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The Avondale Poets
Julia Agnes McLachlan - Day


Julia Agnes McLachlan - Day was one of the great granddaughters of  "McLachlan of Avondale" in Australia.  She was born in 1906 @ Hillgrove NSW to Mary Agnes McLachlan & Jack Day.  She died on 4 February 2004.  She wed Baden Sinclair in 1928 @ Tyringham NSW  & became the  mother of their four surviving children.

A tribute to her is to be seen in the first poem of  -  "The Avondale Poets".  All her life, Julia was very frequently referred to,  as  -  "Poppy Day".

Pioneers

Explorers' Tree monument to explorers that opened up NSW
Explorers' Tree monument to explorers that opened up NSW
 

The axes rang and the bell birds sang
In the valleys deep with shade
While the timbers fell to the merry knell
Of hi ho to the merry blade.
From dawn till dark the trails they marked
With the sweat of the pioneer
And by the camp fire's glow of the long ago
Their songs rang loud & clear.

In steps of Pioneers @ Dalmonton Nymboida NSW during the 1980s
In steps of Pioneers @ Dalmonton Nymboida NSW during the 1980s

Whose axes rang while women sang
Moulding food from corn
And while forests slept .. someone wept
As a pioneer new was born.
A pioneer born in the early morn
Found life was sweet & clean
With the forest smell & horse's bell
In place of ... "the doctor's been"

Farming the land - Daniel McLachlan 1889 - 1960
Farming the land - Daniel McLachlan 1889 - 1960

In joys & sorrows they dreamed of tomorrow
Where cedars fell & lay
But they'll reap their reward in the eyes of the Lord
And generations of today.
We remember them yet, though some forget.
None but the couraged heart
Could have made this land of shade
A beauteous gift apart.

Pioneers - Clearing the land - Angus McLachlan 1895 - 1969
Pioneers - Clearing the land - Angus McLachlan 1895 - 1969

Now of them we sing while church bells ring
Their praises of the past.
Though timbers rot ... forget them not
Of heart & courage fast.
For pioneers' blood is slow to flood
Pale skins where veins run blue.
Though we follow the trail we're only frail
Compared to the "Mighty Few".

- Poppy Day

The Carrier's Stories

Jack Day loved his pipe -  he wed Mary McLachlan @ Hillgrove in 1905
Jack Day loved his pipe - he wed Mary McLachlan @ Hillgrove in 1905

Don't forget that there pipe
It's for Smiths on the Obelo.
Their dam is filling fast.
He's irrigating don't you know?
He'll have lucerne rich & rare
And veges fresh & green.
Ah ... let me tell you boys,
The best you've ever seen.

Hi ... don't squash that there box
It's for little Kathy Kate.
A frilly-dilly dress she always says...
For the ball  ... a special date.
I can see her standing there
Laughter in her eyes
That Billy Johnston is in for a big surprise.

A mirror to straighten up her hat  - Daisy Stanger wed Dan McLachlan in 1920s
A mirror to straighten up her hat - Daisy Stanger wed Dan McLachlan in 1920s
 

"Holy Smoke"  you blokes are rough.
Go easy there with that.
It's a mirror for Mrs White
To straighten up her hat.
She's been waiting nigh two years.
Her egg money she did hoard.
Don't break it now me boys
Or I'll cop it.  Yes .. by gawd.

Poor old Brown who lives alone
A widow he expects to get.
He's ordered that new suite
And I hope he don't regret.
He's a lonely little man.
I hope she's good enough
And suits the climate here
For life is mighty tough. 

Frilly -dilly dress - Alice McLachlan wed Fred Rixon in 1904 @ Hillgrove NSW
Frilly -dilly dress - Alice McLachlan wed Fred Rixon in 1904 @ Hillgrove NSW

Lor' love me. Chickens now  ...
Eight hundred head or more.
There's someone flying high
And that's for mighty sure.
They're for the O'Shanasheys
Out on the river road
Where no river ever ran.
Ah ... that finishes the load.

Well boys,  thanks & cheerio.
Now I'll bite the dust.
Have one at the local,
But don't go on the bust.
I'll see you next weekend,
When I get another load
I'll have some more to tell you
From off the dusty road.

- Poppy Day

By the McIntyre

The blue smoke is lying low
Amongst the blue gums on the bank
Where the McIntyre flows slowly
Through reeds & rushes rank.

A thousand head of cattle
Are camped there on the flat.
The drovers they are hustling.
The steaks that're dripping fat.
Sizzling are the coal
As the juice upon them drips;
And hungry are the boys
As the cook the flapjacks flips.

A thousand head of cattle
Bound for God knows where,
To be scattered o'er the world
And none to know or care.
Perchance ... from the Kimberleys
Or maybe Burnett Downs
Across the soils of Quilpie
And lonely lamplit towns.

Campfires burning brightly
Neath starlight gleaming skies;
Or shimmering heat a-blazing
Torment of crawling flies.
Hunched up drovers shivering
Neath rain that's sheeting down,
A blackening sheet of water
And rivers running brown.

Soaking clothes gone mildew
And food that's  "on the nose".
No fires for a week or more
While cold the wind that blows.
All this & more they've seen
Of floods & dust & mud;
While their destiny will be
Meat & bone & blood.

Now cracking are the whips
And softly speaks the drover.
Midst the lowing of the mob
As they turn the leaders over.
Wo-ha-wo-ha! Move on! Move on!
From the gum trees on the banks.
While the McIntyre flows slowly
Where the mob had stopped & drank.

The blue smoke is lying low
Amongst the blue gums on the bank
Where the McIntyre flows slowly
Through reeds & rushes rank.

- Poppy Day

The Prospector

Mary McLachlan & Jack Day  @  Hillgrove mine  NSW circa 1910 - gold fever ever burnin
Mary McLachlan & Jack Day @ Hillgrove mine NSW circa 1910 - gold fever ever burnin

He roams the mountains high
And rivers dark & deep
Searching ever searching
Where the river beds run dry.
Searching ever searching
As the eagle to the sky.

There's snow upon the mountains
So to home he must return
But longing ever longing
The gold fever it will burn;
But when snow has gone with winter
And rivers running clear,
He'll saddle his companion
And go searching far & near.

Gold fever it will burn -  Dan McLachlan & wife Daisy fossicking for gold  during Gre
Gold fever it will burn - Dan McLachlan & wife Daisy fossicking for gold

For the gold fever ever burning
And restless makes the heart,
Searching ever searching
Till the soul from us depart.
A fever each we have
That restless makes the heart;
And we are searching ever searching
Till the soul from us depart.

- Poppy Day

Walgett - to the Opal

From Walgett to the opal
From the opal to the throne
The stories that are told
And never will be known;
For many slaves have they
Which they've conquered by their fires.
The passions & the love lust
With their longings & desires.

Along life's road of battle
The victims there they lay;
Fighting for to conquer
That flashing stone from clay.
The rainbow & the red light
With misty blues & greens;
The golden flashlight, starlight,
Of colours never seen.

For many years they've slept
'Neath the heart of Mother Earth.
Now disturbed by hand of man
For love or what they're worth.
From Walgett to the opal
They've travelled from afar
The young, & not so young
For age .. it has no bar.

Desire & love & labour
Hand in hand will go.
While to the few of many
The secret they may know;
But with its flashing heart
Of fires so warm & deep,
The mind & soul & body
Of Man will always keep.

- Poppy Day


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