Callaghans close the gate
A LONG-ESTABLISHED Bundaberg business will say goodbye to one of its most beloved stomping grounds when it hosts its last ever cattle sale today.
Forty-four years and 364 days after the establishment of the Callaghan Saleyards, Callaghan’s Livestock and Real Estate will shut the gate of the famous yards for good today.
Farewells will also be said to the company’s livestock and rural supplies sectors, as well as their Maryborough Street office.
Kevin Callaghan, a member of the founding family and now principal of the company, was philosophical about the end of an era for the Bundaberg-born business.
To him, along with father Tom and brothers Pat and Neil, Callaghan’s has always been more than just a business.
“Some good friends have been made.
“In my files, I’ve got up to five generations of family (as clients),” Mr Callaghan said.
Established in Rosedale in 1937 by Tom Callaghan, the family company has become somewhat of a stalwart in local business, long being a leading force in livestock, rural supplies and realty.
However, like most, the Callaghan family business was not trouble-free.
In 1977, 13 years after the family had sold to the Australian Estates Company, the larger corporation faced bankruptcy.
Not wanting to see their company go down alongside it, Tom and Kevin bought the company back and brought it back from the death, during far from fruitful times for the cattle industry.
“At times, bullocks were being sold for as little as $50,” Kevin reflected.
However, after what he called “an emotional rollercoaster”, largely due to family illness, Mr Callaghan saw no choice but to bring the saleyards’ long innings to a close.
“There are some great stories, but probably not many you can print,” he quipped.
“But you’ve got to live with what you’ve got.
“There was very little choice to be made,” Mr Callaghan said.