Terry Fitzpatrick.

By Geoff Barwick.

My dad Neil Barwick tells a funny story about Terry Fitzpatrick. My side of the Barwicks, the ones down on the plains anyway, were never good horse people, or had good dogs. Dad told me about the time he was trying to muster up some mad cattle in 1975. He was getting rid of a mob of about 100 cows to finish up a family partnership. The cattle had to be mustered up and put on trucks and sent to the saleyards. But they wouldn't co-operate. They'd go every other way besides where they were supposed to go. The cattle showed no respect to dad or his useless dogs. So he gave up and rang up an expert horseman, Terry Fitzpatrick.

Terry arrived with young Michael, two good horses, and a few exceptionally tough and good dogs. The now cocky and confident cattle didn't know what hit them. The dogs latched onto the cow's noses, grabbed onto and bit their legs all whilst dodging being kicked, steered them exactly where they were supposed to go. After a short time the cattle were totally co-operative, even the crazy ones, they went straight into the yards. They walked onto the trucks, like lambs, heads down and defeated, and off they went in a cloud of dust to the saleyards.

Mick Fitzpatrick, ploughing the hard way.

Terry's grandfather was Michael Fitzpatrick. He drew block 31 in the 1912 subdivision. It then passed to his son, and Terry's dad, Mick Fitzpatrick. Terry's son Michael now resides on the block, as does Terry's grandson Scott. This makes it 5 generations of Fitzpatricks in the 1912 subdivision. The block is known as "Glenore".

Mick and Nancy Fitzpatrick, with Ron Smith in 1967.

Terry was born in Quirindi, on the 6th July, 1925. So Terry is nearing 87. He attended Warrah Creek public school and Bill Swan was the headmaster. Terry mostly rode horses to school. He remembers most of the kids rode horses, although when it was dry some rode pushbikes. The ones from further up the creek even drove sulkies.

Terry Fitzpatrick, with his sisters Nolene and Del.

Terry remembers after school one day, racing with some of his mates to the Grahams house, to listen to a Melbourne cup race. The Grahams had just had Harold Burraston install a new radio in their house.

On block 34, Further up Warrah Creek, and now know as Chesney Oaks, were Billy and Charlie Knee. Only Charlie was married, and he had a son, Godfrey. Terry remembers one time when young Godfrey came racing into their house in a panic. Billy Knee was missing and it was thought he might be down a well. Young Terry and his father headed up the creek to try and help. Back then the road was unfenced, so every kilometer or so there was a gate. When they got to the well, Billy was indeed down the well, and had drowned. Terry's father Mick managed to get him out. It's not really known how he ended up in the well, but he may have been trying to fix something. Billy Knee died 26th March 1936, and is buried in Willow Tree's anglican cemetary.

At 15 years of age, Terry went shearing with Luke Barwick, who was 16. There were no young men aged 18 or more at the time as most had gone off to war. Casual labour was hard to come by.

Terry applied to go to war before he turned 18, with his mate Stan Palmer. Terry listed his occupation as a shearer, and so he was declined. Stan said he did casual labour, and was accepted. Shearers were considered to be so essential at the time that they were too important to send to war.

Terry remembers the Palmers were all good stockmen, and workers, both on Warrah Station and also the A.A.Co land further up the creek, now Parraweena Highlands. Lots of the Palmers went off to war. All three of Jethro Palmer's sons, Jacky, Ronny and Billy went to war. Also most of Henry Palmer's sons, Cliff, Mark and Les.

Every Saturday, the Palmers would come down to the Warrah store to get food and supplies.

The original home on "Glenore", built by Terry's grandfather Michael.

Terry remembers race meetings on Meredith's flat on boxing days. Meredith's flat was on land owned by Bill Meredith, and now owned by his grand daughter, Elizabeth Gallagher, and called "Roscrea". There were also race days on the Murphy's at Big Jacks Creek. The property called "Burnslie", and now "Sandstone", owned by Geoff Barwick. The races were run over a straight course, and anyone could enter. Bookmakers were present and people could place bets. Noel Cover, block 46, and now owned by Richard Stinson, had a good horse. It was called 'Hot Jim', and apparently Noel Cover gave the horse whiskey to make it run faster. The Mathews blokes from Windy Station were all good horse riders and had fast horses. Later, there would be broadcasts of Sydney races, and bookies would take bets on them as well, as well as the local races.


Terry remembers cricket being played at Warrah hall and also at Big Jacks Creek, on the property "Yarrabah" now owned by Neil Barwick and family. The games were played on cement pitches. At Jacks Creek, there was even rugby league games played. Dirt was put over the top of the cement pitch. Terry remembers once Jacks Creek playing a Willow Tree team.


There was a magnificent swimming hole on Warrah Creek at "Merriton", now owned by Ross Barwick. On a hot summers day, there could be 20 or 30 people all cooling off in the deep hole.

Three generations of Fitzpatricks on horseback, Michael, Terry and Scott, talking to Rex Whitley at the Swains bridge opening in 1998.
Terry at a campdraught in WillowTree in 1992.
The third, fifth, and fourth generations of Fitzpatricks on "Glenore".
Terry Fitz, on the Saturday at the centenary, talking to Mick Howard, Barry Avard and Dallas Cone.
Ken Sevil and Terry Fitzpatrick, having a yarn behind the semi trailer, at the Warrah centenary.
G W Meredith, D Grady, B Meredith, M and N Fitzpatrick, M Murphy, M Hall, Mrs E Hall, B Kiernin, Marie and Dette Meredith. Front, Terry, Noelene and Adelle Fitzpatrick.
The Fitzpatrick sisters. Kitty, Frances, Maggie and Winnie,

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Judith Wilcox Anderson | Reply 17.04.2013 21:41

Great to see the people of Willow Tree its has been
such a long time since I was home.

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Latest comments

25.09 | 09:36

Absolutely delighted to come across a part of my direct ancestors history about which I knew very little and shall endeavour to find out more
Thank you Prof. A.

23.09 | 22:23

Very interesting Kelaher family history. Impressive number of trained nursing sisters. Jack lent the Copelands a cream horse, Playboy, in 1950's, ridden by Kate

09.09 | 17:58

Wonderfully informative. Thank goodness for Jane and John Atchison's work

06.09 | 14:33

I am Jack Kelaher and I am proud of my pop, dad and ancestors.

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