Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

June 23rd 2006
Poems by Loftus Dun

Quiet moments on a Burdekin backwater Loftus Dun writes, "I've been over fifty years now in Sydney, but much of my earlier life was spent in Ayr - where I was born in 1919. North Queensland remains strong in my happy memories, particularly Townsville and Magnetic Island. Your intention to publish some poems is commendable, and I`ll send up a few. Today, I`m sending one entitled just, 'Ayr'" His poem follows.


A jewel in the crown of the Burdekin,
A gem of the tropic north,
Well known for its water and sugar cane,
A town of undoubted worth.

It`s Ayr that most everyone`s thinking of,
It`s spelt just as `A Y R`,
But whoever`s lived in that paradise
Keeps thoughts that are never far

Away from that land of soft skies and sun,
With distances brown and wide;
It`s a thrilling part of Australia
Which can fill our hearts with pride.

It`s known for its people so warm and free,
Where everyone is a friend;
It`s loaded with kindness as far as you see,
And then on, beyond the bend.

So, when travelling wide in North Queensland,
Don`t pass by that Delta plain;
Your stay may seem short on that very first time,
But soon you`ll be back again.

Loftus Dun (02.9579.4786)


Morning comes, bright, sunny day,
With time for tea and toast
While thinking of the things
There are to do.

Daily news, a daunting task
To sort the wheat from chaff;
Do headlines tell it true,
Or is truth lost?

Now the mail, some bills to pay,
More junk to fill the bin;
One day there`ll be a note,
Meanwhile I`ll wait.

Then lunch, a sparing meal;
And now to work a bit
At balancing accounts
Against the cash.

Enough now! This isn`t all
There is to spend the time.
So much to read and know -
Days will not last.

Hours rush by; life`s so, so short;
The sadness of the world
Weighs heavily on us all.
What can be done?

Bedtime soon - a wasted day
It seems, but is that so?
There`s goodness in the thoughts
Of common man.

Loftus Dun

Women of the Bush

She says she`s of the country,
A woman from the bush;
She cares not for the city
With all its rush and push.

She`s spent her busy lifetime
On a property near Hay;
She`s heard of city comforts,
She`s seldom been away.

Those women made Australia,
And she is such a one;
They kept the homefires burning
While menfolk built the run.

A woman`s always busy
With kids and house and meals;
This country would be nothing
Except for girls like these.

So when we talk of courage
On Australia`s lonely track,
Don`t e`er forget the women
Who helped their men outback.

Loftus Dun

Our Land

Through vistas proud in purple hue,
Framed by a rich, red range,
Beyond the plains of whiten`d gums
The heat haze shimmers strange.

This land of beauty, wide and free,
A place unbounded, vast,
Which, though we count it now as ours,
Belongs yet to the past.

A hundred tribes walked through this land,
Which was their age-old home
Before the white man conquer`d it;
Those tribes still wish to roam.

Within that vastness, closely held,
Lie rocky treasures tall,
But those who really love her
Count profits ever small.

Australia`s land is precious
To people black and white,
And each can share its beauty;
Let friendship conquer might.

Loftus Dun

Queensland outback

We wandered down the Condamine,
Drawn by the tolling bell,
The ghostly drovers passing slow
With tales for all to tell.

For they had forged a new-found land,
Had moved their stock from drought,
And men and cattle blazed the trail
When doubt was all about.

Remember too the lonely life
The women had those days;
They kept the home and family close
While men-folk went their ways.

Those women toiled, some bore the babes,
They stayed with courage calm,
And prayed to God to keep their kin
From harm and bring them home.

Some others then had moved on up
From Miles and through Taroom;
They traced the Dawson`s mighty course
Where now the great herds roam.

Soon many more had ventured out
And even further north.
New towns like Charters Towers
And Georgetown showed their worth.

They even reached the northern gulf
Where Normanton and Burke`
Remind us still of Burke and Wills
And Leichhardt`s mighty work.

Those stories are well known to all
Who travel this vast land,
But settlers now who run the stock
Are those who understand.

Today in our wide country,
We`ve built a nation true,
Where people of all races
May re-start life anew.

But always let`s remember
Those heroes, white and black,
Who opened up Australia
And settled far outback.

Loftus Dun

The Bell
From a rock near the edge of a mountain,
there`s a view which I`ll know all my life,
with the scent of the flowering gum-tips
bringing mem`ries of love - and my wife,

And that bell tolling yet in the distance
cuts the wound in my heart like a knife.

Those were days of great passion and laughter;
time slipped by like a simple, sad song,
while we lived for the day and the moment,
we both knew that it could not last long

Even then was the bell tolling louder,
and I sensed that our world might go wrong.

Life is sweet, but that sweetness is fleeting,
and the warmth of one`s love might not last,
yet our lives grew so strongly together,
there could be never time when love passed;

Even though that grim bell went on ringing,
through her faltering health we held fast.

Though she`s gone, it`s not over or lessened,
in vast space still her spirit soars free,
and our love spreads and strengthens forever,
bringing pure peace for her and for me;

Hark that bell tolling sadly, now softly,
but remember, it tolls too for thee.

From a rock near the edge of the mountain,
there`s a view which I`ll know all my life,
with the scent of the flowering gum-tips
bringing mem`ries of love - and my wife,

And we merge in that beautiful sunset
while the bell peals our love and her life.

Loftus Dun

This was written a long time ago, just before most of the boys went off to war - but the readers should find it interesting. As could be expected, there were many keenly-fought contests between that Club and those excellent clubs from Magnetic Island in those years. Regards, Loftus Dun

Victory March of the Ayr Surf Club 1939
(words by Loftus Dun, inspired by the music of the well-known march, "Blaze Away")

As we go marching on to victory
With our standard waving high,
We sing our song of fame and glory
For which we mean to do - we mean to do or die.

And for the Ayr Surf Club we`ll battle
Till its name shall be the highest,
Ever climbing upwards
Till we shall vanquish all the rest.

Swinging along, along with a song,
Swinging along, along with a song,
On to victory, on to victory,
To the top, and never shall we stop.

We love our work for its true greatness
And we perform it with a will;
We`re ever present on the beaches,
List`ning for the cry so - for the cry so shrill,

And when it comes, we breast the fury Of the white-capp`d waves so high -
The Ayr Surf Club is marching
And its name shall never die.

Loftus dun

Poems by Loftus Dun
April 11th 2008
are you my uncle. i'm Nate

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