Wilkie DavisPrint Page
Born on the remote Olive Downs station north west of Tibooburra, near the turn of the twentieth century, Wilkie Davis grew up among stockmen who respected the man who could recite bush poetry – it was part of their language.
His six foot, seventeen stone father could recite poems of every kind, and his mother would read to him and his brothers nightly in their remote bush homestead. Henry Lawson, Will Ogilvie, Rudyard Kipling and Dorothea McKellar, became his constant companions and taught him a way of responding to the “wide brown land” that was his home. It was a great source of pride to him that his grandfather W.W. Davis, who helped pioneer the district, was the ‘Baldy Thompson’ featured in Lawson’s writing.
In his later years Wilkie became a living symbol of a past era on the main street of Bourke, out in front of the chemist; a bushman, squatted on his heels, rolling a cigarette in one hand, ready to yarn quietly with any passer- by who took the time.
|Address:||Mitchell Street (Mitchell Highway), Poets Corner, Central Park, Bourke, 2842|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -30.089231|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
Local bush poet William Walter Davis was born at Olive Downs Station near Tibooburra in 1903. He acquired Bendemeer Station east of Bourke in 1938 and lived there for the rest of his life.
Wilkie always had a yearning for literature but it wasn't until after WW1 that he began to write poems which he regularly submitted to the Bourke Western Herald often under the pseudonym of 'Gumbalie Bridge.'
Wilkie's work showed his great love of the outback. He wrote a couple of short stories and a book of verse called The Bush Is Mine.
Most people who remember Wilkie Davis can picture him sitting on his haunches in fron of Towers Drug Company chatting to locals about the good old days. Wilkie Davis died in 1993 aged 90.
Wilkie's poem 'Wistful Dreams' concludes
'And when the sunlight silver comes.
And heralds another day
I'll follow the road-wise steer again.
Or perhaps I will track a stray.
I'll be with you at the North Bourke bridge
When you cross the Darling River,
And I'll ride in the dust at the trucking yards
On the day that you deliver.
I'll follow you to the pub at Bourke
For the wine mankind desires
Then turn the plant to the north again
And head for the Border Wires.