David Phelan, looking back at 50 years of Sales at Mawarra …

March, 2023 (Mawarra 50th Anniversary Sale Catalogue)

Firstly, allow me to congratulate the Sykes Family on achieving this wonderful milestone … a milestone that started out from humble beginnings, with their first sale taking place at Norwood in Bairnsdale on the 29th May 1974.

Norwood was owned by Helen’s father, Mr Dick Rogers, an experienced stud-cattle breeder, who owned Norwood Murray Grey Stud and, prior to that, Norwood Herefords.

Norwood Herefords is where Robert and Helen purchased some of their best initial foundation cows, and a lot of the best bulls sold over the years can be traced back to those foundation cow families.
I was there for that first sale in 1974, where 24 female lots sold from $500 to $1800, 16 good bulls were sold from $500 to $2050, as well as four pens of five commercial heifers PTIC that made $280, $260, $250 and $260.

I made my first of many purchases that day at Mawarra … two females PTIC (both out of foundation cow, Norwood Bisetta 15, who was by Ardno Inspiration).

I was 21 and working for Elders Bairnsdale, and this first sale was to be the start of a long friendship and association with the Sykes Family
(I have only missed one sale in 50 years).

Each year I would see the same top cattle breeders such as John Rogers, Jim Treasure, Viv Scott, Lachie Hodge, CJ Prendergast, John White, the Henderson, Woodgate, and Newcomen Families, Alex McArthur, Neville Beasley, Kent Park, Jambro Pastoral, Keith Davies and Alex Patterson … to name a few. These were some of the breeders who purchased cattle from the first half a dozen or so sales, and a lot of these families are still buying bulls at Mawarra today.

As my old mate, Arthur Trethowan, once said, “I wouldn’t keep buying them if I didn’t like them”. I endorse Arthur’s comments 100% … and I think all of Mawarra’s clients, who return each year, would agree.

Well done, Mawarra, on 50 years … keep Breeding the Best Hereford cattle in the country!

N.B. Throughout the years David has purchased for his own herd, Phelan Herefords, and on behalf of his clients.

David Phelan