Scholar Profile: John Lawton, 1963 Scholar

May 2016


Please confirm family history and members including children, grandchildren? I’ll do my best with this interview but we are talking periods back to the 1950s and I’ll be 90 years old in a couple of weeks. I have a deceased brother called Brian and an existing brother called Peter who is in Berwick in Victoria. I am married with four children – Anne, Jane, Joanna and Richard. I have grandchildren and two great grandchildren.


Please outline a brief version of your business history? I initially lived at Myponga, which is 40km from Adelaide, for 40 years. It was a 1,700-acre farm. I went to the local school from grade one to seven over a seven-year period. Then I went through agriculture college at Scotch College for a further five years.


(Scotch College, one of South Australia’s pre-eminent co-educational, independent day and boarding schools. Within the 20 hectares of the college lies a fully functioning agricultural farm, complete with cattle, alpacas, chickens and sheep)


In the final two years I was at Scotch, I was called home to assist with the sheep and shearing. Dad was injured in World War I and needed assistance in the shearing shed and there wasn’t the manpower as it was World War II. We could manage 3,500 sheep through the shearing shed in October 1942 and 1943.


Following Scotch, I spent five years batching independently on this home farm, worked with the fellas who were there and we were strongly associated with wool, cattle, and sheep – fat lambs. Later on, there was an expansion of the farm with the introduction of horses. I would look after and run about 60 horses on the property for the racing and trotting industries, as well as the sheep and cattle. I had nothing to do with training them, but I would look after them, ensure they were safe from wire and that they would behave themselves. There were very few issues or casualties in the four or five years that I did this on the