Tuesday, May 20, 2014

George Smith the dictator

Part four. The diary of George Smith continues. It's April 1889 and George is still working as a labourer on the Great Southern Railway that was being constructed between Albany and Beverley in Western Australia.

Bush camp 1900 [Museum Victoria]

19/4 G Bow in our camp. Paddy Fits and McGloun ... their tucker and cans of ... because ganger wouldn't wait for them to get water in the morning at 5 past 8 they stopped work all day.
20/4 They used threatening language, was going to half kill the ganger, he being very frightened of them.
21/4 Sunday. Helped build tent for the ganger. Went over to the rowdies camp and talked blood and hair. Cowed them a little.
22/4 The rowdies done a lot of tongue work giving a lot of abuse to Courtney. Got off to our work all right. Asked guidance. Live peaceable with all men as much as possible.
23/4 Rowing again. Urged Courtney to hit McGloun couldn't get him to go for him. The ganger would go for police protection but persuaded him to not go and if the rowdies said or done anything I would knock ... out of them. Quieted his fears a little.
24/4 Peaceful. Saw Reardon inspector of repairs. Pleased with our work and said he would get us two fresh men.
25/4 Cutting scrub now with Bobby Hunter. Was pealed off to give him a hammering for language used. Was vexed by my very unchristian action.
26/4 Cutting scrub. Peace in the camp owing to me I believe holding the office of dictator.
27/4 Burning off. Rehmatics [sic] very bad in the shoulders. Rowdies still quiet.
28/4 Sunday. Washing, baking, went to a farm eight mile off for mutton. Got one fresh hand E McGinnis. Rowdies cleared out in the ...
29/4 Cutting scrub. Afternoon a terrific thunder storm. Sent letter home for Clissie storekeeper.
30/4 Clearing on the line. Becoming reconciled to my lot in a measure. Beginning to think of visiting New Zealand and after, God willing, home.

To be continued.

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