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Boondooma's Balladeer

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:58 pm
by thestoryteller
Boondooma's Balladeer

© Bush Poet and Ballad Writer -Merv Webster

Boondooma Homestead was the centre of the original Boondooma Station, which was settled in 1846 by three young Scotsmen. It was originally bounded by the hill east of Proston, Brovinia Creek to the north, Darr Creek to the south, and the Dividing Range to the west – a total of nearly 1,000 square miles. The homestead is one of the few remaining examples of an elegant wooden home built 1854-55. Visitors can walk through several buildings constructed in the 1850s, and spend time in the gardens, enjoying trees and vines also dating from the 1850s. Many/some people find connections with family members who lived or worked on Boondooma Station in years gone by. South-east Queensland's premier balladeers' event is held every year to coincide with Heritage Weekend. It is held over five days, and always includes the fourth Saturday of April. The first ‘Spirit of the Bush Balladeers' Muster’ was held in 2001. Work had started to restore the Stone Store and the Homestead. So, Buddy Thomson [left] and his partner Lynne Bennett, being Bush Balladeers, organised this event as a fund-raiser for Boondooma Homestead. Six caravans arrived. Additional visitors stayed for the whole day and were entertained by balladeers who donated their time, free of charge.

It was such a success, that it grew to a five day event. There is bush camping for 700-800 vans. The Poets' Breakfast begins each day, followed by invited artists and walk-up performers. There is only one stage, so most artists give only two items at a time and return later. There are various stalls and displays. Volunteers prepare and cook a variety of food which are available for sale all day. We also operate a bar for a faithful few. In the old homestead we display entries for our competitions for Art, Poetry, and Photography. (There is always a section for photos taken at the Boondooma Homestead complex.) Another popular event is the walk-up poetry and balladeers contest held on the front verandah of the homestead. This muster is always held on the week that includes Anzac Day. We have a good turn-out with a marching line that is long, and speeches that are short. On the Sunday we have an old-time church service at the homestead, with old hymns. My tribute to Buddy was recorded on the Storyteller album.