The Upper Murray
“The Man From Snowy River” country
of North-Eastern Victoria & Southern NSW
© Copyright 2017  The Upper Murray Business Directory  All rights reserved.
From    his    early    days,    Jack    Riley    consolidated    a reputation   as   a   fearless   and   dashing   rider   and   a first-class   hand   among   stock.    It   was   a   lifestyle   that Jack   Riley   relished   and,   as   the   years   passed,   his   love and knowledge of his high country environment grew. In    the    Upper    Murray,    Jack    Riley's    high    country    home    was    a simple   timber   hut.   Despite   living   on   his   own   for   most   of   the   time,   he was   not   adverse   to   visitors   and   was   better   known   than   probably   any other man in the mountains at that time. He   was   liked   and   respected   by   all   who   knew   him.   His   open   heart   and generous    disposition    won    him    many    friends ,    especially    among wayward   tourists   passing   through   the   area.   Gifted   with   an   bushman's unerring   sense   of   locality,   he   developed   a   quiet   contempt   for   the   value of   a   compass   when   in   the   hands   of   those   who   did   not   know   how   to use one. In    the    late    1880s,    Andrew    Barton    'Banjo'    Paterson ,    a    Sydney solicitor   and   aspiring   poet,   visited   brothers   Peter   and   Walter   Mitchell at   Bringenbrong   Station ,    a   prominent   Upper   Murray   property.   The Mitchell   men   escorted   Banjo   up   into   the   mountains   and,   while   passing through   Tom   Groggin,   stayed   the   night   with   Jack   Riley   at   his   station hut. Over   a   shared   bottle   of   whiskey   that   evening,   Jack   shared   some   of   his experiences   as   a   stock   man   in   the   high   country.   It   is   believed   that   one particular   story   about   an   exciting   horse   chase   through   many   hazards, where   ' the   wild   hop   scrub   grew   thickly    and   the   hidden   ground   was full   of   wombat   holes,   and   any   slip   was   death' ,   that   gave   birth   to Banjo's now famous poem.
In   April   1890,   Banjo   Paterson   published   'The   Man   From   Snowy   River' poem   in   Sydney's   newspaper,   The   Bulletin.   Though   at   the   time   when Jack   and   Banjo   met ,   Jack   was   no   'stripling   on   a   small   and   weedy beast ', the correlation to Jack's story and the poem is clear. In   1895   Angus   and   Robertson   published   a   collection   of   Banjo's   work   in the   now   famous   book,   'The   Man   From   Snowy   River   and   other   verses'. The   book   became   an   instant   best   seller    and   is   still   in   print   to   the present day .

Jack Riley meets Banjo Paterson