MOOOVING ON: David Francis from RF Duncan and Co checks out the stock at the CQLX Saleyards at Gracemere yesterday.
MOOOVING ON: David Francis from RF Duncan and Co checks out the stock at the CQLX Saleyards at Gracemere yesterday. Allan Reinikka Rokadavid

Auctioneer going, going... gone

DAVID Francis hung up his hat yesterday and said goodbye to the cattle.

He finished off his 46th year as an auctioneer with some of the best prices the saleyards had ever seen.

South Australian-born David got his start in the rural scene when he was just a lad.

"My start in the industry was very strange because I was city born and bred and that doesn't usually happen," David said.

"I was looking through the paper and saw an ad for work at Elders and thought I'd give it a go."

David landed his first gig as an auctioneer in Adelaide in 1969 before moving to Goondiwindi in 1978 where he expanded his knowledge of the industry.

He said he made his way up to Queensland, spending time in Emerald before making his final move to the Beef Capital.

"I started work with Elders in Rockhampton in May of 1992 and took over in June of the same year," he said.

David, who has been a large presence in the rural community, auctioneered his last sales yesterday.

He said prices were as good as he'd ever seen and it was great to go out on such a high.

"The market is strong right now; it's the best prices I've ever seen out there," David said.

"It's much nicer ringing people with good prices rather than bad ones."

David said around this time last year people were practically giving cattle away and it was nice to see graziers being rewarded for their hard work.

"When times are tough, my job gets hard," he said.

"You hurt as much as the graziers hurt when you call with bad prices."

David said it had been a long but good journey.

"I consider every week a highlight when I get to sell other people's cattle," he said.

"It has been a rewarding journey and I've gotten to know a massive number of people."

David said he was retiring due to health issues and was selling his business to a keen young man.

"I'm sad to leave. When it's been your life for 40 odd years it's a part of you," David said.

"However I am happy to be leaving when the job is good and prices are high."

The big sell

David made his start at Elders

He then managed Elders before moving to another company

David now owns RF Duncan and Co and will soon sell up

Great career: