Win a Flight in a Tiger Moth – Terms and Conditions

Community Library Samford Tiger Moth Flight Raffle 2021

Win the opportunity to fly around the Samford Valley

Terms and Conditions

500 tickets. Price of tickets $20.00. One First Prize valued at $2,000.

This raffle is run by Community Library Samford Inc (CLS).

  1. Information on how to enter forms part of the Terms and Conditions of entry.
  2. Purchase of a raffle ticket is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
  3. Entry is open to all permanent residents of Queensland.
  4. Anyone under the age of 18 is ineligible to purchase raffle tickets.

5 Entrants must complete, or receive assistance from a CLS Raffle Ticket Seller in completing their contact details in the section provided.

  1. Entries must include a first and last name, an email address, and a telephone number, at a minimum.
  2. Entrants are not restricted or limited to the number of raffle tickets which may be purchased.
  3. Raffle ticket sales will commence on 27th February 2021 and conclude on 23rd June 2021.
  4. Entrants need not be present to win. Prize cannot be transferred (subject to clause 22) or redeemed for cash.
  5. The draw for the winner will take place on 30th June 2021 at 10.00am at Cedar Creek Public Hall, 2 Andrew Rd, Closeburn Qld 4520.
  6. CLS reserves the right to request the winner to submit their ticket stub as proof of identity and purchase. Proof of identification and entry considered suitable for verification is at the discretion of CLS.
  7. If for any reason the raffle is not capable of running as planned, including (but not limited to) tampering or any other causes beyond the control of CLS, which corrupt or affect the administration security, fairness or integrity or proper conduct of the raffle, CLS reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, take any action that may be available, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the raffle, subject to any direction given under state permit regulations.
  8. In the case of the intervention of any outside agent or event which naturally changes the result or prevents or hinders its determination, including but not limited to sickness, inclement weather, vandalism, power failures, tempests, natural disasters, acts of God, civil unrest, strikes, pandemics or regulations or restrictions imposed by government authorities. CLS may in its absolute discretion defer the flight.
  9. The winner will be notified by phone or email within two (2) business days of the raffle being drawn, and the winner’s details will be published on the CLS website, and CLS Facebook page.
  10. Prize value is the recommended retail value as provided by the supplier and is correct at time of printing.
  11. CLS shall not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever which is suffered (including but not limited to direct or consequential loss) or sustained in connection with the running of the raffle, or the prize, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law.
  12. CLS will make all reasonable efforts to locate the winner. If the winner remains unlocatable for more than 1 year, CLS will deal with the prize in accordance with the law.
  13. All entries become the property of CLS. A request to access, update or correct any information should be directed to CLS at the address shown below.
  14. CLS will not enter into any correspondence regarding the raffle result.
  15. The winner must take delivery of the prize at the Redcliffe Aerodrome situated at Boomerang Court, Rothwell Qld 4022, at a time mutually agreed and booked with the supplier. The winner is responsible for their own transport and associated costs to and from the air centre. The winner is responsible for arriving on time, or the flight time will be reduced accordingly, or the flight forfeited altogether.
  16. Subject to clause 22, if for any reason whatsoever the winner does not take delivery of the prize within three months of the date that CLS notified them of their win, then that prize will be forfeited by the winner and cash will not be awarded in lieu of the prize.
  17. CLS accepts no responsibility for any kind of loss or liability suffered or incurred by the prize-winner in relation to the prize or the raffle. The winner releases CLS, affiliates, officers, and agents, from all liabilities, loss and damage of any kind arising at any time out of or in connection with the acceptance of, and participation in, the prize or the promotion. Without limiting the foregoing, the released parties will not be liable for any injury, sickness or death, property loss or damage or other direct or indirect loss or damage of any kind, howsoever sustained or incurred, in connection with or arising out of the prize.
  18. CLS management committee and their immediate families (the person’s spouse and family members residing at the same premises as the person) are ineligible to enter.

25. CLS is located at 2 Andrew Rd, Closeburn Qld 4520. (ABN 76360228610

Win the opportunity to fly around the Samford Valley

General Meeting & Christmas Party

All members are invited to the General Meeting to be held at 4 pm Wednesday 11 December at the library to be followed by the end of year party. The library will provide nibbles and drinks.

Queen Eleanor of Castile by Paul Hannah

Now that a Duchess is once again set to provide the world’s magazines with something more to gush over, it might be appropriate to consider one of her ancestor’s attempts at doing the same thing. Queen Eleanor of Castile was married (at 13 or 14) to King Edward I. By all accounts it was a love match. Edward’s grief after her death was legendary. The year after she was married in 1255 she gave birth to her first child. And for the next 29 years, when she wasn’t following her husband on crusades and progresses around the kingdom, she was either pregnant, giving birth or grieving over lost children.

We know of 16 children that she gave birth to, and it is a testament to her perseverance if nothing else, that she survived as well she did.
The following is a list of her children that are known to history:
1. An anonymous girl, died at birth.
2. Catherine, died between the ages of 1 to 3 years
3. Daughter Joan, died at six months
4. Son John, died at five years
5. Son Henry, died at six years
6. Daughter Eleanor, died at 29
7. An anonymous child, died at five months
8. Daughter Joan, died at 35
9. Son Alphonso, died at 10
10. Daughter Mary, died at 58
11. Child Berengaria, died at two years
12. Anonymous daughter, died at birth
13. Daughter Mary, died at 53
14. Anonymous son, died at birth
15. Daughter Elizabeth, died at 34
16. A son, Edward who lived long enough to become Edward II, only to be murdered by his wife and her lover Roger some 20 years after his coronation. Eleanor did not live to see this as she died when he was six.

Eleanor died on 28 November 1290 aged 49 in the northern English city of Lincoln. King Edward accompanied her body from there to Westminster Abbey for most of the way. At every point along the way where the funeral procession stopped for the night, he erected a cross in her name. Of the 13 crosses only three survive and none of them are complete.

Edward remarried 10 years later and the first child of that union was named Eleanor in her honour.

When you read this litany of despair and grief and you consider that each of these children was cared for and pampered by nurses, doctors, cooks and servants. It’s hard to imagine what life for an ordinary woman of the time was like.

Fortunately, the Royal Duchesses and most other women in the Western world don’t have to face such awful torment and loss.

(c) 2019 Paul Hannah

 

Selected Stories, by Mary Mageau – Reviewed by Tony Cole

Mary Mageau, a well-known local writer, has just brought out a collection of her short stories, under the title Selected Stories which I have just read with pleasure.

The stories that Mary has included in this book range over a very wide range of styles and content, from a short novella to a collection of extremely short stories, some only 50 words long, some being happy and some being sad, and all in one way or another intriguing and enjoyable.

Mary also uses the entire world as an inspiration for her writing, these stories deal with just about the whole world, some being about people living in the USA, and others about natives of Eritrea or Scotland, or, reasonably enough, Australia – but what stands out about them all, is that they are centered on people, and their experiences in living, so one comes away from reading this collection of stories even more convinced of the common humanity of us all, no matter where and when we live.

What I also took from this collection of writings was how thoughtful Mary is and her very light touch in dealing with serious matters – she never becomes ponderous even when her characters are embroiled in huge problems in their lives.

So, without hesitation I can happily recommend this collection of stories to you, thoughtful, insightful and probably the most important of all, thoroughly enjoyable. In fact my only complaint about this book is that it is too short – I would have been happy if it had been twice as long!
We have a copy in our library, which you are most welcome to borrow, but I would actually recommend that you go out and buy yourself a copy, as these stories are the sort that grow on you.

You can buy it in ebook format at Amazon by following this link: Amazon
Or from Lulu by following this link: Lulu

Annual President’s Report 2019

OUR VISION

The Community Library Samford will operate a community library and social hub offering an open, safe, welcoming and stimulating environment to all the people of Samford and the surrounding districts.

The Community Library Samford aims to:

  • Provide a collection of materials that meets or exceeds the expectations of the community, based wholly on donations.
  • Offer a dynamic and responsive library and information service embracing the unique cultures, recreational needs and heritage of the region.
  • Provide volunteer staff who are knowledgeable and courteous, offering friendly service to users of all ages.
  • Provide a welcoming, safe, supportive, stimulating environment for all users and volunteers.
  • Develop enrichment activities for all ages promoting the arts and the sciences.
  • Promote the library and its services to the community through print and media platforms.
  • Facilitate active partnerships between community groups and community members and the library.
  • Enrich lives through volunteer involvement and participation.
  • Support charitable groups through donations to promote literacy.

This year our library has:

  • Packed all our resources and moved from our temporary premises at the old CSIRO site at 2204 Mt Samson Road, Samford Valley to make way for the demolition of the buildings before the erection of a new community hub. Started moving out of the Blue Building and our cream storage building on May 16, 2019. It took about a fortnight.
  • Negotiated to find another home for the library started in late April. 17 places were approached and investigated. Despite ads in every media source locally available, for over a month it appeared we would be homeless.
  • Stored our resources in the sheds of Jeanette Carroll and Jenny Harris who kindly allowed us usage until premises were found for us to relocate to. Without their kindness we may have had to disband.
  • Applied for and received grant from Samford and District Progress and Protection Association for the purchase of double-wall book boxes.
  • Received notification on May 28 from Kay Speer from MBRC that the library could be safely relocated to the old Samford Rangers clubhouse in Harold Brown Park, Wights Mountain after agreement by the management committee of the Samford Rangers Football Club. Apart from Kay, Cr Darren Grimwade, Bob Millar, Alma Wallace (mother of the current Rangers president, Nick Wallace), and Nick himself, advocated strongly for us to have the space.
  • Finalised arrangements for our new partnership with Samford Rangers over the next month and took about seven weeks to move and re-establish our library. Thanks to the massive effort of moving approximately 200 book boxes and the shelves by Linda Murray, and the dedication of our amazing library crew, the library is beautifully set up.
  • Changed our by-laws so adults who join the library are members with full voting rights. Each family membership is entitled to a single vote. All voters must be over 18.
  • Established a functioning library staffed wholly by volunteers at Samford Rangers, opening from 1.00 pm to 4.30pm on Wednesdays and from 9.00 am to 3.00pm on Saturdays. The library opened officially at its new location at Samford Rangers’ Football Field, Harold Brown Park, 23 Richards Road, Wights Mountain on August 31, 2019.
  • Gained status as an organization registered for approval to have volunteer workers on Newstart from Centrelink.
  • Continued collecting books, CDs, DVDs, games, and furniture, including shelves, from the community and supportive organisations all over Brisbane.
  • Sorted and labelled thousands of resources – thanks to Chris Chmiel, Ray Vuillermin, Evelyn Williames, Breagh Gregory, Richard Carroll, Glenys Watson-Alexander and Linda Murray in particular, who with other library volunteers have worked hard to bring our resources into order.
  • Redirected or sold double copies and multiple copies of books to other charities, while out of date or damaged books and those not relevant to reader’s needs are repurposed or mulched for erosion control.
  • Re-established and expanded a range of activities and programs to promote the arts and a sense of community. These activities include The Yarn Crowd organised by Fiona Taylor and Helen Hughes, Samford and Surrounds Boomerang Bags with Fiona Taylor, Lucie’s Repair Café with Lucie Verhelst, Samford Writers’ Group chaired by Pam Cranny, and Helen’s Basic Sewing with Helen Hughes.
  • Participated in the planning of the Samford Community Hub with MBRC, Samford Support Network, Meals on Wheels, and Samford RSL.
  • The membership register shows 22 financial members. We have 17 volunteers on the register.
  • Had 672 visitors/borrowers since the last AGM in 2018 until moving day on May 16. Many were return borrowers. These included children and spouses of family members who borrow from the library, in our card register of library users. Our yearly fees are $15 family, $10 individual and $5 Concession / Student.
  • Continued developing a vibrant website thanks to Tony Cole and Richard Carroll. The website contains information about the library: essays, stories, poetry and drabbles from local writers of all ages; and events notifications.
  • Continued developing our Facebook page which had 355 subscribers on September 6. Many others follow us through postings on other community Facebook pages. Library posts now qualify as “Conversation Starters” on Facebook.

None of this would have been possible without a wonderful, resilient, persistent, motivated team of members and volunteers. Thank you to all the dedicated, very talented workers who pulled the second stage of library together:

Linda Murray, Wendy Sonnenburg, Tony Cole, Chris Chmiel, Deon Cloete, Richard Carroll, Evelyn Williames, Linda Harvey, Angela Galvin, Fiona Taylor, Kristina Challand, Helen Hughes, Julie Roy, Ray Vuillermin, Carleton Chinner, Barbara Kienast, Janelle Byrne, Colin Chapman, Jay Williams, The Marist 180 Crew and Megan Smith-Roberts, Lions’ Alice Cunningham, John Atkinson, Alan Sonnenburg, Cecilia Sonnenburg, Carol Neal, Frankie Catt, Josephine Theos, Glenys Watson-Alexander, Marion Fulcher, Mary Anne Morgan, Susanne Pearson and here son, Bruce the jazz man and the ladies of The Yarn Crowd. I apologise to anyone I missed.

Special thanks go to Jenny Harris and Jeanette Carroll who saved us from extinction by letting us use their sheds for storage and to Samford Rangers Football Club and Kay Speer who made it possible for us to share the Rangers old clubhouse.

Patrick Vuillermin used his incredible talents to produce a fantastic author-focused video of local sci-fi writer Carelton Chinner to complement a writer’s workshop.

Behind the workers was an extraordinary management team who worked very hard to make sure the library survived. Thank you for your dedication.

  • Secretary Wendy Sonnenburg, who was challenged by major, incapacitating surgery this year, used her extraordinary knowledge of the minutiae of not-for-profit group administration to continue to make our organisation more efficient.
  • Treasurer Chris Chmiel guided our association through many financial and book swamp challenges. When Chris resigned, Deon Cloete, man of financial wizardry and handyman skills, ably took over.
  • Webmasters Tony Cole and Richard Carroll created a vibrant, informative website which supports readers and writers, as well as keeping information on library developments and activities up to date.

To become a social hub of the community we have established and participated in a wide range of programs and activities. These include:

  • The Yarn Crowd, organised by our dynamic philosopher Fiona Taylor, is an independent group operating every Wednesday afternoon at 2pm where folk knit, sew, crochet, weave, draw, talk, laugh and solve the problems of the world. This group has contributed to the Lions drive for warm beanies to send to women’s refuges and for drought relief in western Queensland.
  • Helen’s Basic Sewing run by Helen Hughes is a free teaching workshop on the first Saturday of the month to teach folk of all ages basic skills. It makes “boomer” bags for wildlife carers out of donated, recycled materials.
  • Lucie’s Repair Café run by talented Lucie Verhelst teaches people to mend, repurpose or restyle pre-loved clothes. It is a free session open to everybody that runs from 10 to noon on the first Saturday of the month.
  • Digital Drop-in with Dr Elizabeth Heck helps folk to use their phones and devices effectively. On the third Saturday of every month folk are invited to bring their social media problems to Elizabeth.
  • Samford and Surrounds Boomerang Bags, organised by Fiona Taylor, makes beautiful shopping bags out of recycled or donated materials to replace plastic bags. This project started on September 17, 2018. The group is independent, formed to promote sustainability through recycling material scraps, and to encourage community spirit.
  • Samford Writers’ Group, an independent group operating under the auspices of the library, helps hone the skills of local writers. It is chaired by Pam Cranny.
  • Teen Writers Unite— a program to encourage young writers—is on the third Saturday of each month. Tied to this is a dedicated section of the Community Library’s web site, which offers young writers opportunities to publish their work. Tony Cole and Richard Carroll, webmasters extraordinaire, organise
  • Story and Rhyme Time with talented early childhood educator, Marion Fulcher, and occasionally with retired teacher-librarian, Julie Martin, happened weekly at 10.30am. Sometimes Marion worked with the children under a huge old tree at the old site, sometimes the story time is in the library. The stories were aimed at toddlers to preschoolers. In the new temporary home, Story time will happen at 3.30pm on Wednesday and 11.00 am on Saturday.
  • A monthly Box Library Service for the elderly, the isolated and the incapacitated with Dayboro Conversation Club, the social equivalent of Samford Support Network. The amazing Di Moes organised this, though it changed organisers when Di got other work.
  • A monthly Box Library for Jabiru After School Hours Care at Mt Samson to encourage children to read…also in the process of changing hands.

The Community Library Samford has helped charities such as:

  • The Samford Lions who sought children’s books, activity books and toys from the library and 6 knitted beanies from the Yarn Crowd to help those affected by domestic homelessness and drought and to provide support packs to place in local police stations for victims of domestic violence. This is on-going, though this year production was hampered by our move.
  • The Vanuatu Project through the Community Church Samford, ongoing, provides texts and children’s books for disadvantaged schools in Vanuatu. During our move the boxes we had packed for them were plundered by scavengers.
  • The Keperra Baptist Church books for sale to provide funding for youth services.
  • Books for schools in Papua New Guinea through Marist 180.

Fundraising has become a necessary part of the library’s functioning to cover operating costs such as insurances and to enhance our Building and Establishment Fund for our future permanent library space in a community building

  • Held a successful Book Sale of double copies and excess stock on March 9 and 10. Over two days , the team slaved. Our thanks go to Evelyn Williames, Fiona Taylor, Janelle Byrne, Chris Chmiel, Wendy Sonnenburg, Julie Martin, Linda Harvey, Linda Murray, Tony Cole, and Dorothy Penning.
  • The Bunnings Sausage Sizzle at Keperra would never have happened without the amazing support from our community. Thanks to Alan Sonnenburg, Wendy Sonnenburg, Chris Chmiel,Gail Harvey, Evelyn Williames, Julie Martin, Angela Galvin, Richard Carroll, we made a substantial amount of money.
  • The Poo Pile, run by Linda Murray, donated funds to benefit the Community Library Samford. Linda’s huge contribution to our library’s future home is much appreciated.
  • Samford and Surrounds Boomerang Bags give their “excess” money to the library after they have paid for machine maintenance and new equipment. Our thanks go to Fiona Taylor, Helen Hughes and their team.
  • Subscriptions to become Friends/Members of the library

Raising public awareness is an on-going challenge for our library. We are slowly developing a reasonable platform.

  • communitylibrarysamford.org is administered by our fantastic webmasters Tony Cole and Richard Caroll. It not only provides information on the library’s operation, but also keeps an up to date inventory of library activities and events, encourages public discussion of books, and provides opportunities for writers young and old to publish their works on a public forum.
  • Each fortnight the president submits articles to The Village Pump.
  • The Community Library Samford Facebook page now has 355 members. Its eagle-eyed administrators are Linda Murray and the admin team.
  • Regular postings of library news and events are made on Dayboro, The Gap, Albany Creek, the two Samford community Facebook pages, and two Buy and Sell pages
  • The Samford Little Libraries Literary Trail has not developed markedly but is still encouraged by a library display and on the website.

Promotion of local and other Australian writers is a prime objective of Community Library Samford.

  • Vicki Bennett, writer of self-help, children’s and YA books. ran a workshop on creative journaling on 22 September.
  • Liz Harfull, CWA judge, food historian journalist and writer presented a talk on the history of Australian fundraising cookbooks on 26 October. This was accompanied by a morning tea made historical recipes like the Hinkler Cake from her cookbook, Tried, Tested And True.
  • Janet Reid, local children’s author, ran a workshop and activity morning for children on January 24.
  • Carleton Chinner, local sci-fi author, ran a very successful workshop on plot structure on 29 November.

The Community Library Samford has reduced waste through:

  • Recycling suitable damaged or out-dated books and magazines into mulch to control erosion. Linda Murray works hard on this aspect and has had positive results.
  • Repurposing out-dated books, copied CDs, spare CD and DVD cases through art and craft activities and workshops. Wendy Sonnenburg, fibre artist, has taught many to fold out-dated books into creative shapes as well as producing journals, jewellery and stunning papercraft from books and magazines unable to be included in the collection.

Our heartfelt thanks go to these wonderful people and organisations who have given generously to help our library grow:

  • Samford Rangers Football Club for partnering with us and allowing us to use their old clubhouse at Richards Road.
  • Samford and District Progress and Protection Association for their generous grant for purpose built boxes for moving books.
  • Jenny Harris for allowing us to use her shed for storage.
  • Jeanette Carroll for allowing us to store books and other paraphernalia.
  • Judy Wolmsey and Bray Park High School for more shelving, trolleys and file organisers.
  • Linda Murray of The Poo Pile for large library banners on recycled marque sides.
  • Jake Cole for website host payment.
  • Wendy Sonnenburg for our coffee percolator.
  • Marion Fulcher, extraordinary storyteller, who weekly encouraged our young friends to love literature.
  • Julie Martin for tea, coffee and community cake.
  • Linda Harvey for tea towels and cleaning materials.
  • Jill Lincoln and Fay Jennings who sold our Boomerang Bags on their stall at the Millen Farm Markets.
  • Hillbrook Anglican School for books, especially the superb collection of classics.
  • Tony Cole and Deon Cloete for handyman work to light our way and make us secure.
  • Janelle Byrne, Wendy Sonnenburg and the lovely lady on the free FB site who gave us gorgeous rugs for our children’s section and relaxation corner.
  • The people of the local community and surrounding districts for books, DVDs. CDs and a plethora of other amazing things.
  • The horse property owners who donate poo for The Poo Pile, the land owners who supply empty feed bags to bag it because donations from it help us.

The Community Library Samford has been fortunate to have many strong and valuable supporters to whom we owe our thanks:

  • Cr Darren Grimwade who has backed our community library/social hub space since its inception.
  • Dr Elizabeth Heck who gives her time to help others come to terms with the complexities of digital devices.
  • Lucie Verhelst, President of Creative Samford, for running her Repair Café so folk can learn to mend and re-design clothes.
  • Helen Hughes who runs Helen’s Basic Sewing and who is our catering queen.
  • Millen Farm and Arran Heideman who provided fresh produce for events and helping hands when needed.
  • Marist 180 who have created furniture and helped us move furniture and books whenever we ask.
  • Lions Samford through Alice Cunningham, Coral Hallinan and Brian Hallinan,who provided help with the Bunnings Sizzle, moving and craft materials for beanies.
  • John Hudson and the Samford Chamber of Commerce who willingly lend us their data projector for workshops.

Objectives for next 12-24 months

  • Work towards The Samford Community Hub to house the library and other local service organisations and to cater for activities, meetings and workshops as requested or needed by the community.
  • Develop a financial strategy so that we can meet the costs of occupation of the new community hub.
  • Initiate grant applications and seek philanthropic donations for a multi-purpose community building with dedicated library space.
  • Prepare as best we can for the eventuality of moving to the Samford Community Hub’s permanent community library space.
  • Strengthen ties with other service and community organisations such as The Samford Rangers Football Club, Samford Support Network, Creative Samford, The Eco Corridor Group and Samford Lions, to build community spirit.
  • Instigate public debates on topical issues related to science and the arts.
  • Continue to support writers, particularly local writers and young writers, through providing opportunities to develop writing skills and to launch local authors’ books.
  • Continue contributions to charitable organisations to assist those in need.
  • Start a collection of handy objects for the “Library of Things”.

Main challenges

  • To develop a financial strategy so the library can meet the costs of moving into the hub space, and its rental and maintenance.
  • To collect, arrange, preserve and provide access to a comprehensive collection of resources, including specialist reference resources and books which will never be printed again but which reflect the history of print and story.
  • To operate a multi-use, multi-space community library and library of things with a minimal budget and a wholly volunteer workforce.
  • To provide ongoing workshops, activities, discussions, debates and speakers to meet community needs.
  • To change people’s perceptions about what a library is and can be.
  • To maximize use of recycled resources to create the multi-purpose library building, appropriate furniture for the library and its satellites, the Little Libraries and the Dayboro Conversation Club Box Library, using government funding, donations in kind, and of time, and philanthropic support.
  • To establish and maintain links with Moreton Bay Regional Council Library Service, the State Library of Queensland, and organizations such as Queensland Writers’ Centre, Brisbane Writers’ Festival, May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust and Children’s Book Council Australia.
  • To support small local groups such as book clubs, writers’ groups, debating groups, music groups, camera clubs, and other special interest groups.
  • To establish a comfortable, relaxed, welcoming environment for both users and voluntary staff.

Julie Martin (President of Community Library Samford 2018/9)

The Passing of the Poet by Stephen Leacock

Photo by Trust “Tru” Katsande on Unsplash

Studies in what may be termed collective psychology are essentially in keeping with the spirit of the present century. The examination of the mental tendencies, the intellectual habits which we display not as individuals, but as members of a race, community, or crowd, is offering a fruitful field of speculation as yet but little exploited. One may, therefore, not without profit, pass in review the relation of the poetic instinct to the intellectual development of the present era.

Not the least noticeable feature in the psychological evolution of our time is the rapid disappearance of poetry. The art of writing poetry, or perhaps more fairly, the habit of writing poetry, is passing from us. The poet is destined to become extinct.

To a reader of trained intellect the initial difficulty at once suggests itself as to what is meant by poetry. But it is needless to quibble at a definition of the term. It may be designated, simply and fairly, as the art of expressing a simple truth in a concealed form of words, any number of which, at intervals greater or less, may or may not rhyme.

The poet, it must be said, is as old as civilization. The Greeks had him with them, stamping out his iambics with the sole of his foot. The Romans, too, knew him—endlessly juggling his syllables together, long and short, short and long, to make hexameters. This can now be done by electricity, but the Romans did not know it.

But it is not my present purpose to speak of the poets of an earlier and ruder time. For the subject before us it is enough to set our age in comparison with the era that preceded it. We have but to contrast ourselves with our early Victorian grandfathers to realize the profound revolution that has taken place in public feeling. It is only with an effort that the practical common sense of the twentieth century can realize the excessive sentimentality of the earlier generation.

In those days poetry stood in high and universal esteem. Parents read poetry to their children. Children recited poetry to their parents. And he was a dullard, indeed, who did not at least profess, in his hours of idleness, to pour spontaneous rhythm from his flowing quill.

Should one gather statistics of the enormous production of poetry some sixty or seventy years ago, they would scarcely appear credible. Journals and magazines teemed with it. Editors openly countenanced it. Even the daily press affected it. Love sighed in home-made stanzas. Patriotism rhapsodized on the hustings, or cited rolling hexameters to an enraptured legislature. Even melancholy death courted his everlasting sleep in elegant elegiacs.

In that era, indeed, I know not how, polite society was haunted by the obstinate fiction that it was the duty of a man of parts to express himself from time to time in verse. Any special occasion of expansion or exuberance, of depression, torsion, or introspection, was sufficient to call it forth. So we have poems of dejection, of reflection, of deglutition, of indigestion.

Stephen Leacock (1869-1944)

Any particular psychological disturbance was enough to provoke an excess of poetry. The character and manner of the verse might vary with the predisposing cause. A gentleman who had dined too freely might disexpand himself in a short fit of lyric doggerel in which “bowl” and “soul” were freely rhymed. The morning’s indigestion inspired a long-drawn elegiac, with “bier” and “tear,” “mortal” and “portal” linked in sonorous sadness. The man of politics, from time to time, grateful to an appreciative country, sang back to it, “Ho, Albion, rising from the brine!” in verse whose intention at least was meritorious.

And yet it was but a fiction, a purely fictitious obligation, self-imposed by a sentimental society. In plain truth, poetry came no more easily or naturally to the early Victorian than to you or me. The lover twanged his obdurate harp in vain for hours for the rhymes that would not come, and the man of politics hammered at his heavy hexameter long indeed before his Albion was finally “hoed” into shape; while the beer-besotted convivialist cudgelled his poor wits cold sober in rhyming the light little bottle-ditty that should have sprung like Aphrodite from the froth of the champagne.

I have before me a pathetic witness of this fact. It is the note-book once used for the random jottings of a gentleman of the period. In it I read: “Fair Lydia, if my earthly harp.” This is crossed out, and below it appears, “Fair Lydia, COULD my earthly harp.” This again is erased, and under it appears, “Fair Lydia, SHOULD my earthly harp.” This again is struck out with a despairing stroke, and amended to read: “Fair Lydia, DID my earthly harp.” So that finally, when the lines appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine (1845) in their ultimate shape—”Fair Edith, when with fluent pen,” etc., etc.—one can realize from what a desperate congelation the fluent pen had been so perseveringly rescued.

There can be little doubt of the deleterious effect occasioned both to public and private morals by this deliberate exaltation of mental susceptibility on the part of the early Victorian. In many cases we can detect the evidences of incipient paresis. The undue access of emotion frequently assumed a pathological character. The sight of a daisy, of a withered leaf or an upturned sod, seemed to disturb the poet’s mental equipoise. Spring unnerved him. The lambs distressed him. The flowers made him cry. The daffodils made him laugh. Day dazzled him. Night frightened him.

This exalted mood, combined with the man’s culpable ignorance of the plainest principles of physical science, made him see something out of the ordinary in the flight of a waterfowl or the song of a skylark. He complained that he could HEAR it, but not SEE it—a phenomenon too familiar to the scientific observer to occasion any comment.

In such a state of mind the most inconsequential inferences were drawn. One said that the brightness of the dawn—a fact easily explained by the diurnal motion of the globe—showed him that his soul was immortal. He asserted further that he had, at an earlier period of his life, trailed bright clouds behind him. This was absurd.

With the disturbance thus set up in the nervous system were coupled, in many instances, mental aberrations, particularly in regard to pecuniary matters. “Give me not silk, nor rich attire,” pleaded one poet of the period to the British public, “nor gold nor jewels rare.” Here was an evident hallucination that the writer was to become the recipient of an enormous secret subscription. Indeed, the earnest desire NOT to be given gold was a recurrent characteristic of the poetic temperament. The repugnance to accept even a handful of gold was generally accompanied by a desire for a draught of pure water or a night’s rest.

It is pleasing to turn from this excessive sentimentality of thought and speech to the practical and concise diction of our time. We have learned to express ourselves with equal force, but greater simplicity. To illustrate this I have gathered from the poets of the earlier generation and from the prose writers of to-day parallel passages that may be fairly set in contrast. Here, for example, is a passage from the poet Grey, still familiar to scholars:

  “Can storied urn or animated bust

Photo by Leonardo Yip on Unsplash

   Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?

   Can honour’s voice invoke the silent dust

   Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?”

 Precisely similar in thought, though different in form, is the more modern presentation found in Huxley’s Physiology:

“Whether after the moment of death the ventricles of the heart can be again set in movement by the artificial stimulus of oxygen, is a question to which we must impose a decided negative.”

How much simpler, and yet how far superior to Grey’s elaborate phraseology! Huxley has here seized the central point of the poet’s thought, and expressed it with the dignity and precision of exact science.

I cannot refrain, even at the risk of needless iteration, from quoting a further example. It is taken from the poet Burns. The original dialect being written in inverted hiccoughs, is rather difficult to reproduce. It describes the scene attendant upon the return of a cottage labourer to his home on Saturday night:

  “The cheerfu’ supper done, wi’ serious face

   They round the ingle form in a circle wide;

   The sire turns o’er, wi’ patriarchal grace,

   The big ha’ Bible, ance his father’s pride:

   His bonnet rev’rently is laid aside,

   His lyart haffets wearing thin an’ bare:

   Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,

   He wales a portion wi’ judeecious care.”

 Now I find almost the same scene described in more apt phraseology in the police news of the Dumfries Chronicle (October 3, 1909), thus: “It appears that the prisoner had returned to his domicile at the usual hour, and, after partaking of a hearty meal, had seated himself on his oaken settle, for the ostensible purpose of reading the Bible. It was while so occupied that his arrest was effected.” With the trifling exception that Burns omits all mention of the arrest, for which, however, the whole tenor of the poem gives ample warrant, the two accounts are almost identical.

In all that I have thus said I do not wish to be misunderstood. Believing, as I firmly do, that the poet is destined to become extinct, I am not one of those who would accelerate his extinction. The time has not yet come for remedial legislation, or the application of the criminal law. Even in obstinate cases where pronounced delusions in reference to plants, animals, and natural phenomena are seen to exist, it is better that we should do nothing that might occasion a mistaken remorse. The inevitable natural evolution which is thus shaping the mould of human thought may safely be left to its own course.

Boyhood Memories by Richard Carroll

Photo by Chris Gill on Unsplash

A country lad at heart
the bush was in my veins;
as a boy I gulped up mouthfuls
of the northern queensland air,
running through the swaying grass
down to the rocky creek,
and in the mud of springs
I bathed my boyish dreams.

Whereto those simple pleasures
of dirt beneath the nails,
scratches and bloody gashes
from tumbling down the slope
to caves and shady grottos,
swinging high from gnarled old gum
splashing to the stream?

I remember
baked beans bursting in the fire
decorating the camp,
shooting at birds in vain,
skinning a kangaroo,
blood and guts,
foul stench
of innards burst.

And we stole the ripened melons
from irate farmer types
guarding their tobacco patch,
stringing giant leaves
two by two,
long sticks hanging in the barn
drug smoke in the making.

Canoeing through the reeds
in leaky corrugated iron,
as flocks of pink galahs
rose flushed into the sky,
red stained shirt
from mulberries,
greedily gorged
in the post office trees,
shit fights in the fields,
mud thrown in the dams,
water brown and turgid
rushing down the creeks,
cascading over falls
flooding coastal plains
and the sugar farmers future.

Language is Powerful by Fiona Taylor

Photo by Soner Eker on Unsplash

Most of us never stop to think about the mechanics of language. We learned to speak before we were conscious of learning, and to read and write before we could question our teachers.  The first time many people are forced to face the construction of language is when they undertake the challenge of learning a second one. As an adult attempting to express yourself in a new language, you quickly discover that you often can’t say exactly what you want to. You have to learn a new way and that way conveys a slightly different meaning.  In some languages it is almost impossible to prevaricate or be overly polite eg. in Norwegian you can’t say I would like, only I want. In English we know that people can talk around and around a point without ever actually getting to it so is the Norwegian language rude, blunt or just culturally appropriate. Students of semiotics, linguistics and philosophy among others, then ask the question does culture construct language or does language create culture? 

            The English language is an incredibly dynamic one that was formed by the agglomeration of many older ones that passed across the lands of Britain.  As such new words are added to the dictionary each year and the meanings of existing words are changed all to reflect changes in our culture and society.  If you stumble across a sub culture you haven’t experienced before, at a poetry slam, youth oriented or maybe an indigenous event you will hear words, once used to demean, being reclaimed and new words created to give expression to an experience outside of the mainstream culture. Language is our voice and as such the words we use are an expression of ourselves if we are conscious of the import of them.  There is a difference between calling someone an illegal immigrant rather than asylum seeker, a victim rather than a survivor, an elderly spinster rather than a mature professional woman. Language is powerful and how we use it can mislead and manipulate or inform and communicate.  

Lost? Lost… by Margie Riley

Photo by Kenny Luo on Unsplash

‘Got it? Wait here for me. When I get back from the supermarket we’ll go home.’

‘Yes, of course I’ve “got it”. What do you take me for, stupid woman?’

I bite back a retort and spin away from my husband of fifty-one years so he won’t see the welling tears. ‘Okay, darling. See you soon, then. Enjoy your coffee.’

I stride off to Woolworths to buy the groceries and wish—oh, how I wish—the prayers I utter daily will be answered soon. A miracle? Too much to hope for.

My husband Joe’s decline has been gradual. The vigorous, athletic, strong, happy, loving man is much reduced: thin, bent, crotchety and querulous. He tests me. Our lives have become routine—something we’ve always abhorred—with weekly visits to the doctor, the supermarket and walks along the beach. He still enjoys the walks with our little dog, Jake. Jake is good for Joe.

Recently Joe had become aggrieved with supermarket shopping; he is rude to the staff and other customers, ordering people to “Get out of my way, you ignorant fool” as well as forgetting what he’s placed in the trolley. If I attempt to return unwanted items it escalates into a showdown, so I take the easy option. At least our eight tins of canned tomatoes will fulfil our needs for months. And I can be thankful he hasn’t started wandering yet.

I pay for the groceries and gird myself for the reunion at the coffee shop as I push the trolley along the noisy mall. Sounds are amplified, clattering off the shiny marble-effect tiles, the flat walls, the endless glass windows. I feel overwhelmed by the sensory input: all the pushing, hurrying, anxiety-laden people.

‘Pull yourself together,’ I chastise myself, ‘it’s just the shopping centre, for goodness sake. Oh god. Where is he?’

The table at which I’d left him has been vacated and is now filled with a family of overeaters. My skinny bent husband has been transformed into a family of four obese individuals tucking into their pizza and chips. Where is his empty coffee cup and the apple–cinnamon muffin? It would have been toyed with, reduced to crumbs, mostly untasted.

‘Excuse me,’ I say to the barista, ‘did you see my husband leave? He was sitting where those people are. I was as quick as I could be…’ I tail off.

‘Carly, did you see the old gentleman leave table twenty-four?’ the barista calls to the young waitress, the one with the brightly coloured gel nails and over-painted face.

‘Yes, he said he was going to meet his wife.’

I mutter a ‘thank you’, leave the trolley at the counter and rush upstairs to the centre management office.

‘What is he wearing, Mrs White?’

‘Oh, um, beige trousers, red braces, a flannelette shirt with small checks—red and white—and a pair of brown shoes, he likes them well-shined. Oh yes, and he had a dark green cardigan on too. He feels the cold nowadays…’

I sit on the edge of the hard-backed chair in the unfriendly reception area; I hear the announcement over the loudspeaker. My heart pounds in my chest, my breath shallow. I feel the familiar cold sweat of dread. Breathe, breathe.

‘He’ll turn up, Mrs White. They always do,’ says the artless receptionist in an effort to reassure me. I force a tight smile. ‘We’ve called security and we’ll ring the police for you if he hasn’t been found within thirty minutes.’

‘Half an hour? He could walk onto the highway in that time! Oh, I can’t wait here. I’m going home, he might remember the way. Thank you for your assistance. What? Yes, of course, it’s 0432 987 654.’

I flee down the stairs, bizarrely remembering to collect the trolleyful of shopping; why does it matter? I rush to the car hurling the groceries into the back and dutifully return the trolley to its bay. I drive carefully from the car park, out onto the main road and turn right to head home—I wonder how I still manage to concentrate—with the rising panic and flooding adrenaline. The mind is a curious thing.

Photo by Joeri Römer on Unsplash

I am his rock, his security, his link with reality—whatever he has left of it. Am I alone to think this? Am I being selfish and self-righteous? Does he wonder—ever—who looks after him, washes his clothes, shines his shoes, reminds him to shower and to brush his teeth, feeds him, ensures he takes his medication?

I arrive home to find a police car parked outside. The young constable is talking to a furious old gentleman.

‘Oh thank God,’ I say. My knees start to wobble. I lean against the police car, hands shaking.

‘I came as soon as I could, Mrs White.’

‘Yes, thank you, officer. All okay now…’ I can hear the frantic Jake inside, barking.

‘Why did you leave me there, you awful woman? What would have happened to me if I hadn’t known the way home? I could have been run over; I could have been kidnapped; I could have been murdered! What have you to say for yourself? And it’s not okay! The police are eating out of your hand now, are they? This is a conspiracy; I’ll report it.’

‘Come on, Joe, darling. Let’s go inside and I’ll make you a mug of tea. The policeman was just doing his job. I thought we’d arranged to meet at the coffee shop—my mistake—and then you must have thought I’d left you behind. Silly thing! Would I do that?’

‘Take your hands off me. You are a… a… goddammit I can’t remember the word.’

We walk to the door where Jake greets us with enthusiasm, bouncing up and down, grinning with delight.

‘Hello, mate,’ says Joe; he bends to pet our dog. We go into the house, I settle Joe into his favourite chair. I put the kettle on, take two teabags from the pantry, place them in mugs. I turn on the television; I know he’ll watch whatever happens to be showing. I return to the car and bring the groceries indoors.

‘Hello darling!’ says Joe as I walk back inside. ‘How lovely to see you. Been shopping, have you? What are we having for dinner? I’d love some sausages and onion gravy.’

‘Well then, just as well I bought some, isn’t it.’

‘I missed you while you were out. You know I get lonely here on my own. I am frightened of becoming lost. Can you help?’

I squeeze his hand. I think back over the years we’ve shared, the children we’ve raised, the grandchildren we’ve welcomed, the work we’ve undertaken and been rewarded for. At least he still remembers the children although the eight grandchildren confuse him. I hate it when he snaps at them. Has it all been worth it? Life takes wild turns when least expected. Our friends: some don’t call round often; some are dead; others confounded by Joe’s disease; some constant—those I love.

We sit in front of the flickering screen watching Family Feud—it seems appropriate—drinking our mugs of hot, refreshing tea, eating my homemade Anzac biscuits.

GIVING TIME

Breagh

Volunteering is a gift people give to enhance their community. Community Library Samford could not exist without the extraordinary talent and persistence of a very small crew of library members who give their time unstintingly. Every hour they give makes our community stronger, whether it is library-sitting, creating a framework of how our library/community hub will run, moving our collection, organizing interest groups and events or fund raising.

One group of volunteers whose contributions are often overlooked, are the students of local high schools who participate in volunteer programs. We have had the most wonderful gift of a student’s time during our most challenging period of existence. Thanks to the Samford Valley Steiner School, Breagh Gregory completed her volunteer program with us. Breagh faced working with a team of mostly Seniors with grace and good manners. She helped us in our two moves, built shelves, sorted and labeled books, did displays, wrote a column for the Pump, cleaned and always maintained a beautiful smile. Breagh is punctual, hard-working and committed to building a better world.

We have had other wonderful young folk work with us too: artist Frankie Catt, Joe Senior, Lucinda, Lucca and Finlay… With young leaders such as these, our future is in good hands. These young folk are already making a difference in the best way possible, by helping build and believing in their community.

A few date-claimers for your diaries:

On Tuesday October 8 at 6 pm, join us for our AGM – all welcome.

On Thursday October 17 at 10am, join us for Social Gardening – chance to get together over a cuppa, talk plants with our guest speaker, and swap plants, seeds or cuttings. 

On Saturday November 9 at 4 pm, join us for the launch of Dr. Richard Carroll’s wonderful historical novel, White Ghosts, which traces the history of early Brisbane and the Petrie Family.

FB: Community Library Samford

www.communitylibrarysamford.org

23 Richards Road, Wights Mountain