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2013 Overall Winner & recipient of the Babies of Walloon bronze statuette

Edwards Property Mentorship Award

Ipswich Theme Awards

Chair’s Encouragement Awards

Rosewood Green Award – Open Age Local Poets

Joy Chambers & Reg Grundy Award – Open Age Other Poetry

Metro Hotel Ipswich International Award – Open Age Bush Poetry

Waiting by Catherine Lee (First Prize)

A Feather in a Locket by Robyn Sykes (Second Prize)

A Victim of War by Tom McIlveen (Third Prize)

A Little Silver Locket by Allan Goode (Highly Commended)

Aussies by Bessie Jennings (Highly Commended)

The Jumbuck Drama Club by Shelley Hansen (Highly Commended)

I travelled to my childhood home – the town of Jumbuck Creek –
and wandered past the Corner Store once owned by “Jim the Greek”.
It’s just about the only shop that has an open door –
the rest are boarded up these days – they ply their trade no more.
But then I spotted down the street a sight I thought was grand –
the vast unpainted structure of old Davo’s “Second Hand”,
where as a kid I poked about in blissful reverie… 
exploring all his treasures always fascinated me.

I stuck my head around the door and softly called his name… 
he dozed and waited for the customers who never came.
His rheumy eyes were blurry as he blinked against the glare… 
“It’s you, girl… strike me lucky! Come inside – pull up a chair!”
I wandered first around the shed, just touching little things
as memories came flooding back on swiftly beating wings.
An ancient treadle Singer struck a long-forgotten chord
when Davo said, “Remember? That machine belonged to Maud.”

Dear Maud – she was the stalwart of the Jumbuck Drama Club
that flourished in its heyday in the Hall behind the Pub.
She turned out all our costumes with her deft, creative flair
and kept us motivated with her passion and her care.
Undaunted by the challenges, we’d willingly aspire
to stage the plays of Shakespeare… or A Streetcar Named Desire…
and I discovered quickly this was teamwork at its best
as learning lines and painting props put talent to the test.

Our little Hall would fill with those from near and far away
who came to catch some “culcher” (as they called our yearly play),
and when we took our curtain call they whistled as we bowed… 
if we were at “Her Majesty’s” we couldn’t be more proud!
Young Joe the plumber’s son became Young Romeo on set,
while Mary from the Bakery was sweet as Juliet.
But l lost touch with both of them somewhere along the track –
then Joe was sent to Vietnam… and never did come back.

l spent an hour with Davo and two cups of Billy Tea… 
just chatting and remembering the way things used to be.
We talked of “drought and flooding rains”, of friends long dead and gone,
and how the town of Jumbuck Creek had died as folk moved on.
The Bakery was first to go – they couldn’t make it pay.
The Corner Shop sells bread now – but it isn’t fresh each day.
The Hardware and the Draper couldn’t match the online stores
who undercut their prices till they had to shut their doors.

The Drama Club had folded up as video took hold,
for no-one came to see the plays of actors who’d grown old.
Then Maud had died one summer at her house up on the hill –
the whirring needle of her Singer finally stood still.
l couldn’t bear the thought of it in someone else’s hands –
a stranger – never knowing all the things for which it stands –
or sentenced to decay in dust, forgotten and alone
with no one to retell the tales of splendour it has sewn.

And so I bought the Singer, and it’s in my sewing room
with pride of place in its own corner – saved from certain doom.
I polish it and oil it, but it rests in peace these days… 
a tribute to Maud’s legacy of costumes for our plays.
I almost hear it humming with the memory of years,
and as my thoughts trace times gone by, my vision mists with tears,
But then l hear Maud’s merry laugh and give my eyes a rub… 
and smile as l think back upon the Jumbuck Drama Club!

Said You Could Fly by Arthur Green (Highly Commended)

Two Wars by Yvonne Harper (Highly Commended)

Ipswich City Council Award – 16-17 Years

Broderick Family Award – 14-15 Years

Queensland Times Award – 11-13 Years

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Award – 8-10 Years

River 94.9 Award – 5-7 Years