The Men from Derwent River
Coffee Sippers International, – Hamnett’s List – 2019
It’s ten o’clock on Thursday and there’s movement in our town,
A group of retired teachers gather at a local ‘caff’,
Their friendships go back many years, these Sippers of renown.
These men can tell a tale or two and rarely make a gaffe.
This group of men have served their time as teachers in our schools.
Now they have all retired and have gone their separate ways,
To pursue their hobbies and embark on things considered cool.
They get together once a week, on Thursdays, come what may.
There’s Harry: a foundation member and mentor to us all,
A former politician, checks to see if we’re okay.
He follows up when times are tough, by visit or a call,
Harry exhibits care for those around him, come what may.
Bryan is the patriarch, an elder of The Sippers,
He wouldn’t miss a Thursday and the friendships that he’s found
In the company of these men, who help him stay ‘chipper’,
By sharing in the stories that in Sippers can be found.
Ron and Gerald, both techies in the past, did renovations
For members of the group, . . . their work was something to behold.
Sadly they’ve hung up their tools, handed in their resignations,
As they have commitments, with their families to uphold.
Lewis is the organiser, who selects all the places
Where we meet, . . . he loves to tell us where to go!
An international traveller, adventure Lew’ embraces.
He’s the conduit for the Sippers’ information flow.
Gundars, a fisherman at heart, bought a brand new boat
This season. Lake Pedder is the place he likes fishing most.
He loves strumming his guitar, when he’s not afloat,
Was seen in budgie smugglers, up on the Queensland coast.
John is ‘the fat controller’, the train lover in our group,
Whose Double O gauge railway set, was built in his garage.
When confronted by a wall, that hindered the railway’s loop,
He tunnelled past high voltage wires, the layout to enlarge!
Phil’s a connoisseur of sound, – CD, vinyl and much more.
The preservation of sound provides his motivation,
For raising funds on Tuesdays, at a Bunnings hardware store:
But alas, the smell of snags, destroys his salivation!
Bernard loves his cruises, to exotic destinations
The restaurants are marvellous and drinks quite special too.
No matter where he sails they will be his ruination,
As the freedom to imbibe, adds a kilogram or few!
Bill flies off to destinations, located interstate,
He catches up with friends, and enjoys the interaction
With family in Bris-Vegas, and much further up the state
At Cairns in FNQ, – giving endless satisfaction.
Wes watches weather patiently, for when wind and wave are calm,
He’ll head down to Taroona beach and at the boat ramp there,
He’ll get to launch his tinny and enjoy the river’s charm,
Gently rocking on the waves, flathead fishing, without care!
Nick no longer teaches kids on remote outback stations.
He bought a house, sold the van, for settled life did call.
Fond memories of helping kids, with their education
Are his to treasure and remember, – so much to recall!
Max is encyclopaedic when discussing many sports,
He knows the rules; he knows the scores, and who plays where and when,
Knows who will compete the best, is prepared to share his thoughts:
He studies the strategic plays, when the mindset is to win.
Roger is a craftsman, as seen: – in all his timberwork,
Intricate handmade jewellery, . . . everything he does.
Embroidery stands are an example, of his careful work,
But newfound skills of silver smith, give him quite a buzz.
Frank likes being different, to stand out when with Sippers.
He is not fond of coffee; he prefers a sweeter taste,
But sipping on his milkshake, makes him feel much ‘hipper’,
A beverage to be savoured; not to be drunk in haste.
Melvin flies in from Thailand, to meet with friends in town,
As our one and only F.I.F.O., it’s great to see him here.
He adds an international dimension, whenever he’s around
Sippers in the ‘Land Down Under’, . . . but he’ll be back next year.
Chris splits his time between, Orford and Geilston Bay.
From relaxing in the shack, soaking up the Spring Beach sun,
Or taming grand kids at The Bay, on many other days,
One thing we know for sure, he’s always on the run!
A blast of music rents the air for John is back this day,
After time in Europe, where he roamed for quite a while.
His beloved Tigers won the AFL, while he was away.
Now he’s in our face by playing ‘Tigerland,’ on his mobile’.
Mike can be sometimes found, on his son’s construction site,
Or at the Scout Camp on the Lea, his special place to be,
With day release prison folk, helping minimise their plight,
Improving their chances, to re-join community.
Garry travels for months across this sunburnt Land of Oz,
Exploring all the highways, and off-road with caravan.
Grand kids consume a small portion of his time, because,
The shack up at the Great Lake; is his me-time, escape plan.
Peter loves driving buses but has now risen to fame,
By hosting the Old Beach Masters, a competition when
Old chalkies play tennis and when declared a winner, they may claim
Sausage rolls, and bragging rights, until they compete again.
Jim loves to have an argument, when he has a point to prove.
His chosen adversary, is Glenorchy City Council,
Re planning decisions about amenities approved.
Councillors shake when Jim arrives, with notebook and a pencil.
Red cars go fast, . . . that’s what the Park boys have us believe.
Cherry red is easier to find, when parked on an urban street.
Chris spends his time with grandkids, Pop’s attention they receive.
Twin Robert dreams of sailing days and trimming his mainsheet.
Con has returned to CSI after months of isolation,
He has begun achieving ‘Frequent Sippers’ in a row.
Geoff is back from wandering to the west of this vast nation,
Enjoying many places, with his family in tow.
Danny is here again: – he doesn’t like our winters much,
He’ll migrate to Queensland, when autumn days are turning cold.
Carl is inspirational: he has a brand new green Smart-Crutch,
And he’s fixing up a laundry for his daughter, so we’re told.
Ken prefers his singing, while Rob and Brian spend days
With mates at golf, minding grandkids, but choose to come sometimes.
Rob drives in from Swansea; it’s worth coming all that way,
To meet with friends at Sippers, when he has the time.
Peter, at beautiful Melaleuca, – has many days to spend
In Tasmania’s isolated, wild and rugged south-west,
Home of the orange-bellied parrot: where landscapes never end.
He describes his world of Bathurst Harbour, as “Just the best!”
Rob is working to improve the schools and their resources
On a small, remote Pacific Island nation,
He contributes to environmental discourses,
Specifically: on climate change, and government inaction.
Barry, held a pilot’s licence, and roamed free in the sky.
He’s an international traveller when his time permits.
He’s a handyman, and when that doesn’t satisfy,
There is always Hawthorn, his A.F.L team, that benefits.
Lee has become a regular since moving from the north
Exchanging the rolling hills of the North-West Coast
For Hobart, where downsizing his in-laws place, henceforth,
Has been the task that occupies his time the most.
Peter comes to the Hurricane’s whenever time permits,
When he can forsake the glorious sunsets, over Georges Bay.
Peter, Mike and Trevor have not often come to visit
But they’re always welcome to join us, on any Sippers’ day.
Bill (Me) enjoys his time with sippers and the friendships it provides,
Men who help uplift him, when illness rears its ugly head.
For one brief hour each week, he can put that all aside,
To meet with valued friends, tell stories, and laugh with them instead.