Released: 20 Jul 2020
In the early 1900’s in southern Victoria, Australia, the sons of early settlers wishing to become owners of their own farms or sheep and cattle stations, found it difficult to obtain finance (mainly from Banks at that time) to finance their ventures.
Most of them were young married men with young families and some of them, once gaining the land either by purchase or inheritance,
still needed valuable stock to begin with.
In the wild Otway Ranges district, young men began what in Australia is known as “Cattle Duffing” (also known as Rustling)
The gang who star in the song used moonless nights to carry out their deeds and chose mainly coastal farms on the side of the ranges to extract young milking cows to begin to build up their herds as they were mainly skilled dairy farmers. They used a secret base high in the Otway hills to leave their spoils to be impregnated by a bull or bulls, and when the female calves were able to travel months later, they drove them
to their various properties.
The Kaanglang area in the Otways was an ideal spot for the operation
as it was very remote (and still is to this day).
Kaanglang is an Australian aboriginal word meaning
“Place of the Tiger Snake” Walter John, the ringleader of the duffing gang was the only one to face the Courts accused of the crime of “Duffing” which meant a long Jail term if found guilty.
He however got away with it because the prosecution didn’t have enough proof (according to the judge)
My song is based on facts told to me by descendants of Walter John.
As a young boy I knew him well.
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