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I'll tell you a story not many would know
of mid-Australian history a local museum has on show.

It's a maritime story not of convict ship nor trader,
but of our relationship with one Confederate Raider.

Not politically correct given Britain prohibited slavery,
in a quiet southern colony however the crew were celebrity.

Our indigenous blacks treated then with contempt
much like the red indian in his buffalo hide tent.

At Williamstown, west of Melbourne for refit and supplies
as Yanky blockades of their own ports had access denied.

The Union requested the ship be placed under arrest,
the Governor declined as recorded history can attest.

We've had our fair share of outlaws, intrigue and dramas,
much of it due to commoners, miners and farmers.

This with some difference courtesy of her Officers so friendly,
a welcome distraction for our high born and gentry.

The crew were welcome guests in house and in manor
and a great ball hosted at Ballarat in their honor.

Fond memories I'm sure they had of party and feast
too easily foregotten with eventual news of defeat.

By the U.S. we were charged, compromising our neutrality,
the World Court awarded a mighty sum as due penalty.

Open on Sundays across the mouth of the Yarra River,
a history of old Williamstown and the rebel ship, Shannandowa.

Coming from an Anglo-Celtic backgroud I have an interest in English history though being of a working class environment my interest is higher than general knowledge but not so accute as to be termed historian.
I can be somewhat political & playing the Devil's Advocate on occasions gives people a false perception of my ideals.

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The following comments are for "Southern Cross Grays"
by ozpink

Thanks Claire, with such a delay in the acceptance of this one I supposed the 'Blacks' reference was considered offensive so I submitted a revised copy with more polite terminology. It did not occur to me till the original appeared that our Editor in Chief had just been swamped by submissions.
I thought it was relevant to the slavery issue to make the skin colour parallel, though as an indigenous population they had nothing else in common & to have used a simile would have been even more derogatory.

( Posted by: ozpink [Member] On: January 14, 2004 )

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