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metadata.territorywomen.dc.title: Alexa Bates
Name: Bates, Alexa
Also known as: Cockpit Annie
Darby Munro
Simmons, Alexa
Bush Missus
Place of Birth: Adelaide (S.A.)
Date of Birth: 1915-01-01
Occupation: Storekeeper
Post Mistress
Fuel agent
Government Adminstration
Biographical notes: Alexa Simmons accepted a job at Victoria River Downs (VRD) in the Territory which at the time was the largest cattle station in the world joining her sister Natalie who was the governess there. In Alexa’s duties were storekeeper, post mistress and fuel agent. As the fuel agent this meant helping the pilots in their pre-take off checks. When the MMA Avro Ansons refuelled she sat in the cockpit and “fiddled with the switches” while the pilot turned the propeller and it was also her job to place tarpaulins at each end of the air strip to let the pilots know it was safe to land. In the Easter of 1949 Alexa and her sister where invited to the annual muster at Dashwood Crossing where they helped bring in the 40,000 or so head of cattle from each of the six VRD station camps, both of them were competent riders and they helped with the cutting out at the muster. Alexa entered and won the five women’s races at the VRD’s first picnic races and the open race. She met George Bates they married in the Christ Church Cathedral, Darwin on the 20 September 1949 and had four children they lived at remote Mount Sanford Station on the VRD left there in 1958 she was only the second white woman ever to live there After her marriage, Alexia and George moved to a Mistake Creek near the Western Australia border for a year and then onto Beswick Station for twelve years, eventually moving to Darwin where Alexa gained employment with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.
Related Materials: Bates, A. (1948). Cudgerie the bush missus [manuscript]. 2002. NTC B636.213 BATE
Dahlenburg, Terry. "21 Territory Years: Alexa Bates tells her story", The Northern Territory News, 27 October 1979, p.20-21.
Dahlenburg, Terry. "21 Territory Years in the Territory", The Northern Territory News, 3 November 1979, p.21.
Dahlenburg, Terry. "Galah time in the bush", The Northern Territory News, 10 November 1979, p.21.
Dahlenburg, Terry. "21 Years in the NT", The Northern Territory News, 17 November 1979, p.30.
Appears in Collections:Territory Women

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