Centenary highlights family's love of the land
THERE was 100 years and five generations worth of celebration at Jan and John Burnett's property Bendemeer, near Clermont, earlier this month.
Three days of events marked the family milestone with more than 250 people including past employees, family, friends and others with a special connection to Bendemeer, attending.
The couple held their annual Colt Challenge on the Friday and Saturday where the staff compete with a colt they've broken in and trained for 6-10 months.
Then the family shared the history and their memories of the property.
"The actual name comes from the lines of an Irish poem by Sir Thomas More based on the lyrics that were eventually put to a song called The Bendemeer Stream," Jan said.
"One of our employees from Monteagle, Kiana, she sang it for us on Saturday.
"Then on Saturday night we had a special heritage dinner ... under a marquee. It lots of fun and our son Doug chaired the evening and did a fantastic job with enough humour to really set off a great night."
Mrs Burnett said a few past employees said a few words about their time at Bendemeer and John told stories including one about one of the earliest employees being lost.
On Sunday morning John took interested remaining visitors on a tour of the property.
Mrs Burnett said a combination of factors had kept the family on the property for so long.
"I'm sure in our case it's probably a combination of a love of the land and looking after the land and soil and doing the very best to maintain it so it will be productive for many years to come," she said.
"It's also valuing family... and probably just encouraging them to enjoy living on the land the way we have so that the next generation will want to continue on."
In attendance was John's mother Laura whose aunt and uncle were the original owners of Bendemeer, drawing it in 1913. Then in 1943 Laura's father purchased the property.
Today Bendemeer is one of six properties which are part of John and Jan's Burnett Group, where they run a braford base commercial herd.
Bendemeer Colt Challenge
- First Sarah Ferriday on Blue
- Equal Second Gavin Vallis on Wonky Donkey
- Equal Second Steve Burnett on Fiancee
- Fourth Shane Ferriday on Desire
- Fifth Jarred Sander on August