Bob Batchelor

 


W.A. POETS FROM THE PAST

 

His Poems


A Letter To Macca

A Look At Farming

A Station Garden

Beagle

Bessie

Bill

Bob Batchelor's Eight Foot System

Bottles Out The Window

Epson Salts

Feeding the Pigs

Flying Salesman

For A Bed, A Beer And My Keep

Handcuffs

Jesus

Lance And Jacky

Lavender Blue, Gilly Gilly

Lulu

Noongar - Kick to Kick

Paddy Garn's Verse

Picnic Races

Pizz - Whizz

Rolling A Smoke

Salvos

The Buck's Party

The Police & The Pilot

The One Minute Warning

Travelling with Susie

Treeby, Dosha & Me

Truckie's Moll

Tyson's Yard - Wanganella

Wanganella

Wings

 

 

His Book

"I Called Him Bill"
(A Book / CD / Cassette Combination Set
ISBN 0646 402 528)

Bob Batchelor

Born: 1926 Mildura, Victoria

Died: June 2000, Perth, WA

Biography:

Bob Batchelor was almost one of the countless "wardrobe poets" whose work  never gets published but we are fortunate that he has left a legacy of his work, for he was in the process of putting together his first book when he died in 2000.  His friends completed the task as a tribute to his memory.

 

Bill was born in Mildura, Victoria in 1926, His parents were  Gallipoli Landing  veteran Cyril Joseph Batchelor and WWI nurse Ida Mary (Billie) (nee Mason), who after marrying, took up a soldier settlement block near Mildura.
Cyril later studied and moved into accountancy which paid well enough to allow them to send their young son Bob to Melbourne Grammar school as a boarder.

At school, Bob became a champion athlete but had a burning desire to become an Air Force Pilot. By the time he was old enough to enlist, WWII was nearing its end and the Air Force was already over staffed with pilots so Bob joined the Royal Australian Navy.  After a brief spell with officer's training School, Bob decided that authority was not for him and so spent the remainder of the war as a seaman in  HMAS Yandra  and HMAS Swan.

 

After the war, Bob returned to Mildura to study accountancy with a view to joining his father, but after 3 years discovered that this was far to sedate a life and at age 24 took up a position as a jackaroo at a Merino stud  property in the Riverina district where he met and became engaged to Jo Johnstone. 

With a tradition of pioneering and facing hardships well endowed in his genes, Bob went searching for a future in the farming industry, first trying Queensland, but eventually settling on a bush block near Tambellup in the Great Southern region of WA.  Bob and Jo were married in Melbourne in 1953 and headed west, starting their married life in a masonite  (similar to heavy duty MDF) caravan. Over the next few years, Bob cleared the land, built a shed and later a house.  Fluctuating produce prices in the 70s saw Bob working as a stock agent, later buying into local and surrounding district  stock, farming and fuel agencies. He also became a local government councillor.

 

Bob still had a desire to fly, and after learning how, in 1977 he bought himself a Cessna which he flew for the following seven years. Unfortunately, his plane was wrecked by a violent storm (fortunately for Bob, it was parked on the ground at the time). 

 

In 1985, Bob and Jo separated and Bob moved to the city and into politics, becoming a country organiser for the Liberal party, mainly in the seat of O'Conner held for many years by Wilson "Ironbar" Tuckey. 

 

After this interlude in politics, Bob career changed several times, and over the next many years he sold windmill parts, drove a truck, was a sales rep for a major hardware company and in the last few years of his working life became the liaison and membership officer with the WA Chamber of Commerce.  Meanwhile Bob had found a new lady in his life, Susie Maslen, and after retirement he and Susie took up the life of "geriatric gypsies", travelling and camping right across Australia.

 

It was during this time that Bob developed an interest in story telling and "Bush Poetry", drawing, as most raconteurs do, on his life's experiences to inspire his work. He, like many before him was not to let the truth get in the way of a great story.  It is unfortunate, that like many other "Bush Poets" of the late 20th century, it was an interest that did not develop until after retirement for I am sure that there were many many stories yet to come had he the years to further develop his skill. In the late 1990s, Bill and Susie settled back in Perth, Bob filling his spare time as chairman of "The Aged Person's Support Service" in Perth's western suburbs, for which he was awarded Cottesloe's "Citizen of the Year" award On Australia Day 1999.

 

Bob died in June, 2000, only a few weeks before his first book of poetry "I Called Him Bill" was to be released.

His book contains 32 poems and was accompanied by a CD  and cassette.  In around 2008 the last remaining unsold sets of books and CDs were donated by their copyright owners to the WA Blind Society who distributed them to various libraries and other institutions.

 

[Despite all efforts to contact the copyright owners, JA Maslen & CJ Maslen-Regan, I have been unable to locate them, also I have not been able to find the publisher listed in Bob's book (RJB Publishing [Bob Batchelor???]} consequently I will be putting some of Bob's poems on this website so that all may enjoy the work of this little known poet, without first getting permission.  Should the copyright owners object to this, please inform me and I will remove them.     -  BL October 2010]

 

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