Operation Raleigh Expedition 9A Tasmania
A poem by one of the venturers:
Seventy sleepy venturers,
Stumbled from the plane
They gazed around with subdued delight
For they had left the frost and rain.
And Hobart's warmth was a greeting fine,
After a long and boring flight.
The trees so green and sky so blue,
And the sun was shining bright.
Thus it remained for the next few days,
At the barracks where they stayed,
Oh what false security,
Many hopes would be betrayed.
Group six, the met in such blazing heat,
And were told of their prospective phase,
They would clear a path in Mount Field Park,
A task to full their days.
Once in the bush the sun did dim,
The clouds rolled heavy and black,
The rain came and battered the group,
As they beat the bush on the track.
The group, they lived together well,
They were quite a mixture rare,
When clothes were soaking and limbs did ache,
They didn't really care.
There was Aidy with his joking ways,
And Stacy loved his food,
Dave's humour was as dry as hay,
And Lee just chopped up wood.
Martin was often rather quiet,
When he thought of his little lady,
But he too was full of cheer and fun,
And made a rowdy paid with Aidy.
Abdulla, he was from Oman,
His face was full of smiles,
And when he talked of walks so short,
He tripled up all the miles.
The project leader was another Martyn,
He was nick-named "Clint"
He had travelled wide and far
Although he was usually skint.
Steve, the ranger and instructor of work,
He told many an exciting tale,
He gave them extra food and treats
And at Christmas he brought in their ale.
The three girls in the group of nine,
They took the teasing well,
But when Dave and Lee let loose their wind,
They could not ingnore the smell.
When the insults they would start to fly,
Jean gave as good as she got,
But Emmie would just smile and laugh,
and her face would go all hot.
Tracy varied between extremes
of seriousness and mad,
When she'd first had a few to drink,
She became mysteriously sad.
For is was Christmas time that they all let loose,
The sun began to shine,
Having had three weeks of damp and dirt,
They welcomed beer and wine.
They welcomed it perhaps a bit too much,
For sickness did abound,
On Boxing Day the loos smelt bad,
And bodies lay all around.
Back to work the day after that,
They trekked with heavy packs,
Shoulders strained against the weight,
And pains grew in their backs.
To paint a hut and lay duckboard,
is what they had to do,
But the snow imprisioned them inside,
Where bordom and lethargy grew.
So this is where we leave the valiant group,
Victims of the weather once more.
In a rain battered hut, for something to do
They can only deplete their food store.