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As our youngsters sit behind their computers or have radical leftist doctrines shoved down their throats, it is time to remember what we are truly capable of, if we set our minds to the task. 

These days, parents won't let their kids go to the corner shop alone. 

It’s 1932 and Australia is in the grip of the Great Depression. One in three workers is unemployed.

Decrepit shanty towns hug the outskirts of the big cities.  Much like today. 

Out in rural Australia, a 9 year old boy works to keep his family afloat. All the while helped by his best friend, a pony named Ginger Mick.

He embarked on a journey that would be unheard of today. Back then, he was just going for a ride.... 



A scrawny rabbit caught in a trap will feed a family for a week. Country roads are filled with broken men walking from one farmhouse to another seeking menial jobs and food.

On the outskirts of the South Gippsland town of Leongatha, an injured farmer lies in bed unable to walk – or work.

World War I hero Captain Leo Tennyson Gwyther is in hospital with a broken leg and the family farm is in danger of falling into ruins.


Up steps his son, nine-year-old Lennie.

With the help of his pony Ginger Mick, Lennie ploughs the farm’s 24 paddocks and keeps the place running until his father can get back on his feet.

Lennie has been obsessively following one of the biggest engineering feats of the era – the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


He wants to attend its opening.

With great reluctance, his parents agree he can go. It seems a just reward for the work that he has done. 

So Lennie saddles up Ginger Mick, packs a toothbrush, pyjamas, spare clothes and a water bottle into a sack, and begins the 1000+ kilometre (600+ miles) trek to Sydney.


That’s right.

 A nine year old boy riding a pony from the deep south of Victoria to the biggest and roughest city in the nation.


Born in 1925 in the rural town of Leongatha, Victoria, Australia, Lennie Gwyther was no ordinary child.

On the morning of February 3, 1932, with a wave to his parents, Lennie set off on his remarkable odyssey. Armed with little more than a sense of adventure, he and Ginger Mick embarked on a journey that would captivate the imagination of an entire nation.

During Lennie Gwyther's solo horseback journey from Leongatha to Sydney in 1932, the telegraph played a significant role, albeit indirectly. While the telegraph itself wasn't utilised by Lennie during his trip, it served as a vital means of communication for relaying information about his progress to the wider Australian population.

News of Lennie's audacious adventure spread rapidly through newspapers, which were one of the primary forms of mass communication at the time. Journalists and reporters from various media outlets tracked Lennie's journey closely, providing regular updates on his whereabouts, experiences, and encounters along the way.

No social media.

No mobile phones.

But even then it doesn’t take long before word begins to spread about a boy, his horse and their epic trek.

The entire populations of small country towns gather on their outskirts to welcome his arrival.

He survives bushfires, is attacked by a “vagabond” and endures rain and cold, biting winds.

When he reaches Canberra he is welcomed by Prime Minister Joseph Lyons, who invites him into Parliament House for tea.

When he finally arrives in Sydney, more than 10,000 people line the streets to greet him.

After an epic journey spanning 33 days, Lennie Gwyther and Ginger Mick arrived triumphant in Sydney on March 8, 1932. Their arrival sparked scenes of jubilation and celebration, with crowds thronging the streets to welcome the young adventurer and his faithful steed.


He is besieged by autograph hunters.

He becomes a key part of the official parade at the bridge’s opening. He and Ginger Mick are invited to make a starring appearance at the Royal Show.


Even Donald Bradman, the biggest celebrity of the Depression era, requests a meeting and gives him a signed cricket bat.

A letter writer to The Sydney Morning Herald at the time gushes that “just such an example as provided by a child of nine summers, Lennie Gwyther was, and is, needed to raise the spirit of our people and to fire our youth and others to do things – not to talk only.

“The sturdy pioneer spirit is not dead … let it be remembered that this little lad, when his father was in hospital, cultivated the farm – a mere child.”

When Lennie leaves Sydney for home a month later, he has become one of the most famous figures in a country craving uplifting news.

Large crowds wave handkerchiefs. Women weep and shout “goodbye”.

According to The Sun newspaper, “Lennie, being a casual Australian, swung into the saddle and called ‘Toodleloo!’”.

He finally arrives home to a tumultuous reaction in Leongatha.

He returns to school and soon life for Lennie – and the country – returns to normal.

These days you can find a bronze statue in Leongatha commemorating Lennie and Ginger Mick.


But Australia has largely forgotten his remarkable feat – and how he inspired a struggling nation.

Never taught about him in school? Never heard of him before?

We need to remember – and celebrate – Lennie Gwyther and his courageous journey.

It's a great story.

God knows we need these stories now, more than ever.


Lennie went back to the farm and resumed his normal life. He and Ginger Mick had travelled 2500kms over a period of nine weeks and seen many sights.

At 19 he served in the army in World War Two, fighting in the Morotai Islands. He returned to work at General Motors Holden for most of his working life and lived in Melbourne.

In 1992 he died at 70 years old from cancer.

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