Jack Wyland

From odd jobs painting cars and teasing horsehair for 7 bob a week, Jack Wyland, as a young man growing up in Longreach, dreamt only of becoming a stock and station agent”.

Jack Wyland certainly went on to carve out a name for himself in the competitive central Queensland livestock agency business. He became a director of Queensland Primary Producers Cooperative Association in 1966, and continued after the merger with Mactaggarts Primary Producers Cooperative Association in 1975, as director of Primaries Mactaggarts until his retirement in1984.

A 1969 Primaries Article featuring the legendary Jack Wyland. Article courtesy of Andrew O’Brien 25/3/21

In 2002 Jack’s life story was presented to the Combined Agents Reunion Luncheon in Brisbane. Following is an extract from that presentation. It sums up a truly remarkable career of a well respected livestock agent and auctioneer. A special thanks goes to fellow Primac gurus Gary Baker and Marg Barton for providing this story.

“96 years ago, this month, in Longreach, sportsman, stock and station agent, master auctioneer, Jack Wyland made his appearance in this world, one of seven children.

As a school boy, Jack, knowing the career path he wanted to follow, deliberately sought an education necessary.  On leaving school, unable to obtain a permanent position, did odd jobs painting cars and teasing horsehair for the princely sum of 7/6 per week. To further his desire to join the agency, he took shorthand lessons at the local convent, resulting in him getting his first permanent job with the agency of Kellett and Coy as office boy. Sometime later he was offered a better position, as shorthand typiste with Woolridge & Coy, paying 12/6 per week. Being conscientious he phoned graziers at night, seeking business, thus earning a little extra.

Whilst in Longreach, Jack was offered several jobs with other firms, which he declined. In 1926 he chose to leave Longreach and join the firm of Harold Loch in Emerald (special agent for Primaries), as a salesman on a salary plus commission on sales. In Emerald he gained experience as well as forming lasting relationships with Central Highlands people., broken only by their demise. Jack recalls Queensland British Food Corporation, in 1945, opening up the Central Highlands to grain growing, changing the whole culture of the area.

In 1932, Jack transferred to “Primaries” in Rockhampton as stock salesman, again building up a large clientele by each night phoning graziers in various districts. On retirement of Mr Bill Kettle, Jack and Arthur Deacon were appointed joint managers, whose popularity enticed many people to join them for office “smokos”, resulting in Primaries Rockhampton becoming one of the leading agency branches outside of the capital cities. I might add at this stage they had a staff of 32.

On Arthur Deacon’s retirement in 1960, Jack took over the management and in 1966 was appointed to the board of Directors of “Primaries” and remained on that board after the amalgamation with Mactaggarts in 1975, until his retirement in 1984″.

In 1945 due to a bout of flu, Jack was left voiceless, although told his voice would return, he was advised never to auctioneer again. Megaphones were unheard of in those days, Jack, had a local electrician, manufacture a voice box. This small appliance was critical of Jack going on to become one of the best-known auctioneers of his area.

Some of his more memorable moments in auctioneering are, selling at the first and subsequent King Ranch Santa Gertrudis bull auctions at “Risdon” Warwick 50 years ago come November, top price being 1500 guineas to Felix Schmidt. In augural Rockhampton Santa Gertrudis commercial bull sale 1956. Undoubtedly the highlight of his career was the Waverley Brahman Bull Sale 1969. Selling Waverley Noel De Manso, bidding stalled at $42,000, sensing there maybe a forming of partnership when Dr. Stone went to speak to Hugh Innes, Jack as he was renowned to do told the audience a little story and by the time, he had finished the aforesaid gentlemen resumed bidding taking the price to $56,000, perhaps then and may be still a world record.

Apart from being a master auctioneer, Jack’s keen judgement of all livestock, principally cattle and property led him to negotiating the sale of many large property and stock deals over the years involving King Ranch, Stanbroke Pastoral Company, Pioneer Stations Horden and Clarke families.

In his younger days, Jack was a keen sportsman, football being his favourite, beginning in Longreach, and carrying over to Emerald where he captained the team for six years. Work did not permit him to play in Rockhampton however he did serve on the committee of the Royal Agriculture Society for a number of years”.

Whilst Jack would have liked to been with us today, he is unable to travel, but his thoughts are with us.

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