The West

Whip cracking, wise cracking favourite left an impression
Whip cracking, wise cracking favourite left an impression

OBITUARY: Buddy Tyson Kimberley cowboy, tour guide March 24, 1942 — October 19, 2011

Buddy Tyson, who died on October 19, was a larger-than-life Kimberley cowboy known for his wise cracks and whip cracks.

Buddy made a name for himself on the rodeo circuits of the Top End, and later became well known as a tour guide at El Questro Station.

A man with a yarn for every occasion, he could always be found in a big hat, check shirt and boots, having a cold beer before his weekly whip-cracking show at the station’s Swinging Arm Bar which was adorned with photos of a handsome, younger Buddy made up as a rodeo clown.

Buddy Tyson was born at Springsure, Queensland, on March 24, 1942, and spent his childhood droving stock with his father before leaving home at age 14 and travelling to Brisbane to live with his grandmother and look for work.

At age 15, Buddy had his mind set on working in the Top End and bought a train ticket for Townsville, leaving Brisbane with a suitcase, a swag and not much else. From there he headed west to Charters Towers, Cloncurry and eventually the Northern Territory.

Over the next 30 years he lived the life of a Top End stockman. Buddy first visited the Kimberley in the early 1960s with drover Harry Wilson to pick up a mob of bullocks.

The pair flew into Wyndham on a DC-3 and from there onto Old Mistake Creek homestead, south of Kununurra, where they picked up the mob and drove them to Camooweal, before turning around and bringing the horses back to WA.

When he wasn’t droving, Buddy was chasing the rodeo circuit through South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and WA.

He also worked a while for RM Williams on his property at Rockybar, near Toowoomba, and modelled for the legendary bushman’s clothing catalogues.

In the 1990s, Buddy started working as a stockman and tour guide at El Questro Station. He
worked at the station until his death, becoming a favourite with “the oldies” who loved his whip cracking show and his humour.

Buddy’s yarns were always followed by a thunderous burst of laughter. He always said life had been good to him, and you didn’t need to be rich to enjoy it.

“It costs you nothing to be yourself,” was a favourite saying of the old rodeo champion.

Buddy Tyson, 69, died at Kununurra District Hospital after a suspected a heart attack

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