The rescue at Barren Box
Barren Box, NSW, 1960
We were all having lunch after a great morning’s shoot. All members of the party had bagged out and the ducks were now dressed and in the freezer. One of our guests was Jack Thompson, the man responsible for bringing the German shorthaired pointer dogs into Australia.
Jack was one of the best handlers of gundogs in this country, but he was also a bugger of a shot.
He would always have a boatload of dogs with him and perhaps this explains his story and most likely the reason for his loss.
Jack came back to camp looking most worried. I asked the reason for this look and he told us he had lost his gun overboard.
He had marked the spot well and he asked if we could help him recover this valuable gun, which was in about eight feet of water.
I knew of this gun. It was a top grade Beretta SO EELL u/o with three sets of barrels, and I also knew its value. Anyhow, a posse was formed and we motored out to the spot.
I asked Jack if the gun was loaded, the reply being ‘no’.
The first diver was Keith Russell: he dived in and you would not believe it, the first think he touched with his foot was the gun. Everyone was delighted, especially Jack. He insisted on giving Keith a reward.
“All I want is a double-headed ice cream,” Keith said.
Jack put the freezer in the car and motored back into Griffith, bringing back ice cream for everyone.
Operation Carbuncle, 1971
One of our guests, Graham Franklin, came back from shooting in great pain with a huge carbuncle on his backside.
He asked Maurice Rushford to take him into Griffith Hospital. Maurice remarked: “We have three doctors in our group, one medical, one anaesthetist and a dentist. I will arrange to have your operation on site at 6 o’clock.”
The patient agreed.
“Anything, as long as I get rid of this pain.”
Maurice immediately arranged the procedure and said he would personally supervise.
Dr Ernie Aldred would perform the operation, Dr Belcher, the anaesthetist, would stand by with a hammer in case needed and Dr Woodhart, the dentist, would stand by in case his teeth fell out when they stabbed the wound.
5.45 pm: The table has been cleared, white bed sheet to cover, barbecue tools put in hot water to soak.
5.55 pm: All is now ready.
Maurice comes in dressed in a white bedsheet, hat and gloves to match and he is only an observer. The patient is wheeled in, put on the table and the carbuncle exposed. Doctors come in and the rest of the group take their seats ready to watch.
6 pm: Time is now!
Ernie stabs at the carbuncle and an almighty scream is heard, Maurice fainted, all others scatter on hearing the scream and seeing the wound, and oh, the smell.
Maurice has now recovered and is put to bed, all other members don’t want any tea and the only happy person is the patient — no more pain.
At out next meeting we decide that any accident or injury must go to hospital; no more bush medicine for us.