Last year, before Anthony turned 75, I decided to throw him a huge party and invite every single one of his friends and relatives. I knew at the time that it would be our last opportunity to do this because of how rapidly Anthony’s health was deteriorating. The party was a resounding success with everyone here at the farm – over 100 people! One of the highlights was this poem, written by his friend, Eden, and read out by his nephew, Andrew. Eden had handwritten it and I now have it framed and on the wall in Anthony’s room at the nursing lodge. Every time I read it, it makes me laugh and cry and laugh again.
So long ago by just a chance
to town he came for drink and dance.
That’s how we met so long ago, and
set the future’s wonderful show.
From Balingup hills to Dardanup flats,
drinking, hard working and fast cars to bat.
Like the “G.T.” roaring from “Bythorne’s” gate,
only shortly after to meet its fate.
The “A9X” would do no such thing,
It was far too precious with all its bling.
The shake of his hand is a law to abide,
welcoming many to “come inside.”
The kitchen table like a rock to the land,
a tea or a beer always at hand.
The AGA sits with pride of place,
the warmth of its glow etched in his face.
Cows in the shed, calves on the chain,
Shorts, teeshirt ’n boots he’d tend to them for gain.
The hours long and days of repeat,
milk quota cheques made it ever so sweet.
The “Inkys and Docs” were to provide for a stash,
when times were hard and the beef market crash.
That’s breeding the dachshunds should you not know,
just another chapter in this wonderful show.
Loyal to his siblings, workers and friends,
Arthur and Ken, the incredible men.
Side by side, intuitively so, Anthony Goyder
would give them a go.
So many shared his trust and kind ways,
so many fortunate come what may.
Somewhere in the midst came a wife and a son,
a job in the waiting, which had to be done.
They’re the pride of his fleet and ultimate test
To his boyness manner and youthful zest.
A husband sincere and ‘King of the Dads’
Menzies his son, such a fortunate lad.
‘His Royal Highness’ of Paradise Road,
is always there to share the load
of a mind stressed or persons ill,
he’s always kind and full of will.
Not father, brother or simply friend
but something of each his curious blend.
This man would show the way of right
and steady the wrong of which I might.
These qualities not destined at birth,
but earnestly found as he treads the earth.
This bloke of endless humour and wit
has a soulful nature blended from grit.
Should a scrap of fight I had to go
I’d have Goyder on side and not as foe.
The hard hits he’d take for all his mob,
then wryly smile and say good job.
His humour and wit come to the fore
exclaiming “they missed the Goyder once more!”
A yell to his mates would be “grab us a beer,
let’s get out now with something to cheer!”
In 25 years it’s cheers we will,
the time going by like the ring of a till.
With Queen’s telegram he’ll calling us back,
for a drink and a yarn at the “Bythorne Shack.”
“A Queen’s telegram! I’m one hundred you know.”
I can’t wait for that in his wonderful show ….
Me on the left and Ants on the right as the poem was being read out.