Honouring our Founding and remembering Tim Fischer, Boree Creek, Riverina, NSW.
On Saturday 31 August, on a sudden impulse, we decided to drive from Leeton to nearby Boree Creek for morning tea. With the moving State tribute to Tim Fischer still fresh in our minds, it seemed like a good idea to honour him by going to experience the place he grew up in and loved.
We were thoughtful on the way. Golden canola stretching as far as the horizon. Young wheat too, firm and strong.
Julian would have loved this, besotted as he was with the beautiful, always aware of the Presence of the Creator in the created. A sense rises inside: “We are experiencing his type of amazement!”
As we travel, big black birds wait by the roadside, opportunistically. Cockatoos carpet patches of paddocks and galahs grey-pink their way here and there. Sheep in their creams on the greenest of fields, ‘playing cricket’ it seems. Not bowling or batting, just fielding, focusing mindfully in contentment. And shiny black cattle, all facing the same way, ‘Raising the power’ of our own consciousness in honouring a good man’s life on this bright day, under a denim-blue sky.
We find Tim’s primary school with its magpie emblem. The Boree Creek pub is open, because ‘the flag’s up!’ A museum on every wall: images of sheep, horses, cattle, football teams. Some poetry and recipe books on shelves. And posters of Tim. A railway line for a main street. Wheat silos towering over this nearly ghost-town. A colonnade of shops threatening collapse. Signs of former prosperity. And then the shock: This pub’s “For sale’. A cry inside, “Don’t let it all die.”
And, for the Church in these parts: Small places of worship for different persuasions dot settlements along the way. Often empty now. Signs of zest from former times. Unsureness for the future. In Boree Creek a uniquely round ‘shared Church.’ A cry inside: “Don’t let it die. Please don’t let it all die!”
We greet a rusty wayfarer and his dog, a piece of bush art deep in thought, it seems. We know we are in territory that first inspired our founding and remember Mother Mary’s words of experience, “We are but travellers Here.” Janet says, “She’d have loved this place.” A sense inside: “Let’s not forget!”
And so, for you, Tim Fischer! Hey ‘True Blue’, You in the broad-brimmed hat! ‘Nasho’ and ‘Nat’, Vietnam Vet, farmer, lover of the land, faithful family man, Finding what’s ‘right’ midst competing loyalties. ‘Holy Roman’, Ambassador minding our Mary before her Canonisation, Papal Knight, the day before you died.
A Jesus-man, upturning expectations, disregarding mockers. A humble person whose truth and goodness still shine. One who could enjoy fun enthusiastically, and play with trains, and love them, And know their timetables “by heart.” A cry inside, “Please don’t let his type of goodness die!”
After a coffee in the empty pub we drove to Lockhart. We visited a couple of Op Shops. Every township has several. Jan finds some garments for a song, and Virginia an Australian poetry book and a pair of as-new sneakers for $5. Then we have a bite and come home, feeling blessed in the experience.
Srs Janet Glass and Virginia Bourke rsj. [Leeton, NSW]
Photos taken by Janet Glass and Virginia Bourke rsj. Used with permission.