The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Discussion of any bush poetry topic.
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Shelley Hansen
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley Hansen » Wed Nov 10, 2021 5:21 pm

Never ceases to amaze me, Gary, how the pioneering couples raised huge families in these humpies! Can you imagine it happening these days??
Shelley Hansen
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Gary Harding
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Wed Nov 10, 2021 7:16 pm

Hi Shelley,

My next-door neighbour Grahame Price who is very "Maryborough" is my antiques restoration adviser. He built a "humpy" similar to that one shown in my previous post, on his home property! (see pic of it). It is mostly for having fun gatherings of his mates.

Also I was thinking of getting a genuine "thunderbox" just like his (see pic) which being Grahame is absolutely original, right down to the newspaper hanging as toilet paper.

However, we are not a stock standard Heritage Village.. and is it really Australian "Architecture"? High Culture?

Now I am not a snob by a long way.. but one must draw the line somewhere, I think.

On reflection, some might say "Yes, do it!", but being conservative and old fashioned by upbringing, I think in a "Cultural" Centre a Thunderbox might be a bit .."off"... shall we say?

Some smarty or school-kid is bound to use it.... and emptying pans is not my speciality.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley Hansen » Thu Nov 11, 2021 9:28 pm

Hi Gary

That's amazing! Grahame Price used to be a neighbour of ours over 20 years ago!!

When we built our previous house in 1981, our suburb of Tinana was not sewered. Most houses had septic but the cost of installing a septic system was quite high. The local authorities guaranteed that sewerage would be installed within 6 months, so we invested in a dinkum dunny to bridge the gap. Two years later ...

Eventually our suburb did move into the modern world - but in the interim it gave us much amusement to see the looks on people's faces when, on visiting our brand new home, they asked to use the convenience and were directed to the backyard!!

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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Gary Harding
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:17 pm

Yes Shelley ..it is such a small town Maryborough-Hervey Bay! John Meyers (Military Museum), together with Chris who makes models also from the Museum, were out here a few month ago too. It was Rick from ABC Radio who recommended we all get together. Anyway I remembered John from Pricey's annual Christmas gatherings in Tinana where once John took along a genuine VC and I touched it! Might bring me some courage perhaps? What an honour. :)

We were delighted to receive the donation of a 1950-vintage Singer treadle sewing machine which we then proceeded to restore to its former glory.
This further motivated us to develop a presentation about the Culture of Home Sewing in Australia. Taking the needle out might allow guests to sit at it and treadle?! That's good fun and hands-on.

Colourful ladies' magazines like those shown in previous posts featuring the latest fashions, inspired a booming culture of domestic sewing using the Singer 'Treadly'.

Sewing reference books and the availability of paper patterns assisted even the novice home-dressmaker to create her own garments. The Singer Treadle Sewing Machine was the most faithful ‘assistant’ the home seamstress in Australia could have had. My mother had one.

The tables by themselves with their lacework-style cast-frames are nice decorator items and it is not unusual to see them at fabric or dress shops as novelty items. They have real character, don't they?

I understand that one might well come across a restaurant in Vietnam or the East, using lots of them as trendy coffee tables. One presumes that more labour-efficient and versatile modern machines have overtaken and released them from service. At least with this humble use, their longevity is assured.

It is another interesting aspect for The Australian Cultural Centre. Great fun... for everyone. :)
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sat Nov 27, 2021 6:08 am

Here (below in .png and .jpg) are some larger poster-boards that I am currently constructing for inclusion in the The Australian Cultural Centre (Australian Wine).
One might recognize that Wine, like beer in a previous post, has an important place too in Australian Culture and society. More so today than in the first half of last century.

There are even Wine Bars today.

When I was young, my father did some consulting work for the late Eddie Baitz (Baitz liqueurs and wines) and I can remember Dad coming home with boxes of fashionable Moselle and Riesling. This was well before the days of the smokey-tasting, trendy Chardonnay.
Thus at a too-early age perhaps, I had the experience at home of having a bottle of wine on the table for every evening meal. It was poured with great ceremony and meticulously shared out. A negative effect of that situation was to cast wine's image for me as being something of which each drop was precious. In turn, the influence of that was unhelpful when one was trying to study at uni and one's fellow engineering students fancied they had a reputation to maintain as heavy imbibers.
Unsurprisingly, less than 1/4 of hopefuls got through the course. (I scraped through)


I understand that Australian wines are of excellent quality and are highly regarded internationally. I will have to take the word of others for that because I am a cask man myself. Even then, after the first glass they all taste much the same (they probably are anyway). Sadly therefore, I cannot claim any snobbery even among the "cask-connoisseur set".

And yet here I am having the nerve to step up and do an Australian wine presentation as a national cultural aspect!

Anyway... I don't know, but the sentiments expressed on these three large display boards for the Cultural Centre seem quite reasonable??
.... or are they a bit.. counter-cultural? :) :)
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Shelley Hansen » Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:49 pm

Interesting about both the wine and the sewing, Gary.

I still have my Mum's Singer - it is not a treadle, but electric with a knee lever control, dating from the 1940s. Quite innovative in its day! It still sews, although I don't use it these days.

Mum sewed all her clothes and mine on it, including my wedding dress! It even mended mats and canvas when required.

I still have sewing books like that too - the fashions may have changed, but the basic sewing principles have not.

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Wed Dec 01, 2021 10:30 am

The Beacon Magazine likes to produce a Christmas edition each year.

The latest issue 25 on-line contains on pages 36 - 37 a nicely presented and very moving bush ballad entitled A Bush Christmas

https://thebeacon.com.au/magazine-publications/

This bush ballad tells the story of a surprise visit by Santa to a poor Australian family.

The resultant joy for the children that is recreated in words is heart-warming and very emotional.

I firmly believe that poems like this one capture the real meaning of Christmas. Only ballads can do that.

It is how I remember Christmas as a child. The love and absolute joy... and the child's simple faith and belief in Santa.

By coincidence, the graphic artist Ali used as a background A Settler's Hut extremely close to what we are attempting to assemble ourselves right now as I type, on a 1 : 10 scale. More on the progress of that interesting exercise later on.
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Sat Dec 11, 2021 7:37 am

The Warrumbungle Mare. (see pics below) by Charles Shaw

This slender volume of Bush Verse was published in 1943 Price 3/-

My copy (pictured) is in excellent condition. I avoid copies of any publications that have unsightly cover stains etc.

The inside cover notes say :

"This author, Charles Shaw, is well known to Australian readers as "Old Timey," of The Bulletin, in which paper these poems were originally published. They are truly Australian in every sense of the word and present the bush and the outback in many moods.
There's a lilt and a swing to each line that will make this author's work very popular among all who love Australia
."

I recall having seen the title-poem listed as being recited in a performance competition somewhere and can imagine that it would be popular.
The well-known and accomplished artist Reg Poole obviously likes it a lot and performs it on his cd's etc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2gnkjaj8dI

The chords are available from the internet, as is the entire poem for anyone who would like to read it.

.. extract from To An Old Mate... Charles Shaw

"We used to ride on an old bay hack,
When the mornings were cold and clear
Down by the creek and follow the track
To the ford by the wooden weir.
Then up by the fallow, fresh and brown,
To laugh at the wattle-birds' cries,
As we kicked the gelding and galloped down
To the old bush school on the rise.
......
The gelding is dust, and dust are the czars,
And fiddle and flute are still.
Nobody cares to look at the stars
Or the lonely wreck on the hill.
The little bush school has seen its day,
But present and past have their ties,
And we'll go, when next you come our way,
To the old bush school on the rise
."

We have a really lovely display for the Australian Cultural Centre based on the theme The Old Bush School. It includes such high-quality ballads.

My Best Christmas Wishes to all fellow ABPA Members. And to others who are not members, why not dig deep now and for a mere $45 (including magazine) you can genuinely support in 2022 the wonderful literary scene that you must adore so much .. even from overseas ... otherwise you would not be here!? Then photos can be viewed too.

I humbly trust that these voluntary posts over the past year, and before, have brought some pleasure to readers.

Merry Christmas and a 2022 full of successes! Gary
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Mon Jan 03, 2022 6:01 am

Banjo Paterson first published Old Bush Songs in 1905.
In celebration of that achievement, we have completed an attractive presentation of it for the proposed Australian Cultural Centre.

In the photo below, the book on the right has a cover illustration by Percy Lindsay, one of the three famous artist brothers. (Lionel and Norman)
Our central label features some lines from Banjo's preface to his book.

"There are many Australians who will be reminded by these songs of the life of the shearing sheds, the roar of the diggings townships and the campfires of the overlanders"

My first exposure to bush songs was in the Monash Bushwalking Club. It was also a school for those who later contributed significantly to Australian folk music and to bushwalking. I recall people like Sandra Bardwell, Keith McKenry, Helen and Keith Seddon, Ian Enting, John Ryder, Charlie Gunst, Geoff Cope (canoeing).

There were lots of songs around the campfires then.. which of course is how many of those songs were passed down through the generations.

Also pictured is our attractive 1984 boxed-set of Old Bush Songs including a cassette of a genuine bush band (Speewah) playing the tunes.
(Professor) Graham Seal from W.A. produced it. It helps to brings Banjo's songs into modern times.

I think that people generally feel comfortable in seeing things they recognise or relate to, so where more recent items like "cassettes" can be included, then they help to remove that mental dividing-wall between Then and Now. Wonderful Australian culture in its many forms is surely with us today, just as much as it was in "the days of long ago"?
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Re: The Spoken Word in Bush Poetry

Post by Gary Harding » Thu Jan 06, 2022 4:58 pm

Recently gifted to the Australian Cultural Centre project is a military shirt from WW2 that belonged to Leonard Baker who was a soldier.
Also gifted (among other things) was a bound summary of Len's own wartime experiences in Greece.. and lastly as a POW in Stalag XXa in northern Poland where he was an enforced guest of the Germans. This book was produced by his son Colin and we are delighted to own a copy of such a precious item.

This was the result of chatting to Colin at his garage sale and explaining to him what we were trying to do.

The military history book Diggers and Greeks (pictured) actually has Len's photo on the cover!

While we are not a military museum, Culture is a flexible word that we feel quite at liberty to define ourselves.

After some discussion, it was decided to include a presentation of Australians At War.. albeit on an extremely concise basis. It is all too easy to get carried away in this fascinating field. I have a very large collection of military books and this will be useful in showing this important Australian cultural aspect.

What will 2022 bring for the Australian Cultural Centre Project?

We have well and truly opened the lid on Australian Culture and found it to be a treasure trove with a huge amount to offer. It can be made to be Entertaining and to have Fun. Not to lecture people and to overwhelm them with factual stuff...but to actually establish a memorable, fabulous, educational and sensory experience... and by keeping governments well away, non-politicised too! :)
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