MOVING ON: Sally and Anthony Coates saying goodbye to Eidsvold Station, the property they've lived at for decades.
MOVING ON: Sally and Anthony Coates saying goodbye to Eidsvold Station, the property they've lived at for decades. Tobi Loftus

End of an era for Eidsvold Station

MORE THAN 110 years of history has come to an end, with the Joyce/Coates family about to pack up and leave Eidsvold Station for the last time.

Anthony and Sally Coates, who have owned the property since the early 1970s, said they would miss the historic station.

"With the progression of time things always change," Anthony said.

"They need to change often, as there are different approaches to things.

"Sometimes we queried it, but we made the decision."

The station, which was bought by relations of Anthony in 1905, was passed on to him in the 1970s by his uncle Barney.

"I came here in 62 when Barney was still very much involved," Anthony said.

"Barney saw me developing the place and he was very much in charge until the mid-70s."

 

In the time Anthony and Sally have lived at the station, Prince Charles stayed with them twice.

"When Prince Charles was at school in Geelong, he thought it would be good to visit an outback Queensland property to get another feel of what would be his future kingdom and responsibility," Anthony said.

"At that stage it was kept very low key here and it wasn't promoted until afterwards.

"Prince Charles really appreciated being able to come here and relax and he stayed here four days.

"He and Mrs Joyce got on really well together, so much so that ever since he visited here the first time, Mr and Mrs Joyce got personally written Christmas cards every year.

Prince Charles visited the property again in 1974.

"No one was allowed inside the front grid," Anthony said.

"No one knew what was going on, he could get out and feel free without having to worry about every word he said."

The station, and other properties owned by Anthony and Sally, have been bought by South Burnett couple Rick and Alice Greenup.

"The succession was meant to come to a head and wind up five years ago," Anthony said.

"But because of floods and poor cattle prices, we agreed to extend it out to give them more time to chew on the big move they've made.

"They made a bit commitment, for a young couple."

Rick said he and Alice would miss Anthony and Sally, though they would remain in contact.

"There will be plenty of phone calls back and forward, Anthony doesn't know it yet, but there will be," Mr Greenup said.

"I'd like to thank them for entrusting us to something that is so dear to them, the station and the other three properties as well, it's the whole package.

"We're going to continue and try to build on what Anthony and Barney Joyce have done.

"It's exciting to have a hold on to those santa gertrudis cattle and do our thing with them."

Though it is a bitter-sweet ending for Anthony and Sally.

"Rick and Alice have left an open invitation that we can come and visit," Anthony said. "It's the breaking of a chain of a long historical association.

"It's not the first it's happened too and won't be the last.

"It's going to be hard to let go, because although Barney died 33 years ago, in my dreams or thoughts I refer to him for advice.

"The saddest part will be drive over that grid to go away. It will seem like the last time, but we'll come back to visit hopefully."

Farewell Anthony and Sally at the Eidsvold Showgrounds on November 11 from 6pm.


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