Community spirit through and through


Community spirit through and through

words todd kuchel
PHOTOGRAPHY sam kroepsch
>> Budgie Schiller

Budgie Schiller has lived at Eudunda his entire life and is known by the community as a generous man, who believes strongly in treating people fairly and who goes out of his way to help whenever he can.

As a young lad, Budgie worked with the stock agents at Gepps Cross, de-tusking boars’ teeth, until he said to the boss one day, ‘I reckon I could be a stock agent.’

Two weeks later he was offered a go.

“A month later I had a four-wheel drive car and a telephone, and away I went,” Budgie said smiling.

Not long after, Budgie went out on his own. He ended up with 300 clients in the stock game, working seven days a week – he was even doing a few larger sales for his old boss.

Budgie also worked at the pig market at Dublin, which had him starting at 2.30am. After the pig market he went over to the sheep market and was roped into auctioning there.

“It was (a) hard yard, and I was nervous, but I’ve been told, ‘if you’re nervous you’re a good auctioneer’.”

Budgie still gets nervous in front of a crowd, but he knows how to break the ice.

“I give everyone grief and they give it back,” Budgie nods. “Sometimes I get a bit more back, eat humble pie so to speak.”

For the past 25 years, Budgie has been auctioneering livestock and doing farm clearing sales, with roughly two to five hundred items per auction and an average of one to two hundred punters.

“Even after selling for five or six hours, I still haven’t totally lost my voice,” he says.

Over the years he has seen trends come and go, and the prices vary.

“Locally-made antique furniture still fetches a decent price, while some furniture is difficult to sell at all,” Budgie shares.

It seems each auction is different, and it depends on the location and the crowd. Although farming equipment remains consistent.

“There is always someone out there who wants it,” Budgie says.

On more than one occasion Budgie has seen a man and woman bidding against each other, only to find out that they are married!

“People do get excited in the moment,” Budgie shares. “A lot of punters probably come for the entertainment.”

One of his favourite lines is, “Come on, it’s only money, they still make it.”

“A lot of people know what goes on in an auction,” Budgie smiles. “And if you’ve never been to an auction before you’re my best friend, because I’ll tell you to keep your hand up. I won’t miss you that way. And that way you’re continually bidding,” he jokes.

“It’s not hard to say G’day to someone, and that’s the biggest problem I find in today”

- budgie schiller

Although he may have offended some people along the way, Budgie means no harm. He’s a man with significant community spirit and always looks out for his fellow man.

“It’s not hard to say G’day to someone, and that’s the biggest problem I find in today,” Budgie says.

At one particular auction, a group of kids was playing with an old cockatoo cage and there was a perch inside that they were using for a walking stick. When the kids left it on the table, Budgie walked past and said, “Righto, we’ll sell this walking stick.” Despite objections from the crowd, he got $27 for it.

No doubt an item of comic relief on the day.

Another thing you may have noticed at Budgie’s auctions is his pulpit, which he purchased at a Eudunda auction a few years back.

“It was de-commissioned,” Budgie said, not wishing to upset anyone.

Now a pulpit on wheels, thanks to the skills of a mate, it acts as an ideal vantage point during auctions, elevating Budgie above the crowd.

The pulpit even made it to last year’s Eudunda Christmas Street parade, towed by a lawn mower, and it took out best presented float in the Morgan parade.

Known for his undeniable charisma and community spirit, Budgie is often approached to host charity auctions, which he excels at. At present he’s hosting a GoFundMe auction for prostate cancer.

Ultimately, Budgie admits that he and the helpers get just as much out of it as the charities as they give, by just being a part of it.

“Doesn’t matter what the cause, we have a lot of fun. For breast cancer I even got dressed up in a pink tutu,” Budgie said with a chuckle.

Become a partner of The Barossa Mag

Get in Touch

Leave your details here and we will get in touch with you...