“Brother” Frank Faulkner and his fruit truck

Frank Faulkner and Peter Samiell in Adelaide Street, Bourke. Photo supplied

Those Bourke people who were around in the 1950’s and 1960’s will remember a friendly little man who sold fruit and vegetables around town from the back of his truck.

He also spent many hours picking up children from their homes and the streets of Bourke, to take them to Sunday School and church services.

This man’s name was Frank Faulkner, known to the people of Bourke as “Brother” Faulkner – a humble man, with a passion for saving the souls of the children of Bourke.

Bourke historian Paul Roe has written a story on Frank Faulkner, and an abridged version is printed below, together with a poem written many years ago by former Bourke woman, Chris Fieldsend. Paul’s story has gone to air on Sydney radio and is printed on the “Outback Historian” website.

“A famous historian once made the bold claim that ‘if people could be drawn to consider the spiritual work done by humble men, they would find it the most moving spectacle that history presents.

I want to test that idea by introducing you to an Aussie bloke from the remote country town of Bourke.

Frankie Faulkner’s fruit run never made any money. He simply gave everything away!

I only met him briefly, but his story was written into hundreds of lives. I was told of a quiet, thoughtful son of the local Presbyterian preacher, ploughing everything he had into the Aboriginal community of Bourke for over forty years.

This ‘white fella’ earned their respect by giving respect, and so they called him simply ‘Brother Frank’.

The story goes that as a young man he had sunk into depression. In desperation he decided the best way to escape was to throw himself off a bridge and drown. At the critical moment, a Bible verse he had learned in Sunday School came back to him that reminded him that he would have to answer to his Maker for the way he had used the gift of life.

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