On the weekend we went to Black Duck Creek to visit my brother Ant and new sister-in-law Felicite. We've been meaning to visit for a while, so when Ant told us the annual Junction View Bush Dance was on we blocked off the dates on the calendar, loaded the car to the hilt and drove up.
Black Duck Creek is about forty kilometres south of Gatton. It's a small community of farming families. These past few years the communities around Junction View, including Black Duck Creek, have had more than their fair share of hardship. The first flood, in early 2011 saw them cut off from the rest of the world for thirty days. Then in 2013, another flood saw much of the restoration work washed away. You wouldn't have heard much about it on the news. Each time, they've just got up, dusted themselves off and got on with it.
When we woke on Saturday, it was raining. We piled into the car and went for an explore. We visited Chalowong - a cave which hosts the only known Aboriginal rock engravings in South-east Queensland.
The rain on the roof (and the threat of having to stay home from the dance) was enough to encourage everyone to have an afternoon camp, with enough time left over for some whip-cracking lessons.
Then it was time to tart up and head to the hall. Despite Mum and Dad owning their property for thirty odd years, I'd never been inside. It is stunning. The dance floor was sparkling, the atmosphere friendly and the roast dinner the best I've had in ages.
When I mentioned the beauty of the hall to our neighbour Madeline, she told me that in the height of the dance circuit, Junction View was known to have the best dance floor in the district. It didn't take the Big Sister long to find a dance partner. Her choice was a tall young man in his late teens wearing a "do or die" t-shirt. Julian turned out to be a kind and tolerant dance partner, who managed to maintain his good humour even after the Big Sister accidentally connected with his face instead of his hand during her exuberant participation in the heel and toe.
The Ridgee Didge Bush Band kept the floor moving and helped the less-experienced of us keep up. Under their careful tutelage Bearhands and I even managed the Queensland Backstep.
There's a really lovely human story behind the bush dance that I learned on Saturday night. After the floods, some members of the Nambour PCYC came down to lend a hand with the clean up. Then months after that they returned to throw the ladies from the area a high tea.
On Saturday night they were back to celebrate with the community and presented the committee with a cheque towards the maintenance of the hall. Many businesses from the Nambour area had contributed to the evening. The Eumundi Knitters had sent down masses of beautifully crafted scarves and beanies.
I cannot tell you the last time I had such a fun night out with my little family. Perhaps as the girls get older they'll be able to participate in more things, but right at this minute the Junction View Bush Dance would be one of my highlights. The Big Sister couldn't wipe the smile of her face (and, to be honest, neither could I). The Little Sister got in on the action and is still talking about the hokey pokey.
Every Monday morning the Big Sister's prep class write a "What I did on the weekend...." story in their journals. When I picked the Big Sister up from school this afternoon, I couldn't wait to hear what she'd written in her journal.....
On the weekend, I watched Madagascar II and rode on a motorbike.
What a beautiful post. The old fashioned fun is always the best isn't it? And Isaac does the same thing - we do something amazing on the weekend and when I ask what he will present for show and tell, he responds with "I will say I watched TV"
Cindy @Your Kids OT says
Such a lovely story and what a wonderful way to spend a weekend!
Lauren @ Create Bake Make says
What a lovely weekend, I can remember going to bush dances when I was a kid!
I saw you put something about this on Facebook earlier in the week and had book marked it to ask you about at PB. I would love to take the boys to something like that - and lovely to get the story behind it too xx
Have A Laugh On Me says
Aww bless looks like a fun night out, I love little country gatherings, kinda miss farming, sometimes! I snorted at what she said you did for the weekend, that is SO what my moo would write! x
Julia Crust says
Hi, We hope you can come next time. Please add Mt Sylvia Junction View Community on Facebook and keep up to date with our Community happenings. Thanks for a great night!
Amanda, Cooker and a Looker says
Hi Julia, I'm already a fan of the page. Sometimes I can even fill Mum in on goings-on up there before she knows! We had a fabulous time, thanks for having us. x
Greg Tweedie says
Loved this great story. Such good old country culture. Can't wait to get amongst it again. We live in Hollywood and have a farm just down the road from the hall, on Black Duck Creek! The Bush Dance will be our first! Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.
Amanda Smyth says
It's a great night out Greg. Have a wonderful time! A x