Camels were brought to Australia because they could carry loads of up to 600 pounds over long distances with little food or water over almost any terrain. Saleh (Charlie) Sadadeen was a legendary cameleer, who came to Alice Springs in the early 1900s, carrying loads for local farmers and businesses on his herd of 60 beasts. He had a beautiful garden. People would come just to look at it. In 1884 nearly three hundred camels and fifty-six Afghans were landed at Port Augusta. The largest group landed in 1893 when four hundred camels and ninety-four men disembarked. Afghans provided almost all goods and services from South Australia to the Northern Territory.
On a regular basis they left Marree with their camel teams on the long journey for Stuart, which was later renamed Alice Springs. When the railhead had reached Oodnadatta the camel teams embarked on their journey to Alice from there instead of Maree. A lasting legacy of the Afghans are the date palms which they planted wherever they went and the Great Southern Railways 'The Ghan' which was named after them.
Three famous cameleers are 'Abdul Khalick', 'Sallay Mahomet' and 'William Satour'. Our school's sporting house teams are named after these cameleers. William Satour had a lease on land in Sadadeen Valley but got into a bit of mischief and lost his lease. Sallay Mahomet caught and tamed camels, he even took some to Saudi Arabia as a gift to the king. Abdul Khalick had his own camel train and transported goods from South Australia to the centre until the railway opened in 1929.