When Cooee Cabaret played in Burnie, Tasmania, we were lucky enough to have Michael Cannon perform his original song ’100 Miles (Emu Bay)’.
The song is about the building of the Emu Bay Railway, which opened in 1897. Established to carry minerals and passengers between the west coast and the Emu Bay port (modern day Burnie), the railway enabled the area’s mining towns to flourish in the early 1900s. The railway still runs today as a goods train line.
The early railway history of western Tasmania is revered by train historians from around the world because of the challenging terrain they contended with to build the lines. Michael’s song pays tribute to the workers and the conditions they faced. Fortuitously for its inclusion in the Cooee program, the mill where the wooden rails were built was the Cooee Mill.
We are proud to feature Michael’s performance, along with four other wonderful local performances from Hobart, Launceston and Devonport on NFSA’s YouTube Channel.