Vale Bill Bruce


Life member William Andrew Robert Bruce 21.7.1926 – 3.2.2011 died on Thursday 3rd February aged 84yrs.

Leaving home at 13yrs of age so younger siblings could have his bed, he started work on Bungaree sheep station learning how to crutch, shear and maintain stock and plants in general.

After lying about his age he enlisted in the navy where he celebrated his 18th birthday heading towards Japan.

Bill spent most of his two years at sea on the ‘Shrop Shire’ without getting a direct hit but saved many sailors who were casualties- Bill witnessed the surrender of Japan.

After the war Bill and his wife Natalie bought a property in the Mauee area of SA but droughts of 1957 and 1959 saw him saying bugger the dry areas and he moved to Kangaroo Island, buying 650ha at Gosse with 900mm rainfall where he could run 6 D.S.E to the acre.

1962 saw Bill travelling VIC and NSW looking for a cattle breed that would suit his area that could convert his grass into red meat without putting on too much fat – Murray Greys were his chosen breed and he started his Yakilo Stud from Thologolong- Michaelong-Powinsula and Benvierna bloodlines.

Bills greatest achievements- 1st Murray Grey Stud in SA, and winning SA Beef Carcase Comp at Gepps Cross 3yrs in a row from 1984-1987 in fact 4 wins in 6yrs.

Bill travelled the world promoting Murray Grey judging at the English Royal Show at Warickshire and the Calgary Exhibition in Canada.

Yakilo Stud moved to the Victor Harbour area in 1990 and was situated at the Battell House Property were the house was made from wine barrels- ill health resulted in the sale of Yakilo in 1996 to Quentin Willson back at Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island.

Bill always enjoyed a smoke and a ‘few’ drinks sharing his lifetime of travel- fun and good times.

He is missed by his family of 5, 12 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

‘Lest We Forget’