Farewell the Bushies

Spawned in a time of dire distress,
Out in a flooded land,
When a woman’s life in balance lay,
Remote, so far from a healing hand.

Gulf country lay awash with rain,
Its tenants captive there,
Flood streams and bog they failed to cross,
Could not a stretcher bear.

Bev Anning moaned in deep distress,
Now once more gazed on high
Could ambulance of air but fly,
Such cloud and windswept sky?


A clearing lay on Reedy Creek,

Some thirty miles away,
On where a plane could maybe land,
(upon a finer day.)

A Rapide which was based in Cairns
Sat helpless in its stall,
But Bob Norman, in a Tiger Moth,
Responded to the call.

With skill and courage unsurpassed,
The danger he would brave,
To fly the ‘Moth’ through leaden skies,
A woman’s life to save.

Then, once more in bog and rain,
The party on the ground,
This time would aim to Reedy Creek,
Success would there abound.


His wife now well, Ben Anning mused:

‘Why not, our own preserve?
Why not an airline of our own,
Our scattered world to serve?.’

Bob Norman shared in this belief,
The scattered graziers too,
And so Bush Pilots line was born,
A storied service grew.

For years they served the topmost end,
In friendship and renown,
They ‘hopped’ from station, run to run,
They ‘hopped’ from town to town.

But Mammon was to intercede:

More profit now! More gain,
As mogul companies shouldered in,
From off an outside lane.

They spread their wings much farther now,
To harsh and rival field:
Ground transport too, would stake a claim,
On roads now better sealed.

In adverse and in changing times,
The ledger debit grew,
At last: Farewell a way of life,
Farewell the ‘Bushies’ too.

Clarry Dunstan

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