Lithgow Barracks Attendant

A Poem by Frank Brown©Frank Brown 1945

Of the many barracks attendants
On the north, the south, and west,
The men all voice with one accord
Mrs. Noonan was the best.

Her motto. it was cleanliness,
And these facts we must recall,
She was never known to report a man,
And was loved by one and all.

She had one pet aversion
Which she fought with all her might,
The creatures I allude to
Are those "pilgrims of the night."

If ever she could find a trace
Where one of these had been,
The barracks reeked with odour
Of phenol and kerosene.

And as we lay in bed at night
Our· thoughts were sure to roam
To those creatures on the doorstep,
Crying out, "We're driven from home."

Through many dreary winters
She was never known to shirk,
Forty years of service.
And not once late for work.

While the snow lay heavy on the ground,
As the day began to peep,
The noise of broom and buckets
Would arouse you from your sleep.

Forty years a unionist–
Now men, bear this in mind.
They handed her her clearance
On the day that she resigned.

Just a few words in conclusion,
And what I say is right,
Our hearts are in this token
That we present to-night.

Of good health and of happiness
May she enjoy the best,
And may the Lord! watch o'er her
Through her days of well-earned rest.

Vale, 1945.


From Frank Brown's 1948 book "Engine 1174 and Other Verses"

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