Harvest Time, 1949
Gulnare, Mid North of South Australia
The town nestled west of the railway line. Bare hills rose to the east, the road to Jamestown Bisected Tuckwell’s stubble-covered paddocks. The first time that Bob Green, stationmaster, Hurried across the oval to the schoolhouse, Was to bandage my brother’s head, hit, by me, From my pram, with a milk bottle. The second time, The hoe descending, meant for the scrubby ground, Met, instead, the head of my crouching brother. Goods trains with their great black locomotives Stood by the wheat sheds, the grain elevators busy, And busy were workmen bag-sewing with long curved needles. A needle stuck for a moment in the stiff coarse cloth, Then jerked free, rose to pierce the eyeball Of Tuckwell’s workin’ man. I was seven. From the stationmaster’s house ran Bob Green, first-aid kit In his hand, another head to tend. Nightly the black and looming locomotives Pursued me across the oval to the schoolhouse.
Tony Andrews (pictured below right, in the pram, with his brother Brian at Gulnare) spent his childhood years in the South Australian Mid North town of Gulnare. He is a retired maths lecturer, and an alumnus of Adelaide, Flinders and Cambridge universities. He contributed short stories to the Adelaide Review in its early days under Christopher Pearson, and held one-man art exhibitions in the 1970s in Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne.