Banjo by George Lambert


Poetry lovers throughout Australia and especially the Yeoval Community are very proud of the poet Banjo Paterson who spent his childhood years in Yeoval on his father’s property Buckinbah. On Sunday 17th February at the very successful Poets Brunch and Lunch, it was announced that an appeal has been launched to provide funds for the construction of a 1½ life-size Bronze Sculpture of Yeoval’s most famous son Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson. The Sculpture is to be erected in the main street on public land becoming the property of all Australians. Details for donating towards this $110,000 are below with up to date news posted here on Facebook every week.

Donations can be made at the Museum, chequse by post to 43 Forbes Street Yeoval or

Direct Deposit: Name: Mulga Bill Festival Inc Sculpture Appeal. BSB: 062573 Acc No: 10097470

Poetry Day 2019

The Annual Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival got off to a wonderful start on Saturday with a visit to the site of the original Barton family home ”Boree Nyrang” where Banjo’s grandparents raised a large family prior to the unexpected death of his grandfather. Emily Mary Barton then moved onto “Rockend” at Gladesville and daughter Rose married Andrew Bogle Paterson.

Sunday (17th) the anniversary of Banjo’s birth was the Poets Lunch and Brunch in Yeoval at the Banjo Paterson Museum. Here a large crowd was entertained by poetry recitals, singing of bush songs and musical items with Dee from Yeoval and Chris from Toogong.  A great Lunch, good company and a wonderful array of entertainers from far and wide.


When Emily Mary Darval married Robert Barton in 1840. They moved to Boree Nyrang near Molong in NSW here they raised 8 children. The second eldest daughter Rose was Banjo Paterson’s mother. Husband Robert Barton died in August 1909 and Emily sold Boree Nyrang and moved with her 6 younger children to Rockend in Gladesville. The original Barton homestead stood beside the permanent waters of Boree Creek in a very picturesque setting. Today nothing is left of the homestead, only a few pieces of broken china, stones and bricks. It’s a very historic site and well worth a visit see the new and the old Boree Nyrang with a tour being conducted during the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival. The tour will be on Saturday 16th February between 2 – 4pm. Gold Coin Donation. Enquiries – 02 6361 1920.

Holey Dollar& Dump

It’s nearly 2 years since the Reserve Bank of Australia visited us at the “Banjo Paterson…more than a Poet” Museum on the 17th February 2017 to unveil for the first time in Australia the new $10 note with its new safety features and the images of both Dame Mary Gilmore and Banjo Paterson - one on each side. The release of this note Australia wide was in the following September and it is now fully accepted into everyday life with hardly an older note to be seen in any change of a transaction.                                  

It’s very interesting to read the history of the first currency, apart from Rum, that the early colony of Sydney Town used back in 1814.
The New South Wales Holey Dollar was the first true currency to be used by the English Penal Settlement in Sydney Town. In1812 the Sloop of War “SAMARANG” reached Port Jackson carrying 40,000 Spanish Dollars along with instructions to Governor Lachlan Macquarie to use them to correct the chronic shortage of ready money which had plagued the colony since first settlement in 1788. Macquarie engaged a transported forger, William Henshall to punch a central plug from each dollar thus creating two coins from one. The outer ring was then counter stamped New South Wales 1813 on one side and the value five shillings on the other. The central plug (dump) was also overstruck but with a value of Fifteen Pence and a crown. 

Both coins were placed into circulation in 1814 and were not permanently withdrawn until 1829. The outer ring was known variously as a Government, Ring, or a Holey Dollar. Of the original 40,000 coins less than 300 are known to still be in existence.

A B Paterson's CBE - replica
NEW YEARS HONOUR LIST 1st January 1939

Sydney Morning Herald January 1st 1939
A lengthy New Year’s Honour List for the Commonwealth including four Knighthoods was announced at Government House Canberra last night.

Of the 35 honours 13 were awarded to members of the Australian Defence Forces, five to members of the Public Service, two to persons in Judicial Positions, two to Medical or Scientific Workers, three to Literary Figures, one to Commerce and 11 mostly minor honours for social service.

Despite the undue prominence of peace time awards to defence officers, the Honours List is somewhat redeemed by the increased attention to Literary Figures and of the three awards for literary worth, probably the most popular will be that of “Banjo” Paterson whose verse breathed a bush scented Australian atmosphere and sang of almost “forgotten men” of the outback.

Replica of A B Paterson's CBE - Commander of the British Empire for Services to Literature


When Banjo Paterson’s Grandfather Robert Barton passed away in Sydney at the Australia Club in Macquarie Street Sydney it was from complications the result of a sulky accident incurred some years earlier. The family were residing on their grazing property Boree Nerang on Peabody Road at Borenore 20 kilometres from Orange where Mary had lived since her marriage and had raised 9 children. Emily Mary sold the family holding and moved with her remaining children (the two Paterson brothers John and Andrew had married the two eldest Barton girls Emily and Rose) to a home she purchased on the Great North Road at Gladesville in Sydney. It was just up the hill from Bedlam Punt which crossed Looking Glass Bay. The 5 bedroom stone cottage was renamed Rockend by Emily Mary and for the next 46 years was her home and a meeting place for all the family and their siblings.

Emily Mary took her grandchildren John and Andrew under her wing, moved them from their Illalong home and settled them in with her. She sent both boys to the prestigious Sydney Grammar School in College Street Sydney and then used her influence to ensure young Andrew (Barty) obtained an Article Clerk position as he had missed the Sydney University Entrance Exams due to a bout of Scarlet Fever.

Upon her death the house was sold and became the Head Office of the Meggitt’s Linseed Oil and Meal business.  Sold in 1985 to the Government its historical value has been restored by a complete restoration and is now under the guardianship of the Ryde Council. It is now leased out to private enterprise and is known as the Banjo Paterson Restaurant.

Rockend now holds pride of place with beautifully kept gardens and parkland overlooking Looking Glass Bay and is the ideal dinning place for that very special function.


Not unlike the many new and second hand car sales yards found in every city, suburb, town and regional centre today, we find that in the horse drawn era Horse Livestock Sale Yards were everywhere - not least those along Parramatta Road Camperdown where we find so many car yards today.

The City of Sydney was a much smaller place in 1896 and so horse sales were conducted right in the centre of today’s bustling City of Sydney.  Often called Horse Bazaars, sales were conducted at least twice weekly with horses coming from as far away as Tamworth and the Hunter Valley on a regular basis. Looking through old copies of the Sydney Morning Herald classifieds we find that one of the main Agents was William Inglis, the founder of Sydney’s current premier bloodstock and other livestock auction businesses. There were many other agents across the Sydney scene one was Beadell’s who held auctions in their yards at 68 Hunter Street Sydney on the corner of what is known today as Chifley Square.

It was here at the Beadell’s on Wednesday the 29th of April 1896 that Mr A B “Banjo” Paterson sold two of his POLO ponies DINAH and SLIM JIM. Banjo was the Captain of the New South Wales Polo Team and played for several Sydney Polo Clubs travelling as far out as Camden.


With the financial support of St Vincent de Paul, Cabonne Council, Dubbo Red Cross and the Yeoval Progress Association along with the driving force of Yeoval Central School’s Well-being Coordinator Mrs Helen Tremain, another Successful “Rally Till it Rains” function was held in Yeoval on Friday evening the 15th of December. With tables and chairs set up in the Buckinbah Park, a sit down buffet meal was provided for 240 residents. The Yeoval Baptist Church singers entertained for the full evening with Christmas Carols and we can proudly say that the two course 3 meat and delightful salads were all prepared and served by the small band of the “Banjo Paterson … more than a Poet” volunteers and all made and prepared in the efficient and very well appointed kitchen at the Banjo Paterson … more than a Poet Museum. Sweets consisted of ice cream cones followed by huge and colourful individual trifles and homemade Plum Puddings. These Community organized functions are designed to bring the community together and keep spirits high through this drought period, with an opening concert presentation by the local Yeoval based Cherokee Dance Troupe and the continual operation throughout the evening of showman Glenn Brown’s Jumping Castle - all ages were well entertained and very well fed with hot meats and fresh fancy salads. The highlight of the salads was the pumpkin, rocket leaf and walnut creation with many copies of the recipe being printed on the night and also forwarded on during the following week. The evening weather was perfect for such a park function and congratulations to all who participated. Interesting to note that since the “Rally till it Rains” gatherings started two months ago over 7 inches of rain has been recorded on some properties in the district.

Sharon’s famous Devonshire teas with scones freshly baked on the premises are a delight anytime along with a range of healthy light luncheons. Everybody is welcomed to drop in anytime enjoy the fare and learn a little more of our famous storyteller Banjo Paterson.
Photo:- .Jo Blatch


Whilst looking through some of our collection of original Paterson letters and early book editions, comment was made that even though some were much older than others, age didn’t seem to be the instigator for intensive foxing. (The term used for the obvious rusting spots that appears on book pages and documents.) We sought an answer and were surprised to find the following explanation and results.

Most paper of the modern era is made from wood pulp which ages and finally breaks down. This is unlike the quality hemp paper of yesteryear which was made of pulped hemp plant that the market moved against in favor of wood pulp paper due to a huge campaign by giant American chemical companies who have cornered a worldwide market of chemicals involved in the growing, production and pulping of timber for paper.

Hemp makes stronger paper which lasts centuries longer; it doesn’t yellow or crack or otherwise deteriorate like tree paper does now. Hemp stalks take only 4 months to mature whereas trees take at least 20 years and hemp doesn’t need the chemical based bleaching. The photo shows a letter by Banjo Paterson’s father Andrew Paterson written on hemp made paper in 1854 - over 160 years ago, still in good order and no foxing marks to be seen. These letters and many other wonderful exhibits are always on show at the Banjo Paterson…. more than a Poet Exhibition, Yeoval NSW.


Whilst in the Banjo Paterson…more than a Poet Museum pick up a guide to the Banjo Paterson Bush Park sculptures - all of which are in the park across the road. There are 10 in all, ranging from the Banjo Hat to a Holden Ute.

The centerpiece of the sculptures is the 6 metre tall bronze sculpture of the head of the great English sculptor Henry Moore. It’s the largest bronze sculpture in Australia and weighs 6 tonnes. It was cast in Tai...wan and brought to Australia by its creator Drago Marin Cherina. Croatian born, he came to Australia at the invitation of the Whitlam Government to create sculptures for the National Capital. A student of Henry Moore, Drago Marin Cherina described his Master as larger than life and to support this statement he cut the sculpture into 5 pieces and rejoined together in an expanded form emphasizing “larger than life”. Valued at $1m it, was donated to the Banjo Paterson Bush Park by racing Patriarch Mr. Bill Waterhouse.

Now the centre of attention in the park, it’s well worthwhile taking the short walk and if you have the time Google Drago Marin Cherina and all his works. Plan to have a light lunch or a delightful Devonshire Tea before or after your walk.

When visiting the Banjo Paterson…more than a Poet Museum it’s a must to cross the road to the Banjo Paterson Bush Park and the Giant Banjo Paterson Hat opposite. Donated to the Yeoval community by past Orange Deputy Mayor Mr. Chris Gryllis, it is lifted up on pole supports with a picnic table beneath where you can sit and have your photo taken with ANDY the swagman who sits there every day awaiting visitors for photos.

ANDY was created by the Borenore Men’s Shed and donated to Yeoval for photo shoots. He took his name from the traditional Banjo Paterson song Waltzing Matilda. “Ändy sang as he watched, Andy waited till his billy boiled”. He now sits in a comfortable wheelchair - making moving him across the road and back of an evening very easy.


Once established in Egypt in charge of the Remount Station at Moascar with 230 horse breakers to oversee and thousands of horses to break in, classify and send on to their most suitable army postings, Major A B Paterson took a little time to take in all that was going on around him.

A very primitive Australian Air Corp Flying School was located next door to the Remount Camp. Paterson was very moved by the number of young Australian soldiers who were drawn to the glamour of flying only to find that the aeroplane was still in its infancy and totally different in its reaction and use to any land based machine.

The death toll was rather high and Major Paterson wrote home to his wife in Sydney. He encouraged her to leave the children with relatives and volunteer to serve with the British Red Cross. Mrs Alice Paterson sailed from Australia across the very dangerous Indian Ocean and served her country as a volunteer in the Red Cross Hospital at Ismailia. A wonderful gesture and a great service to her country.


One hundred years ago in May 1918 the official magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East was the Kia-ora Cooee. It was published monthly by a joint committee of management consisting of both Australian and New Zealand servicemen. Its office was in the A.I.F. Headquarters in Cairo and it was published monthly. It encouraged contributions of interesting stories, poems, jokes and cartoons from serving members of both Australian and New Zealand forces.                                                          

Many talents were discovered from cartoon drawing to short stories and poetry writing. Trooper Bluegum is a great example of those discovered and all were supported by well-established poets such as Banjo Paterson, who wrote 3 very moving poems whilst serving in Egypt - ”The Army Mules”,  ”Moving On” and “Santa Claus”.  All of these were printed in the Kia-ora Cooee and because it was not a mainstream publications all 3 poems were overlooked for many years as all Paterson poems were cataloged and collected.                                                                                                                         

The caricature of an Australian and a New Zealand Soldier (which featured as the front cover of the Kia-ora Cooee was drawn by David Baker), without any words it sums up the ANZAC tradition which has only strengthened over the past 100 years.


Second hand bookshops have a wonderful attraction to me with one of my favorites being the Cooks Hill Bookshop, Darby Street in Newcastle. They have a great range of subjects and one can always find a “Treasure” or two at very reasonable prices.

Amongst the collection of books I collected last weekend was Tales of Old Gundagai written by the past President of the Gundagai and District Historical Society, published 1979. It contains a short Item titled Kiley’s Run and adds another page to the history of Paterson poems. It tells the poems history and shows again that most Paterson poems are quite often written using a familiar name with snippets of truth and a lot of poetic imagination and licence - all rolled up to tell an interesting poetic story.

In our collection of A B “Banjo” Paterson books we have an extensive collection of all his books, paying special attention to one of each edition commencing with one of the first “Man From Snowy River” books to come off the press in 1895 which is autographed by Paterson.

Call in and enjoy the whole Exhibition usually open every day 9am to 3pm.

A B Paterson in his racing colours


Do you have visitors coming or looking for an outing this weekend or indeed any weekend? Take a trip to the small village of Yeoval centrally located at the centre of Orange, Parkes and Dubbo.

The award-winning Clancy’s Café is located within the Banjo Paterson …more than a Poet Museum. Allow an hour or two to explore this unique collection of Paterson stories, photos, memorabilia and original letters and manuscripts. Then enjoy a cuppa and a light lunch or a delightful, made on the premises, fresh scone, jam and cream.

Balmain Regatta Maiden 4's


The Museum is called “More than a Poet” because of the many sports and adventures across the world that Andrew Barton Paterson became involved over his lifetime, especially in his sporting ability, remembering that a childhood accident left him with a shortened left arm.

Paterson rowed competitively for his school and the Sydney and Balmain Rowing Clubs. A great horseman, he rode several winners over the hurdles at Sydney race meetings, he played Polo for several Sydney clubs and was a member of the NSW Polo Team. Other sports include cricket, golf and on the side of arts he played the violin as a school student.


Old historic letters are mainly tucked away behind the scenes of Museums unseen and mainly forgotten.

This letter is on full view at the Banjo Paterson…more than a Poet Museum in Yeoval NSW.

Just think about it for a minute, do you have any letters written to you or your parents say 50 years ago? Well our Andrew Paterson and James Paterson letters were written nearly 170 years ago - over 10 years before Banjo was born.

These letters written by his Father and Uncle to their faraway Bank in native Scotland have survived through a remarkable twist being stored because of the hobby of an American stamp collector to whom the name Paterson meant nothing.

It’s one of many historical items held in the Banjo Paterson … more than a Poet Museum. Organise a visit - stay for a cuppa or light lunch at our Clancy’s Café.

Front of Museum

The Central West of NSW offers many interesting, historical and enjoyable experiences. A trip to the Cabonne Council “What’s on this Month” brings up a host of special events and places of interest. The Banjo Paterson …more than a Poet Museum is one such example, easy to find on the Wellington Road from Yeoval next to the Catholic Church. Usually open every day 9 till 4 - unless we are on a “Paterson Trail” (Ring 0427208913 or 0458464190 to confirm).

There is an extensive range of brochures and maps to help the visitor, as well as first hand information on our local places and events. We are centrally located - situated equidistant from the Dubbo Zoo, the Wellington Caves and the Parkes Telescope and within 40 minutes of all of these places. It is possible to drive past our Banjo Paterson Museum en-route to the other two. On your next road trip give it a go and call in.

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