19 Απριλίου , 2011
‘Out west in a place which we found and named ‘Hidden Basin’, in 1933, on the border of Western Australia, we named a creek Nicker Creek after Ben. That name is cut into the trunk of a large gum tree. Ben Nicker devoted his life to the bush beyond fences. He has given his life to keep the bush free for you and me. I grieve for his wife, and with the bushmen of Central Australia I mourn the passing of a very fine fellow.’
Michael Terry, 1941
‘Of all the interesting characters occasionally met with by far the most interesting and unusual was Ben Nicker. I have never met anyone quite like Ben before or since. He had a better education than was usual to find in those days… Ben always wanted to be a soldier which is unusual for a man of his type, they can’t take military discipline as a rule. When war broke out in 1939 Ben was one of the first to enlist in the second A.I.F. He was killed in the evacuation of Greece in 1941. He was a marvelous rifle shot and I was told by someone who was with him in Greece that he shot down a German plane with the ordinary .303 rifle by shooting the pilot in the cockpit as he flew over.’
Bryan Bowman, History of Central Australia 1930 – 1980
When Mags received the Order of Australia Medal in 1986 for her services to Central Australia, she said ‘ I accept this for my family and their contribution to the outback.’
Out in the deserts the name ‘Benninik’ comes up conversationally in Aboriginal dialects more than fifty years after his death. Travelling in four-wheel drives equipped with two-way radios, modern adventurers frequently come across his carved initials.
When next the question is asked, ‘Who was Ben Nicker?’ I hope some of the answers will be found in these pages…