History Matters || A long line of butchers

Free settler: Alexander Campbell produced generations of butchers.

Free settler: Alexander Campbell produced generations of butchers.

The Alexander Campbell family arrived in Australia as free settlers in 1839 and today's fifth generation butchers come from his son John's line (John was born in Mull in 1837); through Sandy born 1874, Duncan born 1907, and now 2019 to Graham's sons Cody and Jordan.

Peter Campbell's history of his family was in Volume 28, of the Society's 2002 Bulletin.

"Sandy commenced butchering with his parent John and Ellen Campbell at Red Range... later he moved to Glen Innes and worked as a slaughter man for butchers Rowland and Biddle (later known as Biddle's butchery).

"He taught his sons the slaughtering side of butchering while they were still at school and they worked for various butchers in the retail trade...

"My father married Beatrice Elisabeth Mary Doust in 1902 and had nine children Peter, Allen, Isabel, Malcolm, Rita, Angus, Graham, Colin and Colleen (twins).

"He told me while he was employed during the depression years, a large number of unemployed people would be enquiring about employment each day.

"Thus he said, you worked long hours for small wages and you valued your employment.

"He was also employed to work on what was called a 'cutting cart', where he not only delivered meat orders, but also cut and served meat from this horse drawn vehicle...

"My grandfather 'Sandy' and my father Duncan set up the butchery shop where the Dragon Court Restaurant is today.

"This shop was rather primitive and unique as 'Sandy' worked behind a gauzed partition with a small sliding servery door for customers to receive and pay for their meat purchases.

"The shop had no refrigeration and mincing and sausage machines were operated by hand...

"'Sandy' always started work before 5am and always wore a cap - firstly to keep his bald head warm and secondly as a fly swat when any flies managed to get past the gauzed shop partition... when my aunts went to milk the house cow, which belonged to my grandmother they could not find her.

Grandfather and father finally had to confess that they were short of a beast to kill that week and the milking cow would have to do.

The customers got their meat that week but the family got no fresh milk."