Postcard From Eastern Beach Poem

Bollards On The Geelong Waterfront

Postcard From Eastern Beach is a poem about Geelong’s waterfront in the 1990s. It was known to be a bit cold and windy there in the winter and in the summer, it was somewhere for the local Geelongians to gather. There are some interesting and quirky things to note about the area.

A creative feature of Eastern Beach is the bollard art from The Geelong Bollards Trail, which displays 100 historical Geelong characters that are cheerfully painted on shaped wooden posts from Rippleside Park to Limeburner’s Point. Back when my poem was written, there were only a few bollards on the beach, but today their numbers have swelled.

Artist Jan Mitchell was commissioned by the City of Greater Geelong for the works and she did a wonderful job in making the area more unique. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2006 for transforming the Geelong waterfront with art. This year, they've put up flags all over the city with bollard faces on them, a bit like city mascots.

The steam captain bollard from the S.S.Edina stands near the entrance to Cunningham Pier on the Geelong waterfront.
The steam captain bollard from the S.S.Edina stands near the entrance to Cunningham Pier on the Geelong waterfront.
A World War II bollard couple representing the Sailor's Rest institution.
A World War II bollard couple representing the Sailor's Rest institution.

How The Area Has Changed

These days at Eastern Beach, the promenade has been revamped, new apartments have sprung up along the main drag, the gardens are much better looking and there is even amusement rides for the children and a much more bustling feel about the place. The council has planted nicer trees and concentrated on providing a commercial centre while retaining favourite watersports and activities in the bay.

When I frequented there in the 1990s, it was still an interesting place to hang out, but had more “character” (ie, more shady characters) and less tourism.

News Story On Giant Squid From Bass Strait

An example of a weird fish like the ones pulled out of Bass Strait.
An example of a weird fish like the ones pulled out of Bass Strait.

Giant Sea Creatures From Bass Strait

Another interesting feature of the area was when the local newspapers used to report on unusually giant squid, fish and sharks found out in Bass Strait (the sea between Australia and Tasmania) as the sea shelf is much deeper out there and home to a variety of abnormally large nocturnal and teethy sea creatures and fish.

Photos of these were quite strange indeed and kept the gossip flowing around Geelong. I was quite fond of collecting pictures of the weird marine life for awhile, safe in the knowledge that it would be some time before I found them in my fish and chips due to the persistence of scientists and reporters having a field day over them. An example is the giant squid, which can grow up to 15m long and several specimens from Bass Strait can be found at Museum Victoria.

In my poem, the notion that these giant sea creatures are radioactive is entirely fanciful on my part, though there was a lot of local conjecture about why the fish grew so big and the scientific community eventually settled on the idea of a healthy, non-polluted wilderness being the reason.

Bollard swimmers representing the Victoria Bathing Establishment (1870).
Bollard swimmers representing the Victoria Bathing Establishment (1870).

Postcard From Eastern Beach

© Suzanne Day 2003

(Please choose the most appropriate answer for you)

Eastern Beach...

(a) has no surf
(b) has bollard people in stripey bathers
(c) is where the wogs make out on Saturday nights
(d) is a beach
(e) is somewhere I've never heard of

You can have a good time...

(a) by sipping champagne at the yacht club
(b) by frolicking on the grass
(c) by making out with the wogs on Saturday night
(d) by talking about the Shell Oil Refinery
(e) I don't know, I've never been there

In summer...

(a) you can see all the way to Point Henry
(b) the promenade net protects swimmers from sharks
(c) you only need a convertible for Saturday nights
(d) the pier smells like rotting fish
(e) how the hell would I know when I've never been there?

In winter...

(a) lonely boats honk across the harbour
(b) the jetty reminds you of Venice, in fog
(c) seagulls duel over scraps from Smorgy's
(d) the bollard people mysteriously vanish, on a Saturday night
(e) you might as well go somewhere else

It's true that...

(a) Bass Strait has undiscovered species of radioactive giant sea creatures
(b) a V8 will help you pick up on Saturday nights
(c) the bollard people have a higher IQ than the people on the beach
(d) whiting is another word for "shark"
(e) you will freeze your balls off whenever you go in the water

Open sea bollard bathers - placed on the former site of the Eastern Parkside Baths (est. 1930).
Open sea bollard bathers - placed on the former site of the Eastern Parkside Baths (est. 1930).

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I wrote this poem as a multiple choice style quiz, and, although there are no correct answers, it is meant to reflect life at Eastern Beach while letting the reader participate, even if they’ve never visited.

© 2014 Suzanne Day

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Comments 23 comments

word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Well Suzanne, I usually like the beaches but after seeing those ugly giant fish I wouldn't go near the water. I wouldn't mind walking in the sand. Other than that it seems like a pretty cool place. However, thanks for sharing some of the wonders of Australia :-)


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Author

Hi Word55, these fish are not found on the average beach, they are found in the deep sea of Bass Strait, which is a few hours ride by boat from Eastern Beach. So there's no need to be afraid when swimming!


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Ok Suzanne, I'm glad you set it straight. I shall be not afraid because I love the water. Great story and artwork by the way.


Geniusknight profile image

Geniusknight 2 years ago from Netherlands

Geelong characters are my favorite ! I would hug them all day long , they are so cool ! ♥ ♪ Love em ♫


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 2 years ago

Interesting and creative.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Very interesting hub, and a totally different concept for a poem Suzanne. It was a good laugh and cool pics. The fact you have published books of poetry makes me feel like I should try to do the same. I've been called a procrastinator before though...lol.


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Author

Thanks everyone for your kind comments!

Jodah, you can publish for free with the Amazon KDP program, just have to make up the correct formatting in a Word doc, then create a cover and upload to Amazon. The problem with creating a book is that you want to keep going back and edit it all the time....I guess this habit wears off the more you publish!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

So creative! Both the poem concept and the beach are unlike anything else. Very enjoyable. I'm not sure I'd go in the water.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

Those fish look pretty scary, but still I think I would enjoy the beach. Your poetry form is unique, it makes it fun to read.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 2 years ago

This is an unusual concept, to say the least, but I liked it!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

Very clever and creative! :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Thank you Suzanne for introducing the Bass Straight to me. Interesting hub. - Audrey


Trisha Roberts profile image

Trisha Roberts 2 years ago from Rensselaer, New York

This was a pretty unique hub to me. I do love the quiz factor in it. I really feel you wrote this in a very creative style and admired it! (Those fish...are just scary lol)


WriterJanis profile image

WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

This sounds like such an interesting place to visit, especially with the character posts.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Well, this has to be the most interesting and creative hub I have ever read on HP! I have never been there;' to Geelong that is. LOL! How fascinating this beach area is with the bollards (which I have never heard of) dotting the beach and boardwalk. They are so cute and quirky. The artist is amazing. Thanks for writing this; if I ever get to Australia I am certainly checking out this beach and the bollards. This was so engaging to read. Voted up and shared.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

I was confused Suzanne, what was the quiz for if we could not answer? Overall, I thought that this was both funny and interesting. I voted it up and shared it.

Kevin


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

Oops, I meant Suzette.

Kevin


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Author

Hi Examiner, nah I'm Suzanne - you had it right! The quiz was just for something different. When I don't feel like doing a quiz, sometimes I just read the answers for fun and thought it could be a lazy sort of poem like that, where you read the answers to glean what the poem is about.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

Sorry about that, I do not know what I saw. I went back to try and delete it but I did not see it. I thought maybe I did not post it.

Kevin


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Author

Don't worry about it, I like having mini conversations on hubs!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 23 months ago from Peru, South America

What an interesting and unique poem! I think we would love Geelong, despite the stories about giant sea creatures. Sounds like a place we hope to visit someday.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 23 months ago from Nashville Tn.

Coming back for another read. Has it really been 6 months? Enjoyed this so much. Thanks, Suzanne. Audrey


old albion profile image

old albion 6 weeks ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Suzanne. A great read all round. I really enjoyed 'being there'

Graham.

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