History of Wodonga yards

About 1935- 1936 the Wodonga Shire Council mooted the idea of building saleyards in the town There was fierce opposition to the idea, so two referendums were carried out. The Council got the go ahead to build the yards. Tenders were let and Mr. Arthur Dunstan, a local saw miller and timber merchant got the job, his foreman was Mr. Joe Donavan, who was to oversee the job.

At the start there were two superintendents, Mr. G. Mitchell, a ranger from the Bonegilla riding and Mr. Mark Mulqueeny, a ranger from the Greenhill riding.

After a short time Mr. Percy Newbound was appointed superintendent, a position he held for many years until ill health forced him to relinquish the position. Percy was ably assisted by Mr. Archie Nugent and Mr. Hector Thompson. Mr. Archie Nugent was later appointed to the position of superintendent, who proved a good and capable officer. In the late 1950’s a loud speaker system was installed at the yards for the convenience of the patrons of the yards, who could be called to any one of the phone boxes that were placed around the yards. The yards switchboard was in the capable hands of Mrs. Stella Nugent.

The dining rooms, at first were under the supervision of Mrs. Lowden. In later years they were conducted by Mrs. Vera Hogan, who with her band of willing helpers satisfied the hunger and thirst of the large gatherings that attended the sales.

During 1960 two of the largest stock trains left Wodonga, going south. On each train there were fifty four wagons.

When the cattle yards were up and running, it was decided to build pig and bobby calf yards on the opposite side of the highway. One of the main men behind the pig and calf yards was Jim McGeoch, an auctioneer with New Zealand Loan. A lot of cynics laughed at the idea at first, but Jim McGoech stuck to his guns, and with yardings of over three and a half thousand calves and two thousand pigs, he was proven right.

Wodonga is credited with holding the second largest one day sale of cattle in Australia. The number of stock sold that day was nearly 7000 head. This sale was conducted by John McNamara & Co.