Frances Stewart PREECE, b. 13th March 1925, Ararat near Ballarat VIC; USH00701


Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre


Frances Stewart PREECE, b. 13th March 1925, Ararat near Ballarat VIC

About this object

Frank Stewart Preece was born at Ararat near Ballarat, Victoria. Frank's father, Frances Stewart Preece was dental surgeon and real estate agent and his mother, Mary Elizabeth Jones was a housewife. Mary died, 11th January 1933 when Frank was 7 years and 9 months old.
Frank left home when he was 14 years old (1939) and worked on droving plants and many stations, which involved fencing, cattle and horse work. In 1941 Frank joined the "Worth Circus" (Phil & George Worth) as a trick rider and stud groom travelling to Melbourne and Adelaide in 3 months and in 1942 joined the Bullin Circus (Captain Bullin) at Burra and went all the way to Ardrossan (York Peninsula) as a truck driver carrying four camels, four horses and four elephants for six months.
Frank joined the Air force in 1944, a gunnery school at Creesy, Victoria. One day, Frank was on guard duties, with some of his work mates when Ruth Brumby (a domestic worker) from Greyhome Station, rode her push bike into Creesy to post letters for her boss, Archie Ready. She stopped and started talking to the boys. Frank was a shy young man, but he soon got up the courage to ask Ruth out. Their first date was at a boxing tournament at Beeac, 12 miles from Creesy their relationship developed from there, Ruth was 21 years old and Frank was 19. They had four daughters in 8 years of marriage and separated in 1952 (Ruth died in 1965).
In 1945 Frank, Johny and wife Pat Edwards, Boyd Ferguson and Bill Harrison formed "Texas Star Rodeo" at West Footscray, railway yards, Melbourne (horses belonged to Norm Cakebread). In those days Frank used to ride a mule and in 1952 met up with Jack Gil at Mount Barker and joined the "Jack Gil Rodeo" for approximately eight months, until Jack joined up with the "Sole Brothers Circus".
On the 4th September 1964, Frank met his second partner of thirty seven years Lilian Ann McGarry.
1947 to 1969 Frank, trade dragged from Alice Springs to Adelaide for twenty two years.
Between 1969 and 1991 Frank and Lil worked for the following stations: Moola Station (Owner Ken Vaggs); Wing Ding Station (Owner Robert Vaggs) contract mustering and lamb marking, Mount Boorithumble (Owner Kevin Worthington) cattle mustering; Rosewood Station (Owner Stewart McInnes) cattle and sheep work; Goodwind Pastoral Company (Owner Lance (Chief) Johnson) cattle and horse marking breaking in horses; Sand Valley (Owners Tabatha Griffith & Lionel Trump) 18 months on and off, cattle droving, marking, branding, tagging.
In 1977 around Easter time, Jack Young Bellington from Dorrigo, NSW transported 1,900 head of breeding cows to Kiacatoo. Frank and Lillian with Phillip Harris shepherded and drove cattle around the Kiacatoo/Euabalong district for 21 months.
Frank gained much experience and expertise handling horses and is well known for his horse breaking throughout many communities in Australia. He has ridden in rodeos in all States and worked with Walter Kidman, RM Williams and Aboriginal Stockman named Dollar Smith who taught young Reginald Williams to plait whips and rawhide ropes.
Frank resides in Euabalong West, though sadly Lil passed away in 2001.

Subject and Association Description

Ancestors: Grandparents - Believed to have returned to Ireland when Frank was very young.
Parents: Frances Stewart Preece married Mary Elizabeth Jones
Siblings: Katherine and John (step brother & sister), Betty Preece 19th June 1926, Mary Ahearn 11th November 1927, Alec Ahearn 11th February 1931, Everlyn Ahearn 2nd February 1932, Maureen Ahearn 11th January 1933.
Married: 19th March 1944, Church of Christ, Geelong VIC
Spouse: 1st Marriage: Ruth Catherine Brumby, 19th March 1944
2nd Partner: Lilian Ann McGarry, met 4th September 1964
Children: Thelma Ruth 7th September 1945, Dorothy Elizabeth 2nd November 1947, Marion Rosemarie 29th June 1948 and Helen Katherine 31st March 1949.
Resided: 1947-1949: Parta Coona, Flinders Rangers (Owner Slinger Niske)
1949-1950: Stewart Creek -
(Owner Sidney Kidman, Manager Archie Maclean)
1950-1951: Mumpie Howie, Leigh Creek, Fitters Springs
1969-1971: Euabalong West NSW

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