Statue inspires family legacy

A BRONZE statue inspired a farmer near Campbell Town to write a book about the history of the wool industry in Tasmania.

Vera Taylor and her husband John lived on the property Winton, west of Campbell Town, until 10 years ago when they retired to Launceston.

Vera has written the book The Forlong Legacy – A History of the Merino and Wool in Tasmania.

Their son John and his family now live on Winton and run the family property.

“Writing this book certainly has been a dedication.

The purpose of writing the book began as a follow-up of the placement of the wonderful bronze statue of Eliza Forlong unveiled in Campbell Town in 2012,” Vera said.

“I felt there was a need to collate a shandy of information to be in one book about the Forlong family.”

Eliza Forlong walked the countryside of Saxony in the 1820s to select several flocks of top Saxon sheep and imported them to Tasmania.

The genetics of these Saxon sheep remain pure at Winton since 1835.

“The influence of these genetics has impregnated the superfine wool industry over almost 200 years. Today Saxon genetics are few.”

Since the 1980s they have been replaced by large framed Merino sheep which produce superfine wool with increased wool weights filling more bales of wool.

The developing Merino today has become more important in the prime lamb industry.

“The many historic superfine Saxon-based wool clips have disappeared.”
“Remember the Fujii days when the Fujii Company purchased the world top price for wool for over 20 years? I felt it was important to capture this history.”
“I have included the development of the Merino as we find it today.”

With more than 600 pages and many photos Vera considers she has self-published the first book on the Merino and wool in Tasmania.

“I thought this was important for Tasmanians. I have aimed to make the book an interest to a wide range of readers.

I have included Tasmanian history, Tasmanian stud sheep breeding, Tasmanian wool production, wool manufacture, wool brokers, shearing and wool growing around the island.”

The Forlong Legacy has many more yarns of the industry and farming life in the Midlands.

“I am grateful to several people who have assisted me with information, photographs and illustrations.
“I am proud to have had the book published in Launceston to make it a real Tasmanian effort.”

To get a copy contact Vera at: