Doug and His Tug - A tribute to a hero in the Queensland floods

Jan 14 2011

Perched on the banks of a river
There sat a beautiful city
Glowing in the sun all day long
So clean, so bright, so pretty

But then the rains started pouring
On farms and homes far away
Soon the flood waters were roaring
Flowing fast down Brisbane way

Anxious residents were shocked
As rapidly their river did rise
And started to break its banks
They couldn’t believe their eyes

As boats broke from their moorings
And rocketed past in a wink
Followed by washers and stoves
And even an old kitchen sink

Chairs and logs and pontoons
Charged towards Moreton Bay
But the thing that everyone feared
Was a monster concrete walkway

It had broken loose at New Farm
Now, things had gone wrong
It was more than a thousand tonnes
And hundreds of metres long

Up rose their pleas for help
‘Never mind there goes a fridge
‘That walkway will cause a disaster
‘If it smashes the Gateway Bridge

‘What on earth can we do?
‘Is there anyone who can save us?’
Then from out of the morning gloom
Came Captain Doug and his Tugboat Mavis

Everyone held their breath
As the little boat tried to nudge it
She pushed and pulled and tooted
And finally began to budge it

She straightened up that giant
Turned it around the right way
And then with a deft little flick
Headed swiftly towards Gateway

Everyone held their breath
Would they get it through?
But Doug and First Mate Peter
Knew what they had to do

Straight as an arrow they aimed it
Both walkway and boat flat-chat
Steering it safely under the arch
And dumping it on a mud flat

‘Hooray,’ came the roar of the crowd
And from the rest of the nation, too
‘Aw’, said Doug, ‘it was nothing.
‘It’s my job and that’s just what I do.’

‘More than that,’ said a smiling Premier
And she’s a lady who knows
‘Doug and Peter and Mavis?
‘Why, they’re our local heroes.’
-Graeme Johnstone -