Going, going, gone

What will they do now?

What will they do now?

Neville Brooks 82 at the last Beaudesert Pig and Calf Sale
Neville Brooks 82 at the last Beaudesert Pig and Calf Sale

Neville Brook has been coming to the Beaudesert Pig and Calf Sales for 75 years. When asked about this he says, “I’m 82 years old and I’ve been coming here since before I started school.”

Mr Brook remembers coming to the sales with his father, unloading cattle from the railway when the yards stretched up the road to the north. Sale day is the day he does his shopping before catching up with old friends. Asked what he will do now that the sale has finished in Beaudesert, he looks downward and replies, “Do my shopping and go home, I suppose.”

Marie Ammala has been coming to the sales for over forty years. She catches up with friends, does her shopping at the nearby supermarkets and buys and sells a few items from time to time. Her disappointment at the last sale was palpable. “Why do they have to do this? It’s just not right.” It is these men and women who will feel the impact of the closure more than anyone else in the Beaudesert community.

Paul Buchanan & Marie Ammala
Paul Buchanan & Marie Ammala

Paul “Buey” Buchanan has worked at the Beaudesert Pig and Calf Sales for 43 years. He started there when he was only 16 years old, helping out in the yards and learning about handling stock. The closure of the Sales due to Scenic Rim Regional Council’s termination of Hayes & Co’s lease has come as a blow to Paul, and to the rural community of Beaudesert.

The day after the final sale, he came back to clean the complex. “A few people asked if I shed a tear yesterday, I didn’t. There were too many people to talk to. Today is different,” he says. Mr Buchanan says claims by Scenic Rim Regional Council that the yards are unsafe were unfounded. “In my 43 and a half years here I have not seen or had any serious injuries.”

The last sale drew people of all ages from across South East Queensland. It is the older people who regularly attend the sale that Mr Buchanan is most concerned about. “Many of them live in remote areas and this is where they come to see their friends.” “There are people who are coming here that were coming before I started.” “The older ones won’t travel to Silverdale.” “Often they are single, there’s no one else at home. What are they going to do now?”

Auctioneer Peter Hayes. Photo by Susie Cunningham

“Stan Cahill is in his nineties and Peter Goeldner is in his eighties and comes to every sale – he lives for coming here, it’s a big part of his time. A  lot of them do.”

Peter Hayes said the next sale will be held at Hayes & Co’s property at Silverdale on 12 April. He reiterated that if he was offered the chance to return to Beaudesert Saleyards at the last minute, he would.


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About Keer Moriarty 177 Articles
Small town newspaper Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady.