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Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

Commemorative Wall recognises the Poet-Priest John O'Brien of 'Around the Boree Log' fame. In his 27 years in Narrandera, Father Patrick Hartigan, Catholic Priest and writer, wrote some of this country's most loved bush poetry.

Patrick Joseph Hartigan (13 October 1878 - 27 December 1952) was an Australian Roman Catholic priest, educator, author and poet. He was born at Yass, New South Wales and ordained after study at St Patrick's Seminary, Manly. Writing under the pseudonym "John O'Brien" Hartigan's verse celebrated the lives and mores of the outback pastoral folk he ministered as a peripatetic curate to the southern New South Wales and Riverina towns of Thurgoona, Berrigan and Narrandera, in the first two decades of the 20th century. His poetry was very popular in Australia and was well received in Ireland and the United States.

The refrain We'll all be rooned from his poem Said Hanrahan has entered colloquial Australian English as a jocular response to any prediction of dire consequences arising, particularly, from events outside the interlocutor's control.


Address:Audley Street, St Mel`s Catholic Church, Narrandera, 2700
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.748622
Long: 146.555409
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Monument Designer:Bill Clements (Sculptor), Ruth Daniel (Architect)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 28th November, 1996
Front Inscription

John O`Brien Memorial

Plaque :

"The years have turned the rusted key, and time is on the jog.
Yet spend another night with me around the boree log."

"And it wasn't quite a waggon, and it wasn`t quite a bus ;
Twas an old four-wheeled gazabo that was something in between,
and the wheels were painted yellow, and the rest was painted green
(it would waken lively interest in the antiquarian),
And `twas known to all the country as the Old Mass Shandrydan."

"We`ll all be rooned, said Hanrahan before the year is out."

"Tis a queer, old battered landmark that belongs to other years ; With the dog-leg fence around it, and its hat about its ears,
And the cow-bell in the gum-tree, and the bucket on the stool, There`s a motley host of memories round that old bush school -" 

"For every tramp upon the road, and every loafer too, This presbytery for thirty years has been a rendezvous; "

"That`s good, my boy. Come, tell me now, and what is Christmas Day ? 
The ready answer bared a fast no bishop ever knew -
It`s the day before the races out at Tangmalangaloo."

Plaque :

This memorial to the poet John O`Brien
                (Fr Patrick Hartigan)
                  was unveiled by
            RICHARD O`BRIEN
          Ambassador of Ireland
           on the 28th of November 1996

Bill Clements, Sculptor                     Ruth Daniel, Architect
Fr Frank Bell, Parish Priest              Richard Goss, Chairman


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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