Mildura Weekly : Friday March 14 2014 VOL 8 No 19
Mildura Weekly – 14/03/14 13 www.milduraphonebook.com.au By SUE POOLE THE recent passing of Mrs Mar- garet (Rita) Bowring not far short of her 100th birthday has sig- nalled the last chapter of a very long and colourful pioneering era for the Wentworth Shire’s Richardson family. Rita was the last remaining child of E.P. (Ted) Richardson, a well-known pastoralist and sta- tion owner in the first half of the last century, and his wife May. Ted had a reputation of which many station people would still be aware – he was a renowned judge of sheep, all livestock for that matter, and an astute busi- nessman. The family lived at Burtundy Station, north of Wentworth, and were widely respected. All Ted’s sons went on to own successful stations in Southern NSW. Rita was born at home in 1915, and enjoyed an idyllic childhood on the Darling River of which most people today could only dream. Her six sib- lings, Harry, Rene, Les, Percy, Digger and Thelma were the clos- est of companions, and together they forged a strong bond, with all living to grand old age. They grew up in the days of the great inland Australia wool boom, when paddlesteamers plied the Murray and Darling Rivers, passing by their Darling River homestead almost daily, carting wool, essential food- stuffs, building materials and anything else that was needed for station life. More often than not it was the famous old ‘Emily Jane.’ a paddlesteamer owned by the Bowrings in Wentworth. It was said that the Richardson family had the first pianola in the re- gion transported by riverboat up the Darling. Rita was a talented rider, and as her father had stables, stable hands and even his own horse trainer to look after team of thor- oughbreds, Rita soon became an exceptional horsewoman. Her proud father kept a string of fine ponies for Rita and younger sis- ter Thelma. It was no time before Rita was training her horses to ‘hunt.’ and she usually found it far easier and more time-efficient to jump the paddock gates, rather than having to dismount to open and close them. She and Thelma travelled widely with their team of horses looking for suitable competi- tions, and were well-known throughout eastern Australia, and the Adelaide Agricultural Show, where they won dozens of silver trophies. With her beloved thorough- bred Rajah, Rita gained an excel- lent reputation far and wide in event circles, and was often en- gaged to ride quality horses from other stables. Rita was to meet her future husband James (Jim) Bowring before World War Two, but their love only flourished after Jim’s parents WJ (William) and Re- nee Bowring asked Ted and May Richardson if they could have Jim stay “in the fresh air” at Bur- tundy. A prisoner of the Japanese for three years, Jim was in fragile health when the war ended. His visit allowed him to recuperate, and the romance blossomed, continuing up to the time of his death in 1988. Hugh, Margaret and Tim ar- rived to complete the family, and Rita and Jim bought “Rose Park” at Merbein. Rita enjoyed intro- ducing her children to her ponies and horses, and often attracted attention by ferrying a Shetland pony in the back of the car (with the seat removed). • Continued Page 14 OBITUARY Rita Bowring (nee Richardson) 1915 – 2014 A rider of note, a woman of substance • Rita Bowring, BELOW LEFT, as family and friends will remember her, with other shots from the family album showing a gracious lady (and youngster) and keen horse riding competitor.
Friday March 7 2014 Vol 8 No 18
Friday March 21 2014 Vol 8 No 20