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Birkdale on the North Shore

Birkdale on the North Shore

Where the Ferries ply no more

The tall kauris have all gone

And the native birds with their song.

The early settlers knew how

To clear the land and plough

Fruit trees were soon to be seen

In rows neat and lean.

Bell’s Mill has now gone

Down by the creek where kauri was cut and sawn.

When the school bell sounded at three

It was not home to play with glee,

But to work on the straw ber-ree.

The produce to get to town was no easy way

Down to the wharf with horse and dray

A Cannery there once stood

To can that fruit so good.

Our favourite swimming spot

Down at the Lagoon when the weather was hot

Where the salt and fresh waters meet

And sometimes catch flounder to eat.

Our school built in 1884

Was one of a few on the Shore

Pupils came from afar

On foot and never a car.

Our roads of Sugar Works ash

Where seldom you heard a crash.

Up early to milk the cow

Home again in the evening and the fowls to feed

The separating had to be done

So as to churn the cream until butter would come.

Where neighbours would seek advice

From one another on problems beyond their reach.

No buses or ferries to catch

But harness up the old horse and trap.

Where many sports clubs were born

Like Tennis, Cricket, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides

All at our school they were formed.

Our YMCA in the Methodist Hall would meet

To do Gym and exercises so neat.

The Walton Cup was contested yearly

And won by the fittest not the weakly.

Nurse McDonald would come for those who were in labour

And deliver first head and then toes.

I know this is true

As I am one of those.

That was Birkdale

Birkdale where I was born.

- Glad Durham


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