The Eucalyptus Men
© Aimee Farnsworth
These are the days when thoughts go back to those who long ago,
forged Australia’s future as they travelled to and fro.
Some journeyed to Avoca; a township started then,
and among those who settled were the Eucalyptus men.
They dwelt among the bushlands where the tall gums grew.
Erected “plants” as they were called to obtain the precious brew.
The process was a simple one, or so it seemed like then.
No University Degree was, needed by the Eucalyptus men.
Their arms were strong as they held high the branches from the trees,
and trimmed the twigs to form big heaps that gathered round their knees.
And hour by hour they worked till dusk and they rested then,
they were a sturdy patient breed these Eucalyptus men.
Then they loaded big drays high drawn by their faithful horses,
off times they bogged on rough bush tracks through muddy water courses.
Then man and beast would tug and heave, dig ruts to drain the fen.
Then tired out would head for home these Eucalyptus men!
The day the bush was treated an aroma filled the air,
as steam was forced among the leaves till the oil was no longer there.
It flowed through pipes and was distilled and we knew by then,
a good result had been achieved by the Eucalyptus men.
But times have changed and now sheep graze where once the bushes grew,
and cheaper brands from other lands have managed to come through.
Still most agree as they recall the “good oil” we had then,
it’s still the best, so “Cheers” for our Eucalyptus men.