ONE of Gippsland’s longest-serving cattlemen Peter John ‘Jack’ Pedersen born in Sale Hospital August 12, 1932, died on August 2 at the same hospital.
He was 90-years-old and is survived by his wife of 68 years Doreen, eldest son Bryan and youngest Daniel.
His daughter Sharon died in April last year.
Jack one of six children to Peter and Maisy spent his young years in Cobains, attending primary school there and graduating to Sale Technical School.
He left Tech at the end of form two (Year 8), upon his father becoming ill, from which time he helped tend the home property on Somerton Park Estate.
Back to Jack’s grandfather Mads, the Pedersen line is Gippsland-based, to Wuk Wuk and Lindenow South, the gold-mining town of Grant and the Dargo High Plains.
Jack mustered cattle for the Treasures around Dargo and laboured for the Parkers, and reminisced of ‘Johnny’ cakes served up by the Chinese cook and mutton hung high in trees above the blowfly realm.
When Jack discussed with his father Peter his career prospects at a young age, Peter reckoned he could ‘stay here and shoot a few rabbits and grow a few pumpkins, or go and do another job’.
Jack’s was a life lived in concert with livestock and it would be a tough choice for him between horses and Herefords.
Jack began working for the Clark Fairview Estate about 1953 at the 7000-plus-acre property ‘The Ridge’ at Rosedale.
And work he did, managing the property’s cattle and horses, there was also weekend work showing cattle and breaking in young thoroughbreds for the racing fraternity.
At The Ridge, the 1964 complete dispersal sale of the ‘Ridgeview Hereford Stud’ fetched the Australian national average record price, sold by auctioneer Alf McGeoch.
The sale fetched almost 90,000 Guineas in total and was big news at Stock and Land.
AML and F manager Mac Brain lauded Jack for the job he had done.
“Stud master John Pedersen did a remarkable job in getting the cattle ready,” he told Gippsland Farmer.
By then he had showed cattle at the Royal Melbourne Show, was still managing racing thoroughbreds and kept the large property in order.
In about 1965 Jack moved to ‘Fairview’ at Bundalaguah, where Des Pennefather was running Herefords, along with other properties at Newry.
Mostly irrigation country, it would take night and day weeks to water.
In 1972, Jack and Doreen struck out on their own on 102 acres of irrigation country at Airly’s ‘Ormskirk’, a property that would be home for 44 years.
He was reassured by Horace Maxfield’s reckoning Ormskirk was the best bit of ground in Airly.
He regraded it and readied it for an ordered, more modern style of irrigation looking to wet every inch of ground.
Jack and Doreen then orchestrated a corrective breeding program of predominantly Friesian stock and milked cows for more than 20 years.
In 1992 when they sold the herd it was a local record, averaging more than $1000 per cow with an $1800 top.
On ‘retirement’ Jack and Doreen started the Basford Hereford Stud, spanned nigh on 24 years, progressing from horned whiteface to predominantly homozygous polled, as the market demanded.
Aged in his mid-70s Jack went to TAFE to be trained in bovine artificial insemination, always looking to master new developments in animal husbandry in which he saw worth.
Jack and Doreen sold Ormskirk in 2016.
Born the in the year the Australian Broadcasting Commission began transmitting radio signals and the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened, Jack reflected at his 90th birthday just how much change he had witnessed, and said he thought the improvement in people’s living standards was what stuck with him most.
He was buried on Monday, August 14 after a graveside service at Stratford Cemetery.