Double Lagoon Station / P O Box 26 / Normanton, NQ / Australia
Few men had more knowledge of the problems of the Gulf Country beef cattle industry than the chairman of Carpentaria Shire Council , Cr.L.E. W.( Les ) Henry,Double Lagoons, Normanton .his Shire was host for the first time of the annual conference of the North Queensland Local Government Association when 26 member councils were represented at the Gulf Country Centre .
The Carpentia Shire has an area of 26400 square miles with a white population of 1900. Cr . Henry was facing his fourth term as Shire Chairman. Having been a counciller for 15 years.
He was Chairman of the Normanton Jockey Club and is Patron of the Golf Club . Cr .Henry was also member of the Normanton - Croydon - Burketown combined hospital board . .
He lived in Gulf since 1932 when he was head stockman of Vanrook Station for 18 months . This was followed by 3 years at Galbraith Station before he took on management of Inkerman Station for 4 years .
In 1941 He bought Galbraith Station 360 square mile property ,which he had until 1966. Les Henry moved to normanton to live in 1950 . Three years ago he moved to his present cattle property , Double Lagoons comprising148 square miles
''Crocodiles held no terrors for Les , Legend of the North.''
Les Henry ,one of the Legends of the Gulf Country , wouldn't have given Crocodile Dundee a second glance .
Les--- cattleman , bushman ,and veteran councillor -- died in the Normanton Hospital Saturday11 April 1987 ,aged 77 .
The North recalled the remarkable exploits of this bushman's bushman,the man who was born near Georgetown and moved no further than Normanton, where he settled in 1932 .
Of the many stories about Les Henry's life , the most remarkable was the one about the crocodile.
Les was swimming a horse across VanRook Creek in the 1950's when he was in his 40's, he had a pack horse loaded with supplies for Macaroni Station , an out station of Van Rook Station , and was in midstream when a hugh crocodile surfaced without warning and grabbed the head of the horse he was riding.
Les slipped from the saddle as the horse went under and struck out for the opposite bank , where he caught and mounted the packhorse and continued on to Macaroni Station .
He retrieved the saddle two days later when he found the bloated remains of the horse,without its head , where it had been washed against a flood fence.
But according to those who tell the story ,he was always a bit snaky about not finding the bridle.
Les was a councillor of Carpentaria Shire for 21 years , and was its Mayor for 17 years . Les is survived by his widow ,Josie ,sons Rex and Raymond, and daughters Robyn and Rhonda .
'' Legendary Bushman Dies ''
Les Henry , the Bushman's bishman , died at 9 pm on Saturday night. in the Normanton Hospital
According to his son Rex , he was just wore out.
Queensland Northern Development Minister Bob Katter Jnr , a friend , in a special tribute to Les Henry , described him as the kind of man who became a legend within his own lifetime.
'' He was a rugged indivual , the quite achiever, the classic bushman and a generous person ''Mr Katter said.
'' Les was the Gulf Country and the Gulf Country was him .''
Mr Henry was 77.
He had been ill for some time and had suffered heart problems and diabetes for a number of years .
Les was born in the Georgetown district and moved to Normanton in 1932. He acquired a number of cattle Stations including Galbraith , Dorunda and double Lagoons and Urella
Double Lagoon was sold by the Henry family in 1994. .
Les was working at” Forest Home “and Phil Schaffert was Head stockman. Les was forever playing practical jokes. He would think nothing of placing a goanna or a porcupine in the swag of a young jackaroo or a young ringer.
His favourite trick was to put a prickly bush under a horses tail, then shout ‘hang on mate like your old man would ‘ as the startled rider tried to control the horse , He was warned by Phil if he ever did it to him it would mean a parting . Laughingly he replied that he might give it a go one day.
That day eventually arrived , when after a hard day in the yards and everyone was riding back to camp tired , Les put some huckaberry prickle bush under the tail of Phil’s horse .
Phil lost his hat and whip as the horse rooted in fright , but he was too scared on falling on the rocky ground to lose his seat on the horse .. He returned to the camp in a rage and told Les he was sacked.
It was quite in the camp that night until Les asked Phil ‘ Do you really mean it ‘ Yes yes no man in responsible position can afford to be ridiculed in front of a team of men .
“Les was unabashed “
“Well if you don’t know a good man when you have one. I know I have a good boss, so I am staying with you. “
After that incident the two men became firmer friends.
In 1930 there was a change of management at Forest Home and the new manager took a dislike to Les and Jim Ryan and told Phil to dismiss them. Phil was reluctant to sack the two men , but manager’s orders had to be obeyed , and the two men would soon find work else where because of their ability .
Les and Josey went to Van Rook in 1931, and from their was appointed manager in Inkerman , owned by the Curr Bros’
He later became the owner of Galbraith and Drounda and Double Lagoon Stations.
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