Jack Howe – Legendary Shearer
Australia’s most famous shearer, Jack (Jackie) Howe, set the world blade shearing record on Monday, 10th October, 1892 when he shore 321 sheep in 7 hours and 40 minutes at Alice Downs Station, Blackall. This record has never been beaten by any other blade shearer past or present.
It took 58 years for a machine shearer to better this blade shearing record.
Jack also set the record for machine shearing in the same year, 1892, when he shore a record 237 sheep in 8 hours using the newly installed machine shears at Barcaldine Downs.
Jack and others bettered his 237 tally within a very short period, with Jack reputedly shearing 315 in 8 hours at Alice Downs after it had been converted to a machine shed.
However, Jack remains the only shearer ever to have set a blade shearing and a machine shearing record in the same year.
A memorial statue is located outside the Universal Garden Centre in Shamrock Street. Inside is a gallery, with a historic display, relating to the legendary shearer Jack Howe and local town history which can be seen for a small charge.