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Memorial Stampede to honour Peter Simmonds

Melanie Milgate and Greg Simmonds, organisers of the Peter Simmonds Memorial Stampede to be held at Bourke’s Renshaw Complex on October 15. Photo Noel Fisher

Bourke will be bristling with cowboys on October 15 when one of this outback town’s most beloved quiet achievers is honoured.

The Peter Simmonds Memorial Stampede is locked in and ready to go and the excitement for the event is already building.

It won’t be Bourke’s first rodeo by a long shot, with Peter and his brother Greg both keen competitors on the circuit in the late 1990s.

Greg said he and his brother had talked often about reviving the rodeo event in Bourke before Peter passed away, and Greg is now committed to making that dream a reality in honour of his brother.

Bourke Shire Council’s Manager of Economic Development, Mel Milgate, said the council had received funding for several community events and when Greg raised the idea of a memorial ‘stampede’ they jumped at the opportunity to add another event to the calendar.

“Those oldies out there will remember the Back O’Bourke Stampedes at Davidson Oval, so this not our first rodeo and certainly won’t be our last,” Mel said.

“Council has always been keen to hold a rodeo and this year it’s quite fitting, considering the late great Peter Simmonds was one of those sitting at the top of the Stampede, so we said let’s give it a crack.

“We put a committee together, but we are now looking for helpers, not more people sitting around a table making decisions, so if you can lend a hand, please let us know.

“It will be a great opportunity to bring people to Bourke and experience the outback,” Mel said.

For Greg, it is a very public and practical way to honour his brother Peter who contributed so much to the Bourke community, tourism, and the sport of rodeo. He’s even brought back the team that used to run the events in Bourke, led by Gary McPhee, who will provide the stock, yards, clowns, and announcers on the day.

The Back O’Bourke Stampede committee is Stuart Gordon (President), Greg Simmonds (Vice President), Lisa Crothers (Treasurer), Mel Milgate and Kayla Simmonds (Secretaries). For more information and to volunteer to helpwith the rodeo – call Mel on 0487 221 936.

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