9 June 2024

Queanbeyan's favourite butcher snags a surprise record

| Sally Hopman
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Butcher holding up green sausages

Queanbeyan’s Peter ‘Butcher’ Lindbeck shows off the green snags he made for the Raiders when they got into the grand final. Photo: Michael Weaver.

Peter ‘Butcher’ Lindbeck always reckoned he had a few years to go before having to plan the 100th birthday of his Queanbeyan butcher shop, Lindbeck’s Butchery.

That was until he went to a family reunion recently.

“Someone there told me the shop actually opened here in 1924. I always thought it was 1928 and that we had a bit of time to organise a shindig,” he explains.

Apparently not.

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The Butcher, as he is known, now has some serious party planning to do.

But for this local legend, he’s taking it all in his stride, spending a moment to think about days gone by when his uncles set up shop in Queanbeyan.

“My uncles Jim and Tom started it all,” he said, “after coming here from Lockhart near Wagga.

“The shop used to be on the main street, but one of the brothers moved it here in 1924, among all the red brick houses – and we’ve been here ever since.

“My Dad worked with my uncles back then. I started working here after I left school in 1977, cleaning up, that sort of thing,” before taking over from his father Bill in 1978.

With that sort of family tradition, was he ever going to do anything else in his working life?

“I did think about being a physical education teacher, but then I started helping Dad in the shop and I’ve been here for the past 46 years in this one little spot in Cooma Street.”

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Back in the 1960s, he said, there were 22 butcher shops in Queanbeyan, shops like his own, of the old-fashioned kind. There’s only a couple left.

“I guess it’s the people who’ve kept me here,” he said.

“When you run a little shop like this, you become part of people’s lives as they do of yours.

“You get to know a lot of people in this game, that’s for sure.”

The Butcher was also a great champion for his town almost a decade ago when he became a regular guest on the then Breakfast presenter Ross Solly’s program on ABC Radio.

“We used to have a lot of fun doing that,” he said. “It was never scripted. I’d go on and we’d talk sensibly at first, then it generally ended up with me just talking rubbish.”

Old black and white photo of butcher shop

The original Lindbeck family butcher shop is turning 100 this year. Photo: Facebook.

The good news is that with the return of Ross Solly to the ABC, now on the Drive program, the Butcher has already made some welcome returns – and they’re likely to continue.

“We just have so much fun doing it,” he said.

So, what’s the secret ingredient in keeping a small business alive these days? The Butcher’s as likely to divulge that secret as he is about what he puts in his famous green sausages when his beloved Raiders have a big win.

“My Dad always used to tell me that the key to success in business is that if you’re going to go broke, you’re better off selling really good stuff. Even though you go broke, your customers will remember they got really good quality from you,” he laughed.

With his wife Ruth, the couple have five children and 12 grandchildren, but Peter reckons the business will stop with him.

“I’ll be the last of the clan doing this,” he said.

“But I reckon it will go on. There’s a lot of interest in little shops like ours these days – ones that provide from paddock to plate.

“We’ll be right.”

Lindbeck’s Butchery is located at 21A Cooma St, Queanbeyan. They’re open 8 am to 6 pm weekdays, and from 7 am to 12 noon on Saturday (closed Sunday).

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