Doon Villa Van Park, Maryborough.

This RV stop was at a local soccer field just outside of the township. The field was set up with a veggie patch where people could help care for the plants and be rewarded with some produce. I did my bit and watered the plants one day but there wasn’t anything there that I could harvest. I have tried to grow some herbs in the van but I seem to have 10 brown fingers, in my defence Adrian ran the car over the plants once when I had them outside for some fresh air. Secondly, I left them out over night when we were at Porcupine Gorge and woke up to find then all eaten by a local overnight.

The town was having a lot of work done with scaffolding standing along different buildings. Even with all the scaffolding we thought it was a lovely town. Along the main street the electrical boxes had been painted up as characters.

Maryborough is the home of Marry Poppins.   I know Marry Poppins isn’t real and the character in the story is English, but the person who wrote the novel (E.L Travers)was from Maryborough. Knowing this I was expecting Maryborough to be all things Mary but there wasn’t a lot it the town to celebrate the novelist. There is a small statue on one of the street corners and some of the traffic walk signs had a Mary Poppins influence but that was it. Maybe we just didn’t look hard enough but I would have thought the town would have made all things Mary easier to find.   Maybe it is just me thinking Mary Poppins should have been on show more. I can remember when the film first came out. We, as a family, along with my Grandmother (who was blind) spent the day traveling into Perth by train to go watch the movie. It was a big all day treat for the family and I am sure a big hassle for my mother, with four excited country children in the big city and my grandmother to look after. (The town I grew up in had a general store, pub, garage and about 5 houses.) I loved the film.

We took a walk along the foreshore. What a pretty area.

The walk led us into “Duncan Chapman Memorial Park” where there was a statue of Major Duncan Chapman. He was the first Anzac ashore at Gallipoli. (He was later killed in action on 6 August 1916 at Pozieres, Somme France.)

We found a musical garden under the branches of an old curtain tree. There were so many items to make music with. We watched a little bit first then we went in for our turn. It was funny but more adults played with the different item than the children.

There were a lot of things happening around the garden and foreshore. There was a tribute to the early settlers. In the mid to late 1880’s over 22,000 people took the journey from the Port of Liverpool and took their first steps on Australian soil at Maryborough. There were artworks and a miniature railway station. The trains weren’t running on the day we were there but we did get to have a look at one of the engines. There were several men in a group, I thought they were doing some maintenance on the train but they had other toys to play with.

We left the park and started to walk back to the main street when we found the towns Match Making Machine. Now what do you think of when you hear ‘Match Making Machine’? I though of matches and I was wrong. Remember all those immigrants well a large number of them were young unmarried women. To help them find true love an enterprising young man struck on the idea of an all in one shop. You could meet that handsome devil you had always been dreaming about then you could both be matched, grab a marriage license and get married. To help with the process, a match making apparatus was installed on the footpath down by the docks outside the shop.   Now I don’t know if there were any happy customer or not but I am sure the young man would have been busy. Adrian and I had a go and for some reason we were not matched with each other. Maybe we were doing it wrong.

I found out later the town does have a Marry Poppins Festival. It is held at the beginning of July. I would have liked to see that.


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