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Australiana

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A LEGENDARY RHYME

 The wonderful poem 'The Man from Snowy River' written by Banjo Paterson is a favourite with many Australians, occasionaly being the only poem some individuals would ever admit to recognising!  It was one my mother was often requested to read but it did raise a few questions  in my mind - How come this  pony, described as being so courageous,  had to be spurred viciously until it¹s sides were torn and bleeding from hip to shoulder?

Published:

2003..

Published with other poems  from the Snowy Mountains from competition entries 1995 -2002 at  'The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival held at Corryong , Victoria. Book is 'Jack Riley , Bushman Game' at The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival' .

 

A LESSON OF LOVE

I think these verses explain themselves. We all need to know more about our own country Only this year, 2001,   I read a letter in our local paper from a secondary student regretting that she had been taught so little about Australian history.

Published:

1996..

The Bronze Swagman , Book of Bush Verse

 

AND ALL THE HORSES

Thousands of Australian horses have served overseas in times of war. I believe only one (named Sandy) was brought back home after World War 1 as a symbol and recognition of the courageous contribution the Walers had made to the war effort. On learning that the horses would not be returned to their homeland most were put down by their owners, as they did not wish to leave their faithful comrades to face an uncertain future in uncaring hands.

Published:

1997..

The Wangaratta Chronicle

 

ANZAC GLORY

'There was no glory, there is no glory in War -'

Published:

1989..

Dinkum Aussie - Australian Bush Verse. Apex Club of Kyabram .

 

AUSTRALIA  DAY - 1993

Written after attending Australia Day Ceremonies in Wangaratta,  26/01/1993. In recent years we have often gone to the flag raising ceremony held in Gunhouse Park, El Dorado (postponed in 2003 because of bushfires). Usually a few speeches,   a recognition of the local Citizen of the Year,   entertainment provided by some local musician and a delicious meal prepared by the Eldorado C.W.A.(Country Women's Association), and a chance to catch up with people of the district.

Sometimes I wonder if our Australia Day should be held on another date.  There are fewer Public Holidays in the latter part of the year,  also this important event occurs in the summer school holidays so there isn¹t much chance for teachers to include discussion and participation with their pupils on a 'be proud of Australia' theme. Our children need to know our history, our wonderful achievements,  to recognise our past mistakes and learn from them.

The descendents of the original inhabitants of this country sometimes refer to the date as 'Invasion Day'  - hardly a reason to celebrate. For  most of those first white people arriving here,  too,  it was a day of extreme misery,  having been sent to the ends of the earth for sometimes quite minor offences, often treated cruelly by the system and understandably doubtful they would ever see friends or family again.

 So, what day would I suggest?  Wattle Day!  It used to be celebrated on 1st. September many years ago. Some variety of wattle can be found blooming in every State at any given time.  It is the beautiful emblem of our beautiful country and what better way to say 'thank you', Australia.

And that other event?  The first fleet arrived in Botany Bay on 20th. January, 1788,   led by Governor Arthur Phillip. The settlement moved to Sydney Cove in Port Jackson a week later where it was proclaimed on the 26th.January and the British flag hoisted. It is an important date in our country's very long history but perhaps we should  just be celebrating the very essence, characteristics and freedom that makes our loved homeland so special for all Australians.

Published:

1993..

Wangaratta Chronicle .

 

BILL DANIELS COO-EEING WOMAN

Members of our Everton Upper Community Group spoke with Mr. Bill Daniels on the 15th. December, 1994. At the time we were hoping to have a small book published relating some of the history and stories of our district. It has not eventuated as yet,   but I still have hopes that one day we will see the project go ahead.

Mr. Daniels had lived and worked right through the area for most of his life and had many interesting tales to tell. I remember seeing him pull up on the road near our house when I was a child and swap yarns with my father,   both leaning on his vehicle loaded with rabbit carcases,  several dogs running around sniffing for traces of fresh rabbit scent under nearby bushes.

He told of his encounter with the Everton Upper ghost. He had first heard of the 'ghost' many years prior to his own rather frightening  experience. The original tale was derived from an account given by a terrified Mr.Cecil Connors who swore he had been chased by a ghostly form flying, screaming behind his horse's heels, from where the road (which is now White Post Road) intersects with the Beechworth Road, right down past the Everton Upper school. Cecil was adamant that he'd been pursued by a screaming woman banshee despite some folk inferring that he may have over indulged at The Railway Hotel (near Everton Railway Station).

Bill's adventure began when he set up camp on The Three Mile or Yellow Creek (now known as Hodgson's Creek) near where the old fig tree is close to the boundary of what was the Kelty property. (c.1930's).  His peaceful night's sleep was disturbed by dreadful shrieks and shrill  demented screaming which he says he will never forget. Although an experienced bushman he could not identify the origin of that awful sound. The dog that was with him had whimpered and whined and frantically tried to get inside the tent with him. He stated,   quite straight faced,   that the animal's springy curly coat bristled straight out from it's body in very fear and never regained it's natural curl!

At some later date Bill Daniels heard Mr.Crosby Morrison, well known naturalist,  describing 'screaming woman' ghost incidents as being a vocal call of Squirrel Gliders . Apparently the Powerful Owl can also deliver a ghastly shriek and choked gurgling sound which could be attributed to an agonized human scream.

Bill always called it the 'Coo-ee-ing Woman Ghost' which seems a very mild way of describing something so horrifying!

The late Mr. Bill Daniels passed away quite a few years after this interview,   his wife having pre-deceased him. We should listen more often to the stories told by our own history makers.

Published:

26/03/1995..

Ian MacNamara (Macca)read the poem 'Bill Daniel's Coo-ee-ing Woman' on the A.B.C.'s ( Australian  Broadcasting Corporation) 'Australia all Over'  programme.

 

 

1997..

Included in book 'Macca¹s Australia', a selection of stories,poems - all sorts contributions made to the above radio programme.

 

CENSUS 2001

Most people welcomed the Census Collector, others greeted him or her with great suspicion .

Published:

2001..

September edition The Australian Bush Poets Association Inc. Newsletter

 

I HEAR THE SONGS

Aboriginal poet Kath Walker wrote of her people with humour,   sadness and a hope for a better future for white and black.  Kath Walker preferred to be known as Oodgeroo of the Noonuccal people in her later years.

Published:

1999..

Moongalba - Poems in Honour of Oogeroo . Edited by Janelle Evans .

 

MACCA'S WORLD

Australian Broadcasting Corporation presents a popular Sunday morning programme entitled 'Australia All Over',   hosted by Ian MacNamara,  usually known as 'Macca'. Callers present glimpses of life from all over Australia and from travellers and homesick expatriates dwelling overseas.  Apparently it can be picked up in many countries via the Internet and attracts a lot of interest.

 

SHOVELLIN’ SAND

In October, 1993,  vast areas of North Eastern Victoria were inundated by spreading floodwaters.  The damage was horrendous,  the bright light was the courage of the people.

Published:

1993..

Read by Peter Eustace on A.B.C. ‘Country Sunday ‘ programme, also by Peter Reynolds on Wangaratta Community Radio W.P.R.101.3 F.M. (24/10/1993).

 

 

1994..

Wangaratta Chronicle in a 'Flood Anniversary' feature

                 .

SNOWY RIVER MICRO-STORY

The local A.B.C. (Australian Broadcasting Commission -Goulburn/Murray) ran a popular competition in 2005. Writers were asked to submit short stories using just 100 words plus one word provided by the station, thus 101 words altogether. It is a tribute to the amazing imagination of the many writers that so many clever entries were received. This entry is a very shortened version of the much loved Australian poem by Banjo Paterson ‘The Man from Snowy River’. The extra word being ‘river’. A bit of friendly rivalry between my younger daughter and myself saw us each send in three entries, one of her stories awarded second place.  There are plans to run the competition again in 2006.

SPIRIT OF MATILDA for a child of  41

1995 marked the centenary celebrations of Andrew Barton Paterson's writing of the song 'Waltzing Matilda',   a little tune that will always be of special significance to Australians. We sing 'Advance Australia Fair' with pride but Waltzing Matilda will forever live in our hearts. This poem (can be sung to the Waltzing Matilda tune) endeavours to convey the importance of the song through the years, especially from the year of my own birth, 1941.

 

SPIRIT OF MATILDA for FRED WARD

Mr. Fred Ward of Gippsland was a Prisoner of War held by the Germans on the island of Crete during World War Two.   He described how the song 'Waltzing Matilda' uplifted the spirits of himself and fellow prisoners to Australian Broadcasting Commission presenter, Peter Jepparson during a radio interview, 1995.

 

THE  POST  BOY

During World Wars One and Two a shortage of manpower existed as so many able bodied young men had enlisted and were overseas or in training camps.  Much of their work was taken over very capably by youths and women.

 The Australian Women's Land Army formed in 1942,   provided an important contribution to the war effort.

Published:

2003..

The James Horan Memorial Bush Poetry Award at The John O'Brien Bush Festival, held in Narrandera , N.S.W.

 

 

2003..

June/July edition The Australian Bush Poets Association Inc. - Newsletter.

 

 

2003..

Open Written .Commended at Victorian Bush Poetry State Championships. Held in Stratford ,Gippsland , Victoria .

 

 

2003:

December edition The El Dorado and District Star.

 

WODONGA ALL OVER

The opening of the new Australian Broadcasting Corporation studios at Wodonga,  Victoria was celebrated by the presentation of the popular Sunday morning programme 'Australia all Over' from the site on 6th. October 1996.

Published:

1996..

First verse read by Ian MacNamara on A.B.C. 'Australia All Over'  broadcast 13/10/1996.