Paddy Blanchfield, who represented Westland in the 1960s and 1970s, was known as the ‘Bard of the Coast’. He composed this poem when he retired in 1978.
Paddy Blanchfield. New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, vol. 421 (1978): 4295. Read by Simon Nathan.
We’ll bow to Mr Speaker and sadly turn the page;
I shan’t forget these members, as south my footsteps roam,
For the pigeon’s on the Miro and now I’m going home.
I’ll miss my old opponents on benches ’cross the floor,
I’ll miss those members’ luncheons at Bellamy’s next door;
But when I leave the Chamber and walk away alone,
I’ll leave no hate or rancour, when Westland calls me home.
Farewell to all-night sessions and clang of division bell,
When nerves are frayed and tempers displayed,
Sure it’s just like living in hell;
Yet I’ll miss all my fiery colleagues, who fight like gladiators of Rome;
‘Cos the tree ferns shade and the peaceful glade
Whisper, ‘Paddy, it’s time to come home.’