Cyril Close

This is another fantastic success story of dedication and backing ones self. As Cyril Close shares his simple recipe for success, as others shared with him…”Find something you are good at and stick with it”…. and that’s exactly what he’s done! Talking to Cyril you cant help but notice his enthusiasm and love for the industry and job he does. That been said the other old saying I have heard is find something you love and you “Never work another day”…… Does that mean you have been bludging for the last 35 plus years mate?? On a serious note here’s Cyril’s great story since leaving Rockhampton Grammar way back when the Canterbury Bull Dogs were competitive and beat Parramatta in the GF 6/4 and “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen had a hit with “Dancing in the Dark”.

Taroom Branch – “The Kick off”

In 1984 I started at Taroom Branch as Shed Boy / Merchandise sales with Jamie Long Branch Manager, Steve Truman Livestock Sales and Judy Staines Office Administration. I used to go with Steve to Wandoan to help draft for sale and load the trains afterwards. I learnt a lot about presenting cattle for sale off Lee Gould and Geoff Baker, Lee’s side kick. They had a great business and attention to detail was high on their agenda. Steve left Taroom for Quilpie and Kerry Lynch came to town in his place. He handled some big numbers over his time and drove heaps of kilometres to get the job done.

Quite a few good yarns about time with Kerry and Jude that I will save for another day. We had a great team, all shit scared of Jamie though. As I have got older I have realised, unbeknown to me at that time, it was Jamie who shaped me into the agent I am today. For this I am forever grateful I must say. During my time at Taroom I did the traineeship in Brisbane with 6 others including Dick Street with John Higgins and we became his 7 dwarfs and probably behaved far worse than them. 

“A recent catch up with mentor and long term friend
Jamie Long ex GDL partner and Primac Guru”

Miles Branch

1985 saw a move down the road to Miles Branch to do Merchandise / Stock Salesman role under Guru Greg Jacobsen as Manager, Ray Gray as Livestock sales and Melody Rynne keeping us all in line. I had a great time in Miles, working, playing footy and Water Skiing. My tasks were varied and I even had to do the banking for Melody which was such a drag. 😉 Not really!! as that was where I met my future wife Sue Mason. While in Miles I got my first taste of Auctioneering under the guidance of Mr Noel Grant. I remember the exact spot and could take you there today even though the yards are gone. I got to sell a couple of old Hereford bulls and the cancer eyed cows…I was hooked. Auctioneering was my adrenaline rush amongst other things!!!

“Up at Rocky for ALPA recently and a chance to have a good yarn
to my old mate Noel Grant also ex GDL partner and Primac Guru.”

Rockhampton Branch

The opportunity came to transfer up to Rockhampton Branch in the livestock department so I jumped in boots and all. Around the end of 1987 I think it was I started in Rocky under Mr Tom Scanlan. Peter Brazier, Malcolm Kinman, (who would later be MC at Sue’s and my wedding) and myself, were in the Livestock team. Peter transferred to Dalby Branch to start his long standing career in stud stock and was replaced by Tony Dunn. Our Stud stock team in Rocky was headed by Alan Ferguson and represented by Kent Ward as Stud Stock officer. I flatted with Kim McKenzie one of our outstanding office staff and still a great friend today. I don’t know why though, some of the things she endured from Malcolm and myself. Office days in Rocky you had to wear a tie. The best part though was smoko time was when Mr Jack Wyland came in, and relived the early days of the agency game. What a privilege it was to know him and get advice about the industry. Another inspiration for me while in Rocky was watching the legend Dave Watkins conduct stud sales. He was poetry in motion in my eyes.

“Gracemere Store Sale late 80’s
Malcolm Kinman auctioneer & myself”


Much to everyone’s disgust I left the agency game in 1989 to pursue my dream of working my way around Australia. This took 2 tremendously exciting years and could be a book on its own!!!! Upon leaving I was told I always had the opportunity to come back to Primac, as they had offered me a leave of absence to restart anytime I liked. That was a great card to have in my deck and after having a good look around and time out I took them up on their offer at the end of 1992.

Charters Towers Branch

In December 1992 I started as Charters Towers Branch OIC under the Manager in Townsville at the time which was Kevin McColl. He was the Merchandise manager. They told me that I had 6 months to turn the business around from a $60,000 loss or they would shut it down. I said you won’t be shutting it down and went to work!!! Roy Paine RIP was head of livestock in Townsville and was a very respected agent in the north. I drew a wealth of connections from Roy and just got in my car and drove day in day out.

The live export job was on fire and there were plenty of options to sell cattle and I developed some great contacts. Little by little and day by day we started clawing back some market share. My first sale in the yards was so embarrassing standing over 5 head of cattle that I made a promise to myself that was never going to happen again. So with my focus set on the cattle I had to address the merchandise sales as well. Tracey (Dolly) Keilar, a well known local girl was working in the admin and merchandise. So she decided to grab the Merchandise role and give it a good shake up.

At the end of that first year we had turned the business around to achieve a $40,000 profit. This earnt us the Ross Stewart RIP award for Improved Performance Award 1993 / 1994. Ironically Ross’s Dad was Cyril Stewart who I was named after!!!! Sue and I got married in 1993 and forged some great friendships in and around the Charters Towers district. By 1995 I was looking for a bigger challenge and accepted a role as Livestock Manager in Roma with Elders. Paul O’Sullivan came up and took over my role in Charters Towers.

“The Ross Stewart award for best improved branch performance 93/94”

“1994 QCL for prosperity”

Roma Branch “Then and Today”

The desire to get more auctioneering under my belt was the focus on moving to Roma as well as being able to sell to a wider base other than the Live export job. I took over from Blake Munro in Roma and David McNally was the newly appointed manager. Blake had a very solid client base around Roma and most are still clients today. 1997 saw the birth of our first child in Cody and Sue and I decided at that point we didn’t wish to raise our children in town. In 1999 we purchased 320 acres with a house on it 12 km from Roma and made that our home. Our daughter Sally came along in 2000 to complete our happy little family. At that time I had also had enough of the corporate world and took the opportunity to join more like minded people in the industry.

So back with the old boss Jamie Long and Noel Grant who had given me my first taste of auctioneering in Miles I joined Grant Daniel and Long as Livestock Salesman under David Friend as Manager in Roma replacing Mick McGuire who moved back up to his home country of Emerald. Kate Taylor was our Administration manager through most of these years and with her husband David Gordon are loyal clients today. Brian Fisher, Geoff Maslen and Carl Warren made up the livestock team during this time and John Simms came on as property salesman. A lot of great times were had in this 7 years of our life. But I needed another challenge, so in 2007 Sue and I decided it was time to back ourselves in the industry and go out on our own.

TopX was the front runner in website livestock sales in the state at the time. This method of selling cattle to me was going to be the future. So amongst plenty of sleepless nights and the decision to leave a great business we started up TopX Roma with the great support of Carl Warren who made a very bold choice to come with us on this ride. Tony Gillett came on as Property Salesman and Andrew Jensen joined us to help draft and run the yards. We also had great Admin staff during these early years. Ainsley Winten, Taryn Mitchell, Kate Gordon, Katie Mclean, Kylie Taylor and Roz Presho helped us build an amazing private business.


Then in 2010 the original owners decided to move on in the business and gave Luke Westaway Tom McLeish and myself the opportunity to buy them out. So another chapter started in our life! Part owners of a franchise network which came with a lot more challenges. We moved the head office from Charters Towers to Roma to better manage the network. We employed Alan Cooney as CEO to help run the network and keep a professional focus on the business. Then in 2016 Tom And I purchased Luke’s share of the business and run the 9 franchises still from Roma. Geoff Hickson is now part time CEO backed up by Rachael Boyd, Elle Andrews and Gabby Smith. The livestock team is made up today of Sarah Packer Cody Close and property / livestock salesman is Carl Warren. We currently live 60km North of Roma on our Property “Lagoon Creek” running around 500 Angus and Santa cows, which gives us something to do in our spare time away from the business.

That’s about it for now.


Foreword, final edit & published Richard Street 25/06/2021

* Last Updated 25/06/2021 RSS

Posted in : Primac Gurus