Those Were The Days

My Dad, me(blondie) and my elder brother,
Kevin – circa 1949

(I have never written poetry. But the other day, I was thinking how great my life is/has been – and all that happened to make that possible…and the following little ditty flowed, unedited, from my one-fingered keyboard. You’ll need to be over the age of 60 to understand some of the phrases.)

Those were the days

When every man had a hat to tip

And spending a penny was a worthwhile trip

He’d leap to the door to hold it ajar

And ensure that she slid to his side of the car

Fish & chips came with last night’s news

And the shop keeper tarried to share his views

The bartender grinned and wiped and smoked

…and told you the latest as your ribs he poked.

The radio and papers were always true

And we didn’t trust any foreigner’s view

Cricket was watched from a rug, with a jug…

And raucous cries of “hit it ya mug!”

Footie was always on late at night

A sickie next day was a God-given right

Johnnie and Rangi on the way home on the bus

Would smile and wave Mum to the best seat – no fuss.

We’d dress up to the nines to go to the flicks

And stand for the Queen in between ice-cream licks

Dad and his mates would drink beer in his shed

And miss out on tea – we’d all go to bed.

And sometimes next morning he’d look sick and down

“You’re late again for work – get moving you clown”.

Ah-those were the days all right, to be sure

If only we could magically go there once more.

Brian Wilson

June 2014

Phase 2

October 2014

Because those men and boys who built that life

And grabbed their rifles and left the wife…

Stopped Tojo and Adolf after 5 years of strife

And we thank God that they did.

But the evil’s back with religious dread

They’ll kill your families and they’ll take your head

And film you while they do it…

…so it’s up to you young ones to save us now

To stand up with the sword, not the plow

To stop them… and I hope you know how

So your children can say through history’s haze:

Thanks Mum & Dad: Those were the days

Brian Wilson


  1. I’d like to thank you for sharing your story. You and your brother’s in arms are the real heroes.

    • Thank you Mike. Your kind thoughts are appreciated…we are having our 50th anniversary of the deployment to Vietnam in 1967 this year in Waiouru – where it all began.

      If I figure out the technology, I might send a resume of the event in May this year to the few kind folks who have commented on my site. Many thanks. Brian

    • Hi Mike
      Thanks for your kind thoughts. I’m glad you liked the stories. We are busy at present organising our final reunion…it will be 50 years this May since we were deployed to Vietnam…and we who are left are gathering at Waiouru – where it all began for the weekend….I’ll try to write something about it later in the year. Regards..Brian

  2. Love your poems, you’ve done a great job. And I would love to have attended the 50th anniversary reunion. I didn’t hear/see anything in the media that I can remember.
    Kind regards, Carole

    • I have just seen your note to my (never-looked-at) website…dated 12/2017!! you never mentioned it. great photo!!

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