Jack Absalom at 90

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 15:43
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He's still fit as a mallee bull and plugging along happily. Good on ya, Jack.

He actually turned 90 in early November 2017.
The ABC did a small story on him then, but have done a bigger story on him today.

His early life on the Nullarbor was pretty tough, and it got even worse when his Dad broke his back and Jack became the family breadwinner.
Not an unusual event or style of upbringing, in the earlier days of Australia.

I often wonder how half the current generation would cope - particularly when they found there was no internet, no computers, no phones, and no online gaming! LOL

Jack Absolom - The painter, author, and desert survivalist

Jack Absalom - on turning 90 and the rescue that changed his life

Cheers, Ron.

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Reply By: Gaynor - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 16:03

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 16:03
Love these history posts. Thanks Ron. As a South African holidaying in Australia, I bought one of his cookbooks to learn how it was done in the day. Most enjoyable. He was a very practical man. Had no idea he was also an artist and a survivalist, but his love for nature makes that understandable.
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 18:17

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 18:17
.
A Legend Ron, an absolute Legend.

I had his book "Safe Travels in the Outback" for more years than I can remember but now cannot find it. Must've loaned it to someone.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 19:02

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 19:02
.
If it was you I loaned it to Stephen, then keep it. Heaven's knows, you need all the help you can get! LOL
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 20:15

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 20:15
Hi Allan

Yes I have the very same Video, but not on DVD..


And just like you, he is another great South Aussie.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 21:46

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 21:46
Allan, I still have a copy, I found it a while back and picked it up for a few minutes. Funny how things change, much of it is not applicable these day but a basic knowledge of your vehicle and a cool head is the key! It prompted me to watch a few of his TV shows on YouTube a while back. They are still entertaining ! Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired Xmas 2016 and now we are Out and About!

There's time to rest when you're dead,
Get out and do something instead!

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 23:12

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 23:12
I still have my copy - I only just thought about it reading this, and it was there, tucked away on my travel bookshelf.
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Reply By: equinox - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 19:08

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 19:08
I grew up watching Jacks shows, and still have a few of his books.

I was only watching the Road to Survival the other day.

It and others of Jack's shows can be viewed on this Youtube channel:

HERE

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 19:46

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 19:46
I happened to be watching what would have been one of Jack's survival videos, on TV, years ago. He lit a fire, retrieved a can of beer, might have been "green death"-VB, from off the floor of his vehicle, shook it up, ripped off the top and proceeded to extinguish the fire with the beer. All the time explaining what was going on......

Think he was a pretty fair bush cook too.

Happy Birthday, Jack,
Thanks Ron,

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Dusty D - Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 08:30

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 08:30
I met Jack at the Daly River in the early 80's where he was doing a video at the time with his brother Reg. Jack was a fair cook, but Reg was a wizard with a camp oven.

Top blokes, the pair of them.

Dusty
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Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 20:11

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 20:11
The blokes a human bulldozer, he reminds me of General George S Patton.

He's cast in the same mould, does nothing by halves, generates a huge following, and has enthusiasm by the bucketload, for anything he's doing.

I reckon if he was in the Australian Army, he'd be a Lt.Col or Colonel, leading a battalion, and leading infantry charges by personal leadership, out in front.

He's in amazing shape for his age, and I trust he reaches his century with ease.
We need more Jack Absaloms for leaders in this country.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 20:18

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 20:18
Jack is a true legend in his field and we always love to watch him TV shows, and he is another great South Aussie, born in Port Augusta and lived in Quorn.

Well done Jack.



Cheers



Stephen
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Reply By: Member - Robyn R4 - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 21:37

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 21:37
What I'd give for one of his paintings!!
Jack was on tv when I was just in primary school and I, like many others, own his "Survival" book.
My husband and I still laugh at Jack's tongue-in-cheek method of dealing with an outback catastrophe of any sort...get out a pack of cards and start playing Solitaire...in no time there'll be someone leaning over your shoulder, telling you that "the black 7 can go on the red 8 there". And viola...help has arrived!!
Robyn :)
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Reply By: axle - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 22:18

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 22:18
And we think where smart in our 4BYS!
, He travelled around in a Bloody Mitsubishi sigma wagon at times!...LOL


Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 00:33

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 00:33
Yes it makes you wonder.
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Follow Up By: duck - Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 20:16

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 20:16
I was there when the filming of that sigma was started by jacking it up & spinning the wheel to get it started, would have been far better if they showed the un-cut version of that crap jack falling over & the sigma started driving off with no one in it, don't think I've laughed that hard since

OH&S & the legal implications would never let you show or film like that any more

He was a good camp cook he's brother was far better, but I still feel like I was taught by the best
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 21:41

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 21:41
I can remember a Geologist telling me how he was prospecting with his (2WD) F100 (V8), in W.A., in the early 1970's - and parked it on a flat plain, while he camped, and did his geo work for a week.

Unbeknowns to him, he had left the radio on very low, and when he broke camp and went to start the F100, the battery was dead as a dodo!

He was alone - he reckoned no-one would come looking for him for 3 or 4 weeks - and he'd probably be out of tucker and water by then!

He started thinking about all the stunts he could pull to try and start the Effie.

He reckoned, "don't ever try and tell me you can start a vehicle engine by jacking up the back wheel, and spinning it in top gear! It doesn't work!! Certainly not when you're on your own!!"

He tried everything he could think of, and nothing worked.

But eventually, he did get it going - and do you know how?

He removed all the belts from the motor, took out all the spark plugs - except two - and then wrapped a rope around the crankshaft pulley, and rope-started it, on two cylinders!! LOL

He reckoned it took him 3 days of near-constant effort before he finally got it to fire.
He even warmed the spark plugs on the edge of a fire, to assist in starting!

He said then, "the interesting part was trying to refit the fanbelt to get the water pump circulating coolant, and getting the alternator charging - and then, trying to refit all the missing spark plugs, while the engine was sputtering along on two cylinders!"

He reckoned once he had it running, he wasn't game to stop it for several hours! LOL

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 23:14

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 at 23:14
A man of many talents. I am currently writing a paragraph about him for my Travelogues on our visit to Broken Hill where I gather he still resides. I had not seen the 90th birthday articles, so thanks for posting the links Ron.
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael P (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 18:08

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 18:08
Not sure if He still has His gallery there.
A few years ago I wandered in and being totally alone had a good look around, after selecting two paintings pressed the buzzer at the counter. Jack stormed in not very politely told Me that it was lunch time and to come back in an hour.
I often wonder how those paintings would have looked in My place. The one of Pro Hart that I bought is pretty good quite a different style though.
The info centre will be able to advise.
Mike.
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Follow Up By: duck - Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 20:28

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 20:28
He spends a lot more time at he's place in Adelaide these days

The Paintings would have looked great as mine certainly do
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 08:16

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 08:16
You can download many of his films from this link. Don't try it on a mobile internet with a limited download allowance, some of them are pushing 200 MB.
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Reply By: OBJ - Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 09:00

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 09:00
Jack Absolom ... you rascal!!!!

We met Jack at his Broken Hill gallery and he asked us where we were headed. Our destination was Cameron Corner.

He urged us not to take the Strez Track but to travel via Moomba, and to call in there and grab a free bag of ice and refuel. We did. It was just after the 9/11 attacks in the US.

We drove around the Moomba works , had a look, bought fuel, and were then apprehended by Security. They escorted us of the base. There was nobody manning the gate at the time that we arrived. We tried to make contact by radio and also a phone number that was there but without success. Security were very rude and belligerent. We asked to speak to their head of Security and they get even angrier.

They deposited us at the front gate .. had a bit to say .. and then we asked should we pay for our fuel. You could see the steam coming form their ears. They 'escorted' us back to pay for fuel then escorted us out again. We departed with the now customary single finger salute.

We still remember Jack .. and have laughed about the Moomba thing ever since. I hope to catch up with him once again when I next get into Broken Hill to relate our story to him. I know he will love it.

Good luck to you, Jack.
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Follow Up By: duck - Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 20:34

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 20:34
Knowing Jack it would have kept him laughing for days he was always setting someone up, he's got one wicked sense of humour
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Reply By: mike39 - Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 09:45

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 09:45
There has been no mention of Jack and his love of Qld. Boulder Opal.
In 1998 Jack came to the annual Quilpie opal sales week where he was guest speaker at the miners dinner held in the Town Hall.

His presentation to a full house of around 150 opal miners, travelling from as far as Winton and Middleton, was pretty hilarious with his bush anecdotes.... a real character.
He had plenty of paintings on display for sale or swap for opal.
We were very tempted as we already had some paintings of the other original "brushmen of the bush" Broken Hill artists of which Jack was a member.

Often regret passing the opportunity up, couldn't afford one now!
Yep, hope he lives to be a "healthy hundred"
Mike
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Reply By: Meridith D - Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 21:04

Sunday, Mar 11, 2018 at 21:04
We went to Jack's gallery in Broken Hill in 2016 - and who was there to greet us us but the man himself!! He defintely loves a chat and we had a great look at his art work and his collection of opals. What an icon of a man :-)
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Reply By: duck - Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 20:54

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2018 at 20:54
Jacks wife Mary was a relative of explorer William Wills (Bourke & Wills)
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