The Caretaker

He travelled down to the sea
after leaving the farm to his family.

Harry found a place and said
"This will do for me"

He set up camp overlooking the sea.

Behind the sea view stood a rainforest.
Home to the kookaburras, the lorrikeets and
the scrub turkeys who became his friends, did the regular visitors.

And when the visitors left before nightfall he would tidy up.
Items he found would be hung in a tree..
to be reclaimed when the visitors returned.

He was happy,
the beachgoers were happy,
and the birds were happy.

But allas, not everyone was happy....

One day the authorities stepped in....

"This can't be!! you're squatting on public land...
You have no right to be here and will have to move on!!"

The beachgoers went wild "He's not squatting" they yelled
"he's the caretaker of our secret paradise, leave our dear Harry alone"

The people won the battle, it was fair and just.
Harry continued his caretaking, living by the sea.
That was his way of paying his camp fee.

Now he rests in peace, as he has since long gone.
Not very far though, I believe

I'm certain he still overlooks the sea
from a nearby hill,,, or perhaps a tree.....

Dedicated to Harry Thompson caretaker of  Shelley Beach 1960 to 2001.





I was fortunate to meet Harry in 1976. His van was surrounded by geraniums and roses. He lived a simple but wholesome life.


This is where he set up camp, now a shelter as a memorial.


Today Harry's lookout is a popular venue for weddings and other ceromonies. It is also a good vantage point for whale watching. Shelly Beach Reserve is a great family area. Both have a serenity unmatched.


Shelley Beach


The path leading to Harry's lookout.

The long table at Harry's lookout


Harry's spirit lives on.



WiseOldOwl WiseOldOwl
56-60, M
9 Responses Aug 22, 2009

What a impact that it made for one simple man.

What a wonderful man he must have been. His story is an inspiration.

Beautiful memories always

Hi des :)

Hugs backatyou xxx

Thank you for sharing this story about an inspiring man. Isn't it wonderful having the memorial and all the lovely things to remember him. <br />
<br />
He certainly looks on and must smile.

Thank you everybody ***takes bow***

Beautiful Story and Pictures.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, Owl.

It is certainly a beautiful story

Thank you Bob. It was inspired by a great friend, and encouraged by another :)