The State Member for Mount Isa and former Mayor of the city, Angelo Bertoni, introduced Bill Aplin's book Out in The Great North West by reminding readers of the toil, tears and sweat of the old 'bushies' who gave colour to the region.
Mr Bertoni said they would never be forgotten while writers like Aplin kept their tales alive.
"These were the people, 'characters' if you wish, who helped make Australia what it is today," Mr Bertoni said at the launch of the book.
The daily diet of mutton and damper has been replaced with beef, fruit and vegetables.
The ringers and stockmen and their horses have been largely replaced with helicopters, motor bikes and fourwheel drive vehicles - but this land, The Great North West, is still the same - hard and cruel.
Burned by the sun and flooded by the occasional 'wet', the real 'characters' of the bush, though diminished in numbers, are still the same, always willing to tell a yarn in the pubs.
Most of Aplin's stories are true, yet today, they seem to be a bit 'far fetched'.
The mateship of the bush and people like the 'bloody kids' who grew up in the bush, educated themselves the hard way and dragged themselves up by the seat of their britches to become magistrates, solicitors, teachers, and men of the cloth.
Bill Aplin, a local raconteur, restaurateur and former policeman, first heard these tales when as a small boy, he delighted in listening to the stories of teamsters, drovers, shearers and stockmen, many of them have been told and retold by generations of bushmen.
Here are two of Bill Aplin's tales from Out in the Great North West
A Well Marked Road
A bookmaker and the bookmaker's clerk drove out to attend a race meeting in a small settlement about eighty miles away.
Had a good day at the racetrack and celebrated it by having an even better night at the small hotel.
By the time they decided to leave for home, both were much the worse for wear.
Before their departure, they staged a great show before the other drinkers, each insisting that he must drive, as the other was in far too drunken a condition.
But at last the argument was settled, and they got into the car, and set out for home.
The driving was along a well graded dirt road, and as they settled back deep into the upholstery, quite comfortably, one remarked to the other ...
"The Main Roads have done a good job of this road it's well graded all the way."
"Yes," said the other, "and look at all the signposts they've put up too. They've done a real good job."
They drove along for hours, but still saw no sign of their destination.
"We should be getting near home by now," said one.
"Yes," said the other. "Other there is another signpost ... let's have a look at it."
One got out of the car, and walked over to the post. He struck a match and held it up near the sign.
The sign read - 7 FURLONGS.
In the grey light of the dawn, across the race track they had been driving around all night, they could see the outlines of the hotel they had left the previous evening .....
Size in all things is relative, in fishing it is even more so.
The fisherman who pulled in a twelve-inch trout would no doubt be delighted, but he would probably not be so ecstatic over a twelve inch reef fish or game fish.
The waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria have been judged by experienced fishermen as being the best in the world, and from the results sometimes achieved, the claim would appear to be well substantiated.
The fish don't always appear to be hungry, and they don't always bite well, but fishing would not be the entrancing sport it is, if the quarry were caught too easily.
Given the right time and tide, and it would be a difficult man indeed who would not be delighted with the results.
With this information in mind, a group of keen amateur fishermen pulled up in their vehicle outside the hotel in a small town near the shores of the Gulf.
A group of locals in the bar looked out and noted the new four wheel dive, the trailer and power boat, and the vehicle and hood rack packed with gaffs, expensive fishing rods, and all the odds and ends accumulated by the avid amateur fisherman.
The visitors entered the bar and ordered beer.
It had been a long haul from the last pub, and as the icy liquid cooled parched throats, smiles and contented looks appeared on their faces.
The locals did not look too happy, however.
"By Jeez ..," said one, "fishin's been crook lately. Day before yesterday, I only got a four inch one."
"I did a bit better than that," said another local, "I caught a six inch one."
"I can beat you blokes," said local number three, "This morning I got a nine inch one."
The visitors seemed to wilt.
Their faces lengthened, and the happy contented looks and smiles disappeared.
The beer seemed to have suddenly turned sour.
At last one of the visitors said ...
"Excuse me, but how do you measure your fish? From nose to tail?"
"Oh, Christ, no!" chorused the locals.
"We measure 'em between the eyes."
Bill Aplin concluded, "The Great North West is a great country and we, as Australians, should know more about it!"
But it was left to Angelo Bertoni to remind readers of Aplin's book that those 'bloody kids' grew up to lay the foundation of a culture and race of people respected throughout the world and known to all as those ... 'BLOODY AUSSIES'.
Researched by Kim-Maree Burton www.kimmareeburton.com
Extract from 'Out In The Great North West' written by Bill Aplin.
Thank you to Bill Aplin's daughter, Wilma, for permission to reprint these stories.