THE GIRL ON BREAKSEA ISLAND

Born in a light house, by Cape Leeuwin’s salty spray
She became her father’s keeper, when her mother passed away
No time for schoolyard games, another skill she made
With morse code and semaphore, she learned her father’s trade

She kept a silent vigil, over King George Sound
Watching war bound convoys, from a Breaksea mound
With flags and a mirror, she became the final link
Between the families and an army, sailing off to hell’s brink

Barely fifteen years of age, she left her childhood ways
Thrust into maturity, to pray for peaceful days
She was soon to realise, the lessons all would learn
From the countless lines of thousands, the ones who’d not return

She was like a beacon, on her island by the coast
When southern winds blew a gale, she gamely held her post
As each ship departed and ploughed the stormy foam
She had sent the soldiers greetings, to loved ones left at home

When those vessels made their sad return, with the wounded sick and lame
Her message would bring them hope, though few would know her name
As the last shot was fired and final words were said
Only then the country paused, to try and count the dead

Now our nation stops in silence, to remember those who died
The trusted souls of Albany, recall her name with pride
Though glory was bestowed, on generals of renown
The girl on Breaksea Island, her title is her crown

By Tomas ‘Paddy’ Hamilton
28 January 2018

 

CAPTION: Fay Howe, the girl from Breaksea Island, pictured in her late teens. Image courtesy Don Howe and the Albany History Collection.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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