Trip of a life time (3) Gundagai NSW

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February 16th 2008
Published: February 23rd 2008
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I had to do it. I had to do the tourist thing with the dog and the family
Brief diary entries

Monday 26 January 1987

Leave Orange. Cowra, Young, Lunch Cootamundra, Gundegai 2 x dog + tuckerbox. 3 x long bridge. Hot dry. Scenery and weather. Tarcutta pop 350 Fan belt gone. PC Joan.

".... its origins lie firmly in the Australian bush and the early pioneers - who in this case forged west and south from the colonial headquarters in Sydney, following the explorers searching for the source of the Murrumbidgee River. Numbers of them took up holdings in the Gundagai district in the period 1830-50

They were hard and hazardous times with supplies and stores having to be transported along makeshift tracks over rough terrain by bullock teams. To pass the time while often being bogged, or for the river level to fall at crossings such as Muttama Creek near Gundagai, 'bullockies' would recite doggerel and rhymes picked up on their travels - and, sometimes, even write a few lines. Often on such occasions the bullocky's dog would sit guarding its master's tuckerbox and possessions while he was away seeking help.

So was the legend of 'The Dog on the Tuckerbox' born in the 1850s. "


Bowyang Yorke's Poem
As I was coming down Conroy's Gap,
I heard a maiden cry;
'There goes Bill the Bullocky,
He's bound for Gundagai.
A better poor old beggar
Never earnt an honest crust,
A better poor old beggar
Never drug a whip through dust.'
His team got bogged at the nine mile creek,
Bill lashed and swore and cried;
'If Nobby don't get me out of this,
I'll tattoo his bloody hide.'
But Nobby strained and broke the yoke,
And poked out the leader's eye;
Then the dog sat on the Tucker Box
Nine miles from Gundagai.


29th March 2008

Dog on Tuckerbox or the DonT
The Dog on the Tuckerbox is about a large massacre of Aboriginal people in the 1830s. The story wouldnt go away and peopel began to write poems and songs and put up dogs on sticks at the Nien Mile. (In Indigenous lore, a shape a bit similar to a dog is an important cultural aspect so 'dog' refers to indigenosu people and lore similar to 'tigers' in Gundagai refers to member sof the Rugby league Club). The poems, songs and dogs up on sticks became embarrassing for the town and area, but it is what the area is known for even if the massacre was a very terrible one. The DonT monument was built an dsome try ot align it with faithful dogs. Any quick reading of the inscription on the monument tells the reader that monument is at the least about the war the colonials had with the Indigenosu people whent hey took their land from them. The dray loaded with flour did bog in the creek. The driver went to the pub and when he came back the flour had been interferred with. The colonials then laced the remainign flour with arsenic and more flour was taken. The deaths were terrible but there were also abuses perpetrated by the colonials on the Indigenosu peopel as they were dying. A recent archaeological survey of the Five Mile/Coolac area has found numerous artefacts, campsites etc. The area was an incredibly important Indigenosu cultural area as is all of Gundagai and the surrounding country. This has been hidden but is also at the same time, now well known where it needs to be known. Areas are listed on the AIHMS Register.
29th March 2008

Dog on Tuckerbox or the DonT
Thanks for that feedback. I hadn't heard that. I wish I had know it at the time. I would have looked at it with different eyes.

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