Bush poet honoured with Cavalcade verse booklet

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For many years poet Ross ‘‘Blue Jeans’’ McMillan, of Naseby, captured the rhythms and rhymes of country life in his ‘‘bush poetry’’.

Tales of mustering and mountains, old tin huts and Otago skies were put to paper or sung.
He died last year aged 90. As a tribute, the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust has made a booklet of poems he created between 1991 to 2006 for the Cavalcade.
Trust member Roberta Laraman said they wished to honour his ‘‘unique poetic skills as a way of grateful thanks and appreciation’’.

With this year’s cavalcade ending in Patearoa on March 2, in the same district as Mr McMillan’s home in Naseby, it seemed an appropriate time to produce the booklet, she said.

Any profit would be given to an approved horse welfare association. The booklet will be available at the end of the Cavalcade in Patearoa or by contacting the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust, (03) 445-0111 or terry@cavalcade.co.nz.

 

1994 Cavalcade excerpt
By Ross ‘‘Blue Jeans’’ McMillan

The ring of the pick and the shovel

The shanty town born overnight.

The water that blasted the gravel,

The tents clustered khaki and white.

The garb and the tongue of all nations

All again from the past will appear

As we join in the gold celebrations

When the Cavalcades gather this year.