Neighbours

Highland towns decades ago
Were built in the wilds of Tassie,
To house construction teams;
For dams, canals, power stations too.
The Hydro built their towns to plan
With the bosses at the hub and
Employees in the streets behind,
According to the jobs they do.

When construction was completed
The town was moved elsewhere.
With the village much downsized,
A service team was left to cope.
The primary school was rather small
With students few in number
From high country near and far,
Their schooling gave them hope.

Key folk within the village
Lived around a central park,
Forestry, Hydro, and Chalet staff
Were some that one would meet.
We were somewhat privileged,
Sharing sealed street and a park,
With garages that were heated
During winter’s snow and sleet.

Mill workers in the backstreet
Lived in houses built like ours,
But roads were remnant gravel,
Worn, potholed and rough.
Cutting timber in that highland place
Where the weather was extreme
Required resilience and strength,
When the going was so tough!

Mill saws became silent
Each Friday around noon
Workers slumped among the sags,
With longneck beers close to hand.
Some played hide and seek
With mates in bushland scrub,
Or hunted mountain black jays
In that unforgiving land.

The mill hands hunted kangaroos,
Sold as pet food down the valley;
As a source of extra income,
The skins were pegged and dried.
A room located off the lounge,
Was a skin and carcass room.
They hosed it in hot weather
To wash maggots off the hides.

Neighbours were one of a kind,
With quite unique tales to tell,
Living in that lonely place
In the centre of Tasmania.
Though l was only there a year
My memories are long lasting
Filed in the recesses of my mind,
Categorised as miscellanea.

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