From daily bus rides beyond Bourke, to a naval life on submarines, and now travelling the world with his global business, Ted Egan was always going to do something special with his life. It was clearly ordained from the time he was a boy, with early influencers like bush artist Pro Hart, Senator Neville Bonner, Dr Fred Hollows and the world’s most famous and loved nun, Mother Teresa.
Ted recalls that “Mother Teresa came to Bourke to set up a charity and visited often, to spend time with the sisters of the local Catholic order; to help disadvantaged children both aboriginal and white.”
Bourke was the ‘big smoke’ for Ted as a boy – he lived a hundred kilometres north-west of Bourke on a small sheep and cattle station. As he notes, “the closest town was Enngonia and I think I’m related to just about everyone in the local cemetery.”
The most famous names to come out of Enngonia – before Ted – were both bushrangers in the 1860s. One, known as Midnight, was shot and killed nearby while stealing horses, and Frank Pearson, known as Captain Starlight, shot a local constable in the pub.
It’s extremely likely Ted’s ancestors had run-ins with both villains given “the family was around the district for a long, long time. I had relatives on farms and in the town, where they ran a few businesses like the post office and the hotel.”
Ted remembers that “when the post office burnt down, in the 1950s I think, some of those relatives moved to the city and some stayed. I felt like I was related to everyone in Bourke, Enngonia and the districts all around.”