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R I P JIM HENDERSON

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:17 pm
by Jeff Thorpe
R I P JIM HENDERSON

© Jeff Thorpe 06 June 2019

Recently I came across Jim Henderson’s grave
in a lonely cemetery at Canterbury, deep in the outback,
absolute “middle of nowhere” would best describe this place
and a fenced graveyard there seemed somewhat out of whack.

Canterbury, as such, does no longer exist,
just a name on a map between Windorah and Birdsville,
all that’s left is the cemetery and ruins of a hotel
and imagination is needed to discern these ruins from landfill.

Yet, this particular grave caught my attention,
James Andrew Henderson, died 01 November 1891,
“None knew him but to love him” inscribed on his headstone,
aged only thirty-seven years, life ended almost before it had begun.

Jim was born at Tabragalba, in south east Queensland’s scenic rim,
one of six children to mother Euphemia and father James,
he was married to Teresa and had one child, a son Clifford James
born in 1888, carrying his father’s and grandfather’s names.

Jim was clearly loved, as his headstone’s writing states,
most probably etched by wife Teresa in her grief,
what took Jim’s life, was it accident or disease,
possibly the former with a life relatively brief.

Canterbury was laid out in 1884, seven years before Jim died,
the pub being established some years before,
known simply as “The J.C.” after district’s founder John Costello
a building of rammed earth construction, rich in folklore.

Was Jim Henderson a patron of the J C?
A hotel with chequered history if reports can be believed,
station owner Walter Shaffer once bought the pub, closing its doors
so his stockmen from their wages could no more be relieved.

We’ll never know ‘bout Jim and his untimely passing
writing now one twenty-eight years later,
perhaps he’d be impressed that a twenty-nineteen tourist
has shown interest enough to act as his curator.

James Andrew Henderson, you lie in splendid isolation,
the memories of good times in your life will never cease,
your gravesite has been noticed and accredited
may you continue Jim to forever rest in peace.

Re: R I P JIM HENDERSON

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:14 pm
by Shelley
Intriguing indeed, Jeff! So many unknown and untold stories out there, just itching to be told!!

Cheers
Shelley

Re: R I P JIM HENDERSON

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:56 pm
by Maureen K Clifford
An interesting history and write - so many graves litter the outback, most of them forgotten these days along with the history of who may be there, but when you can find the history behind them it is amazing the stories they tell. I love it when poets write a history like you have here. Thank you for sharing it.