On the beat at Yetman, circa 1948

Constable Keith McLay, left, in 1948.

Constable Keith McLay, left, in 1948.

Newly-married couple Keith and Marion McLay moved to Boggabilla in 1948.

Shortly after the new constable was transferred to Yetman.

It helped that rent was only 15/6 week.

In Boggabilla he was part of two-man crew equipped with two troop horses. These were replaced by an ex-Army Jeep.

Thankfully the troop horse at Yetman had also been replaced, but by an ex-Army Indian bike and sidecar.

His reminisces come from a booklet, "Yetman Yesterday Today".

"A new Triumph bike and sidecar was issued to the station two years later and I rode it home from Sydney.

"I an remember applying for a 4WD jeep at a later stage as the bike was so rough and unsuitable for bush roads but the Department's reply was, 'There are more important stations than Yetman'.

" The Magistrate was from Glen Innes and travelled around the Court sittings in the area. He visited Yetman every two months.

"Duties in those days included bailiff, small debts collector, motor registry, coroner and slaughter house inspector.

"One other job I had was that of a Night Cart Man for the courthouse. There was an extra 2 shillings a time.

"When the Macintyre was flooded in July 1950, the Civil Defence brought an old 'Army Duck' from Lismore to help with rescue operations. They picked me up and we drove through water all the way to Boomi. There was no dry land to be seen anywhere. We delivered food to properties that were isolated and ferried out out anyone in need of medical attention.

"One of the many police duties was to attend the "Barooma" Picnic Races at Croppa Creek. I got the blame for one amusing incident that apparently happened before I came to Yetman. Two young fellows, after having a few drinks, were making areal nuisance of themselves and causing quite a disturbance.

"Jim Verney was my predecessor so to restore law and order, he handcuffed around a couple of good saplings for the erst of the afternoon. I resigned from the Force in 1957 and stared a Stock and Station Agency. It seems a long way back down the track to that day in 1948 when the Police department notified me, "You have a transfer to Yetman'."

Have an old story to tell? Send it to ian.jones@austcommunitymedia.com.au.