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Interesting people you've met.
Old 08-26-2014, 07:58 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 2,502
Interesting people you've met.

Going through some old pics and found this one with Al McDonald, (taken near Oodnadatta, South Australia, circa 1961/2).

Al was a half-Maori who fought on the Kokoda Track/Trail in New Guinea during WWII The Kokoda Track | Australians in World War II | The Pacific War

Al subsequently became a boxer and a miner....and was affectionately known as the 'Mayor of Tennant Creek' Tennant Creek Headstones, Northern Territory, Australia #128

I met him when he advertised his willingness to take some passengers north, (friends had landed me a laboring job in Kununarra W.A.), so I went up to his large home on the Anzac Highway, (which at the time was Adelaide's expensive area).

Rode with Al as far as Alice Springs.......he kept us in fits with his stories of traveling with a boxing troupe in the Northern's one of my favorites:

Post war, (and it's probably not much different now), the 'towns' in the N.T. were basically mining camps...full of rough, tough, isolated and 'socially deprived' guys.

Al and 'associates' would arrive, set up a boxing ring, (by which time everyone was gathered around to watch), and put on a few 'exhibition bouts'.

When the mood was right they'd issue a 'challenge'....."Go three rounds with one of our guys and win (whatever amount of money)".

(Every camp/town had that one guy.....the local toughie...who, even if he wanted to, couldn't resist the peer pressure to 'show them'.)

Al said that, for the first two rounds, his guy would take a beating.....while the rest of his troupe was busy taking/placing, (what appeared to the suckers to be a foregone conclusion), bets.

Third round.....boxer would go in the ring and beat the absolute crap out of the 'contender' (as Al said "We were professional boxers, they weren't...they didn't stand a chance").

Money collected....trucks packed...gone....before anyone (of the suckers) clued in...if they ever did.
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
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