This carousel holds not only the excerpt from BOB BK03, but also the synopsis and the ebook data.
They are all set out in the same fashion using four sections.
1 - EXCERPT.
2 - SOME of the defining occurrences and incidents not mentioned elsewhere from the period the book covers.
3 - SYNOPSES.
4 - e-BOOK data.
For those that don't know, those pigs are wessex saddlebacks and a friend and yours truly carted a ute and trailer load of their relations all the way back from a few miles north of Kaitaia to Waikite Valley when I was managing WAIOTAPU BLOCK.
Read about the drama catching them on a derelict, gorse covered block and the episode on the approach to the north side of the Auckland harbour bridge in the mid 1970's in this book.
But SHIT-OH-DEAR that all changed when the COLLEGE BOYS got hold of the stick. Managers were coming and going pretty fast, and I think my predecessor at Edgecumbe was one of the first some buggers stick landed on, the fact that he was ready to retire was just coincidental, no matter what spin they put on it.
For a long time I thought it was that they kept up with the paper work, but if what was said about how one of them delivered a box full of untouched paperwork to the ROTORUA OFFICE each month for his Field Officer to do was true it could not be that.
Just how did some guys become managers, and some never did? How did some last years and in some instances decades, while some only lasted months? Why some blocks that constantly performed better than average had frequent manager changes? Why some looked a mess but did keep managers? EDGECUMBE BLOCK at KAWERUA is a example from the mid fifties to the mid seventies it only had two managers. The place was under performing in every way and looked it, but those two guys lasted until they retired.
Another twist to this is that particularly in Edgecumbe’s case the township of Kawerau was actually built on it and as in most urban areas dogs are not in short supply.
Before I started managing I had never given any thought to the politics of the job.
However until the late seventies when we started getting COLLEGE EDUCATED FIELD OFFICER'S, I think if the paper work was looking right the Field Officers who in the main were X FARM MANAGERS and close to RETIREMENT and didn't want to ROCK THE BOAT, so these old buggers got away with it.
All the blocks that were close to towns or bush blocks were subjected to a fair amount of dog worrying. I think over the years as the population of Kawerau increased the problem became worse, especially as the manager saw it being more a Council problem and looked to the Dog Ranger to get it under control.
(I was proactive in this matter and shot 87 dogs in the act of worrying and cut the overall death rate from almost 10% to under 2, in 3 years)
While I was on the ball with eliminating roaming dogs by adopting the US MILITARY’S idea of PRE EMPTIVE STRIKES against any loose dog I saw, I will admit and know, lowering the death rate had more to do with management than dog control. Here is a bit copied from the Superintendents’ letter regarding worrying dogs from this book.
THE FARM MANAGER, EDGECUMBE BLOCK. Bob, While we appreciate the way you have got control of the dog problem over there we can not condone some of the methods of which we have been informed you are using. Yours Eric Gibson. SUPERINTENDENT L&S ROTORUA.
While appearing to be coping as best he could with the problem in fact from what I could gather did buggeral about it, except to pick up the dead sheep and send a exaggerated BODY COUNT to ROTORUA. The extra fictitious deaths from the dogs went some way to concealing the BLOCKS poor performance, and subsequently his management was not queried.
This book BOB BOOK 03; ISBN 9780473170974; contains 104,700 words and numerous illustrations is written on 210, A5 pages covering the years 1973 - 1985, it is written, edited, published, and completely produced my myself (Bob Simmonds.) It is not a glossy, flashed up publication pretending to be something it is not, but a honest account about the trials and tribulations of coping with a family, staff, office based bosses that now held the stick of authority over me, and the demands of thousands of head of livestock, while being able to accept the challenges of life in general.
Today frequently big sheep farms are refereed to as stations, but when I was a kid a station, was where trains stopped, farms are where most people think their milk comes from, ranches are from America where cowboys and Indians came from, although in New Zealand it used to be a property where the management could be improved on.
In BOB BK03 you can see the same pattern emerge as in BK02, I took the managing jobs as far as I could then it's bugger that mate, been there and done that, move on to a another stage with new challenges, create something out of bugger all ( A small trucking business and a farm both a joke to many people but they kept butter on our bread and there was no bloody saying, YES SIR or NO SIR ) In addition unknown to me at the time it created and stored away new material for BK04.
It was a great period of our lives 1973 to 1985, and strangely enough the only two private farms I worked on were the first and last. The others were all Government farms belonging to the Lands & Survey and the Maori Affairs Departments of the day. Strangely enough and over the years I have often pondered on why I never applied for a transfer to one of the central North Island prison farms when a situation for a stockman was advertised.
We get over to EDGECUMBE and soon sorted the joint out but I think the BOSS thought before my extra curriculum activities ( ECA )(a couple of trucks picking up hay and silage) got me in the POO we are transferred to Waiotapu Block to tidy that one up. In 1980, I was approached by a big logging contractor to help set up and run his properties at Rerewhaakitu, which I did until 1985 by which time I had become far to big for my boots. ECA again this time (TRUCKS AND LIVESTOCK) some might say we were pushed out, and some might say we jumped out into the world of the SELF EMPLOYED but that is for the next three chapters in BOB BK04.
While I had a couple of trucks I used for contracting I had only brought them because as Bruce Clothier had said "They get into your BLOOD, be they BIG or SMALL, NEW or OLD." actually an older piece of machinery will always appeal more to me than anything NEW.
Starting the Waiotapu job was a bit like the Edgecumbe one in that the managers house had to be renovated, But there the previous manager had been given his marching orders and was already gone so consequently I ended up managing both blocks for a couple of months 'for one lot of pay'.
The town of KAWERAU was built in the mid fifties to house the workers from the paper mill, and as EDGECUMBE BLOCK had big flat areas right there and being government land it was decided that a few houses was seen as no big deal.
What a country, the STATE educated these buggers at the tax payers expense (Mainly the poor bastard on PAYE) to become professionals, they then set themselves up in business's of all sorts and rip the same poor buggers on PAYE off for their services. Next, they buy these bloody lifestyle blocks which can only run at a loss, to save paying tax on the profit from their business, then they have the bloody impertinence to talk about and point the finger at some poor sod on the dole.(I know that’s a pretty simplistic view but it is the guts of how it worked then.)
This PDF FORMATTED version of BOB BK03 has the same content as the a5 sized soft covered book therefore the excerpt & synopsis are the same.
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