Volume 13 (2020)


by Thomas Rowley

My heart it longs for Shortland town,
I've been so long away;
I care not if its streets are dull,
Its mullock-tips are brown or grey.
Though other skies are clear and blue,
And other maids are sweet,
I'd love to feel the Shortland breeze
Which blows down Pollen Street.
Across the foam, where'er I roam,
The voice of Shortland calls me home.

The dear old streets of Shortland town
Appear in dreams to me;
And the scarr'd old hills of dear old Thames,
In visions I do see.
To hear the rumble of the stamps,
And catch the foundry's roar,
Would seem like music in my ears
Oh, that I were back once more!
Over the hills and across the plain,
Old Shortland calls me back again.

I'd like to see the white-winged yachts,
As they sail out from the shore;
It would fill my heart with great delight
As it did in days of yore.
And the sight of a Shortland bobby's face,
Would make my old heart warm;
To see him sauntering down the street
In his handsome uniform.
Across the years, across the sea,
The voice of Shortland calls to me.

And oh! for a sight of the old graveyard,
High up on the Hape hill;
And to see the spot where we buried them -
My old chums, Tom and Bill.
Since those long days, I've travell'd far,
And seen cities of renown;
But the brightest gem of them all,
Is dear old Shortland Town.


From the Thames Star: 12 January 1918.

The dear old streets of Shortland town.
Click to enlarge the photo.
Thomas Rowley grew up in Thames during the goldrush and was the son of Charles Rowley, the Thames Letter Carrier. Thomas took out Miner's Right #9617 for the Karaka Goldfield on Wednesday 12 August 1868.


  1. Charles Rowley, Thames Letter Carrier and Entrepreneur, Goldminer and Miner's Advocate. by Lisa Donnelly. The Treasury Journal, Volume 11, 2018.
  2. Thames Star 12 January 1918 in PapersPast.
  3. The Goldminer's Database on Goldrush Online by Kae Lewis.
  4. Thames NZ: Genealogy and History Resources refers to Thomas Rowley's memories of the 1876 visit of the tightrope-walker Charles Blondin to Thames.
  5. Lisa's Long Lost Rellies. Charles Rowley: First "letter carrier" in Thames. by Lisa Donnelly.

Journal Index home