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IMAGE: Graphic made by Kim Peart, including an old photo of the Kangaroo, the old Double Guts, steaming out of Hobart.


The ferry bell rings 
through the morning fog
ding ding, ding ding
tells other boats it comes
through the briny deep
ding ding, ding ding

The paddle steamer
plied the harbour
where wind-blown waves
white in a sea breeze
whipped in after noon
on many sunny days

The old Double-guts
the Kangaroo
connected West and East
plied the river
for horse and cart
on its river beat

Grandfather went that way
with a cow from the farm
escaped into the lagoon
was caught again
and herded hard
to ride the ferry at noon

The great guns at the fort
crossed the river 
on the Double-guts
hauled to their nest
to guard the town
against Russian guns

Years swam by
until the ferry died
to fade into history
then the old bell
was a gift to the school
becoming a memory

Hearing that bell as a child
call the school into class
ding ding, ding ding
one day I played the fool
hid in the bushes
ding ding, ding ding

Wandered in later
might have been caned
don't remember that displeasure
then the school moved
with a nice loud siren
so the bell became a treasure

Stolen once as a joke
stolen again with intent
when the bell really did escape
never seen for decades
despite many hunts
until seen in a dead man's estate

Far across country
north of Bass Strait
the buyer knew where it belong
gifted to the Maritime Museum
who were quite pleased 
until my old school came along

"That's our stolen bell!"
the teachers cried
and students wondered what was there
like Solomon's baby
a deal was struck
between school and museum to share

So the treasure returned
a circle through time
ding ding, ding ding
an echo of history
from an earlier age
ding ding, ding ding



Note on the poem 

I never knew the Kangaroo, the ferry fondly known as the Double Guts, because like Bob Clifford’s ferries, it had two hulls, with a single paddle in the middle. The Kangaroo was gone before my time, but I knew the bell as a child, in the old Bellerive School. One day the bell was stolen, and vanished for decades. When seeking to found a local history museum in Bellerive in the 1990s, we went in search of the bell from the Kangaroo, but could not find it. Later the bell was seen at a diseased estate sale in Victoria, where someone who knew where it was from, bought it, and donated the bell from the Kangaroo to the Tasmanian Maritime Museum in Hobart. When the Bellerive Primary School got wind of the finding of the Bell, they called for the return of stolen property, but the Maritime Museum did not wish to let go of their prize. Like Solomon’s baby, a deal was struck, that the Maritime Museum would retain ownership, and the Bellerive School could have it on display, providing it was in a secure location. And that’s how the bell came back into Bellerive.

"In 1926 the bell off the paddle steamer P.S. Kangaroo was presented to the school by James O’May and was hung at the main entrance and was used to signify special times during the school day. Unfortunately the bell was stolen from the Leslie St site however was found again in 2013 and donated to the Maritime Museum. While the Museum owns the bell the school is the custodian of it and it can be viewed in the administraion area of the school.” ~

Earlier poems by Kim Peart in the Tasmanian Times ~
ABOUT Kim Peart ~   Kim was raised in Howrah, and as a child played on the beaches, ran wild in the bush, haunted Bellerive for movies and Boston Buns from the bakery, and found endless adventures at the old Fort. Finding talent as an artist, Kim became a painter, and has often written poems. Entering the virtual world of Second Life, Kim began to explore an unusual approach to creativity. The virtual worlds are built on art, and the avatars are like cartoon characters, only getting ever more realistic. In June 2018 Kim began exploring a writing technique with poems via one of his Second Life avatars, some of which have been published in the Tasmanian Times. Kim has a place to write, in his house in Second Life, with the avatar lounging in a dream boat, and proceed to work, as inspired. When a poem is ready, it is put in a Notecard and placed in an illustrated board, where folk visiting the Poems Galley can find and read the poems. Kim sends a note to friends in Second Life, who are all around the world. There are 30 poems now, aiming for 101, and if found worthy, into a book. If visiting Second Life, find the region called Pawpaw, and near the train station, there is the Jaqi Art Explorer gallery. On the right inside the door, there is a magic door to teleport to the sky gallery above, where the Poems Galley can be found, and the latest poem.

The Kangaroo on the River Derwent, with carts, horse and people.

The Kangaroo, the old Double Guts, departing Hobart for Bellerive.

The bell from the Kangaroo hanging in the old Bellerive School.

 The bell from the Kangaroo now back in the Bellerive School.

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