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The Rock-itt : April 2010
THE BLACK ANZAC They have forgotten him, need him no more He who fought for his land in nearly every war Tribal fights before his country was taken by Captain Cook Then went overseas to fight at Gallipoli and Tobruk World War One two black Anzacs were there France, Europe's desert, New Guinea's jungles, did his share Korea, Malaya, Vietnam again black soldier enlisted Fight for democracy was his duty he insisted Back home went his own way not looking for praise Like when he was a warrior in the forgotten days Down on the Gold Coast a monument in the Bora Ring Recognition at last his praises they are starting to sing This black soldier who never marches on ANZAC Day Living in his Gunya doesn't have much to say Thinks of his friends who fought, some returned some died If only one day they could march together side by side His medals he keeps hidden away from prying eyes No one knows, no one sees the tears in his old black eyes He's been outcast just left by himself to die Recognition at last black ANZAC hold your head high Every year at Gold Coast's Yegumbah Bora Ring site Black ANZAC in uniform and medals, a magnificent sight The rock with Aboriginal tribal totems paintings inset The Kombumerri people's inscription of LEST WE FORGET THE COLOURED DIGGER He came and joined the colours, when the War God's anvil rang, He took up modern weapons to replace his boomerang, He waited for no call-up, he didn't need a push, He came in from the stations, and the townships of the bush. He helped when help was wanting, just because he wasn't deaf; He is right amongst the columns of the fighting A.I.F. He is always there when wanted, with his Owen gun or Bren, He is in the forward area, the place where men are men. He proved he's still a warrior, in action not afraid, He faced the blasting red-hot fire from mortar and grenade; He didn't mind when food was low, or we were getting thin, He didn't growl or worry then, he'd cheer us with his grin. He'd heard us talk democracy--, They preach it to his face-- Yet knows that in our Federal House there's no one of his race. He feels we push his kinsmen out, where cities do not reach, And Parliament has yet to hear the Aborigine's maiden speech. One day he'll leave the Army, then join the League he shall, And he hope's we'll give a better deal to the Aboriginal. (This poem, by Sapper Bert Beros, a non-Aboriginal soldier in World War Two was written about Private West - one of his Aboriginal comrades