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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:50 am 
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Location: Bargara, Queensland.
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ACKNOWLEGEMENTS

Since releasing Your Joking! Milk in Billy Tea in 2000, I have enjoyed gathering the material for the poems and yarns you are about to read. In January Chris and I took our show, Laughter and Tears from the Bush, to the streets of Tamworth during the Country Music Festival and enjoyed sharing one of our oldest art forms with the many folk who gathered in front of Grace Bros. keen to listen to a bit of good old Australiana. We were finalists in two categories in the Bush Laureate Awards with my book Laughter and Tears from the Bush and our first album, Chris and The Grey – A Selection of Bush Verse.

In April 2000 we took to the road and performed our show at Roma’s Easter in the Country festival in western Queensland. We then joined many of Australia’s bush bards down at Yarrawonga-Mulwala on the Murray River for the Australian Bush Poetry Championships. Chris entered her first written competition and took out the serious section as well as taking second place for the performance of original verse. My role as MC was less nerve racking then being a competitor and it was great to be able to contribute to the art form in a different format. I did defend my yarn spinning title from the year before and was runner up.

We returned to the Homestead Caravan Park in Barcaldine where we stayed until June when it changed hands and then moved down to the Bailey Bar Caravan Park in Charleville. It is such a wonderful venue as people from all over Australia, as well as overseas visitors, join us each evening to share the stories of this great country we live in.

In 2001 we again returned to Tamworth with our show and also went back to Roma’s Easter Festival. Charleville was base again during the winter months and the response from the crowds was tremendous. Bush Poetry and yarn spinning is still very much alive and enjoyed by the hordes of outback travellers as they venture up the Matilda Highway in western Queensland. Enjoy the spirit of the bush in Excuse Me! It’s the Gidyea.

Merv Webster
The Goondiwindi Grey

FOREWORD

I first met the 'The Goondiwindi Grey', Merv Webster, back in my home town of Roma, Queensland, where every year The Easter in the Country festival is held. He'd been down at a Poet's breakfast entertaining the visitors and locals with his show of bush verse and yarns which portray the Laughter & Tears from the Bush. He turned up later that day at the country music festival where I'd been performing my then brand new single, 'Rose & Rodeo'. Merv wandered over with a collection of his poems which he thought might interest me.

After reading his two latest books I realised here was a man who shared with me the same appreciation of our wonderful country and its people and those who have shaped the nation and those who carry on the Australian way of life. His stories and poems reflect the true Aussie characters - the stockman, the larrikin, the soldier, the station cook and so many more. They'll make you laugh, make you cry and make you think. But most importantly they will open your eyes and imagination to our unique culture.

Too often we are caught up in today's whirlwind of globalisation, but it's people like Merv who help keep us grounded. A fair dinkum down to earth bloke following the traditions of Banjo and Henry. The Grey's knack for storytelling, yarn spinning and poetry will keep alive for generations to come all those things that make us Australian.

Enjoy, Excuse Me! It's The Gidyea.

Singer - Songwriter
Brendon Walmsley

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:02 pm
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Location: Bargara, Queensland.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

It was some fourteen years ago that I penned my first rhyming bush poem called “The Beneficial Duffing”. I had no idea back then that writing bush poetry would become one of the major influences in my life and take me to so many places and win me so many awards. It has enabled me to meet some wonderful folk who, like me, have a great love of storytelling and preserving the culture of our country.

The early rhyming poets such as Paterson, Lawson, Ogilvie, O’Brien and C.J. Dennis, to name a few, left us a wonderful legacy in their works. They preserved for us, through their verses, the wonderful tales of the Australian way of life of their day and portrayed the true-blue Aussie character we have come to know and love so well, incorporating the tragedy and humour that was so much a part of everyday living. This tradition has been carried down to our day and the resurgence of bush poetry, whether in written form or through performance poetry, now enthrals crowds who share their favourite verses around the campfire, nursing homes or gather at bush poet’s breakfasts, competitions and shows throughout Australia.

This is now my eighth book of verse and yarns and I have had the opportunity to be a finalist in the Golden Gumleaf Bush Laureate Awards on three occasions at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Many of our poems have now been included on four CDs, as well as being sung as bush ballads on my EP/CD, “The Bushman and The Balladeer”, tributes to R.M. Williams and Slim Dusty. My last book, “A Muster of Australiana”, was well received and I have now put together a collection of poems penned since its release. My thanks goes to my wife Chris who now joins me recording our works as well as performing our show, “Laughter & Tears From The Bush”, and whose support I have greatly appreciated .
My thanks to photographer, Tom Keating who allowed me to use his photo, Two Blokes Having A Yarn, that portrays so well what bush poetry is all about and to Geoffrey for his foreword, Carol Hutcheson for her editing skills and all the folk who have supported Chris and myself over the years as we have endeavoured to do our bit in Keeping the Culture..

Merv Webster
The Goondiwindi Grey


FOREWORD

I learnt my first ‘Banjo’ Paterson poem: ‘The song of the wheat’ at the age of 9, and that was the start of a long relationship with Australian Bush Poetry. Over the last 35 years I have performed extensively throughout Australia and have worked full-time in the entertainment and acting industry for over 20 years. This has led me to all parts of the country and caused me to cross paths with many other performers; performing on stage with the likes of Normie Rowe, Slim Dusty, Smoky Dawson and many others. The last twelve years in particular have seen an amazing resurgence of bush poetry and as such has brought many quality bush poets out on the Hustings. One such poet is a bloke by the name of Merv Webster. A familiar face at many festivals he is one of the hardest working blokes I know. If working the streets is serving your apprenticeship then Merv and his long suffering lady Chris have well and truly paid their dues. Long after other performers have packed up their swags, you’ll find them out there on the night horse of Bush Poetry. The many awards Merv has won over the years attest to his dedication to the genre of Bush Poetry and the determination to keep progressing as a performer and a writer. His passion of all things Australian and love for the bush and its characters are evident in the ingredients and style of his poems. Ever a thirst for more knowledge of this great country, he is intent on bringing his verse to other Australians and infecting them with his passion. His works range from poignant poems to make the toughest shed a tear to verse which will bring the sternest undone. Not just verse but also in the area of the great Australian yarn complete with the mischievous, cheeky Aussie we all love. Now delving into the arena of songs, his verse transposes well and will do much to remedy the attempted foreign takeover of our culture and our heritage. His work has also meant he has created a plethora of books and CDs, and I consider it a privilege to be asked to write a foreword for yet another great Aussie book of verse and yarns, appropriately entitled Keeping the Culture.

Keep up the good work, mate,


Geoffrey Walker Graham

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:02 pm
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Location: Bargara, Queensland.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Like all small children, I too loved to listen to the traditional fairy stories of old, but as I grew older I began to relish the true to life experiences, as told by our historians, motion pictures, novelists, songwriters and balladeers, of those who pioneered this great nation and helped make it what it is today.

Sometimes I have almost wished I could have been a part of that history, though doubt I may have been made of that sterner stuff, which was required.

I am also grateful to all the early poets, The Anons, Gordon, Lawson, Paterson, Ogilvie, Mackellar, C.J. Dennis, John O'Brien and Kath Walker, to mention just a few, who through their word pictures captured the everyday activities of their times and helped preserve the character of this great nation.

Our modern era of poets have been my inspiration as well and all, in their own distinctive style, have continued to keep that spirit alive today.

I, for my part, have resigned to write and perform works about the Australia that I know and love.

Since riding down the route of bush verse and yarns I have published six volumes of works and have decided to muster a few favourites and draft them into the one holding paddock.

My thanks to the late Keith Garvey for being my initial inspiration.

Carmel Randle for her Help! book, which encouraged me to work on the ABC's of rhyming verse.

Neil McArthur, Bob Miller, Marco Gliori, Gary Fogarty, Bobbie Buchanan, Brendon Walmsley and Ted Egan for their words of encouragement in the forewords of my books and also Ellis Campbell for being my literary friend.

Also Mark Coombe for permission to use his photo, Waiting for the Chopper [A Taste of the Land] for the cover of my book.

Also my peers, who thought my work worthy of the awards I have received, and the public who have supported me, and last, but not least, my dear wife Chris, who eventually joined me in my love of bush verse and who has been my constant companion as we have taken our show, 'Laughter & Tears From The Bush,' to all those who love to pull up a stump and listen.

I look forward to your company as you browse through this lot of Australiana.

Merv Webster

FOREWORD

I love people who believe in themselves and have a good go at things that suits their talents. It is a delight to see the way Merv [The Goondiwindi Grey] and Chris take their show Laughter and Tears from the Bush around Australia, charming people with their great range of poetry and yarns. I know good performers when I see them, and here are a couple of the best.

No wonder Merv sold all copies of his first six books and had to reprint. Merv and Chris now present this fine collection, A Muster of Australiana, to give readers a taste of all their earlier books. I am certain that readers will derive as much pleasure as I have had from reading, first, the fascinating Biography “In Days Gone By” and then the selection of poems, the best, from the six previous titles.

What a good idea. What a bargain. The poetry ranges right through the emotional scale. You’re laughing out loud one minute, reflecting the next and occasionally wiping a tear. That’s what good poetry’s all about.

This book to me is an ideal companion to their very well-produced CD, Pull Up a Stump and Listen and I congratulate Chris and Merv Webster. It’s very Australian, and that suits me.

Ted Egan AM
Alice Springs

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:02 pm
Posts: 621
Location: Bargara, Queensland.
All the above publications are now out of print and I appreciate the support of all those folk who purchased a copy.

For those of you who may enjoy my works you can have the opportunity to read their contents at your leisure.

I have taken the time to compile all of my works into one compilation called "Ballads, Verse & Yarns - The Collection - 1994 -2016".

Something for my children and friends to keep.


Merv Webster

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:02 pm
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Location: Bargara, Queensland.
Well we're galloping through 2017 already and Chris and I hope that you all enjoy your writings and the opportunity to perform the verses around the ridges.

Take care.


Merv and Chris Webster.

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