G'Day. I'd like ta' introduce ya' to a couple of old mates of mine. They come from the Akubra clan, and have been around for a good many moons.
They are a bit like me: a bit work worn, a bit rough around the edges but not bad in patches, and, of course, we is all still above ground.
This is Gramps. He has seen better days, but in them days he was the best mate I ever had. He went everywhere with me—the pub, out drovin', chasing cattle and helping out in general by being smacked on the back of an 'ornery 'orse or two.
I even took him to the annual ball, wot only happens once a year, in Longreach.
You could pick up a scalding quart pot with old Gramps and he wouldn't whimper one bit.
Poor old bugga, all he wants to do these days is to lay about and dream of the good old days.
If ya' eckon that you have a few wrinkles, and a few bits of arty rightus, in the bones, look at old Gramps and think how he feels when he tries to lift his peak, and flatten his brim when a couple of flowery Sunday Bonnets walk by.
I got him out in the back paddock now, where he munches on the good grass, and dreams of the time when we rode the river together ... Sniff!!
I ended up having to retire old Gramps, but I kept him outta the way when the new bloke arrived. Also of the Akubra clan, he was a down right fancy 'Boss of the Plains', and didn't he know it.
Ya' can see by the sweat of the brow that this fella was no slouch when work came about, but that was the life of the true blue Akubra Clan.
He tried his darnedest to keep in shape, I mean, just look at that brim, even after all these years.
We had a few hic-cups in the early days, trying to get used to each other, ya' see, old Gramps knew what I needed and seemed to join in like most of the old blokes of the time.
Eventually the Gray with a bit of yard work, and a few bashings on a 'orses rump, decided to fit in as best as he could.
One thing he was good at was being a watering trough; Fair Dinkum, I wouldn't lie to ya'. Look I'll show ya'.
Now, ava' look at this. I bet ya' London to a Brick on that you haven't seen a better 'orse waterer than this, hey?
An' ifn' ya' go back to the first picture an' use a bit of imagination you can see that by pushing the crown down leaves a darn fine dog water dish.
After showin' ya' these two good old mates, I feel a bit tangle-footed at showing the new kid on the block. Time goes on, the old blokes pass away or just get sent to the back paddock and you are left with this......
Mates, and Matesses, it ain't even from the Akubra Clan. Apart from the 100 year centenary badge what happened after Wagga was a hundred years old, otherwise the badge woulda' been wrong, but I wuz born then, like in 1938, there is nothing that gives this hat any distinction at all ...
Apart from being on my auspicious head, hey?