The Coasters

When you have wandered far
From the old home town,
And the years have slipped away
When out of the past
You meet an old friend
From the Buller or the Grey;
How you shake his hand
In the good old way and smile
When you hear him proudly say
There's no place like the Coast!

Memories come flooding back
As you talk of the long ago
And of those you use to know
Of once familiar faces
Still remembered places
The district's ebb and flow
You ask of this and that one
But sadly he shakes his head
For the years have taken a steady toll
With many a school mate dead,
And into your heart comes a silent toast
To all those folk
Who 'made' the Coast.

Later on in reverie
The glorious past comes back
The pageantry of gold rush days
Of pioneers and pack-horse track;
Of shanty towns by river mouth
Rough shacks by bush-fringed streams
Habitats of eager men
Of hopes and shattered dreams .........

Whakatane. 1947
This unfinished poem about his fellow Coasters.

The reference here to 'Coasters', refers to those born in Westland New Zealand. Generally they enjoy a mantel of the original pioneering stock, warm. genial and hard-working. They are a special bred ...they are the Coasters.

 Bill Whiteside's grandparents Richard and Mary Boddy gave their name to Boddytown, just south of Greymouth.


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