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Bullcatchers and Bionic Arms!

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

I posted this blog below a few years ago but I was saddened to hear this week (30th Oct 2023) that Rae Carrick announced Kal had passed away:


"With heavy hearts, I announce the passing of my husband Keith (Kal) James Carrick, who left us peacefully on his terms and in my arms on Tuesday 24th October 2023.

This Territory Icon lived a full and vibrant life, touching the hearts of those he encountered with his wit, wisdom, and charismatic storytelling."


RIP Kal.

 

A friend of mine, Nick Bradley, introduced me to his good mate, Geoffrey Beere at an NTCA conference in Darwin a few years ago.


A friend of mine, Nick Bradley, introduced me to his good mate, Geoffrey Beere at an NTCA conference a few years ago.


Geoffrey was a good mate of Kal's and said Kal Carrick applied for patent of the bionic 'bull catcher' arm in 1974 (eventually issued to Kal in May 1981), everyone copied it and about 10 payed for the licence. Over the years Geoffrey met at least 5 people that said that they invented the bionic arm, but we all knew it was Kal. During BTEC the arm could have assisted in the capture of around 100,000 feral animals!

In 2017, Geoffrey and others supported Kal in an OA (Order of Australia) to get the story right. The inauguration at NT Government House in Darwin was memorable. Kal was refusing to wear a tie and his wife was going to pull out as we approached Government House. Geoffrey explained if they didn’t behave he would leave them at the foot path!


'Not only has the Bionic Arm stood the test of time (over 40 years of use) but it has never been improved upon.


Kal Carrick’s Bionic Arm is an absolute gem of an invention; it solves the problem of handling dangerous animals that could otherwise have inflicted damage and death on people in the buffalo and cattle industry. Furthermore, it resolves animal welfare issues that have come to be a priority in the Australian pastoral industry'. From Beef Central Article


Also attending, Legendary bushman Peter Pangquee (see video below) was represented by his son Peter Alderman Pangquee at Kal’s investiture in Darwin last year at Govt House. Peter jnr was wearing his bravery medal from when a crocodile was dragging his mum out of the tent.


Kal Garrick's invention at work...



And still going strong in 2023 with PLB Contract Mustering...







MORE ON THE BIONIC ARM BY BEEF CENTRAL HERE


You can also see more of the bionic arm at work in Photographer, David Hancock's book on Top End buffalo: NGANABBARRU BUFFALO



Legendary bushman Peter Pangquee...


Bull catcher and explainer sign and images at Daly Waters Pub, NT:




I have also attached a PDF of The ‘Victoria River District Doomsday Book’ by Darrell Lewis (its inspiration in Jock Makin’s history of Victoria River Downs, The Big Run) and some images that I hope some of your RFTTE members may find of interest.


Original Post here | Originally posted 20th July 2020 | Revised Oct 2022 and again on Kal's passing Oct 2023.

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