Over the next two weeks, I had settled into the family homestead, while the Price brothers moved into the nearby cottage. Also, in that time, Matt, Greg and I had travelled south to Geraldton, to attend the court case, and Nicholas had been found guilty of assault causing bodily harm, and had been sentenced to 3 years in Jail, with all but one month to be served on probation, and 5 weeks to be spent in prison.
I had arranged to sell 4 of the cottages in Scotland, except my grandmother’s home, and with that $1.75 million from that sale, via the accountant, I offered it to Jeremy and Angela Dalworth, as a reasonable price, for the other half of the worth of the station, as well as the $940,000 from the sale of all the stock, which they were very pleased with, as it meant that they could begin a new life with no debts, and some money to buy a smaller property closer to the city.
I had left Michael Hutchinson to deal with all of the paperwork, to finalise the transfer of ownership of the station, while I settled into a work routine of replacing a lot of boundary fences, that were damaged by the cyclone, on the farm north of Northampton with the help of the Price brothers.
Once the Dalworth family had left the station for the last time, instructing them to leave all gates locked and the keys for all buildings and gates, plus all three satellite phones, to be left at the accountants in Carnarvon, I asked the Price brothers to have a BBQ dinner with me, where I would announce to them my plans.
When the lads arrived at main house at 7pm, showered and in good casual clothes, I chuckled to myself, wondering if they were thinking that they are about to be sacked. After serving up the meals, including a steak for Angus, we sat down to eat, and the lads looked at me nervously.
“Will you relax and eat, I am not going to sack you boys, quite the opposite actually” I said to Matt and Greg, who sighed in huge relief, and I laughed softly.
“In the time that I have known you lads, both on the station and here, I have seen that you are honest and hard-working, and prepared to do anything” I began, and I ate some more of my dinner before continuing.
“If you are not aware, Coral Coast Station has changed hands recently, and is now owned by Galea Investments” I continued, and I waited forthe information to soak in and the penny to drop.
“Wait, this farm is called Galea Farm, does that mean…” Matt eventually said, not finishing the sentence, as the news hit him, and I just smiled and nodded my head.
“Holy crap, you mean, you now own Coral Coast Station?” Greg asked, when he finally realised what I was saying. “Yes, I had lost my parents and Grandmother in Scotland recently, and unknown to me, I suddenly became very wealthy.
Before all the drama happened with the cyclone, and then with Nicholas, I had done a back-door deal, which was perfectly legal, to assist Jeremy and Angela, by paying out their huge debt with the bank, meaning that they now owed me the money for their load instead of the bank, and I removed the interest being charged, straight away, so they had no extra debt to pay.
All they knew was that their accountant, had found an investment company, known as Galea Investments, who had paid the bank debt, and charging a very small interest rate compared to the bank, which they were very happy about. What they did not know, was that it is me that now owned their debt, and that I was charging no interest at all.
When the incident with Nicholas happened, and I ended up in hospital, at first, I had no idea what had happened, and when I did learnthe truth, I decided to put a little pressure on Jeremy and Angela, to pay back some of their debt, using some of the insurance pay-out money that they had received.
Angela had rejected the suggestion that they should use a lot of the insurance money to pay back the loan, and she did that without Jeremy’s input.
By the time he had found out, I had gone to the Magistrates Court, and managed to get a freeze on all the insurance money that was in their bank account, and that is when Jeremy found out that he wasn’t consulted about the request for some of the money from the insurance, be repaid on the loan, and he hit the roof.
He agreed to make a small repayment, and in return, I arranged to release, enough money for the new backpack hostel and the staff cottage to be completed. This past two weeks, while we were busy settling in and getting boundary fences fixed, things dramatically changed on the station.
When I was notified that Jeremy and Angela were considering just walking off the station, with just their personal belongings, to begin again from scratch, I decided that since I only owned the loan, which was about 46% of the stations net worth, that they were entitled to a bit more than that, and so I offered them the option of selling all the cattle on the station, and they keep all proceeds.
I also organised the sale of some of my late Grandmothers properties on Scotland, and from that I also offered them a good chunk of money, which was a little less than the value of half the station, but they gladly accepted it” I said to the Price brothers.
“That is a lot of business and personal information, why are you telling us?Is there a reason for that?” Matt asked me, and I smiled broadly.
“Yes, I feel that I can trust you guys, and that is why I am asking you two lads to travel back to Coral Coast Station, and be my caretakers, while we get the station back into good working order.
With no stock on the station, there will be no need to keep checking the stock and water supplies, which will give you time to build stronger boundary fences, especially at the two entry roads, and the north and south entry tracks. I will arrange for the supply truck, that delivers food and other supplies to Minilya Roadhouse and Exmouth, to drop off supplies for you lads at the Roadhouse.
As well as the fences, I would like you lads to finish the clean up around the homestead compound, repair the machinery shed, and see if you can move the roof of the shearing shed back to near where it belongs, we will get a crane in later on down the track to lift it back into place, once we have made the support posts and beams stronger.
You can use the apartment behind the visitor’s centre for your accommodation, and later we can employ another station hand to help you out. I want the station to remain closed to all visitors, so you will need to change the message on the station answer machine, and I will have professional signs made up for the two front gates.
Matt, I am putting you in charge as senior caretaker, with your brother as your assistant, you are always to carry the satellite phones with you , when away from the homestead compound. At each main entry to the station, I want a 1.5-metre high, post and rail fence, for 500 metres on each side of the main gate and north gate, with three rails and 3 wires between each rail.
I will have a new post hole attachment for the existing station tractor sent up to you from Geraldton, and at the North and south entry tracks, I want you to do the same there, but the post and rail fence need only be one metre high.
I will have new gates built in Carnarvon and shipped up to the front gate, these will be a lot stronger, and won’t be able to be crashed through by any idiots” I said.
Matt looked at his brother who smiled and nodded his head yes, before facing me again. “We both accept the challenge and thank you” Matt said.
For the next two weeks, we were all very busy, with preparing for the lads move back to the station. They would collect the keys and satellite phones from the accountant in Carnarvon, on the way through, and they would also pick up a brand-new Holden Colorado, and trailer in Carnarvon.
The Colorado being given a lift, for extra clearance, and would be packed with extras, including two-way radio, and satellite phone, a front end heavy duty winch, vehicle recovery equipment, a roof rack with an attached side fold out awning, extra diesel fuel tanks, plus large fresh water tanks, solar panels on the roof rack, with power inverter, two large car fridge freezers, a large first aid kit and two new king single swags.
From the front gate of the farm, to the front gate of the station, it is almost 600 kilometres, and the lads had been instructed to stay overnight in Carnarvon, so as not to get tired from all the travelling, which is 420 kilometres north of the Farm, and I had booked accommodation for them.
Leaving at 6am on a Friday morning, and it was shortly after 11am, when Matt called to let me know that they had arrived in Carnarvon, and were settling into their accommodation, and that after lunch they would go to collect the new Colorado, which Matt would drive, while Greg would drive his brother’s car.
I informed them, that I had put a rush on the four new gates, and that they are ready to be collected and taken to the station.About two hours later, Matt called again, “Boss, are you serious? This is just too much” Matt said sounding emotional.
“Yes, it is yours to use, since you are the Senior caretaker as of tomorrow, when you arrive, just take good care of it when driving around the station, oh and the two large 1100 litre camouflaged ice boxes, are for storage of supplies, delivered by the supply truck, have them delivered to the Minilya Roadhouse for me please” I said.
Very well, thanks heaps boss, talk to you again, when we arrive at the homestead compound” Matt said before ending the call.I tried to keep myself busy, while the lads were travelling the final stage of their trip back to the station, and just over three hours later, my phone rang, with the caller ID saying Colorado Sat Phone.
“Hi lads, how are things on the station?’ I said when I answered the call.
“Take it easy boss, we have only just arrived. All the station vehicles are here, including the buggy, and all the grills are still covering the windows of the visitor centre, and the windows have been replaced, with stronger glass by the looks of it” Matt replied.
“Yes, I made sure they did that, so we don’t have blown out again, I will let you guys settle in and I will talk to you at lunch time tomorrow at 1pm, for a more detailed report, bye for now” I said and I ended the call, happy that they had arrived safely.
In the evening, when I had just finished my dinner, and was cleaning up the kitchen, my mobile rang, and the caller ID was Station Office. “Hello, what is the problem?” I said right away.
“Hi boss, we have unauthorised visitors, that appear to be having a party up at the owners house on the rise, which we thought didn’t need checking right away, we could hear music, and after some investigation, we worked out that it is coming from the main house” Matt said nervously.
“Right, don’t go anywhere near them, keep your lights down to a bare minimum at the apartment, and none on in the visitor centre, and call the police right away, I will wait and also call the police, to try and get them moving” I said to the lads.
“Right boss, we will do that right away” Matt said before hanging up.
I wasn’t very happy with what I heard, so I gave David Henderson a call. “Hi Dave, it is Lloyd here, we have some trespassers on the station, so I need to go up there right away, can you keep an eye on the farm for me please, I should be gone for about a week at the most” I said.
“Station? As in Coral Coast? I thought you had left there for good?” Dave replied.
“Yeah well after the cyclone and the huge debt the Dalworth’s had on the place, they couldn’t stay any longer, so they sold it to me, well I already had a stake in it already, as I had bought their bank debt, and they don’t know that I am the new owner.
Anyway, the lads went up there to be my caretakers, and they have some trespassers on the station, which I need to deal with” I replied. “Go, I will look after everything here, are you taking Angus with you?” Dave asked.
“Yes, he will be fine, he has got use to long distance travel now, anyway, thanks for doing this, I will be leaving as soon as I am packed tonight, I will keep yo in touch, bye” I said and hung up.
Twenty minutes later I was packed, and ready to go, but firstly I had to contact the police in Carnarvon. “Officer, my name is Lloyd Templeton, I am the new owner of Coral Coast Station, I had my two caretakers arrive at lunch time today, and this evening, they discovered some party happening in the main house on top of the hill.
I am about to leave my farm just north of Northampton now, but can I ask that you send someone to deal with the trespassers please” I asked when I got through to the Carnarvon Police Station.
“Yes, we have already had a call from your caretakers, and we have sent a unit heading north to the station now, with an eta of about two hours, and we have been told to pick up a spare key from the roadhouse on the way” the officer said, which was news to me, but very clever thinking.
“Thank you, officer, that is appreciated, I will arrive sometime tomorrow, after a rest stop in Carnarvon, thanks again, goodbye” I saidand ended the call. A few minutes later I was on my way, heading east till I reached the main highway, then turned left and headed north.
I stopped just once to give Angus a toilet break, and after nearly four hours of driving, we stopped at the Edge Rest Area, about 80 kms south of Carnarvon shortly after 1am, where I unrolled my swag, and with Angus joining me, after going to the toilet, we soon fell asleep.
At dawn, we woke up, and I packed up my swag, while Angus went for a leak, and we were soon on our way again, stopping briefly 45 minutes later for some breakfast in Carnarvon, before continuing on, and 2 ½ hours later, we arrived at the Minilya Roadhouse, where a police vehicle was parked, and telling Angus to stay, I went inside, where two police officers were having a hot cuppa, and chatting to the owners.
Copyright April 2019 Preston Wigglesworth All Rights Reserved