The launch of the Southern Scibes latest book 'Sky Larks' took place at Hopetoun last night and was a wonderful evening of recitations, celebrations and entertainment.
I was delighted to be invited as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which included performances by local soprano Evelyn Arnold, the Qualup Choir, recitations from 'Sky Larks' by some of the contributing poets, a heartfelt official launch by poet and author Graham Kershaw from Denmark and wonderful music from a fabulous Denmark duo, Tony and Jude (two of the three socks in Jazz trio 'Odd Socks' from Denmark.......and a fabulous pair of socks they are too.)
Tony had written the music and adapted the lyrics of three of the poems in 'Sky Larks' which were very well received by the crowd. It would be good to see and hear a lot more from these musicians who effortlessly entertained throughout the evening with a guitar, a violin and two lovely voices. What really was the icing on the cake for me was watching local violinist Ron (who is no spring chicken, but plays like one) join the duo and jam away with nothing to use as music other than his ear! Quite brilliant.
It was a top night in the Hopetoun rural community which is still recovering from the shock of the Ravensthorpe mine closure late last year. I was given a quick tour of the town before the book launch by Southern Scribe Eve and her husband Frank, and was impressed at the infrastructure and money poured into the town, which looks fabulous. Not so impressed are some of the locals.
"BHP......Buggered Hopetoun Permanently. That's what I call it."said barman Cocky.
It is very sad to see so many new homes and buildings totally empty and deserted in the little seaside town and to hear of the huge financial losses and pain of those who were left holding the baby after BHP threw out the bath water.
However the true country spirit always shines through and there were plenty of laughs and good humour at the launch. Of particular note was a Southern Scribe husband's basterdised rendition of Paterson's 'Geebung Polo Club'. Highly entertaining!
Thanks you for inviting me to be a part of it all last night and I look forward to returning to entertain the Hopetoun community next year.