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Rusty Reagan
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Rusty Reagan

When Bruce Forbes Simpson, The Packhorse Drover, Winton Resident and one-time insurance rep, won the 1975 Pronze Swagman Award for Bush Poetry with his poem Vale Rusty Reagan, few people knew about the man in the poem. This is a part of the first verse.

Vale Rusty Reagan
Old Rusty Reagan's cashed his chips,
No more he'll go on droving trips,
And no more grog will pass the lips
      Of drunken Rusty Reagan

Russell (Rusty) Reagan is buried in plot number 1431 in the Old Section of the Winton Town Cemetery. He was 44 years of age when he died on the 26th of October 1973. The photo below shows what marks the site - a small metal marker on an otherwise unmarked grave. As Bruce's poems says "no relatives with reddened eyes, will weep at Rusty's sad demise".

There is a project on the go in Winton to better mark the final resting place of Rusty Regan. It will include a headstone and of course include Bruce's poem.  You can assist with the project by going to http://www.thebronzeswagman.com/about-us and reading more or adding a donation. It is a big project for the little town of Winton and every little bit of help will be appreciated.