Roy Hartley Sutton 1897 - 1976
Roy married Violet Rose Callaghan at St. Andrews Church Yetman on the 30 November 1925. They leased a property at Yetman,where Roy’s family had settled in earlier years. Roy ran sheep and cattle and had a market garden to provide income for his family. In 1935 Roy purchased a property from J.P.Rogers at Glenarbon Q’Land about 50 kilometres from Yetman. The property “Lucernedale” was a virgin block,heavily timbered with mainly boxwood. Roy hired Jack Jensen to construct the family home,which was L shaped and made from round timber and had tin walls and roof. In 1936 Roy,Violet and the four children Edmund,Muriel, Lena and Daphne moved to “Lucernedale” Glenarbon. The cattle and sheep were driven by road on foot from Yetman and the property was cleared of timber using Jack Gallagher’s bullock teams. Roy and his family burnt the pulled timber. A dairy herd was built up and a share farmer,Jim and Evelyn Callaghan operated the dairy. Roy grew pumpkins, corn,cattle fodder and ran sheep and cattle. During the ensuing years Roy and Violet had another 5 children,Esther,Athol,Margaret,Sue-Ann and Merri-Ann. Roy's great love was horse racing. He purchased and trained many winners over the years. His best and favourite horse “Merri-Sue” was a winner at many local race meetings from Texas,Goondiwindi,Boggabilla and other local towns. Attendance at race meetings was a three day event. The first day saw Roy and Edmund set out in the family sulky leading the race horse behind the sulky to the race meeting. The second day was the race meeting filled with much excitement and a few wagers.The third day was the long trip home. Race meetings were a longed for event in the Sutton family. Farm jobs such as the morning and evening milking still had to be done. Roy offered “two bob” to the child who could milk the most cows on race morning. This incentive meant the work was completed much faster and everyone was away to the races. Someone had the extra coins to jiggle in their pocket. Muriel the eldest daughter often earned the “two bob” trophy. Violet would travel in the family car with the rest of the children,in later years,to the race meetings. In the 1940’s Roy purchased the adjoining property “Snake Gully” from his brother Jack (John). Snake gully was approximately 320 acres. Roy built a cottage for his son Edmund. Edmund and his wife,Joan had two sons Kerry and Garry. In the 1940’s Roy established a tobacco industry on “Lucernedale” and Italian farmers were employed to share farm the tobacco crop. Tobacco barns and sheds were built and three cottages were built to house the Italian families. “Lucernedale” was renowned for it’s quality tobacco. Tobacco was phased out in the late 1950’s when labour costs and weather conditions became unfavourable. Roy purchased another property “Largo” from Roy Jarrick and it was approximately 320 acres. This enabled Roy to run more cattle and sheep. Roy’s son Athol and his wife Robyn raised their family of four children, Helen,Justin,Damien and Nicola on the “Largo”property before moving back to “Lucernedale” in Roy’s later years to care for Roy and Violet. Roy passed away in 1976 andViolet in 1984. Both spent their final years on the place they established and loved, “Lucernedale”.Roy’s son Athol continues on the family tradition today living and working on “Lucernedale” and enjoying the pursuit of horse racing. Roy’s family is scattered across Australia,but all agree “Lucernedale, Glenarbon is “home”. Further information of Roy Sutton's interest in horse racing is shown in the following article:
“Orton Park” Races- It all began back in in 1915 when Athur Holmes was alive and owned “Orton Park”. He was the instigator of the yearly picnic race meeting held until about 1940 at the beginning of the war when they were disbanded. People travelled for miles to these meetings and they were big social occasions when the ladies always dressed in the latest fashions of the day. There were 6 races on the programme which was organised by a committee of the race club. The main race was the “Bracelet Race” with the winner receiving a gold bracelet as the prize. The course was one mile in circumference and the horses ran on the outside of posts that were placed at intervals along the track. It was a flag start in the beginning but later on it was upgraded to a barrier start. The horses were ‘grass fed’ and the jockeys had to be amateur status. Bookmakers operated on the course and the patrons took along their own lunch baskets and had it picnic style. A publican's booth provided the liquid refreshments and the celebrations continued with a grand dance that night. Quite often the day ended in a fight or two which seemed to be the way in those days to settle a dispute that might arise often over some trivial matter. ‘Bouquet’ owned and raced by Roy Sutton,won the main race in 1923. His daughter Muriel Finnigan of Yelarbon places great sentimental value on the gold oval shaped bracelet engraved with the horse's name. One of her daughters wore the bracelet at her wedding.