A POEM FOR RAPPVILLE
Legendary local bush poet Steve Cavenagh and artist Lyndall Phelps have worked together to create a poem celebrating the heart, spirit, history, people and landscape of Rappville.
The poem has been masterfully crafted by Steve after a successful poetry workshop held at the Rappville Pub in July 2021.
A small but dedicated group of wordsmiths banded together to brainstorm ideas for Steve to draw inspiration from in writing a bush ballad special to Rappville. The poem 'Welcome to Rappville' will inform one of the major artworks being produced by artist Lyndall Phelps for the community event in October.
To learn more about the poet Steve Cavenagh, visit his Facebook Page THE BUSH POET
Welcome to Rappville
Welcome to Rappville and Birihn country,
the Northern Rivers timber heartland.
Where we value our community,
sustainable logging, farming and a welcoming friendly hand.
Tropical summers and cool winter climates,
create abundance for now and future needs.
Managing and regrowth of our forests comes easy,
accomplished with love and caring, not greed.
We have a vast array of wildlife,
Koalas, Possums, Dingos and Owls just to name a few.
Birds, Bees, Goannas, Bandicoots, Giant Wood Moths,
and our beloved Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo.
We have a rich and tough colourful history,
only time separates us and our ancestors apart.
Selectors like Morrison, Rapp, Bailey, Greenstreet, and Bennett,
carving the beginnings of our loved towns young start.
Commerce began to abound and this gave birth to Rappville town,
butcher, baker, farrier, general store and our pub,
and Granny Greenstreet’s Cob & Co stop,
where you refreshed, got supplies and good grub.
Dairy farms became a normal sight,
as were fires floods and drought.
Creameries and hardwood mills became abundant,
breeding Aussie families strong true and stout.
People came from near and far,
for the work was plenty and hard.
Families like Small, McKee, Lollback and King,
forging new lives here yard by yard.
The early settlers planted our Jacarandas,
and our Camphor Laurels after the Great Wars close,
in honour of those that gave their life to their country,
defending Australia and fighting its foes.
And whilst those that volunteered or served,
went off to fight in all our wars,
the Women’s Land Army and local women,
did all of their town and farm work and chores.
Trees and farming have always been our life,
we till the soil, we plant, we grow.
Breeding cattle’s just another one of our specialities,
and our gold Tea Tree’s the best on the worlds show.
And through all of Rappville’s history,
our timber mills have kept the home fires burning.
Managing and expanding our beautiful forests,
through best practice and time immortals learning.
Whether it’s Spotted Gums for poles,
or the old Apple Wood Tree for shade,
or our famous Iron Bark for sleepers,
and Blackbutt timber that quality furniture’s made.
And like the Phoenix rising from the ashes,
from the devastating 2019, wild fire storm,
Rappville has again risen to the occasion,
rebuilding and forging ahead for our brand new dawn.
We also pay tribute, to those that helped and fought,
to save our beloved town.
When that wave and wall of fire,
tried but failed to take our community down.
The regeneration of Myrtle Creek is in progress,
with Myrtles, Weeping Lilly Pillys, and Wild Silky Oak tree,
to blend with our good mix of local hardwoods,
in our vast bush that runs wild and free.
So step in to Henry Rapp’s pub,
the historic and majestic Commercial Hotel.
Sit down have a cool drink, a feed and a yarn,
and let the spirits of the past stories tell.
Soak up our beautiful, native bushland,
and forget all of life’s worry and strife,
whilst our trees fill your soul and body,
with the gift, that is oxygen and life.
Steve Cavenagh the Bushpoet (2021)