William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

ODE TO A SHANTY MAN

Billy Willbond: Ode to a Shanty ManA thin Lismore[1] lad from a convent school
sailed alone across the foam
A slender lad of thirteen years
no family and no home

He ploughed with horses in the fields
huge gardens he did hoe
When he first came to Canada
long many years ago

In winter to the woods he went
cutting spruce and pine
In the springtime at the break up
all those logs came down the line

Down to the mills from the Northern hills
over rapids, eddies and swirls
came the timber pulp much needed
by a paper hungry world

A dollar a day that was his pay
with swede saw and with axe
falling the trees day after day
his blade file in his pack

An Irish Colleen named Monica
caught the bushman’s eye
Things were said, and they got wed
and I came, by and by

A call came out from overseas
Churchill did implore
Assistance from the colonies
for a European war

Dad joined up and off he went
and five long years at war were spent
He made the world safe for you and me
over there in Germany

We farmed at Woodlawn and up at Meech Lake
Dad worked hard ‘til his back would ache
Then we all moved off of that Gatineau Hill
When dad got a job at Eddies Mill

He raised nine kids – joy – trouble and strife
and to our Lord he devoted his life
At his Lanark graveside, a huge crowd was sad
as we said farewell to the Lismore lad.

RIP Dad – Love,
Billy