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Mangoes Ripening

60 Year Re - Union.

G’Day, once more we’re on parade, we the Class of Fifty- four,

Like our hair, our ranks are thinning, but you know it’s been three score,

Long years, since first we gathered, fresh faced and keen, I’ve snap shots still,

Of a place just out of Wagga, with the Post Code, Allonville.

Brings back memories of letters, thus addressed, and parcels too,

Severed ties of home and Family, and a future, no one knew,

Where it was, that we were going, but we went there anyway,

Once you took the young Queen’s Shilling, onward seemed the only way.

Far and wide since then we’ve journeyed, on our Life Paths, quite diverse,

Our departure point, a marriage, we’re for better we’re for worse.

We were bonded on The Bull Ring, aching limbs and blistered feet,

How we cursed the bloody D.I’s, bloody flies, the cold, the heat.

Basic Hangar huge and draughty, in the Winter, Summers, Hell.

Allied Trades a break from filing, and the ceaseless marching, well,

How we loved ablution cleaning, Panic on a Monday Night,

Kit inspections, with nit pickers, would we never get it right?

Dived for pearls in The Queen Mary, scrubbing endless pots and pans,

Bent in half much like a U bolt, grease from armpits down to hands,

Dishes, dishes by the thousands, never ending, wait there’s more,

“I have finished,” no you haven’t, hungry Appies through the door.

Steel gate beds, with ‘friendly donkeys,’ filled with horsehair, we slept fine,

Sixteen young’ uns, snoring farting, suffering curvature of spine,

Do you just recall the good bits? Well I’m here to tell you :No.

But in hindsight, did it matter? What we are, it made us so.

The Wagga Staff , deserve our praise, it’s better late than never,

They took a bunch of smart arsed kids, and turned us into clever.

For over all they taught us, well, and we in turn gave back,

Our youth and vigour, vital years, and somewhere down the track,

Seems we all should count our blessings, and be thankful we are here

In this room with friends from way back, and loved ones, we hold dear.

Sadly some who should be with us, have through ill-health been denied,

Fast the numbers of our living, will be less, than those who died.

For one day soon, as Mangoes do, we’ll all drop and decay,

And for a while our seed may smile, that we have passed this way.

But for now happy up and remember,

No matter where you came from or achieved, you can’t ignore,

We are brothers we are bonded, we’re the Class of Fifty- Four.

Long John Best 2014

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