Works in the Herald 1935

The Japanese ship, Kianno Mara, arrived this week to take the Bass Strait veteran, Oonah, on her last voyage -- to the shipbreakers in Japan. For many years the Oonah sailed regularly between Melbourne and Burnie (Tasmania).

"Outgoing: the Ooonah for Burnie"....
   How often the radio spoke;
Till the stout little ship and her journey
   Grew into a mild sort of joke.
But no longer her donkeyman grapples
   His slings by the sweet island shore
For a cargo of timber or apples.
   The Oonah goes sailing no more.
No more; save the landfall she's making,
   The last, on her funeral trip
To the land where she goes for her breaking --
   Grim graveyard of many a ship.
And a few, it may be, will go grieving
   To know of that busy craft's fate,
Who many times hooved with her heaving
   As Oonah rolled over the strait.
There many proud, tall-masted schooners
   She passed in the night, ships o' sail;
While stars winked o'er fond honeymooners
   Who whispered soft words by her rail.
And tourists and grave politicians,
   Who knew the old Oonah full well,
In all sorts of weather conditions,
   Have had many a story to tell.
And many a soul who sailed with her,
   Since Oonah first breasted the foam,
Has taken the long voyage thither,
   To every man's ultimate home.
Who knows now what mystical journey
   Those sail, to the sounds of high mirth
As a ghost-ships heads hull-down for Burnie,
   With a complement not of the earth. 

Herald, 21 June 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004-07