HE’S known as the King of the Ranges – the legendary Hunter Valley stockman who is the inspiration for Murrurundi’s annual Stockman’s Challenge and Bush Carnival now celebrating 15 successful years.
And, on Friday Archibald ‘Bung’ McInnes was recognised at a commemorative ceremony held at the Scone Catholic Cemetery, surrounded by King of the Ranges committee and guests including Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen and Upper Hunter Deputy Mayor Maurice Collison.
The Department of Veteran Affairs has formally marked Bung McInnes’ gravesite with a surround and commemorative plaque.
It’s due recognition for the iconic stockman and WW1 decorated Light Horseman known for his hazardous work in difficult terrain and his success in the rodeo ring.
One of Arch’s few remaining relatives, King of the Ranges Committee member Barry Moss spoke of the legacy ‘Bung’ left behind.
“Not only was he a great rider and bushman, but he had few equals as a stockman. He was also noted for his coolness and droll speech and from one side of the Hunter watershed to the other he was idolised,” he said.
‘Bung’ McInnes joined the 1st Battalion Light Horse at the break of World War One, was seriously wounded at Beersheba, Palestine, during the Desert Campaign and later decorated with the Military Medal.
After the war he returned to Australia to continue life as a stockman and champion buckjumper.
In 1931 he returned to `Glenrock' Station in the Hunter Valley and was still there in 1940 when he died, literally "in the saddle", while drafting cattle.
Murrurundi’s King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge and Bush Festival runs from February 22 – 25 with the weekend culminating with action packed finals on Sunday starting at 11am.
For more information on the King of the Ranges visit http://www.kingoftheranges.com.au/d.index.html