Glenn Dunn

Glenn Dunn‘s amazing career with Primaries and Primac, spanned some 33 years. A true agent with heaps of personality, he was always going to succeed, to be a pier amongst his colleagues and clients alike. This is Glenn’s story!

Richard Handley reflects on a story about Glenn. “During one of his initial chats to A.W. Campbell, Glenn told me he suggested that to get the feel of the company, he asked “the chief” if he could  spend some time in each department in Head Office. Mr. Campbell apparently thought that this was a splendid idea and asked Glenn to go ahead and to report back in due time.
When this time was up “the chief” asked Glenn what his thoughts were? His reply – “Sir, I’d like to work in the Stock Department”

The rest is history for this amazing cadet.

My early years growing up in Brisbane

“During my growing up years, I lived at Highgate Hill in Brisbane with my Mum and Dad and older brother.  Our home was right on the Brisbane River directly across from Queensland University.  Our block was fairly steep, so we weren’t affected by any of Brisbane’s floods.  Unfortunately, our old home is no more – there are big units there now, but the old garage is still standing.

I attended Brisbane State High School where sport was my favourite subject, in which I participated in Rugby Union, Swimming and Cricket.  I also played Rugby League for Souths Magpies, and rowed for Commercial and Toowong Rowing Clubs.

1955 QPPC Cadetship in Brisbane

When I joined Queensland Primary Producers Cooperative Association Ltd in 1955, I was made a cadet, and had experience in all departments. I always remember Maureen Mulcahy who was in charge of the front counter.  Joining the Fat Stock Department meant many hours spent at the Cannon Hill Saleyards.  In this Department were Clarrie Phillips, Tom Flanagan, Barry Greenup, Eric Bassingthwaighte and Hilda Otto.  During my time in Brisbane Office, I was called up for National Service for three months at Wacol, and I was put into the anti-aircraft section, and found it to be well worth the experience.

1960 Wedding Bells & A Transfer to Townsville

When Jocelyn and I got married in 1960, I was transferred to Townsville Branch as an Auctioneer/Stock Salesman.  Mr Tony Brabazon was the very caring Manager there. Harry Tew, Ted Ingram, John Sjostedt, Tony Kiddle, John Augostis, Roy Benyon and Reg Fritz were all part of Townsville Office.  Glenn said Reg Fritz was one of the best Livestock Auctioneers he’d ever heard.  All livestock sales were held at the Garbutt saleyards, with unloading there as well.  The saleyards are now at the Bohle.  In Townsville we lived in a home at South Townsville with Primaries merchandise shed at the back.  While in Townsville, Mr Brabazon arranged for me to go to Julia Creek Branch to look after it while Ken and Anne Glasheen were away, and this was a real experience as it was in drought.

New Branch at Charters Towers

In 1964 I was appointed Manager of the new branch to be opened in Gill Street Charters Towers, which was the main street, and our home was right behind the office.  The other agents wouldn’t allow us to sell with them in their yards at the Charters Towers Showgrounds.  We were able to obtain a miners homestead 99-year lease of the old rodeo yards, which were very small and only able to hold up to 100 Cattle.  With Peter Lloyd having taken over from Mr Brabazon as Manager in Townsville, we were able to organise the demolition of the rodeo yards.  We then built the new Primaries Charters Towers Selling Complex, which would hold up to 2000 head of Cattle.  We had very successful fortnightly sales there.

We found the people and the clients in Charters Towers were very friendly and loyal and became personal friends.  It was early in 1967 that I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and it was decided that we needed to be nearer to family and specialists in Brisbane, so I was transferred to Manager of Goondiwindi Branch. Tom Farmer took over from me as Manager in Charters Towers.

From Cattle Country in the North to Sheep & Cropping in the South

Coming from mostly cattle country I found sheep and cropping country a big learning curve, particularly when someone from the opposition obtained all our stock and property records before I arrived, so we were well behind right from the start.  At the beginning Primaries and Australian Estates were selling at the Rosewood Station yards, and then eventually we were accepted into selling in the main McIntyre Yards over in New South Wales.  There again we found the people and clients in Goondiwindi to be very friendly and loyal.  I was able to manage my diabetes with regular trips to Brisbane.  Ron Humphries took over as Manager after we left Goondiwindi.  While in Gundy we were involved with the Lions Club and Emus Rugby Union where I did some coaching.

1972 A Return to Charters Towers

In 1972 after our four darling daughters Karen, Noela, Jenny and Alison were born, we were transferred back to Charters Towers.  I took over from the previous Manager Tom Farmer, and we sold the office and home in Gill Street.  We then purchased and renovated Dumphries  Caledonian House also in Gill Street, which was a far bigger office.  Another home was also purchased at Davies Street on the outskirts of the city.  We continued to have sales at the Primaries yards, and also at the H.M. Clarke Saleyards.  Dalgetys and Elders had opened offices in the Towers, as well as local Agent Bartlams who had always been in operation.  We were also involved with the Lions Club in the Towers, and with the Rugby League where I became a Referee.

Another transfer in 1975 – This time Brisbane

It was decided by the company, that I return to Brisbane to the Fat Stock Department in 1975.  On my return I went to Kilcoy Office for a short period to relieve the Manager there.  It was a real surprise as my first morning was a calf sale, because you were jack of all trades and on your own.  After a short time back in the Fat Stock Department, one staff member left, and as I had worked with Peter Lloyd previously, it was decided to move me into the Stud Stock Department.  Peter Lloyd was the Stud Stock Manager, Dick Blanchard, Hugh Johnson and Nora Goggins were also in the Department.  In 1976 Peter left the Company and I was appointed Stud Stock Manager.  We did just so many stud stock sales of all breeds throughout Queensland and New South Wales.  It would be just so difficult to choose a highlight amongst all these sales, but the Brunette Downs Santa Gertrudis and Quarter Horse Sale in the Northern Territory stands out.  4000 Bullocks were offered in runs of 1000, so the sale was completed very quickly.  Then 150 Santa Gertrudis bulls were offered in K-wagon lots, approximately 22 Head in each lot.  Towards late afternoon the Quarter Horses were offered for sale, where a 3rd cross colt made $3200, which at that time was an Australian record.  I was privileged to conduct the very first Brahman Herd bull Teleauction on 18th September 1985, which was stated to be the first in the World. There were 25 lots totaling 174 Bulls.  A fairly hard sale.

The Stud Stock Department offered so many opportunities!

I was very fortunate to travel to many Sydney Easter Royal Shows to sell bulls for our clients.  Then this became more expanded with all Co-operative Companies in Australia combining to become Austock, which gave us greater coverage and more buying strength.  We held many cattle days in Toowoomba and Dalby, where all graziers and pastoral suppliers came together.  There was judging of all different breeds, and we believe it was the first time Hereford and Poll Herefords were judged in the same ring.  Jocelyn and I were very fortunate to have a lovely three week trip to New Zealand in 1981.  George Gorton, Primac’s Cairns Manager had organised the whole trip but unfortunately, he had a health problem, so we were asked to go in his place.  The group consisted of graziers from North Queensland and as luck had it, I knew most of them.  It was wonderful trip to both the North and South Islands.

An expansion of the Stud Stock Department!

We then decided to expand our Stud Stock Department to include Deers and Goats.  We conducted Australia’s First Progeny Red Deer Sale on the Harts property , “Oakwood” at Kandanga on 30th July 1981.  The next day we had the Farm Deer Sale on Kennedy’s property, “Kimbala at Kilcoy.  These sales were highly successful with some of the deer travelling as far as Western Australia.  We also held the First Deer Teleauction at the Greek Community Centre in South Brisbane on 16th October 1986.  We did just so many Angora and Cashmere goat sales throughout Queensland and New South Wales, from Townsville to Tamworth.  Les and Marie Webber held the First Texan Imported Angora sale in Australia at the Toowoomba Showgrounds, which was highly successful and the 40 Angoras that were offered averaged $2200.  We continued to have an association with the Angora Breeders for just so many years at the Brisbane Exhibition – The Ekka.  They were just so genuine and friendly people.

My days with Primac came to an end in 1988

Unfortunately, there was a clash of personalities between myself and management, so I left Primac in 1988 with many regrets. It was not my intention to leave however, I felt at the time that I had no choice.  As I had not had a lot of dealings with dairy cattle in my career, I was approached by Steve McGuinness to take over their Queensland operations for Hedley Johnson, based in Kiama New South Wales.  It became highly successful and we were able to conduct 50 production and clearing sales per year.  We also became very involved in Illawarra Heifer exports to Indonesia and China.  A very profitable part of our business.  We then sold the Queensland operations, and I continued to be the Auctioneer for new Company. After that I was involved with D & G Livestock being their auctioneer at their Nanango and Coolabunia Droughtmaster Sales.  When I was getting towards 80 years of age, I was slowing up and my eyesight wasn’t the best, so I ended my auctioneer’s life while I was considered a reasonable Auctioneer and not a has been.

Over the years we kept in contact with Dick Blanchard and Nora Goggins from Primac

Nora came to work for me at Hedley Johnson, and she became part of our family.

Nora married Pat Lennon in 1993 and tragically she passed away in 2004.

When we came back to Brisbane in 1975, we lived at Manly West on Moreton Bay for thirty years.  Then we decided to build a new home on Russell Island also in Moreton Bay.  As often happens when you are getting older you decide to downsize.  This we have done, so are now happily retired living at Capalaba on the Redlands Coast.  Spending time with our four daughters, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren is of the greatest joy to us, and we very much enjoy being part of the many groups associated with the Pastoral Agency Companies”.

* Last updated 24/10/2022 GJ

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