Banjo Paterson Christina Macpherson An old swaggie
In 1895, Banjo Paterson and his fiance, local Winton girl from Vindex Station, Sarah Riley, visited Winton. The great shearers' strike was just over. Pastoralists like the Macpherson family on Dagworth Station were busy running merino sheep to produce the finest wool in the world.
When Banjo and Sarah arrived in Winton, Sarah met her school mate, Christina Macpherson, and Christina invited them out to Dagworth Station.
It was at Dagworth Station that Waltzing Matilda was composed, with Banjo writing the words and Christina remembering a tune she had heard at the
Warrnambool Races in Victoria.It was a catchy tune and lyrics and soon everyone was singing it.
The song was brought to Winton by Banjo, Sarah, Christina and party and it had an airing after the Race meeting held in the town.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Come and vist the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton anytime of the year and find out about the intriguing story of the peoples song - our song - Waltzing Matilda.
Banjo had a great skill of collecting various stories of the bush and putting them into his poetry. For example: Who was the swaggie? Was it Samuel Hoffmeister?
And why did the Banjo and Sarah engagement get called off?
Even though the Waltzing Matilda Centre burnt to the ground in 2015, the centre is being rebuilt with a 2017 opening planned. Do take time to visit the Winton Historical Society displays at the Matilda Centre site.