New Outback Showman Allan “Rambo” Lawrence. PHOTO TWH
Bourke has a new outback showman to entertain the increasing number of visitors to the Back O’Bourke Exhibition Centre (BOBEC) – and he is home-grown.
Allan ‘Rambo’ Lawrence had his first taste of showbiz last week when he auditioned his new show in the arena at BOBEC – to a great deal of approval and plenty of enthusiastic encouragement. What Rambo lacks in polish he more than makes up for in authenticity and good old-fashioned bush charm – and that is just what he’s aiming for in his show.
“I wanted to get away from the mainstream approach to the outback show,” he said. “I wanted it to be more about the real people of the bush and give people a real taste of Bourke, because that’s what they’ve come here looking for.
“The support has been really good from the community and most people agree that you need a local to do the show.
“Bourke’s history is fascinating. Like everyone else in the bush, I am pretty much a part of that history and I learnt it from listening to the old blokes having a yarn around the camp.
“The stories you hear in the bush are funny and about 90 per cent of them are true and are about the big wide world out here where there is so much to see and do,” he said.
Rambo wanted to tell the real tales of the bush and started thinking about putting his hand up to take on the outback show late last year after former raconteur showman Paul Clarkson finished his stint.
Rambo is about as close to the real ‘bushy’ as you can get. He was born in Macksville but grew up in Narromine and has spent most of his life ‘knocking around’ the outback after a stint in the Army.
“I was in the army supply company in the Operational Deployment Forces in Townsville for three and a half years from the age of 17,” he said.
“It was not for me though, so I came back home to the bush in 1989 and worked in shearing sheds as a rouse-about, doing a bit of shearing and pressing.
“I came to Bourke in about 1993 with a contractor but at the end of the run the Hilux ute broke down so I stayed here and worked on the cotton farm.
“I ended up with a job on the shire driving the grader, then had an assistant manager’s job at a station in Lightning Ridge, came back to Bourke, then went to Cobar to work in the mines – came back to Bourke Shire again, ran Beaurepaires tyres until they closed and then went back on the shire road gang working out bush and have been there ever since,” Rambo said.
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