The Men Who Made Australia [poem, 19 January 1914]

[Editor: A poem published in The Barrier Miner, 19 January 1914.]

The Men Who Made Australia.

Some branches of the A.N.A. in Victoria, having advocated the abolition of the kilt uniform of the Scottish regiments in favor of the “Australian uniform,” “Woomera,” of the “Australasian,” writes the following verses:—

When first this land was colonised
By Anglo-Saxon races,
Who made its wilderness their home,
Found all its fertile places.
Who was it blazed the trails ye tread,
But those who came before ye;
Who is it pays the land tax now,
The Pioneers who bore ye.

What was it in these times of stress
Made every Scot a brother?
The kilt he seldom wore himself,
But loved upon another.
Now what you call your uniform,
Is Jap or Turk or Roosian ;
A thing without a history,
Just like your institution.

Ye’re going to make Australia great;
’Twill grow just as ye bid it.
Why mon before you’d cut a tooth
We dam well went an’ did it.
If talk would serve ye’d make a stir,
Ye’re great at an oration ;
An’ think that cutting doctors down
Means building up a nation.

A benefit society —
Perhaps I’m wrong to mock it —
But while ye talk of benefits,
We’ve got ’em in our pocket.
We laid the broad foundation down,
You trifle with the copin’ ;
Before you’d grow a single branch
Our Fourway Lodge was open.

We were the architects of Fate —
He might have had a worse ’un
Than Ronald Cameron of Lochiel,
Or Campbell or MacPherson.
And when an opening came our way
We’d just the men to fill it;
The Scot monopolised the land,
The Irishman the billet.

Thus Celt and Gael the burden bore,
And shared things on their merits,
And what they didn’t need themselves,
The A.N.A. inherits.
So ere they shape Australia more,
By speech or declaration,
They’d best consult the men who made
And really own the nation.

The Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), Monday 19 January 1914, page 3

[Editor: Corrected Tehy’d to They’d.]

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