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Australian History

Thursday, July 16, 1914. :   The original Man From Snowy River, on whom Banjo Paterson’s ballad was based, is buried.

     “The Man From Snowy River” is a bush ballad by Australian poet and writer A B ‘Banjo’ Paterson. Paterson, who lived during Australia’s late colonial period and early years of Federation, was passionately nationalistic and popular among many Australians searching for their own identity separate from Britain. In 1885, Paterson began publishing his poetry in the Sydney edition of The Bulletin under the pseudonym of "The Banjo", the name of a favourite horse. Arguably, two of his best known poems are "The Man From Snowy River” and “Waltzing Matilda”.

“The Man From Snowy River” tells the story of a young stockman who, through wild and dangerous terrain, successfully chases down a valuable horse that has escaped from a station in Australia’s high country. Like many of Paterson’s ballads, it paints a rich picture of the countryside, peppered with unique Australian characters. The ballad was based on a real character, Irishman Jack Riley, whom Paterson met when he visited friends at Bringenbrong Station, a large property in the Upper Murray region. Riley lived in a basic timber hut near Tom Groggin Station, and shared many stories with Paterson as they camped overnight. One story in particular captured Paterson’s imagination, as Riley vividly described a thrilling horse chase through perilous territory, giving rise to the scenes that would be developed in “The Man From Snowy River”.

Riley lived a wild and exciting life as a stockman until he was in his seventies. In July 1914, his mates in Corryong received the news that Riley was seriously ill so, taking a stretcher, they attempted to carry him from his hut back to Corryong. Reaching Surveyor's Creek Junction, the group sheltered overnight in a deserted mining hut, but during the night, Riley died. He was buried in Corryong Cemetery on 16 July 1914.


Today in History

Thought For Today
Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living.....
1 Thessalonians 4:11 (c) GNB
Don't be an unwelcome meddler in the lives and affairs of other people. Commit your time to keeping your house in order.

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