Reaching the standing as a Mallee legend isn’t any imply feat, nevertheless there isn’t any doubting Squatter Coffey’s credentials.
After 50 years shovelling untold tonnes of golden Mallee grain, this storytelling larrikin has actually earned his title — and his retirement.
Len Coffey, affectionately generally known as Squatter Coffey to his many pals, stated retirement means extra time to spend along with his beloved horses and the prospect to share his love of his Victorian Mallee hometown of Beulah with locals and vacationers alike.
“I reside to offer, and I care to share. I am residing the dream and I would not know anybody who bought it higher than me,” Mr Coffey stated.
Barb Moore, secretary of the Beulah Progress Affiliation, has recognized Squatter all her life and stated he had put Beulah on the vacationer map.
“He is our personal native legend and all the time has an important historic story to share with the native children and visiting vacationers,” Ms Moore stated.
Immortalised on silo artwork path
Regardless of having a global social media following stemming from the various vacationers and international staff visiting his horse driving retreat, his legendary standing was boosted when he was featured on the Victorian silo artwork path by famend artist Kaff-eine.
He first discovered concerning the plan to function his picture as a mural on the close by Rosebery silo from the famend mural artist herself whereas she was on one among his well-known storytelling path rides.
When requested whether or not he can be glad to be immortalised on one of many 100-foot silos, he responded as solely Squatter can.
“I do not wish to be up there and annoying individuals,” he stated.
The silo now types a part of Squatter’s many storytelling Mallee path experience adventures.
Therapeutic energy of horses
Horses have performed an necessary position all through Squatter’s life, serving to him via a few of his most difficult instances.
“I’ve had a couple of setbacks — a wedding break-up, coronary heart assault — jeez, if I did not have horses I do not know what I would do,” he stated.
“When you’re travelling tough you’re feeling higher with a horse.”
Now he helps others who go to Squatters Relaxation to take day out and breathe within the quiet Mallee air, experience a horse, and share a yarn by the campfire.
“Anybody who’s going unhealthy or hurting, a couple of days right here it will blow your tyres up,” he stated.
“If you do not have time right here you are in hassle, you are not going to have time to many different locations.”
Now having fun with his well-earned retirement, he’s centered on sharing his love of each horses and Beulah with everybody he can.
He’s a favorite with the native children who flip up after faculty and on faculty holidays, in addition to the various backpackers and farm staff who come for the harvest.
“We have had younger individuals from seventeen nations driving horses at Beulah, and 7 nationalities simply this 12 months working harvest in Beulah. It is fairly unbelievable,” he stated.
After a lifetime within the Mallee he stated there isn’t any higher place to reside.
“The Mallee’s the choose of it. It takes a little bit of beating right here, we simply have the perfect individuals and climate,” he stated.
“It is a fairly particular place, Beulah.”