The Cooee-booroo was Irish, a migrant to this land,
who fled his native Galway and the grip of famine's hand.
For fifteen years he'd forged a life 'round Goulburn, New South Wales,
though sought his dream on Coopers Creek, out where the black man hails.
Where native Bootamurra folk for years were known to roam,
the place they called Thullung-gurra - their ancient tribal home.
Kyabra's unspoilt waterhole was home to fish and birds,
though Patsy Durack had in mind to bring his cattle herds.
'Twas here he met young Burrakin, a figure barely clad,
who claimed the man ... Boonari now ... to this young native lad.
Though Patsy called him Pumpkin ... much easier in the end
and like the humble vegetable he proved the bushman's friend.
For that proud Bootamurra youth, a whole new life began,
as Pumpkin loved the Durack folk and claimed them as his clan.
He watched them build their empire through the good times and the bleak;
for sixteen years he helped them build grass castles on the Creek.
When Patsy finally left the run to try the city’s fare,
he left old Pumpkin as head man and thought him better there.
Then Durack planned to build a run up in the Kimberleys:
an empire for his two young sons, a kind of legacy.
But Pumpkin yearned the company of Patsy, his dear friend
and left his old Kyabra home to join him in the end.
He stood by Patsy Durack till the old man passed away,
though stayed to keep the dream alive and rests there to this day.
These two Australian pioneers did leave a legacy-
the meaning of true brotherhood - as you can plainly see.
So whether you be white or black, do copy if you can,
the Cooee-booroo from Ireland and that Bootamurra man.
I have always enjoyed reading the early history of our Australian pioneers and the Durack
family certainly played their part in opening up this vast country. Sometimes the
seemingly minor characters, who become an integral part of that history, tend to fade
into insignificance with the passing of time. Characters such as Burrakin [Pumpkin] of
the Bootamurra people, whose life was completely changed by the coming of the Durack
family to Kyabra Ck. Burrakin's outstanding display of loyalty to his white brother,
Patsy Durack, is well worth remembering. My tribute to both men