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Banjo Paterson - His voice may be heardBanjo Paterson - His voice may be heard

Banjo Paterson holds a special place in the Australian heart. His work, perhaps more than that of any other poet, articulates and encapsulates a deep and abiding send of what we feel ourselves to be. Whether bush born or city bred, we are united by Waltzing Matilda and thrilled by The Man From Snowy River. And there is much in between.

By John Dunn

There's a museum in faraway Winton in north-west Queensland; a sculpture in a busy Gold Coast arcade; a bronze book on a cairn in tiny Yeoval in New South Wales; an annual festival at Corryong in Victoria. It seems that wherever you go in this country, you don't have to travel far before there's some evidence of A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson or his works. And, apart from places, there are people - entertainers - constantly perpetuating his memory, from the outskirts of Bendigo, Vic, in the south, to remote Kynuna, Qld, in the north.

Banjo Paterson - His voice may be heardAndrew Barton Paterson died 62 years ago but he is as well known now, perhaps better so, than he was more than a century ago, when he was writing his poems, ballads and prose. Banjo Paterson and his literature will live forever. Time will not see Waltzing Matilda or The Man from Snowy River disappear. Nor Clancy of the Overflow, nor Rio Grande's Last Race, nor Mulga Bill's Bicycle. They are an indelible part of the Australian ethos; becoming stronger - not dimmer - as the years roll by. Story end

Full story Issue 33 Feb/Mar 2004

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