Farewell to a local legend

Peter Blundell with his son''''s James and Peter.

By Peter Charles and James Blundell

 Vale Peter Warren Blundell 19 February 1936 – 26 September 2020

Born in the Stanthorpe Hospital on 19 February 1936, Dad called the Traprock region, West of Stanthorpe, home for his entire life.

In this age of movement and relocation, he was happy to remain in the one position, often being heard to say, “they’ll carry me out of here in a pine box”.

He made a mighty fine effort at achieving this goal, having only short stints in the Stanthorpe Hospital and Carramar Aged Care, before his demise on 26 September 2020.

The care that both these institutions gave was first class. At a time when so many negative comments are being made about aged care, we are extremely fortunate to have these facilities in our community. Dad was always a very active community member, playing both tennis and cricket locally as a young man. He was a foundation member of Stanthorpe Toastmasters, and appeared in many musicals and stage productions.

These shows would often have performances in Tenterfield and Warwick, at the old Rex Theatre. I remember helping practise lines from such classics as The Gondoliers, Paint Your Wagon, Calamity Jane, Annie Get Your Gun, Oklahoma, HMS Pinafore and many more.

I had the pleasure of appearing alongside Dad in two of these productions; The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and Tarantara.

Dad spent many, many years on the Stanthorpe Show and Rodeo Society, as it was in those days. Countless working bees were attended to improve the facilities at the show ground.

He had a wealth of stories about building horse stalls and the rodeo arena.

Our old International truck carted load after load of ironbark posts from the Traprock, from our property and others, for these projects.

Dad was President of the Show and Rodeo Society in 1974, 1975, the Centenary year, and 1976. Breeding and showing horses and Campdrafting were passions of Dads.

His father used to take it in very bad part when, on the weekend, Dad would load up the old truck, “Jitters”, and head to the nearest, or not so near, campdraft or rodeo.

He travelled extensively through Northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland to attend these events, having occasional success, but more often than not, simply enjoying the company of likeminded people from the land.

In those days, everyone worked their stock on horses, and the standard of competition on the weekends was high. He had a devotion to Australian Stock Horses, and spent many years judging, classifying and promoting these animals.

He became a member of the Australian Stock Horse Society in 1972, was the inaugural President of the Queensland State Management Council, and was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Society in 1990. Dad was also a bush poet, capturing the funny stories, anecdotes, beauty and severity of the country and people he loved so dearly. His self-published booklet of his verse is a timeless reminder of what he found important, what gave his life reason and purpose, why he loved his land so much, and why he was so determined to be “carted off in a pine box”.

Peter is survived by by sons, Peter and James, grandchildren, Peter, Harry, Nicola,, Briar, Travis, Fian and Rhia and great grandchildren, Charlie and Maddie,. – Peter Charles Blundell, 13th October 2020.

As Jim Morrison said.. ‘no one here gets out alive’.

Even though it was inevitable, and we were as prepared as it’s possible to be for Dad’s passing, nothing prepares you for the loss of a truly unique individual.. the words ‘absolute gentleman’ have surfaced time and time again in people’s condolences.

He was definitely that, but many other things as well.. irascible, loyal, infuriating, incredibly loveable, the list goes on.

Personally I’ve lost my longest serving drinking partner, best sparring partner, and favourite poet. to our family, we’ve lost Papa, a completely irreplaceable part of our complex family puzzle.

The old man went to the UK when he was a young fella to learn all about Hereford cattle…. he came home with a new skill set on cattle and “Love”, for it is in the UK, that he met and courted my beautiful mother, Marjory.

He didn’t waste any time proposing and bringing her back to the Australian bush… she took to it like a duck to water and shared his love of the land and animals… she loved this place like it had always been her home.

We reckon he and mum are slowly working their way through an exceptional bottle of Malt Whiskey making up for lost time.. love you mate, miss you beyond the telling, and am eternally grateful for the love, fights, performances, horses and adventures we’ve shared from day one of my 56 years.. – James

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