Kimberley’s caring community.

Good bye from us all Juddy, I hope we never stop missing you . . .

3.9 copyJuddy as one of the selected Best Dressed at the ‘Stockmen and Matrons Ball’ in June this year.