Cashbook and Claypan
Birdsville or Bust
East From Oodna
Alive in the Dead Heart
B-line for Birdsville
The Pecaneks of Oodna
Suppliers to the Simpson
French Petroleum Boss Rene Quin Enters the Fray
Jaroslav and his wife Jindra Pecanek were the proprietors and he had come to Oodna on doctor's advice three years before. Seeking a hot, dry climate to suit his sinus trouble, he learned the Oodna general store was for sale and determined to buy it. His doctor had told him his only hope was to live in the Sahara.
"As a new arrival I didn't have much money but they let me in on a low deposit," he said.It was to prove a good move. Pec, as he became widely known, quickly built an outback empire, owning every property and business in Oodnadatta except the Transcontinental Hotel. Pec also got his good weather - often 45°C in summer.
View of Oodna Pub from 1963
Everything from chaff to chillers, dynamite to dresses and even imports of Pernod and Gitanes cigarettes from Paris figured on Pec's consignment lists. Pec was prepared to have a go at anything. He supplied the CGG camp way out in the desert caseloads of exotic booze still bearing the Customs stickers and stocked a library of Australiana books for them, choosing the titles himself (or perhaps it was Jindra who made the selections).
Oodna Stores Circa 1980
"I have a wall full of licences. When I bought the store I only had to have seven licences," he said. "Now I need twenty-one. Its crazy."
The Famous Pink Roadhouse
Kevin had been hopeful of obtaining copies of these telegrams from the RFDS but was foiled. The records had been lost in a fire years before in Charleville. He sought out the owner-in-residence of the Pink Roadhouse Lynnie Plate and updated the display of photos he had left five years before. Lynnie's establishment was fairly buzzing in July, at the height of the season. Kevin offered a small portfolio of historical memorabilia from the 1963 construction of the French Line for display in the Oodnadatta Museum. To date, the commitment is unfulfilled, but at least, the commitment is now public.
Another Look at Oodna Years Later
"I'm coming through with a group of the old fellows who built the French Line. I nearly fell over when the bloke said 'I did that too' and it turned out to be Ross."
Return of the CGG French Line Veterans
Old CGG office wallahs Pip Dunkley and Kevin Murphy take a few moments out on their Simpson Desert pilgrimage to stand in the way of the permanent way that once was the path of the Ghan. Kevin was appreciative of Pip coming across from Perth to join the LROCV reunion crossing because Pip had been the office manager for CGG Party S6509 at Fitzroy Crossing and had especially turned up in the desert to show him the office routines, prior to Kevin taking over for the arduous, historical crossing.
"OODNA" NEXT PAGE
||Try the "with Malice a'Forecourt?" link and read what they did|
|Alive in the
||Thommo's Desert Report||The BeeGees Page|
|Coles Express Picks On a Pensioner||The Kid From Towra Point|
|Bulldozing a Desert||Trans National Causeway|
|Signwriter for the Simpson||The Long Haul|
|Simpson Desert Birdlife||French Line Circa 1979|
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