Fishing & the family
connection to Port Fairy:
Fishing & the family connection to Port Fairy: Roger Haldanes Grandfather Hugh, was the last lighthouse keeper on Port Fairy’s Griffith island. Hughs sons Bill Haldane and his brothers Alan and Hugh began construction of an 84 foot wooden Tuna boat called ‘Tacoma’, in 1945 on the Banks of the Moyne River, Port Fairy. They had intended to fish for tuna out of Portland. Instead The South Australian Premier of the time heard of the Haldane Brothers plan and sent a representative with a cheque to Port Fairy, to help them fit out the boat, the only condition was they move to Port Lincoln in South Australia and base themselves from there…..and so it was that
3 families, their dogs and cats and all their household belongings set sail from Port Fairy in 1952 bound for their new home in Port Lincoln. We doubt they ever would have imagined they were about to kick off what is now a multimillion dollar industry! In the mid 1960’s the tuna catches were getting lean & Roger and Clyde volunteered to crew on a boat looking for prawns in the area. Eventually they helped to kit out the Tacoma for prawn fishing and the family became prawn fishermen. Clyde and Roger bought their own boat the “BooBook” and prawned for many years.
Goats : They bought a farm together covered in mallee roots and scrub and began the backbreaking work of clearing the 8,000 acres. Eventually it became a highly productive farm for cropping, cattle and sheep. Not stopping there they had one of the biggest angora herds at the time, approx. 2,500 animals, and topped the sales with one of their bales.
Alpacas : importing from South America Through the interest in fibre based animals the brothers began to look at acquiring alpacas, who also produced a natural high quality fleece. At that time in Australia the alpaca was an A class zoo animal with restrictions on how they could be kept. Via letters, phone calls and fax Roger had the legislation changed so that the alpaca could be farmed here in Australia. With the help of Pet Centre in the USA, the Haldanes decided to look at importing direct from South America.
Clyde visited the Altiplano of Chile and selected animals for the first shipment, which made its way via New Zealand to Australia. 500 alpacas made their way to Purrumbete homestead at Camperdown where the Haldane Alpaca genetics formed a foundation for the present alpaca herds in existence in Australia, and opened up the way for other people to bring in more alpacas and llamas from overseas. Haldane Alpacas made several more large importations and some smaller exports before moving their focus to the current buffalo milking and cheese making business.
Sheep : Dorpdale : In the search for a sheep that is easy to care for, doesn’t need crutching or shearing and has high lambing percentages, Roger and Ewan Haldane along with Farm manager Bradley Clements have developed the Gleneagles Dorpdale Meat Sheep.
Roger is well known with his previous livestock ventures and is always looking for stock that is easy to manage, profitable and lifestyle friendly.
When Gleneagles a 8000+ acre property of reclaimed limestone and Mallee scrubland on the Eyre Peninsula , SA , was retired from cropping, Roger set about building a herd of high quality low maintenance sheep which can be managed with minimal labour inputs.They have AAA Fleece shedding index, high twinning percentages, are protective mothers and good milkers. The idea of no shearing, no crutching and no shearing ……
Icelandic Horses : the steed of the Vikings
While the buffalo were quarantined in Denmark, Clyde Haldane began to look at what else on the plane with them. He found the Icelandic horse & bought 8 fillies and a colt. His idea was that they would make nice family horses. When he passed away in 2005 , Roger inherited the 34 purebred Icelandic horses, Clyde had bred. Rogers daughters Amy and Thea put their hands up to continue to breed and promote the stud.
The Icelandic horse is one of the oldest and purest breeds in the world and has two extra gaits, the tölt and pace which make them quite unique in the horse world. They have fabulous temperament, beautiful colour range and are sensible pleasure riding horses. With approx. 150 icelandic horses in the country our herd of 90 or so makes up a big chunk of the genetics in Australia. We breed, train and sell the horses , aiming to have healthy horses with easy going gaits and great temperament.
For more information please like the Haldane Icelandic Horses facebook page and visit our website www.icelandichorses.com.au