Crystal Waters 30th Birthday

Watch a video of the live performance

Twas 1988, the afternoon of the 29th of June,
Back when dinosaurs walked the earth!
“That’s the day,” they say, out Conondale Way
“that something special was given birth.”

Now every tale needs a Hero,
even this one, which is a bit of a ramble,
and on that day our Hero was none other than
Mister Bob Sample.

You see, Bob was the legal owner of 640 acres,
you might call it the perfect mile.
And once he dreamed of having horses, stables and things like manure
that make equine people smile.

There was, however, a snag in his dream,
and it wasn’t that the weather was so bloody nippy.
The Council wasn’t happy that Bob was the landlord
to thirty bloody hippies!

Well, Bob was supposed to get rid of this hairy crew
but, somehow, they all just rolled along…
The hippies stayed, just like they’d prayed,
and there was laughter and lots of song!

His mates asked “Bob! Why are you taking so long
to evict these squatters, so far out and trippy!”
But then word got around amongst the crowd:
“Bob’s gone native! He’s become a bloody hippy!”

What was going on in those 640 acres,
way out Conondale way?
“A Village!” they said “A new beginning!
We start tomorrow today!

A better world! A friendlier place!
No more pollution, poison or greed!”
Alas, the vision splendid was not reciprocally extended:
The local council didn’t agree.

“Get those bloody hippies out of there Bob!”
said the Council bloke.
“You can’t just build a village, you have to get permission!
This is a bloody joke!”

Well, dejected, Bob and the Hippies went home,
Sat around the campfire and rolled their eyes;
and talked about what to do for hours until –
to everyone’s great surprise –

came another great moment of this epic,
a crucial, critical plot twist:
Bob Sample and The Hippies met
The Permaculturalists!

The Permaculturalists were on their quest,
and it was a good one, Bob had to admit.
And with his interest in the ponies –
they bonded over their shared love of hay and horse shit.

The Permaculturalists dreamed
of a sensible world of sustainability.
Bob nodded and wondered: “A Permaculturalist village?”
But would the Council agree?

They stayed up all night, doing paperwork
and had almost finished the form.
All that was left was – the name?
What would this Permaculturalist Paradise be called?

Now, when a group of people try to agree on a name for anything
it’s usually absolute bloody torture.
But, the story goes, a hippy woman had a dream and was told:
“call it ‘Crystal Waters’.”

So! We come to 1988, the afternoon of the 29th of June,
with the now Permaculturalist Hippies and Bob
meeting with the council about building a Permaculturalist village
– it seemed an impossible job!

They made their presentation, to the panel,
of their dream of a future pesticide free,
starting with Crystal Waters, and then the world!
Surely the panel had to agree?

The Council dudes just sat there, looking ultra-square,
and the Permaculturalist Hippies’ hearts sank.
Undaunted, Bob called for questions and was asked:
“When are you going to get a septic tank?”

“Right away!” said Bob, improvising,
“Top quality! features too many to mention!”
And then there was an awkward silence,
and they waited for the next question.

What happened next, some say was due to a convergence
of astrological power, an ethereal convocation.
And some say that it was in fact the imminent tea-break
that the council panel wished to hasten.

Because to everyone’s amazement the panel said YES!
and Crystal Waters was legally born!
On the promise of permaculture, an excellent septic tank system
and one or two exaggerations on the form.

It’s been 30 years of hippies, permaculturalists,
anarchists and tree-embracers.
And 30 years of fears that either lantana or the government
will soon eradicate us.

Mobile phones don’t work, and there’s bloody huge pot holes,
but there are community meals every Friday!
At the moment there’s no shop, or a school, or a church;
but we do have a cemetery!

There’s lots of bylaws, which are usually ignored,
and, as well as music and drinks after dark,
you can hear the dogs that officially don’t live here
calling out a non-existent bark.

At the markets there’s clothes, food, art;
even find a room that someone will rent you.
There’s everything for sale here,
someone even sold the eco-centre!

And there’s this Hall that Jaan built, and the fire-brigade
and the dairy that someone will probably try and stop.
And the parties and the bakery and the latest addition:
Ally’s Flower Pot.

So here’s to you little Permaculturalist Village;
may you never falter.
Please keep being – whatever, exactly, it is that you are –
Happy birthday, Crystal Waters!

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