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Broadmere Waterhole

As an old man Charlie Gaunt wrote in the Northern Standard Newspaper (May 29 1934):

“The head of (Edward) Lenehan we wrapped in a saddlecloth and carried into Broadmere. At the foot of one of those giant paper bark trees it now rests and with the help of a carpenter’s chisel, stripping the bark, we chiselled, ‘Here lies the head of E. Lenehan, murdered by blacks. Only part recovered.’ Below we cut the date.”

Visiting the area in July this year my wife and I searched the paperbarks that line Broadmere Waterhole, on the Parsons River, for the inscription Charlie described, but that tree must be long gone. These events described took place in the 1880s. By now the tree might have fallen into the waterhole, or rotted away.

The place does have a strange feeling to it. Charlie had never felt comfortable there. He wrote:

“The impression it gives one on first viewing it is, its uncanny stillness. Not a bird is to be seen. It strikes one that beneath that beautiful surface there is something deadly about the spot, and gives a weird uncanny feeling.”

I know what he meant.

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