Pull up a camp chair and settle back by the Garden Pool from 7 to 8pm every Thursday from the 4th of July and up to and including 15.8.13. Cairns Coconut Holiday Resort is pleased to present Chris Long and Geoff Mann performing their award winning Australian bush poetry backed up by some great Aussie music from Mitch the Muso to get your toes tapping. Each poet has a unique style so be prepared for some laughs, perhaps a tear in your eye and they may even make your hair stand up on end! Read on for the fascinating backgrounds of these Aussie performers and see you by the pool on Thursday evenings or in the Rec Room if the weather rains on our parade.
Chris Long’s poetry is inspired by a family history that goes all the way back to the earliest pioneers and Anzac Legends. His great grandmother was the first white child born in the cattle country of Western Queensland. His grandfathers and their brothers fought in the trenches of Gallipoli and France, while uncles saw action at Tobruk, Kokoda and other parts of the Middle East and Pacific. His father Pat Long OAM, was one of the earliest pioneers of the Australian Helicopter industry.
Chris himself has led a life of adventure, leaving home at sixteen saw him spend the first three and a half years working as a stockman and farmhand, at one time spending a year in the stock camps of Queensland largest cattle station 4500 sq miles. At 19 he joined the Queensland Police Force and spent the next ten years serving around North Queensland including two years on Thursday Island. After leaving the Police Force, he completed a commercial pilot license. During his training he set off on an adventure with a friend and flew a light aircraft around Australia. After this he had several casual jobs including flying tourists around the Cape York, Barrier Reef and Torres Straits. He also worked as a security officer and being an experienced karate exponent, he has always taught karate as a sideline. Later he took a job flying tours from off the beaches of Fraser Island and completed about 3500 beach take offs and landings.
More recently adventures include a karate tour of Japan and a trek over the Kokoda Track with some good friends. Nowadays he owns his own karate dojo in Cairns and has a successful cottage industry producing a unique style of pottery for the Cairns tourist industry. He also devotes his time to his three boys. Chris is a keen observer of the Australian Character. His poetry is uniquely and unashamedly Australian. His work has won many awards over several decades, he has even had a poem recited at Gallipoli Peninsula on Anzac Day. His poems are often found in school curriculum's or are recited at an old digger’s funeral. Some of his work is a colourful and highly descriptive account of an Australian scene or character, while others works express opinions on the current social situations existing in our society.
Chris’s poems will make you think, laugh, cry and be proud to be Australian. One thing you will know for sure, he didn't just write it, he lived it first.
Geoff Mann is a born and bred North Queenslander and gave us this brief exert of his life story so far... I have been a cane farmer all of my working life. My very first job was cutting cane by hand and not a harder job existed. Sadly urban encroachment and progress are bringing that part of my life to an end. I married a speech teacher who spent many years teaching English and poetry to our children. When the children left home, she turned her attention to me. The rest is history.
In 2008, I was diagnosed with lymphoma, a strain of cancer, and spent most of 2009 in a Brisbane hospital. During that time, I entertained many nurses and patients with my poetry, which I would write and then recite. At their insistence, I put out a CD with all proceeds going to cancer. So far we have raised over $7000. I have competed in Australian bush poetry championships and so far have won various awards. In 2011, at no cost to myself, I entertained guests on the Ghan railway. In 2012, it was guests on the Orion cruise ship.
I like to write and perform my own individual style of poetry. I regularly entertain retiree groups, country and western weekends and cancer fund-raising activities, such as The World’s Largest Cup of Tea. Nowadays, I am content to spend my time in my own backyard, literally, writing poetry and smelling the roses. Weekly performances would prove a worthy distraction.
Mitch the Muso started life with the name Gene Pratt. He started singing with other musicians at the age of 13 in 1964 and went on television in country Victoria a number of times. At the age of 16 formed a band called "The Dave Mitchell Estate" and became known as "Mitch". Travelled extensively in Victoria and played generally four to six nights a week.
During that time he shared the stage with bands such as Billy Thorpe, Doug Parkinson, Russell Morrris, The Loved ones, The Ladi Da's, The Town Criers, John Farnham and Axiom, which featured Glenn Shorrock and Brian Cadd. Later they were support band for The Little River Band which included Glenn Shorrock..
The Dave Mitchell Estate came third in the battle of the bands in 1969 and won a recording contract. Mitch ended up joining the 1st battalion as he strongly believed in Queen and country and Vietnam was happening.Mitch was in various bands around the far north including Gladrial Khan and Flight in Townsville. After moving to Cairns in 1980 Mitch had a break from music whilst bringing
up his kids.
Mitch resumed playing live gigs in 2001 and has continued to play since.