... Point Pearce and The Narungga People ...

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Point Pearce - SA Memory

Before the coming of the European pastoralists, the Yorke Peninsula was the home of the Narungga people, who occupied the land from near Port Wakefield in the east, over to Port Broughton in the west, and all the way down to the tip of the Peninsula.

Discovery of copper on Yorke Peninsula in 1859 lead to a swelling population, and the establishment of sizeable townships. These attracted many Narungga and the previously mobile population began to settle closer to these towns where they were exposed to damaging influences, such as alcohol and disease. Concerned for the welfare of these fringe-dwellers and with an aim to 'civilise' them, the local population began petitioning the Government and laying plans for a mission.

The land selected was familiar to many of the Narungga who would have often travelled though it. Known to them as Bookooyana, the area was a place where one could find an abundance of shellfish, game and fresh water soaks. Leaseholder Samuel Rogers, was concerned about the effect that such a settlement would have on his water supplies, and tried to fight the Government, but was eventually placated. And so in 1868 about six hundred acres, 35 miles south of Wallaroo, was given over for the establishment of the Yorke's Peninsula Aboriginal Mission, later called Point Pearce.

About 70 Narungga came to live at the Mission. But conditions were hard, and after a spread of illness led to a number of deaths in 1872, by 1874 the population had dropped to only 28.

Those Narungga who had resisted living on the Mission were reluctant to pass on their cultural knowledge and language to Mission residents. In 1894 the Mission was thrown into chaos when the former residents of the closed Poonindie Mission were shifted to Point Pearce. This introduction of people from a variety of Aboriginal language groups, some who had been living long under colonial influences, compounded the loss of the Narungga's own cultural identity.

By the end of the 1910s many of the Mission residents had grown up on the Mission and considered it their home. But there was frustration that despite all of their toil, they were not able to claim any of the land for their own, and work for themselves.

In 1915, the Mission was taken over by the State Government and became known as the Point Pearce Aboriginal Station. Residents continued to fight for their rights to benefit from their labours, but only after World War II were Aboriginal farmers able to reap any such reward - even then only earning one in ten bags produced by the white farmers they worked along side of.

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s residents were taking positions as domestics, or farmhands or joining the armed services and then in the 1950s many gained exemptions under the Aborigines Protection Act and left Point Pearce to try and make better lives for themselves under less strict controls.

The Aboriginal people of Point Pearce were finally given control of the land in 1972, when 5,777 hectares was transferred to the ownership of the Point Pearce Community Council under the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act.

Honouring Aboriginal war veterans at Point Pearce

POINT Pearce Aborig­i­nal Corporation and Aboriginal Veterans South Australia will host Honouring the Call of Country in remembrance of Aboriginal war veterans on Friday, May 4.

The community will commemorate 100-plus years of military service by Aboriginal veterans from Point Pearce as part of the 150 years of Point Pearce celebrations.

Reconciliation South Australia state manager Mark Waters looks forward to attending the first formal military event at Point Pearce.


by Courtesy of Yorke Peninsula Country Times. 24 April 2018

CALL OF COUNTRY... Pastor Grant Hayes and the Point Pearce community invite locals to Honouring the Call of Country, in remembrance of Aboriginal war veterans at the Point Pearce war memorial on Friday, May 4.

Point Pearce to celebrate 150 years

A SPECIAL event will be held to celebrate 150 years since the settlement of Point Pearce on Friday, September 28

The celebration will be dedicated to the past and present Elders of Point Pearce and the Point Pearce Aboriginal Corporation has organised a program of activities from 9.30am to 4pm.

This will include stalls and jumping castles, live music and traditional cuisine such as kangaroo stew. A cake will be cut and a commemorative plaque unveiled.

PREPARATIONS... Graham Walker, Colin Agius, Kaylene O’Loughlin, Greg Wanganeen and Farrin Miller in front of a mural completed by school students as part of NAIDOC celebrations in August. Another will be completed in preparation for the 150th event this month.

by Courtesy of Yorke Peninsula Country Times. 18 September 2018

Point Pearce community celebrates

PEOPLE from far and away came to celebrate the 150 years of Point Pearce settlement on Friday, September 28.

Celebrations kicked off with warm welcomes from emcee Kevin Kropinyeri and Point Pearce Aboriginal Community Council chairperson Eddie Newchurch followed by an Acknowledgment of Country presented by Rex Angie and Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis.

A commemorative plaque was then emotionally unveiled by elder Edmund O’Loughlin and Ann Newchurch in honour of past and present Narungga elders.

DANCERS... Jamie Goldsmith and the Taikurtinna Dance Group members Karruck Rankine-Merdith, Brian Goldsmith, Kylie Goldsmith, Allcise Goldsmith, Kayla Rebner and Banpan Nam performed at the Point Pearce 150 years celebrations on Friday, September 28.

by Courtesy of Yorke Peninsula Country Times. 03 October 2018

Narungga People - SA Memory

Before the coming of the European pastoralists, the Yorke Peninsula was the home of the Narungga people, who occupied the land from near Port Wakefield in the east, over to Port Broughton in the west, and all the way down to the southern tip of the Peninsula. The Narungga consisted of four clans, Kurnara (north), Windera (east), Wari, (west) and Dilpa (south).

It is believed that the Narungga maintained large settlements along the coast throughout much of the year. These coastal camps would have provided a regular supply of food and fresh water, as well as a gathering place for social and religious ceremony. There is also evidence of smaller camps scattered throughout the Peninsula.

Archaeological evidence shows that the Narungga had campgrounds at the areas now known as Moonta Bay, Cape Elizabeth, Chinamen's Well, Point Pearce, Black Point, Point Yorke, Tiddy Widdy and Point Morowie among others. Tools fashioned from stone, bone and shells are found at these sites.

The first lease was taken out on Yorke Peninsula in 1846, and from that time there was much conflict between pastoralists and the Aboriginal population - over land, stock, and the most precious commodity, fresh water.

Cut off from many of their traditional methods of gathering food and water some Narungga found work with pastoralists, labouring or minding sheep. Others were supplied with water, blankets, flour or other provisions by stations or Government-run depots.

In the years following colonisation, the remaining Narungga people lost much of the use of their language and cultural heritage. Once the Point Pearce Mission was opened in 1868, residents were discouraged from speaking their language and practicing their beliefs. Some Narungga resisted the move to the mission and continued to live independently, off the land, or by gaining work outside of the Mission. These groups continued to speak their own language and practice their culture - but were reluctant to pass these on to Mission residents.

The cultural identity of the Narungga was also challenged when Aboriginal people from other language groups were moved to Point Pearce - most significantly after the closure of Poonindie Mission in 1894. But the residents of the Point Pearce Mission maintained their community identity and fought long and hard for their rights to land in Yorke Peninsula. This entitlement was acknowledged in 1972, when ownership of 5,777 hectares was transferred to the Point Pearce Community Council under the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act.

Today both the Narungga Aboriginal Progress Association, based in Maitland, and the Narungga Heritage Committee, based in Point Pearce, are working to continue and revive Narungga culture and language through education, tourism and cultural awareness training.

Journals and Publications


Yorke Peninsula, a residents view.

by A. C. Parsons


A case study at Point Pearce.

by Susanne Montana Jones


Protector of Aborigines

by C. A. Wiebusch


Protector of Aborigines Letter Book

by Joe Lane


The Narungga and Europeans

by Skye Krichauff


Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission

by Edna Love


A meeting of the South Australian Branch of this Society waa held at the rooms, Waymouth-street, on Friday night, July 29. Sir Samuel Davenport presided.

Mr. T. M. Sutton, Superintendent of Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission Station, read the following paper on the Adjahdurah tribe of aborigines on Yorke's Peninsula and some of their early customs and traditions : —

'It is very difficult to get reliable information as to the past history of the aborigines. The tendency is to mix it up with the semi-civilized life they have led since the Europeans have been here. Many even of the oldest have forgotten all about it. My plan has been to get the first information from two old men or women, then try two more, get their views on the same subject, and submit it all to the old people together and a couple of young men. Some of the latter do not like all the past customs to be known.

The name of the tribe on Yorke'a Peninsula is Adjahdurah, or my people. Adjah means my or mine, as adjah-coojmunya my son, adjah - lanna my daughter. One individual of the tribe would be called Durah. The general name of a native of any tribe is Nepoh.

The tribe was also divided into four local divisions, viz.— Koonarrah north), Winderah (east), Dilpah (south), Warree (west). Each local division had its own totems, viz. — Ghardie (emu), durantoo (red karigaroo), coynbinya (butter - fish), coolallah (salmon). I only give these totems as a sample ; there were numbers of others. Men and women of the same totems were allowed to marry. I have never heard of any other tribe where this was allowed. I would not accept it at first, until the King told me that he married a ghardie, he being a ghardie himself; his grandfather also married a ghardie. A woman takes her husband's totem at marriage. They were not allowed to marry blood relations under pain of death. First cousins are considered equal to brothers and sisters, foster children were treated as their own.

Betrothal took place in infancy, and the marriage ceremony after circumcision and other rites performed on the male. At this ceremony blood being extracted from the candidate he was obliged to drink some. A humming instrument was used to warn all but the initiated away. No one was allowed to see this instrument under pain of death, unless they were initiated.

Of course this was long ago, the ancient stringency having grown entirely obsolete. The old King made one, and used it in my presence. I am not aware that this privilege has been extended to any other white man in this colony. The Victorian natives have a similar instrument, and the same rules are observed concerning it. I have heard of a gentleman in that colony being allowed to see it, but he had to be initiated first. Without this initiation I have been allowed to see both. There is very little difference in the construction, none at all in the noise they make.

Cannibalism was unknown in this tribe, neither did they extract the kidney fat from their enemies, as was the custom of some of the Australian tribes. Being cut off from other tribes very little was known of war, consequently their weapons were few.

The tribe was ruled over by a King, with head men selected from each of the local divisions alluded to above. The kingship was hereditary. The last King, who died recently, spoke of his grandfather as occupying that position when he was a boy.

The following legend as to the origin of the tribe was told me by one of the natives, who received it from hia father, he being noted for his good memory. The story was also corroborated by the King. The father of the tribe, who was a giant, lived on Wauraltee Island, where he had always resided, and where he was ultimately buried. He had a brother in whom was vested power almost equal to his own. This brother travelled about. Once in his wanderings down the Peninsula he met a man belonging to another race, whether black or white ' deponent sayeth not.' They had a fight. The latter was speared, and his bowels gushed out. His conquerer then cut him into halves, the severance taking place just below the arms, and the upper portion he transformed into a bat (majaja).

The bat he dispatched with a message to the conquered one's people, who were camped on the beach. He returned and desired the conquerer to go to their camp for a oonsultation. This he refused to do, but waited until night, and stole upon them while they slept, setting fire to their camp and burning them all to death. The wind arose and blew their ashes away, which turned into seabirds. These are the present shags, pelicans, gulls, &c. Previous to this the sea water was fresh. The mark of the cut in the bat, they say, can be seen now. The natives will on no consideration kill them. A spider, it is said, made the islands. They seem to have no idea how the mainland came into existence.

They believed in a supreme being and in the souI's existence after death. When any one dies belonging to Koornarrah (north) the soul goes away in that direction, and vice versa. The body used to be kept for several days after death, and the doctor of the tribe would lie beside it and profess to hold communication with the departed soul, from which source he pretented to receive the secrets of his art. Of course this doctor was a great humbug. He would put stones and other things into his mouth, and suck the seat of pain, then eject them, pretending he had extracted them from the patient's body.

The name a person had while living was never mentioned after death, Even amongst the present generation this rule is now observed. A man would never speak to his mother-in-law ; if he wished to give her anything he would look another way, and pass it to her with both hands. Brothers and first cousins would not hold direct conversation with each other. Certain rules were observed in the division of food, which, perhaps, would not be interesting to go into at present.

It is a mistake to suppose that corrobbories were got up merely for dancing and noise. They had a great significance in olden times. In seasons of drought they had rain corrobbories, so when kangaroos and emus were scarce they had kangaroo and emu corrobbories, &c. A man called the ghureldrie (I suppose analogous to the Poet Laureate of England) made and sang the songs. He was a very important personage on these occasions.

Messages were sent from place to place by notches cut in a waddie, rolled in the skin of an animal, I was the bearer of a stick-message once from a native on the station to another on Wauraltee Island. I was told afterwards the purport of this measage. It was not sent in the orthodox way by being wrapped in a skin, so I saw the notches and learned their meaning.

No grasstrees growing on Yorke's Peninsula, it was difficult for the natives in olden times to get fire. The King has told me that he and others would travel to the Murray to get it when they had lost the fire, and were never molested by the natives there.

The natives belonging to this tribe had only words to express numbers up to five, viz., arrizo (one), bulli (two), mungree (three), bulli bulli (four), yarrabali (five). Some of the northern natives have only words to express four. Papee is father ; adgaah is mother ; doomalah, grandfather; coojmunya, son; lanna, daughter; cabbie, water (it is cowie in the north) ; bardqh, meat ; miah, bread — this would signify in olden times food of any sort except meat.' A discussion followed on the subject of the aborigines, and a vote of thanks was accorded Mr. Sutton.

Blacks on the way to Adelaide in custody Yorkes Peninsula June 22 1850 / watercolour by Edward Snell

CALL NUMBER: SV / 88. IE NUMBER: IE3155411. FILE NUMBER: FL3155422. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales


South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1847 - 1852), Thursday 27 June 1850, page 3

Monday, June 10, 1850. Keskahrowilla, a native, was charged with feloniously assaulting, with intent to murder, William Bagnell, on Yorke's Peninsula.

South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1847 - 1852), Thursday 27 June 1850, page 3

Tuesday, June 25. Padlarra, an aboriginal native of Yorke's Peninsula, was charged with stealing a sheep from Mr Rogers's station, on the 10th instant

South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1847 - 1852), Thursday 27 June 1850, page 2

June 23—The cutter Frolic, 15 tons, Fisher, master, from Yorke's Peninsula. Passengers—Mr Bagnell, eight shepherds, three policemen, two blackfellows, charged with spearing Mr Bagnell and stealing sheep, and one black witness.


'Surveyors' Encampment Yorkes (sic) Peninsula', July 12 1850. Edward Snell B55782

State library of South Australia

District Council of Yorke Peninsula - History of Point Pearce

The aborigine tribe who inhabited Yorke Peninsula prior to the arrival of white people were called the Narrunga tribe. They amounted to about 500 in number. "The Advertiser", 6th July 1982

After the discovery of copper in 1861 the mining towns of Moonta, Wallaroo and Kadina developed. The further settlement of the Peninsula restricted the nomadic life of the aborigine resulting in hardship and privation for them. Governor Fergusson's Legacy. Page 55

In 1867 a committee was formed to assist the natives and two Moravian missionaries, named Kuhn and Walder were appointed to assist them.

Land was set aside for them and under the direction of Mr. Kuhn stone was quarried and houses were built. The natives were further employed on various sheep stations as rouseabouts and shearers. At various ports they were given employment as wheat lumpers, or labourers at Wardang Island in the flux quarries. Wardang Island was leased and profits returned were used to help finance the mission*. Governor Fergusson's Legacy. Page 60

In 1956 an Act of Parliament abolished all aboriginal reserves and the land and settlement now belong to the Aboriginal Lands Trust under the guidance of a Council of nine people*. Governor Fergusson's Legacy. Page 65


Point Pearce Mission Station - State Library of South Australia - B 9804

Point Pearce Aboriginal Reserve - Australian Heritage Database

Concern over the plight of the Aboriginal people in the Yorke Peninsula area who had been displaced by the rapid influx of European settlers, prompted a series of public meetings in Moonta, Wallaroo and Kadina during the late 1860s. Point Pearce, a favoured camping location of the local Narrunga Aboriginal people, especially during dry seasons, was chosen as the site for an Aboriginal Mission for the region in 1867. A Moravian missionary, the Rev. W Julius Kuhn, was appointed Missionary to the Settlement. Father Julius ran a school and supervised the construction of dwellings and other structures. In 1868 a grant of 639 acres (later increased to eight square miles) was made by the Government. A further six and a quarter square miles was later granted. To cope with an increasing population and in order to provide employment opportunities, an additional twenty square miles was requested. As a result, a further grant of twelve and a half square miles was made and in 1879, Wardang Island was leased to the Mission and used for grazing stock. By this time, The Mission had an appearance of a small township. a six roomed house for the missionary, a large stone school room, dormitories, large woolshed, four two-roomed cottages and four large underground stone-lined tanks for domestic use had been built. A garden, enclosed by a stone wall, supplied the kitchen with vegetables. The remnants of the Narrunga tribe were joined by survivors of tribal groups from the Adelaide plains and the Murray regions. In 1885 there were fifty-four people on the Mission, including the last two survivors of the Adelaide tribe. The population was boosted in 1889 when the Poonindie Mission on Eyre Peninsula closed and Aboriginal people living there were sent to Point Pearce. By 1915 the population reached 173, it peaked at 509 in 1950 and is currently between 300 to 500. Management of the Mission has changed during its history, as a result of internal needs and the development of Aboriginal affairs in the state. Financial difficulties caused the re-organisation of the Mission into an incorporated body in 1877, with eight trustees appointed to manage the site. Various schemes were implemented in an attempt to make the Mission economically sound, including the leasing of Wardang Island for grazing and cropping arrangements with neighbouring farmers and improvements to stock and equipment. Following the Royal Commission's recommendations, Point Pearce was taken over by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in 1915. In 1972 the Point Pearce Aboriginal Reserve was transferred to an Aboriginal lands trust and is now administered by a council of nine elected members. There have been a number of changes to The Mission over the years and few of the earlier buildings survive. The focal point of The Mission is Narrunga Avenue, which was planted with trees at or soon after the turn of the century. At the end of Narrunga Avenue is the church and community hall built in 1937. At the northern end of the Avenue is the former superintendent's house, near the store and original church. The superintendent's house is now used as a residence and the former church/store bears little resemblance to its original form, now being used for an administration block and radically altered in the process. A manse, utilised also as a hospital, is located to the rear of the original school built during the 1870s. In the 1920s a state school was built on the western outskirts of the settlement. The presence of key administration buildings and surviving stone dwellings contribute to an understanding of the organic growth of the Mission itself and to some extent reflect the official policies of the various administrators at different times in the Mission's history. The Aboriginal historical perspective of the Mission is currently being undertaken by the Point Pearce community.

Historically, Point Pearce Aboriginal Reserve is important because it forms an integral part of a state system of missions established by church, government and private organisations during the displacement of Aboriginal people from their tribal lands in South Australia during the nineteenth century (Criterion A.4). Established in 1867, it provided some form of refuge for members of the Narrunga tribe affected by successive pastoralism, farming and mining developments on Yorke Peninsula. Remaining members of other tribal groups also lived at the Mission, which sought to instruct members in European customs, livelihood and religion. The place is highly valued by the community for its social significance (Criterion G.1). Because of the important role it has played in the history of contact between Aboriginal people and the European settlers and also because it has been a place of residence for community members for a considerable time.
Physically, Point Pearce is notable as a township that retains evidence of its former Mission function, as seen in the grouping of administration block, former school, manse, superintendent's house, community hall and church at the end of the Narrunga Avenue, the focal point of the regiment street layout in the settlement

Indigenous History SA. A Brilliant Blend.

The People.

The traditional owners of Yorke Peninsula are the Adjahdura people whose land reached from Port Broughton in the north to the Hummock Ranges in the east. The Kaurna People of the Adelaide Hills and the Nukunu people in the north shared their borders, and often met with the Adjahdura people for trade and ceremony.

The Adjahdura people consisted of four different groups - the Kunara from the north, the Windera in the east, Wari in the west and the Dilpa group in the south.

Evidence suggests that prior to European colonisation the Adjahdura People lived in settlements around the coast, with the young and old staying there while others went off for a day or two, returning with food. These settlements were at places with fresh water and food, including Moonta Bay, Tiddy Widdy Beach, Point Pearce, Point Yorke and many more.

Shallow graves of the Adjahdura people have been found with necklaces and other objects as well as ochre, which could have been used during the burial ceremonies for decoration.

Hunting and Gathering.

Living on the Yorke Peninsula meant that the Adjahdura people had plenty of fresh plants and animals to live off including roots, seeds, and a huge variety of fruit. Emu, kangaroos, possums, bandicoots, lizards, wombats, and bettongs were just some of the animals hunted.

The Adjahdura people were skilled at fishing, which made up a large part of their diet, as did shellfish such as periwinkles and warreners, crayfish and crabs. Fires were used to clear the grasses and promote growth of vegetation, and waterholes were covered with large boulders to keep them clean.

Their clothing mainly consisted of cloaks that were made from possum and kangaroo skins, dried and sewn together with the tendons from kangaroos and wallabies. In the wintertime, the men would rub emu oil on their skin to keep warm.

Archaeological evidence shows that the Adjahdura people used stone materials to make hammer stones, cutting tools, scrapers and spear tips. The spear tips would then be attached to a wooden shaft using resin or gum. Wood and roots were used to make spears, digging sticks and for building shelters.

The nets used for both fishing and hunting were called Buntu Buntu. They were made of reeds by the women and took a couple of days to make by the time they were picked, dried and rolled into string.

After European Settlement.

In the early days of settlement it was estimated that the population of the Adjahdura Tribe was 500. In the first 30 years of European settlement, 80 per cent of the Adjahdura tribe were wiped out through introduced diseases and by the bullet - massacres were a common practice. By 1880 there were less than 100 survivors.

Watering holes were how the Aboriginal people of the area sustained life. When Europeans arrived they took most of the water holes and cleared most of the natural vegetation for farming. In the early 1860s the Yorke Peninsula Aboriginal Mission Committee was established and teaching began in a wool shed in Moonta Bay under the command of Reverend W Julius Kuhn.

In 1867 the mission was moved to Point Pearce on 639 acres of land.This land grew in acreage as a small township developed, including housing, woolsheds, a church and large underground stone tanks.

The Adjahdura people harvested their own crops and the mission included a hall, meat shop, blacksmiths, wheat barn, piggery, shearing sheds and chaff houses. Bad things are spoken about Aboriginal missions - but Adjahdura elders Irene Agius and Elaine Newchurch talk about how important Point Pearce was in the survival of their people. They say it was a place they could run away from the bullet - a sanctuary for Aboriginal people.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, missions from other areas in South Australia were closed down by government and Aboriginal people from other clan groups were moved to Point Pearce to live with the traditional owners of the area. This caused many problems that are still evident today.

From this time, the word Narungga - which means campsite - was used to describe the Aboriginal people who lived at Point Pearce. But today, the direct descendants of the traditional owners, who live on the land, still see themselves as Adjahdura people.

The Native Tongue

Fri 26 Dec 1930, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) Trove

A Valuable Vocabulary.

The exclusive historical and philological articles which have been a feature of "The Pioneer" for several months past, have opened the way for publication of matter belonging solely to the ethnological side of the history of Yorke Peninsula.

One of the vain regrets of modern scientists is that the much-landed pioneers, with the matchless opporunities afforded by personal contact with the blacks, failed to hand down to posterity anything like a complete record of the Australian aboriginal speech. Many years later, after the flush of opportunity had faded, enthusiasts set about retrieving some of the lost ground.

So far as South Australia is concerned, special credit in this regard is due to Mr. J. Howard Johnson, son of the late Mr. James Angas Johnson who was one of the pastoral pioneers of Yorke Peninsula.

He prepared a vocabulary of the native race which inhabited the southern reaches of the peninsula, and it forms one of the most interesting documents of its kind that exist in South Australia.

The work is divided into 15 headings, and "The Pioneer" proposes to reproduce it by instalments. The author is a great grandson of George Fife Angas, one of the fathers and founders of South Australia.

ANATOMICAL ............

HEAD—Gocka, Guck-er or Cook-a

HAIR—Gugga-willyer, Gucker-willyer or Gock-earner.

DARK HAIRED—Bull-yully.

FAIR HAIRED—Thil-lully or Dillarly.

BALD—Birry-ger. GREY—Bull-ka.

HAIR (on animals)—Boot-lee.

VERY HAIRY—Bood-a-Jee.


MOUSTACHE or WHISKERS— Yunk-kar-ree or Yurn-ker.

EARS—Tul-tee or Dol-da.


NOSE—Mood-la or Mul-da.

MOUTH—Thar-burra (no name for chin or jaw, all included in mouth).


NECK or THROAT—Wurrl-too.



HAND—Murra (includes wrist and fingers).


THIGH—Cun-tee or Gun-ty.





SKIN—Yal-koo or Yal-goo.

CALF (of leg)—Bood-Ia.



TOE NAILS—Didna-birry.


LEG—Yalgoo or Yal-k'oo.









ARM PIT—Thig-gi-burra.



BANDY—Yal-goo Yoogooly (crooked legs).


HUMP BACKED—Toora boon bailee (lump on shoulders).

FLAT FOREHEAD — Bucka-binyinny.

FLAT FACE—Moolka binyinny.

BIG SHORT LEG—Yalgoo-buttoodowera.

FISH ........................





OCTOPUS — Murra-widgee (many hands, murra a hand).


SCHNAPPER—Cud-berry or Codberry.


WHITING—Yurrd-lee or Yud-lee.

FLOUNDER — Tharbara - yoogooly (crooked mouth).

MUTTON FISH—Birra (the moon) or birroo.

BUTTER FISH—Gooya or Gyneburra.


TOAD FISH—Dunny-mood-loo.


ANY FISH—Goo-ya or Coo-ya.

CRAY FISH—Coo-pa (ugly looking).

SHELLS—Birra (birrer) the moon.


SEA WEED—Moo-yer.


BLUE HEAD—Gutter-be-berty.



STINGRAY, OLD MAN—Mundybulter.

CARPET SHARK—Goorat-too.

CAT FISH—Ow-er-gee.

FAUNA ..............


OLD MAN ROO—Nan-toe.

OLD MAN DOE—Wo-wee or Warwa.

FLYING DOE—Guddi-ga.


JOEY 'ROO—Goo-ducka or Goodaga.

STARVED JOEY 'ROO — Moolagoodaga.


DOE WALLABY—Cul-yer-roo.

JOEY WALLABY—Wug-ug-coo or Wagga-coo.

RABBIT — Thurrul-ta-bitty (long ears).






ANY DOG—Cud-lee.

MOUSE — Untoo - buttoo - vith - e -catcha (a short-armed chap digging quickly).




WHALE ~Wol-burro.



As the kangaroo was the largest animal known to the natives, they called any large animal introduced by the whites NANTOE.

REPTILES (SNAKES) ............

BLACK SNAKE — Buck-er (any black snake).



BROWN SNAKE—Wurrn-koo or Wong-koo.

WHIP SNAKE—Wid-burra.

DEATH ADDER—Boon-dun-ya.

ANY SNAKE—But-cher.

MALLEE SNAKE—We-burra. (Cannot identify this.)

LIZARDS, Etc ..........

BOBTAILED . LIZARD—Moo-rower-tee.


FIRE LIZARD (Gecko)—Wit-ta (small variety).

FIRE LIZARD (large variety)— Moonk-ker.

LITTLE THIN LIZARD—Mug-agilla-gilla.


IGUANA—Bunna, Warry-but-cher or Warry-wit-cha.




FLORA ....................



TI-TREE (Purple flower)—Mul-deera or Mul-der-ra.

TI-TREE Swamp—Ki-er-rah.



MALLEE SCRUB—Whid-dar-rah.

CHERRY BUSH—Whid-dit-too.

CHERRY TREE—Murra-wulpa.

BOX BUSH—YocJer-ra.

BLUE BUSH—Whud-bulla.

BUSHES Boon-too (any THATCH GRASS grass or rush

BROAD LEAF growing in RUSH swamps).

WHITE FLOWER BUSH (on beach)—Min-ya or Meen-ya.





MYALL (Blackwood)—Burr-ra.

CURRANT BUSH— Buggy-jucker.

CRAN BERRY—Ul-lul-a-doo.

PIG-FAC E—Gurrd-guller.



SEA WEED—Moo-yer.

BARK—Gon-nick-ker or Can-nick-ker.

GRASS—Coo-loo (Barley grass).


BIRDS ....................

EAGLEHAWK—Wil-too or Wurrltoo.

SPARROW HAWK—Gurr-gunya.




LARK—Wul-durra. BELL-BIRD—Bug-ug-coo.



MAGPIE—Mooor-roo. or Mur-roo.


WAG TAIL—Did-e-dilya.

BUTCHER BIRD—Goo-laddie.

SCOTCH - HOPPER — Joon -nunchoo (twelve apostles).




PHEASANT—Bood nee.


CURLEW—Weer-doo or Wir-roo.

MOUNTAIN DUCK—Goon-de-mar,


ANY DUCK—Nurry (except Mounlain Duck).



GOOSE—Mte-e-biirroo (Bread, miee; meat, burroo, i.e., anything edible).


SWAMP BIRD—Bung-ar-roo.


STARLING (Wood Swallow)— Gurrgoo-larrt-too.


FOWL (Domestic)—Yurda-nun-yerries (scratching about the dirt).


EGGS—Mook-kcr or Nurr-roo.


BLACK GULL (molly hawk)—Yowwoo.

SILVER GULL—Biroo or Bith-roo.

SHAG—Mool-a-win. PENGUIN—Yin-da-la.


SAND PIPER—Whit-tee.

PELICAN — Widaly or Wult-choo (long neck).

INSECTS, Etc ...............


MARCH FLY—Doom-bulla.

LITTLE SAND FLY—Mulla-wurry.

BLOW FLY—Boo-wa.




SCORPION—Gunnee-wurta or Gunner-beirty.

RED ANT—Whip-pa.


BULL ANT—Wud-ger-ra.

ANY INSECT—Butcher. (Seems common term for vermin; see "Any Snake.")

WATTLEGRUB Birr-tee ("Pelitee" at Milang: "Witchitee" in North).



MYTHOLOGY, Etc ........

MUD-JET-CHOO—This was the deity who was supposed to take the form of a bat, and the native name of the bat is still Mud-jetchoo.

ARNNER—A giant supposed by the natives to be buried at Royston Head, near Cape Spencer. He was a tremendously big man, and was continually quarrelling with another giant, Budderer. It ended by Arnner throwing a waddy from Point Turton, which killed Budderer, who was then near Minlaton.

BUDDERER—One of two giants, killed by a waddy thrown by Arnner who was at Point Turton, while Budderer was at Minlaton. Budderer is supposed to be buried at Minlaton.

NOOG-GUNNER was a ghost. The natives had many kinds of ghosts, devils, phantoms, etc., hut the worst kind was Noog-gunner, who was always supposed to be doing harm. The worst kind of "noog-gunner" was a bald-headed one (Birry-ger Noog-gunner), and he was greatly feared for his evil and malignant deeds.

COOP-A—An ordinary ghost. Coop-a is the name for a cray fish, because of its ugly appearance.

WUN-YERRA—The devil, nearly as much feared as Noog-gunner. To Follow — Domestic, General, Geographical, Couversatioual, Astronomical,


Fri 9 Jan 1931, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) Trove

A Valuable Vocabulary Second Instalment.








RAIN— Munya.



MODERATE SEA—Mud-ger-ra.

ROUGH SEA—Yurrd-loo (big rough swell).

DEEP WATER—Will-la (long way down)


WATER—Cow-wee or Cabby.


WIND—Bin-tee or binty.

STONE (any kind)—Bun-ta





HOT—Wurl-toe or Wol-toe.





NIGHT—Will-cha or Wilcha-ioo.



PLAIN—Wum-mera (cf. Wimmera).

BLOW HOLE — Wul-burra-wurdly (whale's nest)

SCRUB (Mallee)—Whid-der-rah.

A CAPE OR HILL—Para-Wurlie


WEST WIND—Wind-darra.


DAY TIME—Gooraloo.

GENERAL ....................

MALLEE SCRUB—Whid-dar-rah.



A PLAIN—Wum-mera.



BLACK OR DARK—Bull-yooly.


FAIR—Dill-ar-ly or Thil-luliy.



GOOD-LOOKING — Goo-rannermoolkee (good looking person or face).

OLD, DRIED UP—Mootcher.




ANY SKIN—Bul-ter (a covering).



COAT OR SHIRT—Bul-ta (a skin).

TROUSERS—Cundy-bulta or Cundabulta (leg skin).

BOOTS—Didna-bulta (footskin).

HAT—Gurr-gun-noo or Gucka-wurley (head cover).






LITTLE FELLOW—Gung-un-yer.

MALE (boy)—Yurd-!ee.

FEMALE (girl)—Arn-kee.


TWO—Bull-i. THREE—Mung-ga-wee.

A CAMP (Wurley)— Bil-duckoo or Wurley.


A FORKED STICK—Bid-jiller (e.g., rafter of hut).

FIRE—Currd-la or Gud-dla.

ANY LIGHT—Currd-la or Gud-dla.

SMOKE—Bee-yoo (tobacco or wood smoke)





OPOSSUM RUG—BiUta-bulter.

KANGAROO—Gudaga-hulter (rug of joey skins).

THE GROUND—Yurr-tur.

A PIPE—Bee-yoo.






BREAD—Mi-e or Mi-yee.



A NAME—Mit-chee.


A MATE—Ud-flig-ga.

A MASTER—Nin-guUy.


MY OR MINE—Nally-go.

WHITE MAN—Bin-dra or Goo-dinyoo.

WHITE WOMAN—Bin-drunkie.

BLACK MAN—Nip-poo.

BLACK WOMAN—Nip-wunkie.

OUR MAN—Allogo-bindra.

YOUR WOMAN—Ninny-unkie.

OLD WOMAN—Mood-lunkie.


WOMAN WITH CHILD IN ARMS —Oong-unya Marn-dickoo


PREMATURE CHILD—Brar-brerry or Brar brary.


DOMESTIC cont .....


A DEAD PERSON—Barl-loonie.

YOUNG MAN—Mun-too.

OLD PERSON — Mootcher (old; dried up).

HEAD ACHE—Cocker-wuthrickin or Gocker-nargolidge (head spinning round).


GERMAN — Mul-dulya






LONG WADDY— Nulla-whirry.

WADDY—Whirry (cf. mallee whirrah).





STONE— Bunt-ta.

DEVIL—Gco-bin-ya (swearing)

BIG DEVIL—Wun-yerra (the devil)



GHOST—Coop-a (cray fish).

ANGRY OR CROSS — Mung-goo (bad tempered)

SAVAGE TALK—Toodla-wobrikin.

HUMBUG — Yud-Iee (exaggeration, tommyrot).





HORSE: SHOE—Nanto-muckee.


OLD. DRIED UP—Moot-cher.





TOY THROWING STICK—Yuck-urra BIG—Murrn-na.

FLY WHISK—Gurry-woo-poo.


OUT OF SORTS—Moola-hucky.

NOSE FROZEN WITH COLD—Moola-bucker-nubber-nigger.


SPOOR OR MARK—Bool-too. or Bid-jer-la.

LEGS TIRED—Yalgoo-udjini-gy.


TOOTHACHE — Deeya - doodala (tooth growl or in bad temper)



BUSH FIRE—Goon-yer-a-barnin.



Fri 16 Jan 1931, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) Trove

A Valuable Vocabulary Final Instalment.

A group of former residents of Southern Yorke Peninsula.

The exclusive historical and philological articles which have been a feature of "The Pioneer" for several months past, have opened the way for publication of matter belonging' solely to the ethnological "Side of the history of Yorke Peninsula.

One of the vain regrets of modern scientists is that the much-lauded pioneers, with the matchless opportanities afforded by personal contact with the blacks, failed to hand down to posterity anything like a complete record of the Australian aboriginal speech. Many years later, after the flush of opportunity had faded, enthusiasts set about retrieving some of the lost ground.

So far as South Australia is concerned, special credit in this regard due to Mr. J. Howard Johnson, son of the late Mr. James Angas Johnson, who was one of the pastoral pioneers of Yorke Peninsula.

He prepared a vocabulary ot the native race which inhabited the southern reaches of the peninsula, and it forms one of the most interesting documents of its kind that exist in South Australia.



MORE-A-COWIE (Orrie Cowie)— Wattle Springs (Morea, small needled wattle).

MINLACOWIE—Fresh water well.

BUBBLE-DOWIE (Bubla dowie)— Brackish water well.

COOL-GAR-RY (Kuliwnrtie) — Waterhole where emus come to drink.

CURRAMULKA—Stone water hole where emus come to drink : (Gorry, emu; Moolka, stone water hole).

PARA WURLIE—A big, high bluff (native name for West Cape).

ROYSTON HEAD—Narm-noo Arrn-er (a giant).

LAKE SUNDAY—Tally-wonkko.

PEZEY HILL—Bin-gultie.


TUCOC K—Mun-gurra.

OLD MAN JOLLEY'S—Wald-owirra.

THE DAIRY—Bull-yer-gurra.

COTTAR'S SWAMP—Win-tan-ya.


ALF. McDONALD'S—Cowie-purdla.

SOUTH HUMMOCKS — Nanto- warn.

HILL AT WHITE HUT—Gulgonuck or Gurrl-gun-yer-nucka. (Called now Cut-cut-cutier or sparrow hawk hill)

PIPE CLAY (Daly Head)—Moodjully.

DUST HOLES—Coon-derowie.

CAPE YORKE—Gud-gerowie.

MARION BAY—Cock-a-dowie.

FIAT FROM BINS, MARION BAY (really the water hole there)— Mud-borowie.

WHITE HUT—Calloway.


EMU WATERHOLE—Yillow-rowie or Eela-rowie.

STONE WATER HOLE—Mulka bulba (near Davey's fence).

CABLE HUT—Nilder-girrie.

FLAT NEAR CAPE SPENCER— Gool-a-wool-gowie.

BEACH (north of Jim Brown's)— Willdy-bulla (i.e.. Pelican Creek).

WAROOKA—Muddy water hole.

YORKETOWN—Gurreena or Gurrina.

EDITHBURGH — Barrarm - marrattee.


BIG SCRUB HUT—Woo-rowie (gum tree water hole).

LITTLE SCRUB HUT—Nul-yow wee (very quiet place).



PONDALOWIE—Stony water hole.


PELICAN CREEK (Jim Brown's)— Wildy-bulla.

WATERHOLE GOING TO JIM BROWN'S — Warrin-ben (now Warrenben).

WATERHOLE NEAR LINE -Ower-jee (a cat fish).

SWIVEL HUT—Yu-nun-too.

SAND HILL WATERHOLE—Whit too (white sand hills),

SANDY PT. Well—Wofk-oo-lee.

STURT BAY— Bun-un-too.






HURRY UP—Butten-er.


MY MATE—Ud-jig-ga.


SIT DOWN—Tha-gunny.

I WILL TELL YOU—Bun-yer-nitch.

OUR MAN—Allogo-bindra.

I AM GOING—Ally-bumma.

I AM COMING—I-bununa.

LOOK OUT MATE, TRERE IS A SNAKE—Buh, ud-jig-ga, bucker

LONG LEGGED—Yalgoo-wigilly.

LONG NOSED—Mulda-wigilly.


BANDY—Yalgoo-yoogooly (crooked ( legs).

YOUR WOMAN—Ninny-unkie.


ANY HOW—Mum-bala.



A PROPER THIEF—Goowa-miUado.

TREMENDOU S—Munna-gin-er.


IMPUDENCE—Dinny Wonganna.


Our Aborigines. Tribal Customs of Yorke's Peninsula.

CUSTOMS AND TRIBAL LORE - Last Of The Yorke Peninsula Aborigines

Thu 16 Jul 1936, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) By C. P. MOUNTFORD Trove

There are few aborigines in the southern part of this State who can give reliable information regarding the beliefs of their forefathers to students of native lore. Although a great deal is known of the tribal life of the Central Australian, only fragmentary notes of the customs of the southern groups have been collected. This applies particularly to those who inhabited Yorke Peninsula. It is the same old story—interest in things near at hand was not aroused until it was too late, while those in the more distant parts attracted strongly.

Because of this paucity of information regarding the now almost extinct Yorke Peninsula tribe, I readily accepted an invitation to visit the lower end of the Peninsula in company with a scientific party.

My interest in this tribe started at Moonta, when I was still a boy. I had seen their burial places in the sandhills, and the shallow wells from which they obtained their water, and often wondered what kind of people they were. But when bushmen from the north told me of strange sacred corroborees and fierce, truculent tribes, my mind conjured up pictures of similar people roaming these white sandhills.

I now know that the Far Northern people are rarely troublesome, and, unless smarting under some injustice of cruelty, are the antithesis of any first impression. There is no doubt that the inhabitants of the white sandhills of my childish playground were similar — kindly and courteous.

During our recent trip I had the pleasure of talking with Mrs. Eggington. This old lady has always lived a civilised life, but the aboriginal blood shows in that kindly and friendly courteousness which is so striking among the natives. Although 84 years of age, she is in full possession of her faculties, and proved to be a mine of information regarding the doings of her almost extinct forebears.

Early in life she married a European, but she kept in touch with her tribal relatives. Thus she became conversant with many aspects of then doings, some of which, I feel sure, would not have been "correct" for a woman to know when the tribe was in its heyday.

During a long talk with the old lady I learned that although the organisation of the tribe and marriage customs resembled those of the Adelaide and River Murray natives, the boomerang and shield were not adopted, nor was the art of mat making, such as is still carried on by the natives of Point McLeay.

Fishing And Net Making

The tribe, however, were expert fishermen, and, consequently, adepts in the art of net making. Mrs. Eggington described with a great amount of detail the "net making" parties which were held at Marion Bay. The natives called that place Kokadowi.

At certain seasons of the year the mullet travel along this coast in large schools. Some time before their appearance, the natives from the adjacent districts gathered to make nets for the coming harvest. The first day was spent in collecting bundles of a flat-leafed rush, which were piled in a large heap, preparatory to the next operation. That evening was spent in singing songs to "charm" the nets, and thus ensure a plentiful supply of fish.

The following morning a trench was dug in the sand and a large fire lit alongside, which at the end of an hour would have burned down to a heap of embers. These were raked into the trench, and covered with a thin layer of sand. On this the rushes were placed and "sealed down" with a cover of leaves, sand being placed on top.

About two hours of ''cooking" was required to reduce the rushes to the proper flexibility, the actual time being dictated by an old man, an expert in such matters. At a given signal, the hard work of preparing the fibre soinning the string and making the nets began. The cooked rushes were raked from the fire, and were chewed by both men and women until reduced to a stringy, fibrous mass.

Others, expert in the art of string making, then spun the chewed fibre into lengths of string, later to be wound on spindles. From this fibre the fishing nets were made.

The method of net making, as practised by these people, was similar to that used by Europeans. The nets, however, were not of large dimensions, being only about five feet long and three feet wide. Each family made several, which, although used in the communal fishing parties remained the property of the family group.

Conducting The Fishing

The arrival of the mullet was the occason of the great gathering of the year. Natives from all parts of the Peninsula, from Wallaroo downwards, gathered at Marion Bay, for in addition to the excellent "fishing parties," which in themselves were a consider-able attraction, ceremonies of initia-tion were carried out.

When the fishing began, men, stationed on prominent headlands, gave warning of the approaching schools. On a signal from the observers on the cliff heights, each net was dragged into the water by two men, and a number proceeding end on end, thus formed a long line of nets, extending seaward for a considerable distance. Other's, by swimming, operated in the deeper water, and, guided by the signals of those on the cliffs, drove the fish towards the nets.

So the fish were surrounded and dragged up on the sandy beach, later to be distributed among the various families.

The cooking was simple, but effective. The fish, unscaled, were laid on the coals, small lighted sticks being placed on top and the fish left until thoroughly cooked. The scales and skin then parted easily from the flesh, and the resulting dish was clean and tender. White men testify to the excellence of this dish.

Many other hunting stories were related, stories of how the emu was lured until within spear-throw by means of smoke fires, and kangaroos were driven into nets by bands of men.

Water Supplies

Although drinkable surface waters are unknown in those parts, the aborigines were able to obtain this necessity from a number of sources. Waterbearing mallee roots, shallow wells in the sand, just above high tide mark, and small rock holes, in the limestone crust, were some of the water sources known to these people.

Mrs. Eggington described a locality near to Inniston where, she said, were the holes in which the best water in the district was obtainable. After several unsuccessful searches they were located, most of them having been filled in by the white man. These consisted of no more than small circular pot-holes in the limestone, which, in earlier days, were covered with flat rocks to prevent animals from polluting and drinking the water. I located fifteen of such holes, whose capacity varied from a few gallons to about thirty or forty.

The water drained from the surrounding rocky surface into these catchments which, having a small opening, kept the water sweet and fresh for a long time.


As was to be expected, many parts of the coastline figured in the legendary stories of these people, for they believed that their half-human, half-animal ancestors created all the natural features of the country.

Entrancing and mysterious were the tales of these people. Stories of giants who fought, and the places where their dead bodies, now turned to stone, can be seen.

There was Nana, the giant of that part, who one day discoverd a stranger Buddra, equally large, roaming round his domain. Buddra had evidently lost his way while chasing a kangaroo from Point Turton, and endeavored to explain to Nana his predicament. Nana, not being able to understand Buddra's language, became particularly enraged, and ordered him to leave, which the visitor, being of a mule-headed disposition, refused to do. A fight ensued, in which Buddra was killed. Nana disembowelled his enemy —the grass no longer grows at this spot— and disposed of the body by dragging it into the middle of a salt lake. The body is now turned to stone.

A long walk across the perfectly level salt encrusted surface of the lake was necessary to view at close quarters the dead body of the unfortunate transgressor.

As time went on, the legend continued, Nana and his wife died. His great body, now a portion of detached cliff over a hundred feet high, with his wife, another large block of stone, sitting quietly at his feet, can still be seen at Rhino Head, Nana himself forming the "horn" of the "rhino."

Fragments of other stories were gathered, One was of a wicked lubra, who was pushed over the cliffs at Cape Spencer, and was changed into a stone, now the famous "Blow Hole." It is said that in stormy weather she gives vent to her annoyance by spouting the water so high that people, standing on the cliff 200 feet above her, are drenched by the spray.

Other legends were told, stories of how the seabirds came into being, and why the crayfish is so ugly, stories which revealed the close intimate knowledge of the aborigines concerning nature and the life around them, stories as fascinating as any of our childhood fairy tales.

It is to be hoped that some great writer will collect these legends while the opportunity offers, and enlighten us Australians as to the inner thoughts and beliefs of the people we have supplanted.


Fri 29 Feb 1952, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) Trove

We are frequently hearing of this and that being, done to "preserve" or help the aborigines. The buying of a station property for the Ooldea natives is one thing. Let us hope that the people for whom the late Mrs. Daisy Bates cared so long will find, if not a happy hunting ground, at least a happy home there.

In the northern parts of Australia other things, such as a health survey, are being done to help the remaining native inhabitants, some of whom are still protesting against the white man's depredations. The Arnhem Land natives are objecting to so many crocodile hunters invading their territory.

The Ooldea and northern aborigines have received much more publicity generally than those in other parts of Australia. Not very much is known of the tribes which at one time inhabited Yorke Peninsula. It is said that there were three tribes. That seems possible as there are several names generally supposed to mean "water," which apparently came from different tribal talk.

Mr. C. P. Mountford, who, has studied the aborigines and their lore, made a special visit to Yorke Peninsula some years ago to garner information. He says his interest in these people started when he was a boy at Moonta after seeing their burial places in the sandhills.

Mr. Mountford says that the natives, from Wallaroo down, used to gather at Marion Bay each year when the mullet arrived. Not only was there great feasting but initiation ceremonies were also carried out.

The name the natives had for Marion Bay was Koka dowi. The organisation and marriage customs of the tribe —lie mentions only one—were similar to those of the Adelaide and River Murray natives, but the peninsula natives did not use boomerangs nor shields, nor did they make mats.

But they did make fishing nets. New ones, apparently, each year. The natives knew when to expect the large schools of mullet which came periodically. Some time beforehand they made their nets. First they collected bundles of a flat leaved rush—the of same a kind flat no doubt, as the C.W.A. craft workers use to make baskets nowadays.

In the evening alter the gathering they sang songs round the rush pile to 'charm" the nets, so that they would gather a good supply of fish.

Next morning a trench was dug and a fire lit alongside it. When the fire had burned down the hot embers were raked into it and a thin covering of sand put on top of them. The rushes were laid on this and in turn covered by leaves and sand. At the end of about two hours—when the old man expert thought they should be ready—the rushes were raked from the trench and chewed until they were a stringy mass. That this was considered a most important job was evidenced by the fact that men, as well as women, helped with the chewing. The fibre was then spun into string and wound on sticks, later to be made into nets. The method of net making, Mr. Mountford says, was like that used by Europeans. The nets were small, about five feet long and three feet wide. Each family made several, and the nets they made then belonged to them.

When it was time for mullet to arrive look-out men watched for them from the cliffs and gave the signal of their approach. Then each net was dragged into the water by two men, net behind net, making a long line out into the sea. Others swam out into the deeper water and drove the fish into the nets, Then the fish were landed, divided up, and cooked, and a great feasting took place. Net making was apparently the chief art of this tribe. They caught kangaroos in the same way as they caught mullet—men drove them into nets. Emus were lured by smoke fires, and then speared, The aborigines knew all the waterholes. They also knew which mallee roots contained water. They thought their best waterholes were near Inneston—little circular potholes in the limestone formation, which they covered with flat stones to keep the water pure, and save evaporation. Mr. Mountford found fifteen of these holes, some big enough to hold thirty to forty gallons of water.

Amongst their legends was one of a wicked lubra who was pushed over the cliffs at Cape Spencer and turned into a stone, now the famous "Blow Hole." In stormy weather, so the legend goes, she spouts water up over the 200-foot cliff to drench those who go to look at her.


Tue 24 Jan 1922, The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) By Marion Bay. Trove

Although several articles, dealing with the customs and legends of the natives of South Australia have appeared in your columns from time to time, nothing has been mentioned about the natives of Yorke's Peninsula, and as there can be few, if any, survivors, the following notes may be of interest. While at Marion Bay on shooting and fishing excursions I used to stay with an old-time kangaroo hunter, and in the evenings he would relate some of the early-day incidents, and between us we compiled a vocabulary of native names for the flora, fauna, and geographical names, together with a few conversational terms. In the days of which I write (1895-1900) Marion Bay (Cockadowie) consisted of the old stone hut and the house erected for the manager of the whiting and gypsum claims, now owned by Mr. A. H. Hasell. Marion Bay, I believe, was named after the Marion, which was wrecked there. There were no fatalities to the best of my knowledge, but the story goes that the plate chest was brought ashore, and buried for safety in the sandhills by the shore, and as the sand is continually shifting, the marks made to locate its position were covered, and the chest was never found again. What truth there is in the story I do not know.

— Ghosts and a Lost Race. —

The natives recognised a Deity, "Mud- jetchoo," who was supposed to take the form of a bat, and the native name for a bat is still "mudjetchoo." "Arnner" was a giant, who was continually quarrelling with another giant, "Budderer." He was supposed to be buried at Royston Head (Arnner), near Cape Spencer. The quarrel was ended by Arnner throwing a waddy from Point Turton (Boonpoo) and killing Budderer, who was then near Minlaton. They had a variety of evil spirits, but the worst one was "Noogunner," who was always supposed to be doing harm. "Berryger-noo-gunner" (bald-headed ghost) was the worst of this variety. "Coop-a " was also a ghost; and the crayfish is called "Coopa" because of its ugly appearance. The devil, which was feared nearly as much as "Noogunner," was called "Wun-yerra." Yarning one evening with the old hunter, George, and his wife, I said I had been down at "Yellow-warowie" to get some "reevesi," a species of cowrie. Mrs. George said we call that Yillowrowie, or Eelarowie. It was so named because of a tribe of little fellows that used to live there; but none of the other natives could understand their talk; they jabbered like parrots. They died out before my time (this would be over 70 years ago), and no one knows anything about them, where they came from or anything else. They were dwarfs and lived apart from the others, never mixing with them. I had long been trying to get a skull, and one time, when at Marion Bay, I was given a splendid specimen of a native skull by one of the men working on the gypsum claims. He told me he found it at Emu Waterhole (Yillowrowie), and that it was on the side of a sandhill. I went down next morning and collected the remainder of the bones, and had the skeleton complete with the exception of left forearm and hand and tight leg and foot (or vice versa). On taking these to Adelaide, they finally reached Professor Watson, who handed them on to the Museum, where they are at present, so far as I know. I asked the professor if he could give me any particulars, and his verdict was that the skeleton was that of a male aged between 50 and 55 years, and about 5 ft. or a little more in height. This bears out the story of the dwarfs who lived at Emu Waterhole, and though I have spoken to many of the old hands on the lower end of the peninsula, none of them could tell me anything about this lost race.

— Interesting Derivations. —

The natives from the top end of the peninsula used periodically to visit the lower end, when they were received most hospitably, and would return the compliment when their friends from the lower end would in their turn go for a holiday to the higher part of the peninsula. On two occasions mention was made by another old hunter in my presence that in some of the caves near Corny Point there are mummified bodies of the natives done up in bark and grass: this was only done with the bodies of noted men; but I could never get any confirmation of this.

The native name for Edithburgh is Barrarm-marratee; Yorketown, Gurreena; Cape York, Gudgerowie, Para Wurlie (formerly owned by the Hon. C. B .Fuller) is the native name for West Cape, and means a big high bluff; Orrie Cowie should be More-a-cowie, because of the small-needled wattle (Morea) which was formerly common there. Cowie, or Cabby, means water, and is practically the same all over Australia. Warooka signifies "a muddy waterhole," not a sailing ship, as I have seen mentioned. Curramulka is derived from two words, Gorry an emu, moolka a stone waterhole (a stone waterhole where emus come in to drink). The general impression seems to be that the well in the township of Curramulka is the place. If so the emus had long necks, as it is over 100 ft. deep, I believe. The stone water-hole is on Mr. May's property at the corner of the Mount Rat road, and is about 40 or 50 yards from the road. It is a rough square in the limestone rock, and would hold 200 or 300 gallons. This would only contain water after a heavy shower. I believe it is or was used for pickling wheat in.

— Hunting and Implements.—

The natives were skilled hunters, and at Pondalowie (stony waterhole) they used to drive the kangaroos on to a peninsula through a narrow neck and spear them at their leisure. The rugs made from kangaroo or wallaby skins and sewn with tendons were beautifully finished. In order to render them more pliable, the skin, after being dried and scraped, was cut into shape, folded from one corner to another, a small stick being used as a gauge for the size of the pattern. The skin was then folded from the other corner on the same side, with the result that a series of diamonds was formed, and this caused the rug to be much softer. There is an excellent specimen of this kind made by Mrs. George from wallaby skins in the Adelaide Museum. So far as weapons were concerned, the natives of Yorke's Peninsula had only plain wooden spears and waddies; at least I never heard of them making boomerangs or having barbed or stone spears or stone knives. The only stone implement I ever found or heard of was a rounded piece of granite flattened on top and bottom, and in the centre on each of the flat sides was an indentation. The diameter was about 3 inches, thickness 2 inches or there-abouts. This I picked up in the swamp at Yucock, and Dr. Stirling told me it was probably used as a hammer for breaking the larger shellfish. It is a pity that no steps were taken by the early settlers to make a vocabulary of the natives language, or to collect their legends. Their numerals were goot-choo, one; bulli, two; mung ga wee, three. Even yet it might be possible to gather some of those legends from the residents at Point Pearce Mission Station, but it is doubtful whether they would have troubled about the old native folk lore.


Fri 11 Sep 1953, The Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954) by GEORGE THOM, WAROOKA Trove


Native legends concerning the life and doings of a race of cannibal dwarfs on Southern Yorke Peninsula are outlined in this, the second instalment of Mr. Thorn's story of the pioneering days.

MY EXPERIENCES with aborigines of Southern Yorke Peninsula, and the tales that have come to me from many angles during my life in those parts, induce me to pass on to you some of the stories I've heard regarding these original inhabitants cf the country before the days of the white man.

There are many interesting legends relating to the aboriginal natives of Yorke Peninsula, mainly handed down from native sources, of which I learned from three early residents of the Marion Bay district. One of these embraces the belief in a tribe of dwarf aborigines who were said to have lived in the big mallee scrub between Cape Spencer and Pondolowie on one side, and between Pondolowie and the rocky range which stretches from Mount Phillip to Fort George.

Most of this latter section was then, and still remains, an almost impenetrable jungle of mallee and dense undergrowth—the sort of country that one could only tackle on foot, and even then with the utmost reluctance.

The coastal fringes of the Peninsula were then in habited by the average type of aborigine, whose remnants we still see today, exemplified by such fine specimens as my friend Charlie. According to the old tales, there were in those days three distinct and separate tribes, including the dwarfs, then holding their distinct areas of country and watering places.

Place Names from Watering Places

The area of one particular tribe can still be defined by the place names in the area, by the terminal syllable of "owie" (meaning "watering place). From this syllable or word "owie" we can trace many of their watering places, such as Minlacowie, Bublacowie, Tukokowie, Pondolowie, Oiriccowie, and at least three waterholes in the Marion Bay area, called Mutborowie, Bubladowie, and Hilterowie.

During portion of the year these natives resided in belts of ti-tree and sheoak country, living mainly upon kangaroo, wallaby, emu, and similar game. When the billy buttons came into flower in the spring these natives read it as a signal from Mother Nature that the time had come for a "walk-about" to the sea coast.

For this also was the time when the butterfish make their way into the shoal water along that part of the coastline for some months. This latter fact I checked up by personal observation, and can fully confirm.

As the butterfish moved out to sea again their place along the coast would be taken by shoals of mullet, which the natives followed from Marion Bay light along Investigator Strait to Troubridge Point.

As the normal- sized tribesmen came back from walk-about to their southern end of Yorke Peninsula, the dwarf tribe was forced back into the safety of it dense scrub country. Here they depended upon supplies of water which they had stored in deep rock holes during the previous winter months, for they and the normal-sized natives were continually at war with one another.

This never-ending war between them was said to be based upon the cannibalistic tendencies of the dwarfs, they being reputed to not only eat their own dead but to also feast upon the bodies of enemies killed or captured during their tribal fights.

Another reason for their retirement into the denser scrubs was said to be that, having no fear of the intense darkness that most natives dislike, they were thus able to make periodical raids by night upon the outside tribes. In such raids they sought to carry off the tribal young women and piccaninnies, who were considered by the dwarfs as the outstanding delicacies for culinary purposes.

However, there came eventually a run of drought years, producing a water shortage in the scrub country. This drove the dwarfs out into the more open coastal country in a desperate bid for the water vital to their continued existence.

The opportunity then came to the stronger and larger outside tribes, who completely exterminated them in battle. So ended, according to this old legend, the extraordinary tribe of dwarf aborigines.


The fishing nets of the natives of lower Yorke Peninsula were cleverly woven from fibres stripped from sword grass that grows there, and fibre from the bullrushes which abound in the coastal sandhills. Their spears were made from those hard and very tough black mallee shoots, the points being hardened by fire in the customary aboriginal fashion. From suitable water-worn granite pebbles and gibbers. which may be found freely along parts of the coastline, they shaped their stone hammers and axes.

Place of Death

One very important piece of history of these primitive inhabitants refer to a spot called Muldarby, which means "the place of death" and which is is the Tukokowie area. It would appear that, in the earliest days of white settlement of the Peninsula, a great many of the natives died very suddenly and mysteriously at this place. One assumption suggests that the natives stole and ate poisoned four from the early white settlers, but apparently the real truth surrounding the tragedy was never brought, to light.

However, this tragic incident marks the sudden ending of almost an entire tribe, the scene of the tragedy being ever shunned by surviving natives, who gave it the name of Muldarby (the place of death).

These few aboriginal legends handed down through generations of the aborigines and the earliest white settlers of lower Yorke Peninsula have been recorded by me exactly as I received them from my contacts. Just how correct or truthful the stories are is beyond my power to judge, for I have no means of checking them; but I firmly believe that my informants passed on to me the facts that they themselves had picked up at first hand.

These accounts of mine, very briefly related though, they are, may perhaps serve as a basis for a more full and authentic record being sought for by some qualified investigator. In this connection I am able to point out the location of quite a number of the old native camping grounds, shown to me during my long residence there.

In addition, I am able to show any enquirer the principal localities reputed to have been the strongholds and the retreats of the legendary dwarf tribe. In the early days of settlement those parts matters such as I have related were accepted as commonplace facts, whereas now they are fast becoming mere legendary tales.

Still, it is not yet too late for some qualified and interested research worker to use these fragments of old legends which I have set out in a brief way as a basis upon which to reconstructing some interesting native history.

Leaving the history of these aborigines, come with me now to a continuation of the history of a young Scotsman in the same land, picking up the thread back at Marion Bay, my headquarters for the winter.


'Kangaroo Hunting Yorkes (sic) Peninsula', August 18, 1850. Edward Snell B55781

State library of South Australia

Natives of Yorke's Peninsula


Sat 26 Dec 1840, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Trove

We have been favored with the following interesting report by Mr Hughes, surveyor :—


North Adelaide, December 12, 1840.

In the month of December last I proceeded across Yorke's Peninsula with my party, for the purpose of completing the Government surveys at Port Victoria, but it appeared, on arriving there, that the natives had discovered my depot of stores, and had rendered everything useless—tent, clothing, rations, instruments, &c. They had located upon the spot, and made an ineffectual attempt to surround the party, but were driven off without any shots being fired. The damage thus effected on the stores entirely prevented me from proceeding with the survey, and having been absent five weeks, we returned to Adelaide At a moderate calculation,the loss sustained was £150. Before we left the Peninsula, they contrived to rob us twice of blankets, although we never could perceive they were near us. I may mention that, upon a former occasion, having unintentionally surprised two of their females, every attempt was made to allay their fears by retiring from them, and on the same day we suddenly came in view of the whole tribe, but having only two men with me, without fire-arms, provisions, or water, and no probability of obtaining any before we had crossed the Peninsula, I considerd it prudent to retire without risking an interview, more particularly as they showed a menacing attitude. Being under contract with the Government for the completion of the surveys, I sailed in October last with a party consisting of eight, having taken the precaution of obtaining a sufficient stand of arms and ammunition for our protection against the hostility of the natives, being fully satisfied that the would consider us [?], from the leniency we had shown them; from the robbery of the depot, not the slightest retaliation having been made, although we had an opportunity of destroying all their spears. Having arrived a Port Victoria, any best, formerly left there, was [?] on the beach, about a quarter of a mile [?] where I had left it, and while preparing to go ashore to get possession of her, about seventeen natives made their appearances with their spears, yelling with their usual threatening attitude. The bottom flooring of the boat had been torn out, and the rudder, oars, &c. had disappeared. Orders wore then given to this four men who had come ashore with me to follow steadily behind me along the top of the sand-hills in a direction to the natives (who had taken their stand about two hundred yards before us), and endeavour to find the boat's oars, &c. As the party advanced the natives retired, rallying occasionally and shaking their spears. I considered it almost useless to make any attempt at a friendly meeting with them, and was preparing to return to the vessel, but advancing a few yards towards them alone, while my party stood still, I made the signal of peace by holding up both my hands and waving a green bough This caused them immediately to drop their spears, and one of them took a green bow also, and advanced to meet me, the rest remaining behind at about the same distance from him as my party were from me. He ap-peared very timid as he advanced, frequently looking behind him to see if he was supported by his party; but making motions that I wanted water, and presenting him with some biscuit, he came close enough to receive it, and was soon reconciled. He was made to understand that I would call my party up, who then advanced without their pieces, and he called to four of his party, who came without their spears. They now pointed out a track which led to some water-holes, at which they had encamped, and as I could not persuade them to return with us for more biscuit, I made signs that we would visit them before the sun went down, and bring them biscuit and get water. The parties now separated, each waving a green bough as they retired. Desirous of not breaking confidence with them, myself and five of the party went to their encampment in the afternoon, taking some biscuit and small presents for them. They were prepared to receive us, being seated in a circle, and without any weapons; the women and children had been sent away. They had dressed themselves with green boughs fastened round their middle, and advancing singly, the chief came alone to meet me, and introduced me to the water hole, and then to each of his brethren. Having taken water, some biscuit was distributed among them, with which they seemed much pleased. My party now came up with green boughs, and were received in the same manner. Having given them some small presents, we again separated, each party waving their boughs as long as they could see each other. During this meeting I had much cause to admire the orderly conduct of the natives, and the pleasure with which they appeared to view us, and I fully expected that all hostility had ceased. Four days after this, we again visited their encampment for the purpose of giving them more biscuit, but having reached within fifty yards of their huts, we found only four females. I stood and called to them, and they got up, much alarmed, but retiring a few paces from them and waving the bough, they collected their nets, &c. and walked away, leaving a number of spears and four young native dogs. Our party returned, without in any way meddling with them. As I have always conceived that a great portion of the hostility shown by the aborigines to the white man has arisen from real or anticipated acts of violence on their females, I had fully hoped that this visit of ours would have convinced them that we were real friends, as this was the second opportunity of molesting their unprotected females. Nothing more was seen of the natives for fourteen days, when the following account of a visit from them was given by the two men in charge of my tents .— In the middle of the day the tribe we had formerly visited, with others, amounting to twenty-four in number, made their appearance upon the sand-hills, about a hundred yards from our encampment. They made signals of peace, and were allowed to come down to the tents, and received biscuit, rice, and sugar; they then asked for water, which was also given to them. During this time their behaviour was very forward, and having two tents to take care of, the two men had much difficulty in preventing them from taking anything they wanted, and were under the necessity of showing the fire arms. They then asked for a fire-stick, which being given to them, they pretended to go away, instead of which they set fire to the grass, endeavouring thereby to drive us away, but we fortunately got the fire under before it reached the tents. Seeing this manoeuvre fail, the chief advanced to the tents with two young females, and made signals to the two men in charge to take them into their tents; but this being refused, some more sugar and rice was given to the females, aud they were ordered away. It appears that the chief had fully calculated upon the success of the females drawing the attention of the two men from their duty, at which time they, no doubt, intended, to pounce upon them; for while this was going on, some were busily engaged on the sand-hills collecting their spears (where it appears they had hidden them), while others were sneaking round to the back of the tents. The chief finding the scheme of his females fail, became quite enraged, and called loudly to his assistants, who ran to him with a bundle of spears, one of which he was on the point of throwing, and at the same moment another was seen running away with a great coat and a Kangaroo rug, which he had contrived to steal from inside the tent. At this moment both men discharged their pieces, but, it would appear, without effect, for one native got clear off with the coat and rug, and the other let his spears fall and ran away. Several loose shots were now fired to alarm the party in the field, for although the natives had disappeared among the sand-hills after the first fire, yet it was uncertain whether or not they would return. Having heard the report of the guns, I returned with the field party immediately to the encampment, when I received the above account, together with seventeen spears, now in my possession, which were found after the natives had retired. I have no reason to believe that any of them were wounded, as I followed their tracks in the sand for some distance, but could perceive no signs of blood, although I found some rice, sugar, and biscuit which they had dropped. The following day being the last which required the services of myself and party in the field, I determined upon getting away as speedily as possible; and to prevent any more signal shots being fired, I caused the materials of a large fire to be prepared ready for lighting, as a signal for our party to return, in the event of another visit from them. We were in the field the next morning before sunrise, and completed what was required before eight o'clock, and then returned to the tents. It appears that the natives, nothing daunted at the occurrences of the previous day, had been watching close to the tents all night, expecting the party would proceed to the field as usual, leaving the two men only behind; but owing to the early hour at which we had gone out, they were quite deceived, and showed themselves on my return to the number of twenty-six. Our signal fire was now lighted, and the whole party was mustered in half an hour. I perceived the natives had also made a smoke, which I suspected to be a signal to some other tribe, after which they went into the water to fish, about two hundred yards from our tents, as if nothing had occurred ; and as they came out, I approached them singly with a green bought and they did the same; but it appears they had not forgotten the coat and rug, for they would not face me, but scattered themselves about the sandhills round the tents. Their smoke had been answered from Gawler Point. Eight additional natives were seen coming towards us, and smokes had been observed in other directions. The natives were to windward of us, and they had set fire to the grass; and any attempt to extinguish it was useless. The tents were immediately struck, and all the luggage removed to the boats before the fire reached us. The removal of the luggage occasioning a division of our party, it became necessary, to keep off the natives, to fire over their heads whenever they attempted to come near us ; and we fortunately get every thing on board before the Gawler Point tribe could reach them, without any bloodshed, which must have occurred had their whole body advanced upon us, as I have every reason to believe they had intended.

To the Editor of the Chronicle,

Sir.~Conceiving that your communication to the public, in the Chronicle of the 31st ult-, that I had been "ill-treated by the natives of York's Peninsula," might cause an unfavorable impression against them,--I request the publication of the following condensed report of the whole affair, by which it will appear that your observations, though literally correct, do not apply to any open personal violence committed by the natives.

I am, Sir; Your Obedient Servant, James H, Hughes, North Adelaide, Jan 13th 1840.

Having completed Ihe preliminary surveys at Port Victoria, and being about to return to Adelaide, I took the precaution to leave behind me a sufficient depot of stores to enable me to complete at a future period, the surveys I had undertaken. My new tent, instruments, stores, &c., I carefully buried in the sand in boxes and casks, covering them over with the ashes of a large fire. I ultimately made a fire over all; leaving what remained of the unburnt timber, on the spot. My boat I likewise left behind, close to where I had deposited the stores. On the 9th December iast, I returned to Port Victoria, for the purpose of completing the surveys; when I found that the natives (who were then located on the spot, to the number of, 17 or 20), had discovered my depot, and had spoiled or destroyed everything they found there. It appeared they had not consumed any of the rations, but had scattered them about so as to make them useless. The tent, boat's sail, blankets, and every thing in the shape of clothing had disappeared; the reflecting glasses of my sextant had been most ingeniously removed, as wall as the bright arch of division; and the instrument was completely ruined. They had not injured my boat, though they had contrived to remove it several feet from the spot on which I left it. Upon the approach of four of my party the natives at first retreated; but having left behind them their fishing nets, they were allowed an opportunity of taking them away, which they did without any attempt; at hostility. It appeared that they had removed from the depot everything they considered useful; for at several native encampments we observed fragments of the missing articles. The next depredation they committed, was upon my cart, which I had left at Yorke Valley, laden with rations, &c., --but on that occasion they contented themselves with taking two blankets and a telescope stand. The last loss I sustained, was at Port Vincent. Having been alone in the huts there all night, I went to the springs for water, about nine o'clock in the morning: On my return, after only two or three minutes absence, I missed two blankets and some other trifles; which surprized me very much, as I had no idea there were natives in the neighbourhood. I Immediately commenced a search; and having gone about 90 yards along the beach, I saw about 10 natives fishing very deliberately, middle deep in the water--two of whom had the missing blankets on their shoulders, As soon as they perceived ne, they retired into the scrub, and I saw nothing more of them. The loss I have sustained in consequence of these depredations, amounts in all to about £150; and though it will probably fall upon myself, I must in justice exonerate the natives from the charge of any attempt at personal violence. On the last occasion, particularly, I was alone, and so perfectly unprepared tor them, that had they been hostilely inclined, they might easily have speared me; but they took no advantage of my defenceless state. Four days previous to this, two of my men had been visited by ten or a dozen of them. My man were unarmed, and gave a blanket as a present to the natives; who retired immediately, without offering them any molestation. Upon a former occasion, having been obliged to visit one of their favourite watering holes at night, we found a tribe of natives there; who retired, on hearing our footsteps, and left their spaars behind them. They did not go above twenty yards, before they pitched for the night; of course imagining that we were unaware of their vicinity. In return for their courtesy, having refreshed ourselves, we gave them an opportunity of removing their spears, and obtaining water if they required it,—which they availed themselves of; so that I think we shall be upon very friendly terms with each other, ii we go on as we have begun; particularly if we consider that the natives of Yorke's Peninsula can have had little, if any, opportunity of intercourse with Europeans, and that when any intercourse has taken place, it may have been characterized by one of those disgraceful occurrences which operate so long in preventing a friendly meeting between the bIack man and the white. I am quite satisfied, however, that on one occasion, I made a favorable impression on the natives of Port Victoria; for having suddenly surprized two females, whom we had approached within twenty yards before we perceived them, they appeared much alarmed, and made motions to us to go away; when our whole party immediately wheeled round, taking no further notice of them. The above true account of all the injury I sustained from the natives, will, I trust, have the effect of doing away with any impression of personal violence or ill-treatment on their part.

(Signed) J. H. HUGHES

(We have no doubt Mr. Hughes's interesting statement will have the desired effect; and after having read it, we do not hesitate to acknowledge, that the expression we made use of "shamefully ill-treated by the natives," was stronger than the case required, and was calculated to convey to the public our own first Impression, that he had experienced personal ill-treatment from them. (Ed. Chronicle,)


Wed 23rd Apr 1845 South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Trove

[To the Editors of the Register.]

Gentlemen. —If the accompanying paper is worth an insertion in your columns, it is quite at your service.

I am, Gentlemen, Yours, &c. N. R. F.

On the 12th April, 1845, the weather being remarkably fine, I resolved on making an excursion across the Gulf, having three objects in view—the first and grand one being to improve my health, which had latterly not been of the best; the second, to explore the Peninsula, which, though no more than a day's sail from the Port of Adelaide, may still be said to be a Terra Incognita; and the third, to obtain wattle gum. of which I had heard there were quantities.

I hired a whale-boat and two men—one, the owner of the boat, and the other a sailor; and in addition to this force, I enlisted two natives, who afterwards proved themselves to be of the greatest service, each respectively rejoicing in the classic names of " Tommy" and " Jacky"—and, laying in stores for a fortnight's voyage, and ammunition for an unlimited time, we weighed anchor in the evening, and reached the Light-ship about 10 pm, where we fastened our bark to one of the incidentals. Next morning at day break we hoisted a sail and set off for the opposite coast in a direction west of the Port. Towards evening the wind freshened, and we were forced to take to our oars. At a distance of fifteen miles from the shore, we could discern the smoke of native fires, which shot up in a thin blue line into the air like a rocket. The native fires seem to possess even a difference from the fires of civilized people; I don't know why, but one can at once tell a native's. This showed how remarkably quick their sight is when at such a distance, they could discern our little bark. Their fires were evidently intended for signals, as we could perceive one column of smoke rise after another along the cliffs. By the way, reasoning from this, it would appear that a party of natives would be the best persons to appoint to our signal-staff on West-terrace.

The appearance of the coast was pretty, being formed of cliffs about one hundred feet in height, changing in their hues from white to red. and were covered close to their edges with thick dark foliage. At last we reached it, much fatigued. Here the water was beautifully smooth and clear —so clear, indeed, that one hardly saw its surface in looking down. While my natives lighted a fire on shore, I had a delicious bathe. The usual quickness of the aborigines was soon exhibited by their discovering the foot-marks ot natives along the sand, which I would have passed many times without observing. They seemed much frightened while on shore, saying that "black fellows plenty spear them, and by and by would come down to where they saw our smoke." This seemed likely enough, so, after climb-up the cliff. and endeavouring to penetrate the scrub, in which I was unsuccessful, I returned to the boat, much to the delight of my black-guards, and directed the men to pull farther up the shore. We ran into a little bay, surmounted by high red cliffs, covered on the summits with dense scrub. I never, in any other part of the colony that I have visited, saw such scrub; massive it might be called, as you might almost walk along the surface of the foliage. tn this bay we cast anchor, or rather our sand-bag, out of reach of spear shot. Next day, I landed again, taking with me my guards "Tommy" and " Jackey", a pair of horse-pistols and a double-barrelled piece, and directed the men to pull across to a point of land distant about five miles higher up the gulf. We soon came on a path made by the natives of the Peninsula, which wound picturesquely along the edge of the cliffs. The interior was one mass of scrub—eternal scrub —as far as we could see, which probably was about three miles, the ground rising and falling in slight undulations. On our right the view was beautiful. The sea was perfectly smooth and bright, here and there only ruffled by the sudden plunge of some gulls as they skimmed along its surface, or by the oars of the boat, as it stole by. In the distance, the Mount Lofty range, and even the hills over which the Mount Barker road used to wind, were clearly perceptible; the horizon of the sea forming a line along their base which gave the appearance of the hills gradually sinking down into the water; or as if the sea had swallowed up the plains and Adelaide, and now threatened the moun-tains. The coast line did not form so straight a one in reality as it is made to look in Flinders's chart; but his was a general not a minute survey, and the limited portion of the ground which I saw, and over which I passed, proved how extremely accurate are his descriptions, even in the smallest particulars. About the middle of this bend or bight, over which we were passing. we came to another path leading up a dark, gloomy, suspicious-looking gully, which was overhung : with dwarf gum trees and a kind of wild vine, making the top impervious to the sun's rays. This new path also ran down to the beach ; and it was here we first clearly beheld the recent print of of a man's foot, which there was no mistaking. The others which we saw no one would have known were those of men from cows' but the natives them selves. Robinson Crusoe and the first foot-print which he saw with all its accompany-ing terrors, passed through my mind. I felt now I must be on the qui rive.

The treachery of the aboriginal tribes of New Holland is proverbial; and I began to think that there was a possibility, though not much probability, of native ambushes, or dastardly attacks, from behind the bushes which all along skirted the shores. With regard to the possibility of a rough handling, " Tommy" and "Jackey" perfectly coincided with me. The prints were as fresh as if made only an hour or so before. Near the point to which the boat was making the country suddenly began to improve; and as I was thinking of calling the men to pull in to accompany me to see how far it extended, my attention was arrested by their hollowing out to me, at the same time rowing towards the shore as fast as they could. " Who's dead, and what's to pay? " thought I along with Sam Slick. We could as yet see nothing; but my darkies smelled if they could not see; and away they dashed, leaving me to pay the piper." I walked towards the boat, cocking my pistols at the same time, in case of accidents, for I now began to suspect something had startled the nerves of my brave crew, although I had reason to suspect, even then, that it did not require an I earthquake or shipwreck to disturb their fears. No sooner had I reached the water's edge, than a large body of natives rushed out from behind the other side of the point, which was concealed from my view by the trees, and commenced yelling and shouting in a most furious manner. I must acknowledge that this little scene rather discomposcd me, and I scrambled into the boat as I best could, pushing off as quick as possible into deep water. Most of the natives, whom I must for the future call savages, rushed into the sea waving their hands over their heads still yelling. I saw no weapons whatever, but most of them kept their hands over their heads, in one of which they way have concealed a waddy. They were perfectly naked, and were neither painted nor tatooed. The first opinions I had formed of the chivalry of my sailor companions were in this matter fully confirmed. Were I inclined to have exhibited a warlike disposition, I would rather, to say the truth, have vented my anger upon their heads, than upon those of the poor savages. Their shameful cowardice disgusted me; nor would they understand that the more they displayed it, the more would the boldness and confidence of the savages be increased. Finding that we were out ot their reach, the natives stopped—most of them up to their necks in water. I beckoned to one of them to advance, and, as he approached. I could not help admiring his fine portly figure, and, though deep in the water, his manly bearing, that might well be envied by many of our own colour; but my natives could not understand a, word he said ; he seemed much astonished at what he saw, and looked pleased on getting a piece of bread. I showed him a gun, but he did not appear to know its use. Even at his smiles my " gallant tars" seemed frightened. Notwithstanding what had passed, I now thought of landing among them; but the horrible paleness of my companions deterred me from making the attempt. Discretion evidently was with them the better part of valour. The number of natives collected on the shore I supposed to be about sixty, or perhaps more. The women did not appear at all.

After shaking hands with our new visitor, which seemed a very odd ceremony to him, we pushed away for another point about three miles off. It must be remarked that the coast here is formed of a series of indentations, or bends, miking a series of headlands, or points. On leaving, the enemy collected in a body, and appeared in that position until we lost sight of them —perhaps consulting on the internal resources, and the " ways and means" of defending the country.

After the scene had passed, I could not I help congratulating myself on what I may call my escape, in not having come right upon the natives at the other side of the point, as only a few hundred yards separated us; it is hard to say what might have been the consequence, had I fallen in with them suddenly : and it was as well, too, that I did not land amongst them, it being probable that they are as remarkable for treachery, as any other of the native tribes of New Holland. Deceit is one of the darkest traits in their character, nor is it probable that it can ever be eradicated in the present grown-up generation. In getting half way to this new point, I perceived one of the troop separate from his companions, and run after us along the beach ; and just as we got up, he ap-proached. Here I again landed alone, the poor fellows in the boat being so terrified at the site of their wild looking countrymen, that I saw it was useless to ask them to accompany me. The native on the beach was the same that I gave the bread to, and, therefore, I had the less hesitation in meeting him. Poor fellow ! he looked a perfect mixture of terror, doubt, and good humour. I again gave him bread, and made signs for water. He pointed at once in the direction, offering to accompany me; but as I did not want it badly, and did not like trusting myself in the bush with him, I declined. I also explained to him that I wanted gum; but he shook his head, as much as to say that I was in the wrong furrow" I returned to the boat, first having a delightful swim, which appeared to astonish him, as it was then blowing fresh and rather cold. On we pulled to another point, or rather to a bend, in the coast, marked by high red cliffs; and in passing along the beach we saw a large encampment in a good state of native architecture, compared wiih the wurleys of other tribes elsewhere. This showed us still in the land of the Philistines. In the aspect of the country about, there appeared but little improvement; but in the distance, about ten miles, it looked grassy, and more promising. We got to the cliffs, after very hard pulling, the native following us along the beach. Here we prepared for an attack upou our wallets, at which my courageous crew were first-rate hands ; but just as we commenced, our happiness was again broken by another fearful rush of those devilish looking fellows, from behind the rocks and bushes which skirted the base of the cliffs. Their numbers were about the same as the last we had seen. Their yellings were the same—rushing lowards us hand over head, and waving their spare one occasionally. It might be in friendship, but, to our civilized notions of etiquette and hospitality, was rather a strange mode of evincing their good-will. There was no occasion for me to give any orders—up went the sand-bag as if by magic, and tug went the oars. Fear has an astonishing effect on delicate nerves. I never before, or since, saw the crew pull so well or so actively. As we retreated, one fine-looking fellow, rather elderly, who, I supposed, was a chief, shouted out to the others to " Hold on the boat," in words sounding like man mando youco, which being interpreted by my sable esquires at the bottom of the boat, meant what I have said. If this was his intention, it was high time to be stirring; but fear may have dictated this translation to my interpreters. The words, for what I know, may have been friendly: however, off we went like the wind. The sail was hoisted, and before evening, were miles away, I imagined that they fancied we had kidnapped the two blacks in the boat, and wanted to do the same with them, and they were, therefore, determined to turn the tables on us. I never saw finer looking or more savage fellows. This was the last interview we had with any of them.

My courageous crew, now out of all danger — if ever there was any at all — wished me to fire among them; but as I wanted to court their friendship, instead of alarming them, besides it being perfectly useless, unless in actual self-defence, I would not think of it. We made towards a distant patch of grassy looking country, about fifteen miles distant, and as the breeze was brisk, soon reached it. I landed, taking with me my trusty body-guard, T. and J., and proposed to the "gallant tars" that they also would accompany me ; but the boat, they said, would not be safe left alone —might run on shore, and one could not manage without the other; but if I particularly desired it, they would come. Better to be without such servants, so I left them, ordering them to pull along shore as I proceeded on the hills. Here there were remains of native fires. The shore was fringed with some pretty shrubs, inter spersed with pines, and the slopes (which can nearly be called hills) were covered good grass —here and there dotted with she-oak trees, and occasionally divided by clumps of trees, which were arranged so regularly, and one could uot help thinking that they had been so disposed by the hand of art, and not that of nature. Indeed, the whole looked the very beau ideal of a nobleman's demesne deserted. After walking about four miles, we returned to our bark, and pulling a little further up, slopped for the night. The next morning bore a very threatening aspect; all around was covered with a dense fog, such as I never saw on the plains of Adelaide; and were it not for a little compass, we must have remainad where we were. I pulled up the coast some five or six miles, and again went ashore, and here commenced that horrible swamp that extends, I believe, all round to the Port. On getting through the mangroves—the first I had seen on this side—and through the swamp at the back of them, we came to fine grassy slopes, similar in general features to the last, but better land. We heard cockatoos—soon returned to the boat, as by reason of the density of the fog, would see very little beyond us. Next pulled (all pulling this day) across the gulf; and, just as we got half way, the clouds, or mist, suddenly cleared off, like the rising of a curtain in a theatre, revealing to view the whole of the top of the gulf, which we were much nearer than I had expected, and beautiful it looked! It formed a bay of an immense semicircle in shape, bordered all round by bright green mangroves, and behind rose the grassy slopes, parts of which I had before seen, all terminating in Mount Arden, which seemed to guard the calm and solitary waters beneath. Though at this period of the year every thing and place was dried up and yellow, yet after the mists had cleared away, the whole scene looked fresh and charming. —

The water is pretty deep on the western side of the bay, but on this side shallow. I landed on the eastern coast, about six miles below the highest point of the bay, but had a dreadful swamp to cross, and on reaching the high land was disappointed in not seeing any appearance of sheep-stations nor sheep, for the feed here was generally good. We saw marks of kangaroo, emu, and turkies ; and from this ground could discern the long and extensive Gawler swamps, which may be termed the Pontine marshes of South Australia, without any of the interest which invests them, but with most of the annoyances. Discovered the wreck of a boat among the mangroves as we returned. The water here is clear, or clearer than crystal, and I rolled into it as usual. Remained here another night. Next day, at daylight, commenced our voyage towards Adelaide, pulling, not through the sea, but apparently over an immense sheet of polished steel. We soon came to that extraordinary and extensive tract of sand which extends nearly down to the Port running out some six or seven miles and only covered with a few inches of water. A northerly breeze sprung up—here cool and exhilerating; but on shore, called a red hot wind. Our little craft rushed or rather flew through the water, shivering under her canvass, and reminding one of he rapidity of the sword fish after his prey. Nor did we slacken rein until we reached Torrens Island, where I again for I the last time indulged myself in another long swim ; and after a slight glance at, that place, ran up to the Port and were soon along side the Falco, American brig.

P.S. We did not discover any water in York's Peninsula, but having seen the remains of native fires, one may reasonably imagine that there is some.


[Before Charles Bonney, and F. S. Dutton, Esqrs.] Wednesday, 29th August.

Thomas Morris, Manager of Mr G. M. Stephens's stations, Yorke's Peninsula, and Henry Palette Jones, gentleman, were charged with feloniously shooting with intent to kill an aboriginal native named Malieappa, on or about the 15th instant, at Yorke's Peninsula. Mr G. M. Stephen appeared for the defence. The prisoners were permitted to sit at the table with him. Mr Moorhouse watched the proceedings. Piaria, otherwise Jack, a native boy, stated, through an interpreter, what he knew of the case. The interpreter's knowledge of English was very limited, and considerable delay occurred before a connected statement could be obtained. The witness however seemed tolerably intelligent, and the continued reiteration of questions, instead of confusing him, had the effect of clearing up the ambiguities in his evidence, which went to show that on a certain day, the date of which he could not fix, he was in company with the wounded man. They fell in with the prisoner Jones, who had killed and skinned a kangaroo. He gave them the carcase, and went as if for home with tbe skin. Malieappa roasted the kangaroo, and just as be was taking it out of the fire, the two prisoners rode up, mounted on small grey horses. Both were armed with short guns. Morris had a doublebarrelled gun. Tbe black man, who was sitting down with tbe boy, said, "Me eat the kangaroo." The prisoners, in the language of the witness, "looked sulky.'' Jones first fired at the black man, and they then shot him in three places in (he foot, the arm, and the body. The witness ran away to an adjoining scrub, and from a little distance watched the prisoners, who did not follow him. They took the kangaroo away with them, and the wounded man and the witness went off through the scrub. The next day they fell in with a small party of natives, which they joined ; and the first white men they saw after the outrage was the police detachment, with which was Mr Moorhouse, tbe Protector of Aborigines. The prisoners stood together, a very few yards from the black man, when they shot him. When Jones was going away, he took two of their nets and two waddies with him. In reply to Mr Stephen, the witness said he did not know that a white man had been killed at that station by the blacks. Had never heard the wounded man say that be speared a white man. The prisoners were not dressed as they appeared in Court, when they shot the man; Jones had a blue shirt on, and Morris had on a "monkey jacket." The interpreter, Jimcrack, said the witness knew what a monkey-jacket was. The black man had no spear, only two "yam sticks," when he was shot. Matthew Moorbouse, Esq., Protector of Aborigines, stated that he was on Yorke's Peninsula, on Wednesday the 22nd instant, witb a party of police and natives. They came on a native encampment. With one exception, the blacks made off on their approach. The man who remained was wounded in the right arm, the right side, and the left foot. Witness extracted a ball from the man's arm the next day. Ho could not find the ball in his back, but could trace its course from where it entered in the side to where he supposed it lodged. In the foot, the ball bad gone through. The wounded man conducted witness and the police to where he was shot. They proceeded at the rate of about ten miles each day, and on Saturday afternoon they arrived at Mr G. M. Stephen's head-station. About half an hour after their arrival, Mr Jones rode up, and tbe last witness pointed him out as one of the men who shot his companion. Witness believed Jimcrack directed the boy's attention to Mr. Jones, as he approached. Witness had, as a medical man, examined Malieappa that morning. He was in a very weak state. The Colonial Surgeon had extracted the ball that was lodged in his abdomen. Witness was under the impression, judging from appearances, that the black had been shot about ten days before the police fell in with him. With proper care, a black would be more likely to recover than a white man; but the wounds of Malieappa were extremely dangerous, and might yet be fatal. By Mr. Stephen— The blacks were prone to falsehood. He would so, without corroborative proof, believe their statements; but he thought them clever in distinguishing individuals. He could not recollect an instance where they erred as to personal identity. In the present case, although they said from the first that two men committed the outrage, and there were several Europeans at the station, yet they only pointed to Mr Jones. John Wilson, a German shepherd, in the employ of Mr G. M. Stephen, stated that be was attached to an out-station at Oyster Bay. He had seen some nets and waddies belonging to the natives on tbe roof of his but, but did not know how they came there. By Mr. Stephen— Knew that a man named Anderson had been speared at that station, and had died in consequence. When coming wounded to the hut, he brought the spear in his band. The police here produced two nets and two sticks. The native witness identified them as the nets and sticks referred to in his evidence. Serjt.-Major M'Cullocb, of the Mounted Police, produced two short guns (one a double-barrelled one). He corroborated the statement of Mr Moorhouse, as to tbe falling-in with tbe wounded native, and being led by him and tbe boy to Mr Stephen's head-station, where the natives identified the prisoner Jones. Witness went to the station at Oyster Bay, and there found the nets and yam-sticks produced. He also went with the boy to the spot where he said tbe man was shot. There were tracks of two small horses about a native oven, and a quantity of kangaroo bones which witness collected and produced. There were what he thought to be the remains of two yam-sticks in the extinguished fire. The out-station where he found the nets was about five or six miles from the home station. The place where the man was shot was between three and four miles from tbe out-station. Witness produced the ball extracted by Mr Moorhouse from the arm of the wounded native. It had marks as if it had been discharged from a rifle. He also produced a bullet-mould, in which he thought it was cast, at least it corresponded with tbe mould, except on one part, where it was flattened by striking against the bone of tbe man's arm. Witness found the single-barrelled gun produced at the home station. The double-barrelled rifle which be produced was handed to him by Mrs Martin, boarding-house keeper, Grenfell-street, where he apprehended the prisoner Morris, on Tuesday last. The grooves of the rifle corresponded with the marks on the ball. Witness conveyed Morris, with three or four other persons, dressed in ordinary clothing, to the Location school-yard, and desired Jimcrack to ask the black boy if any of the men present were the parties who shot the man. The boy pointed out Mr. Morris. The wounded man also pointed him out. When Mr. Jones rode up to the station, be was on a small gray horse, corresponding with the tracks about the native oven. The horse was a sort of half-bred Timor. Witness had seen all the settlers of Yorke's Peninsula mounted, but had seen no other horses so small as three or four that were at the station under Mr Morris's management. He (witness) had been at all the stations— A man named Bagnall here interrupted the witness— "No, you have never been at Rogers's station —there are small horses there." The man was apparently intoxicated, and...... His Worship ordered the police to remove him. Witness concluded tbe unfinished sentence.— He had been at all the stations except Bowdcn's and Rogers's. His Worship -There will be no more evidence to-day, Mr Stephen. Mr Stephen —Then I apprehend there must be a remand, if you expect more evidence. His Worship -There must be a remand to abide the issue of tbe wound. Mr Moorhouse is of opinion four or five days will determine the fate of tbe man. Mr. Stephen supposed the Bench would take their (the prisoner's) own recognizances. The Bench, after a moment's consultation, declined taking bail. Mr Stephen admitted that was not the time to dwell on discrepan-cies in the evidence, but he thought the statement of tbe black boy, on which the charge entirely rested, was sufficiently contradicted to cast discredit upon it altogether. For instance, he stated the kangaroo was carried away by Mr Jones, and the policeman actually produced its bones which he found at the native oven. That was discrepancy No. 1. His Worship— It by no means follows that the bones picked up were those of the kangaroo referred to in the evidence.

Mr Stephen dwelt on the nature of the wounds, particularly that in the foot, which, he contended, would not have been inflicted by men meaning to commit murder, and standing but three yards from tbeir victim. Then it might appear that the persons wounding the black did so as be attempted to escape from apprehension for a murder which he himself was charged with, and which was committed at the same station. These facts, added to the doubts cast on the veracity of native witnesses by Mr Moorhouse, were, he thought, sufficient to war rant the Bench in taking bail. His Worship said, even if the black was charged with murder that would not justify a similar offence. Remanded until Monday. Mr Stephen said there was a charge of robbery against the inter preter and guide, Jimcrack. His Worship was willing to bear it, and Jimcrack, otherwise Jimmy, was charged with stealing two blankets and a rug, about the middle of July last, from William Bagnall, at Yorke's Peninsula. The prisoner, on bearing the charge, nodded, as if assenting to it, and then laughed good humouredly at the prosecutor, who returned the grin with interest. William Bagnall stated that he lived at Yorke's Peninsula. The prisoner had been shepherding with him for three or four months. One night some blackfellows and a lubra came to where they were encamped, as they had not built a hut at the time. The prisoner said the blacks were his cousins. In the morning witness discovered he was gone, and had taken the blankets and rug with him. They were worth £1. Witness had never given the prisoner any wages, but had always treated him like a brother. (A laugh). They slept together (continued (laughter)— let him deny it if he can (roars of laughter) ; and anything he wanted, he could have it for asking. Witness had sent for a pair of boots for him, but he went off with the blankets before the boots arrived. The prisoner had the blankets given to him for his exclusive use a night or two before he took them away. Mr Stephen here declined prosecuting the case farther, and Jimcrack and his affectionate employer seemed nothing estranged by the criminal charge, which the fraternal feelings of the prosecutor, or his neglect to remunerate services, had deprived of its sting.

South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), Saturday 5 May 1849, page 4

3. On Yorke's Peninsula, George Penton, a European, overseer to Mr Anstey, shot an adult native. On the 27th January, he called at the Police Barracks in town, and re ported the following:—Some time ago, the natives stole an axe from the station, and on the 20th January they made a bolder advance, and, attacking the sheep, were successful in carrying a number away. The overseer went in pursuit; he came upon a camp of about fifty natives, and found the carcases of some ot the sheep. One of the men seized a spear, and while in the act of throwing, the overseer fired at him, and on returning to the camp next morning, ascertained that the native at whom he had shot was dead. This is the overseer's report, but the statement of the natives has not been procured. This would have been procured, had not other duties called me into the South-eastern District. I purpose visiting this tribe by the first opportunity after this date, and, after inquiring minutely into the case, will report accordingly.

Monday, November 12.

Two aboriginal natives from Yorke's Peninsula, named Koonkoo and Watpa, were brought up, the former charged with a felonious assault on John Gall, Mr Cootes nephew ; and the latter with stealing a sheep from Mr Cootes.

There were neither witnesses nor an interpreter to go on with the case, and his Worship remanded them until the 26th instant, upon the statement of the constable who had arrested them.

Tuesday, December 4.

In the case of the natives Koonkoo for feloniously assaulting John Gall, at Yorke's Peninsula, and Watpa charged with stealing sheep the property of James Coutts, both under remand from the Supreme Court, witnesses were to-day examined before Mr Tolmer, and bound over to prosecute at the next Criminal Sessions.

POLICE COURT. Wednesday. August 29.

Henry Thomas Morris and Harry Valette Jones were charged with feloniously shooting at and wounding, with intent to murder Malappa, an aboriginal native, at Yorke's Peninsula, on the 15th August.

Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), Saturday 28 July 1849, page 3

The shepherd Armstrong, who was lately speared at Mr G. M. Stephen's station, on Yorke's Peninsula, died from the effects of the wounds about eighteen hours after they were inflicted.

Many of the aborigines of the Wakefield, tribe have lately visited the genuine natives of the Peninsula, and taught them English enough to enable them to become very annoying to the settlers and squatters. Those who "give them an inch," too often finding them inclined " to take an all," or, what is worse, inclined to requite old kind-nesses with something more serious than an all-measure, if the kindnesses expected do not grow with the growth of the party which makes the appeal. In plain terms, the old hands say there is nothing like keeping them at a distance. Lime, of superior quality, and in various forms, is very abundant on the Peninsula. As a mineral field, it has yet to be examined by thoroughly practical men.

South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), Saturday 24 November 1849, page 3

South Australian Gazette and Mining Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1847 - 1852), Thursday 29 November 1849, page 3


[Before Charles Bonney, and F. S. Dutton, Esqrs.] Wednesday, 29th August.

[Henry-word missing] Thomas Morris, Manager of Mr G. M. Stephens's stations, Yorke's Peninsula, and Henry Palette Jones, gentleman, were charged with feloniously shooting with intent to kill an aboriginal native named Malieappa,

Another Native Murder.

George Field was charged with murdering Nantariltarri, alias William, an aboriginal native, at Yorke's Peninsula.


ONE of these trials terminated on Monday in the acquittal of Henry Thomas Morris and Hany Valette Jones, charged with the murder of a native on Yorke's Peninsula. There was no doubt that a native had been shot; and there were circumstances of a nature sufficiently suspicious to justify the apprehension of the prisoners; but legal proof of their guilt was altogether defective; the native evidence, in particular, on which the charge mainly rested, was a singular failure, and showed something which created a sort of impression—probably not well-founded—that a species of parroting had been practised between the black interpreter, and the black witness. When the question was asked what the native was shot with—the answer was, " with white trowsers,'' and its repetition procured the same response! Frederick the Great is said to have had two questions which he invariably put to recruits.; and a young soldier having been told that to the first question he was to answer twentyone years, and to the second " three months," the following dialogue took place:— Frederick—How long have you been in the regiment ? Recruit—Twenty-one years I Frederick—How old are you ? Recruit—Three months I It would almost seem that a similar amount of misunderstanding existed in this case—at least it was clearly out of the question to convict or hang a dog upon evidence of such a character. The Advocate-General did quite right in at once abandoning a case the failure of which was so complete. We have not the least intention of treating this matter with levity—far from it A cruel and brutal murder had unquestionably been perpetrated upon a native, which, brought home to the accused parties, would certainly have been expiated with their lives. Fortunately, this dire justice has been avoided; and more happily still, the determination which the proceedings evinced is likely to operate as a warning to others in their future intercourse with and treatment of the aborigines, and so have the full effect of a more terrible example. On one point only we think it necessaiy to saya few words. A number of humane and wel'-meaning persons have expressed an opinion that the acquittal of the white prisoners in this afiair renders the conviction and punishment of blacks for offences against the settlers, impossible. It is almost self-evident that there can be no connection between the case's; and certainly nothing so spurious in the shape of compassion can be listened to for a moment The same care will be taken that legal evidence is given in the trial of natives for offences against the white population, as in those cases where the colour of the parties is reversed; and we have reliance on the personal upright feeling of the Advocate-General, that he will as freelythrow up his briefs, or as earnestly follow out his case to the last, without regard to any misplaced cant of humanity, which may be thrust upon him by the amiable but very short-sighted persons to whom we have alluded. The black prisoners that remain to be tried are accused of the most cold-blooded murders. Let them by all means have a fair impartial trial—-the benefit of every reasonable doubt; but do not let us hear of connecting their guiit or innocence with abstract principles, or the result of events, with which they have nothing to do.

Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Reviewer (NSW : 1845 - 1860), Saturday 15 June 1850, page 4

We walked to the station where we intended to apply for employment and next day were engaged and installed in what in an exquisite vein of facetise they called our occupation. Bugges played shepherd to my hutkeeper. All day long Bugges was away, having been put in charge of 100 cutaneous sheep, which he had to dress, (I wonder no one eyer thought of Holloway's Ointment) I baked the damper and boiled the mutton during the intervals in the day when I was not occupied in scratching, and passed the night -alas how often have I wished I could pass the night in a sort of coffin. Sleep was out of the question), the fleas and mosquitos took care of that. How often have I envied Bugges (they never touched him), and I could hear the beast snoring and whistling all night long. Days and weeks passed in this manner ; and one day I was going out for water, when, in running down the hill which rose in front of the hut, I found myself in the middle of a party of natives. (Those in the books published in England are called harmless) One of them played pretty with a waddy in the region of my bump of philoprogenitiveness, and I felt another aboriginal gentleman's spear coming in contact with the epidermis covering my ribs. So hearing that "plenty tucker" was their desire, I let them know by signs that I was not the sort of fellow to offer opposition to their very proper request and in fact, would assist them in clearing the hut. This was soon done, and my stock of four, tea, and mutton, was upon the back of two or three baggage lubras in a jiffy, and I thought then they would go -- Not a bit of it. "Plenty rowsers'' - Now, I had heard of strange longings they possessed for upotuotts cosmetics, and being then in what is sometimes called "good condition," had certain undefined fear- "Plenty rowsers" -off went my ohrok«--ftackings, boots, and blue shirt-- even my last nivt?? guvrbent?? wa?? had to be sacrificed, when footsteps and the bark of a dog were heard. The natives were?? off. I found I owed my dqiiviîrâncù??? to Uiíjfrr??? who came to tell me that hailfig'fnllo?? aäctjri?? the natives had taken the opportunity to drive the?? best part of his flock into the scrub. A few I days after we both found ourselves discharged, and as rich as when we first went -- for, on presenting our little accounts, we discovered that our employer had a set-off to three times the amount.

There's a pet colony for you

I am. Sir,

Your disgusted.

P. S.-I find that my name has got me a situation in the mounted police. I tried to get Bugges in also; but Berkeley shied the patronymic, and I to be sure, Bugges is not euphonious. I understand, however, that they would like to secure him in the foot. If you don't improve. I shall I take in the Register, for that is really the only fast thing in the colony.

T. B. D. L.

Keskahrowilla, a native, was charged witb feloniously assaulting, with intent to murder, William Bagnell, on Yorke's Peninsula.

Jimcrack, another Yorke Peninsula native, acted as interpreter, and Mr Moorhouse, the Protector of Aborigines, attended to watch the case.

It appeared from the statement of William Bagnell, shepherd to Mr Coutts, on Yorke's Peninsula, that he first saw the prisoner several months ago, while cutting grass. On the 27th of May, the prisoner and two other blackfellows, with a lubra and two children, came to the witness's hut, and asked for some water; this was given them, together with a fire-stick, and they went on. While they were there, witness loaded a double-barrelled gun, and gave it to a shepherd, named McDonald, telling him to take it with him as a protection, but he could not say whether or not the blacks saw it. No sooner had they gone, than he (witness) recollected that one of the blacks, named Jemmy, had been used to being out about huts, and he followed them for the purpose of calling Jemmy back to help him burn some lime. He had not got fifty yards from the hut, and had just tailed to Jemmy, who was returning, when a waddy was thrown at him. He turned round, and the prisoner rushed out on him, making a great noise, and threw four spears at him. One entered his body, and another went in his shirt He pulled them out, attacked the prisoner, and succeeded in knocking him down, but he was too weak from loss of blood to follow up his victory, and prisoner made off. He then went back to the hut, and sent the police information of the occurrence, and a description of the prisoner; but some time elapsed before he did so, as the police-station was 20 miles from their hut. The police apprehended the prisoner, and he identified him. The wound was infected on the hip, and obliged him to lay up for two or three days. The prisoner was committed for trial.

POLICE COURT. Tuesday, June 25.

Padlarra, an aboriginal native of Yorkes Peninsula, was charged with stealing a sheep from Mr Rogers's station, on the 10th instant. Mr Moorhouse attended to watch the case for the prisoner ; and the evidence was interpreted by Jimcrack, the native interpreter. William Rogers, Yorke's Peninsula, said he had some sheep-stations there. The station from which the sheep was stolen was called " Rogue's Gulley.' Had about 1500 sheep at that station. Witness's son had charge of them.

Adelaide Times (SA : 1848 - 1858), Thursday 14 November 1850, page 3

Thomas Simmons was brought up on remand charged with ravishing an aboriginal girl, named ' Uurti-pitari, at York's Peninsula.

Jimcrack, who acted as interpreter, endeavoured in vain to persuade the prosecutrix to answer the questions put to her by the Bench.

Mr Moorhouse said that perhaps his Worship would take the evidence of the girl's father. If after that evidence had been given, his Worship should consider that the child's evidence was necessary, he would endeavour to reason her out of her fears during the day, and to-morrow she would propably be able to speak.

Manno, the father of the girl, stated that some time ago the prisoner, who lived at Yerkiwarri, (known by the whites as Rocky Water Hole,) at Yorke's Peninsula; came to his wurly, and took the child away in his arms to the " box " where he resided; Witness followed him with the intention of getting the child away from him, but his heart failed him on the way, and he returned. When the child returned, she complained of being ill, and witness saw sufficient to convince him that she had been grossly ill used by the prisoner. The prisoner's station box was about a hundred yards from witness's wurly. After the prisoner had taken his child into the box, he heard her screaming, but was afraid to interfere.

By the prisoner—There are two shepherds, besides a black cook at the station.

This being the evidence for the prosecution.

His Worship; having cautioned the prison asked him if he wished to make any statement.

Prisoner denied that he had been guilty of the crime with which he was charged, and said that no such occurrence could have taken place without the knowledge of the other white men at the station; He hoped they would be subpoened to attend at his trial.

His Worship said he should commit him for trial.

A sailor here stepped forward, and desired to know if he could have " the law " of sin individual who had wounded his feelings by calling him an old lag, at the Port, on the previous day.

His Worship advised him to apply at the Police Court at the Port, where no doubt he would obtain redress, if ho could show that the individual had used bad language to him.

Applicant—Oh! he did not use bad language, he only called me an old lag, and said I had worked in the chain gang for seven years. (laughter)

His Worship could only repeat that he had better apply at the Port.


Arrest or a Witness—An aboriginal named Manro, the principal witness for the Crown in the case of Thomas Simms, charged with the rape of a native girl, who suddenly absconded, necessitating the postponement of the trial after the last sessions, was apprehended a few days back at Yorke's Peninsula, and has been consigned to the care of Mr Moorhouse, the state of the law not permitting him to be sent gaol, as he was never bound over to appear at the Central Criminal Court. He is at present suffering purgatory among the boy at the statiou-house.


South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), Tuesday 20 May 1851, page 3

Tukkurm, Nyalta Wikkanin, and Kanger Worli were charged with the wilful murder of Maltalta, an aboriginal native man, on the 11th February last, at Yorke's Peninsula. The prisoners, through their interpreter, pleaded severally not guilty. Mr. Fisher appeared as their counsel. The Crown Solicitor stated the case against the prisoners, and proceeded to prove it by the following evidence : — Kanyana, the first witness, a boy of about 12 years old, was a resident of Yorke's Peninsula.

Monday, May 19.

Tukkurm, Nyalta, and Kangu Wurli, aboriginal natives, were charged with the wilful murder of Maltalta, an aboriginal native, at Yorke's Peninsula, on the 11th of February.

Mr Fisher defended the prisoners, who were understood to plead not guilty.

The particulars of this case have already fully appeared. The deceased was killed, as one of the natives said in Court, because they did not like to see strange backfellows passing through their country.

Mr Moorhouse stated that it was an universal law among the native tribes to kill any strange native who passed through their country. They had no belief in a God, but believed in the existence cf an evil spirit. In answer to the Judge, he said that the natives were in great fear of the evil spirit. They believed he had great power, and attributed to him all diseases or accidents. If two tribes were opposing each other, and a man of one tribe said we will get the evil spirit to poison our adversaries water, that tribe would believe they had the first chance, and that the evil spirit would fight for them only. They appealed to this spirit through the intervention of a soothsayer or wise man. The opposing tribe would generally strive to avenge themselves to any disaster on this soothsayer, who was one of the old men. All old men, indeed had the reputation of being soothsayers. They had an undefined notion of futurity, and believed in the transmigration of bodies, but not of a future state of rewards and punishments. A stranger was one whom they had never seen before, and who did not speak their language. A member of another tribe was not necessarily a stranger, in some of the newly-settled districts to the north of Mount Brown, where we could hold no communication with natives, they were still unaware that it was wrong to slay strangers, but in all the settled districts', and where he had the opportunity of seeing and speaking with them, a strange native would be perfectly safe. If the Port Lincoln natives should hear of the murder of the deceased they would not go out of their way to make war upon the prisoners tribe ; but would most certainly kill any Yorke's Peninsula native who should chance to come among them. They would do this by way of retaliation. Maltalta would have been taken back to Port Lincoln by the first ship, but he refused to wait and preferred going overland.

Mr Fisher addressed the jury for the prisoners. After alluding feelingly to the helpless position of the prisoners, owing to the want of education and the utter ignorance of our laws and customs, he contended that, supposing the facts to be proved, the prisoners must only be considered as carrying out their own laws, and, in fact, only fulfilling what they believed to be their duty. There was in an indictment for murder in the English law a phrase, not only peculiar, but necessary, namely, that the act is said to be committed as not having the fear of God before their eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil. Fisher exposed the absurdity of giving a verdict against the prisoners which would involve a supposition of the knowledge of God and the devil on their parts ; and after arguing on the evidence that the deceased had not been identified, concluded by urging the utter want of proof that there was any malice aforethought either expressed or implied.

His Honor went through the evidence, and concluded with the following remarks:—That, as he had not been altogether understood in the observations he had made in answer to the presentment of the Grand Jury, he would state that the distinction which he wished to draw was one between the question of jurisdiction and that of punishments. On a former occasion when a native was tried, Mr Bartiey, who then conducted the defence, pleaded the non-jurisdiction of the Court, and he—the learned Judge—had then said he did not know how to draw the distinction, or how those people could object to be tried by that Court. Now the question of their actual guilt was one thing and the degree of that guilt was another, and he could not thiuk that the question of the punishment of these poor persons was so easy a one as that of jurisdiction. He felt it his duty to deal with each case brought before him carefully and deliberately, and give to the jury a plain direction in it. As to the propriety of trying those people for offences among themselves, there might be different views, but it was impossible to say that the same degree of guilt would attach to them as would attach to white persons committing the same crime they were persons without instruction, and did not enquire if they were wrong in killing a stranger. Their's was a law of retaliation, and though one tribe would not go out of their way to revenge a death, they would kill the first stranger that came among them, it being only a question of opportunity with them. If punishment for these offences were to take place at all, it would be better that it should take place by law, and he thought it better for the ultimate good of the native population that they should be punished, for if they were to be civilised there were no more effectual means than making them understand that punishment followed crime. At the same time, he thought they should have reasonable notice that they were liable to such punishments.

The jury returned a verdict of wilful murder against all the prisoners.

His Honor passed sentence of death in the usual form, aud fixed the 9th of June as the day for the execution. The prisoners, however, were informed that his Honor would make intercession for them with the Crown, and that they lives would in all probability be spared.

They were then removed.

The following is a list of the 64 prisoners who received sentences of death, which were after wards commuted to life imprisonment, with hard labour:—
Tukkurm, Ngalta Wikanni, and Rangue Worli, three natives, murder of Maltalta, aboriginal, February 11, 1851, at Yorke's Peninsula; pardoned June, 1851.

Fatal Affray write the natives at YORKE'S PENINSULA,

We regret to hear that a fatal collision has taken place between some shepherds of Mr. Coutts's, at Yorke's Peninsula, and the natives. It appears that the latter had seized a flock of sheep, and on the overseer and one of the shepherds attempting to regain possession, a determined resistance was made. The natives had already destroyed many of the sheep, and had divided the remainder into two flocks, when the overseer and his companion discovered them. The natives, we are informed, attacked 'the white men in the first instance by throwing their spears, and these having been broken by the overseer, they attempted to overpower them by closing on them and by pelting them with stones, The Europeans fired in self-defence, and several of the natives were killed. The origin of this fatal collision may perhaps be found in the circumstance that some time ago, a flock of Mr. Rogers's sheep were stolen in the same manner. The proprietor applied to the Police for protection or aid in the recovery of his property; but as there was but one Policeman, neither one nor the other could be given. At the present time there are no Police stationed on the Peninsula, and on the Government, therefore, justly rests a heavy share of responsibility as to the casualty which has just occurred.

Same day— The cutter Endeavour, 20 tons, Eeid, master, from Yorke's Peninsula. Passengers — Mr. Mole, Mr. Sharpies, 2 constables, and 4 native prisoners for sheep-stealing.


SHEEP-STEALING.— Three aborigines, named Ned Tittawitta, Johnny Gumflat, and Johnny Pointpiercer, pleaded guilty to the charge of stealing 213 sheep, the property of Thomas Rogers, Yorke's Peninsula, on the 13th August last. They were committed to gaol for six months with hard labour.

South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), Thursday 14 February 1856, page 3

SHEEP-STEALING BY THE NATIVES.— The four aboriginals, named respectively Adelaide Bob, Coorowampa, Wheelbarrow Jemmy, and Tommy, who were brought into town in custody, charged with stealing 220 sheep at Yorke Valley, Yorke's Peninsula, the property of Thomas Rogers, will be brought up before the Police Magistrate this morning.

Sheep-stealing.—Four aboriginals, named respectively - Adelaide Bob, Coorowampa Wheelbarrow Jemmy, and Tommy, have been brought over from Yorke's Peninsula in the cutter Endeavour, in charge of two policemen, charged with stealing 220 sheep at Yorke Valley, Yorke's Peninsula, the property of Thomas Rogers. They were taken before the Police Magistrate on Thursday, but remanded till Monday next for the attendance of Mr. Moorhouse, the Protector of Aborigines.

Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), Saturday 23 February 1856, page 4

Sheep-stealing.—Adelaide Bob, alias Yellana, Coorowampa, alias Karrallo, Wheelbarrow Jack, alias Wodla, and Tommy, alias Kanganni, were brought up for examination, charged with stealing 220 sheep, at Yorke's Peninsula, August 26. William Robert Rogers, sheepfarmer, at Yorke's Peninsula, stated that on the 26th August he had 220 sheep at Yorke Valley, under the charge of the overseer, Joseph Elliott, who brought to witness 13 skins, which he identified by the ear marks as his property. Joseph Elliott said the sheep were out on the night of August 26. The shepherd asked him to count the number which were missing. Did so the next morning, and ascertained that 220 were gone. Went and found 13 skins in the scrub, and Wheelbarrow Jack had a part of the carcases. Adelaide Bob was with him and run away. Found the rest of the sheep on the plains. Bob, alias Mellia, an aboriginal boy, said he saw Wheelbarrow Jack and Karrallo take some sheep from the prosecutor's yard. He saw all four of the blackfellows take them away, and put them into the scrub. Sat down with them by the fire. Did not see them kill the sheep. Was not there. The prisoners said they did not take the sheep from the yard, but their lubras found them on the plains. His Worship remarked that they were found in their possession. He sentenced the prisoners to six months imprisonment with hard labour.

A Native Mission on Yorke's Peninsula.



Sir— I shall be glad if you will allow me space in your columns for a few remarks on the subject referred to in a communication published in your paper of January 3rd, headed "An Aboriginal census.

It is difficult to understand how any one who has had opportunities of observing the social and moral degradation of the native inhabitants of this country can really believe that he is not failing in a positive duty when, while enriching himself with the produce of the land, or with its mineral wealth, he leaves the original possessor untaught and uncared for. For nearly three years I have known personally many of the natives of Yorke's Peninsula, and have seen and had slight communication with perhaps most of them. From the commencement I have taken a great interest in them, and for the last two years I have felt strongly that there ought to be a Mission-House on the Peninsula. I have frequently mentioned the subject to others, and proposed making an application for a grant of land and for a portion of the Aboriginal Reserve Fund arising from the sale of land towards carrying out this object; but no one took sufficient interest in it to endeavour to overcome any little difficulties that might arise at starting. One, indeed, went so far as to ask me to furnish him with some statistics as to the number of blacks who inhabited the Peninsula, their principal hunting-ground, chief places of resort, and any other information I could give. Having previously gained some items of in-telligence from the Crown Lands Ranger at Kadina, and much from the natives themselves, I was able to tell him that tribes from the Hummocks, all parts of the Peninsula, and even from the Light, resort to the Kadina, Wallaroo, and Moonta districts periodically. Always at Christmas they congregate in considerable numbers, and two or three times a year besides. The Tipara Springs, about twelve miles from Moonta, are one inducement; the food given by the white population is another. Other information I gave which I hoped would lead to the subject being taken up by those who have more influence and are better fitted to carry out so important a work. But I have waited in vain, and should probably have waited yet longer, from a natural disinclination to take any but a private part in the platter, had it not been for the remark in the letter referred to, that "the natives are expecting a teacher to go among them, and are very glad." When talking to them of their children and asking them if they would like to have them taught to read and to work like white children, the invariable answer has been "yes," and I told them I would try to get a school built, where they must leave their children to be taught, and where I and they should go to see them. Debased as they are, and always wandering about, there is yet more order and discipline observed among them than those who have not studied their habits are aware of. I am speaking only of the tribes I know— those of Yorke's Peninsula-but it is probable that the same might be said of all the natives. Here all the tribes submit to one Chief, generally known as King Tom. He is a fine old man - full six feet in height; he is intelligent, and speaks English very tolerably. He orders the movements of the tribes, and his word is never disputed. An entire tribe, or a few men, are ordered to go to such a part of the Peninsula, to stay there a fixed time, and then move farther off or return, and the order is obeyed to the letter, even to the exact spot mentioned for the encampment. No black can engage to work for a white man for any length-ened period without permission; and if the Chief orders him to leave, he does so even when he wishes to remain. Knowing this to be the case, it was evident that nothing could be done without first gaining the goodwill of the Chief, and I succeeded in doing so. He willingly and decisively promised that if a school were built, he would let his child go (this child has been at our house many times, on one occasion for part of a week), and he would use his influence among his people. A woman of the tribe who speaks English very well, and has been in service in English families, pro-mised me that she would leave her child at the school, and talk to the other women about their children. Hence, I believe, the idea of the "teacher." They trust us, because we have been kind to them; they believe us, because what we tell them we will do we do; and it is painful to reflect that for more than a year they have been looking for their teacher, while I have been waiting and hoping that others would do that which now it seems I should have tried to commence myself, by making known the willingness of the natives to have their children instructed. A further claim which these poor creatures have on the Government of South Australia, as well as on the sympathy of all right-minded people individually is the fact that very many of these children are half-castes. From personal observation I may add that I fear little comparatively could be done with the older natives. The plan I venture to suggest to the consideration of others is the establishment of a Home where the children may be received and brought up as Christians. There are those who say— it has been said to me-" They will run away as soon as they are old enough and go back to the wurley." Granted that some will do so, or even that all will— for the wild savage nature cannot be changed at once— they will soon take some better thoughts and feelings with them than they could ever have had without teaching. Good seed sown must bring forth some fruit, and it may be gathered in the wurley of the savagethe result known only to God. Before closing these remarks I think it better to state that I have when visiting the miners' cottages, mentioned this subject It was warmly received, and monthly or weekly collections of small sums among the miners were spoken of towards the support of the Mission-House, and I have no doubt there would be a considerable amount of local support from this channel only; for when help is really wanted for the poor and friendless, my experience goes to prove that the Cornish miner never withholds it. I am. Sir, &c., MARY A. MEREDITH. Moonta Mine, January 5.


Sir—In January of lSBi I ventured to make a , public appeal on behalf of the natives of Yorke's j .Peninsula, and I then expressed an opinion that a ! school for the children, where they would not only be made Christians, but to be of use to themselves and others by industrial training, was tiie first step to be taken, and the only one which, so far as I

was able to judge, was likely to be successful. You I were kind enough to draw special attention to the

subject in a leading article, one paragraph of which I I beg to quote:—"The practical question now is how is the school which our correspondent advocates to be commenced ? If the Government saw anything like a successful, or even a promising movement on behalf of the aborigines on the Peninsula, there is no doubt they would give such help as would be necessary to aid it. The right course would seem to be to start the thing by' voluntary contributions, and to apply at once to the Government for a grant in aid of the erection of suitable buildings The Government would not undertake the religious instruction of the natives, but they could provide aid for their physical wants and for the education of their children. They will be disposed and encouraged to do this by the amount of interest which may be displajed by private individuals. An ordinary Government schoolmaster would hardly be equal to the work. The sort of person to conduct a school of this kind is a man of warm sympathies and of a self-sacriticiog spirit —a man whose loudness would wiu the coutideuce and gratitude of the natives. Such a man would have to be found, not bv the Government, but by those who are interested in the movement."

In accordance with these suggestions a schosl was commenced, and has been carried on alrncst exclusively by those resident on the Peninsula, the only assistance received from the Government up to the present time being the usual rations and blankets. Such a man as you described as the only one suited to the office of teacher we have fouud in our missionary, and it would be impossible to say lionr highly he rs estimated by all who know him without saying more than would be agreeable to his feelings, as he is one of those who care not for the praise of men. After your leading article appeared several persons, who were unknown to me, in different parts of the colony wrote to me, promising support if the mission were established, aud I uow feel that it is due to them to give some information of work which lias been so eminently successful as to exceed even my own hopes. 1 do not think I can do this better than ty giving a brief report of a visit last week to tile temporary mission station at Gooduttera, about two miles from Kadina. .No intimation had been given of our iarended visit, and as Mr. Kuhn hail gone to Kadina on business, and did not return to the station for an hour after our arrival, we had an

opportunity of seeing how his scholars behave in j his absence. We found theiu looking ueat and

clean; all happy aud contented. One girl, about j

13 or 14 years of age, was making bread. She

is general baker for the establishment. Three | others were washing; the rest were playing.

The ages iif the children range from three to 17. j

None of them have been under Air. Kulin's care insch more than a year—few oi them so h -ng—and none wish to leave him, (hough their parents, with one exception, were all absent m the hush. The old chief of the tribes lias kept the premise he made me more than two years ago, and his children are now in the school. The progress which all the children have made in learning appears to me to be far more rapid tban that made by the generality of white children, and can only be accounted for liy their having a quick perception and retentive memory. Some of them read and write well, and are beginning to know a little of geography aud arithmetic. All siug well and in excellent tune, and kuow perfectly tlie words of IS diliereiit hymns. The way hi which they answer Scripture questions is most satisfactory. So muili for that branch of their education. Sir. Knhifs regulations for their moral and physical trainiugare equally good. While

the giils are employed in iudour work, the boys j

are occupied in cutting and carrying wood for the use of the Station, or m gardening. Two plots of ground have been fenced in by them, and I may mention in passing that the white r el tiers would do well to take a lesson in neat fencing from the boys of our native school. The gardens were in good order, and well stocked with different kinds of vegetables. One girl of 17, a very intelligent half-casie. superintends the housework, cooks, and makes dresses for the younger children very neatly. I think there cau be but one opinion oil this subject, viz.. that this is a great deal to have accomplished in so short a time; nor must the important point be overlooked that the older natives have been won over to trust their children with our missionary, but not as some persons who do not know them think, because ihey do not care to keep

tlietn. They have the same affection for their children as white people have, aud I know that it has been a hard struggle for the chief's lubra to

part with her youngest child. I have had to remind I her many times of her promise before she would

leave her. ]

A square mile of land at Point Pierce having been granted for the purposes of the mission, Mr. Kuhn and his charge are now on their way to what is to be the permanent st ition, where, as time and funds will idmit. lie intends to extend his farming operations, to feuce in the laud, bring it into cul

tivation, and to keep cows and sheep. He also ! proposes, if he can be provided with a boat, to make the men fish and prepare them for sale as the Chinese do, anil supply the women with

opossum skins to he tanned and made into rugs . by thein, to be sold towards defras'mg the ex- | penses of the mission. But to do this and get the e-tablishment into working order we must hate

assistance front other sources than the Peninsula— ! peopled, as it is, by the labour ng class, wiio cannot give more than small con'ributiims, it is impossible to raise here what is required. Ti ere is, too, another difiicuhy which his recently been forced upon our notice by a young

woman, who is consumptive, having been brought | to the S: at ion. with a request that Air. Kuhn

would take care of her. That this wiil always be i duns when any sick and infirm are within reach I liave iio doubt, as they have been in the habit of walking long distances to come to us in cases of illness before the mission was commenced. To refuse tlieui admittance and assistance at a Christian Mission-House is impossible. I suppo-e if, under such circumstances, they went to Adelaide the law which is made for destitute colonists would be observed in the case of sick and aged natives; anl it would not be otherwise here. But then a separate and additional room is wanted, and at present the funds promised are not sufficient to build necessary accommodation for the missionary and the number

of children he now has in charge.

I will take this opportunity of asking those who have tlie power to help us to do so without del lVIt iias been intimated to the Committee that the : Government has placed on the Kstimates the sum i of £200 towards the erection of the buildings. A I much larger sum will be required, or the work

cannot be carried on as it ought to be. We want I present donations in aid of the Building Fund,

and shall be glad to receive the names of some of the wealthy colonists as annual euhscriliers to the

I am, Sir, &c..


< Moonta Mine, September 6.1367.

t With the above letter we have received several very Greditahle specimens of writinc by some of

toe native children.



Mr Wallaroo Paper, Massr—What for you no come down along a Port Wakefield three leeps ago, see whitefellow make um pickaninny hole in ground, where um going build railway. Me think you no like um Port Wakefield, cos plenty ships come here by-um-bye—no come to Wallaroo. You know whitefellow here ask Governor to come; Governor very good man ; him say yes, me come, then him very bad ; pain in him toes, so he say by-um-bye me come. Then whitefellow say, Oh! no good waiting for Governor; if he no come Wednesday we do widout him. Me think Governor no like to come cos steamer no come near shore, stop long way off, two three mile; then blackfellow go in water and carry him on back long way; that no good! Not her one big bugs asked to come. Mr Blyth big one fat man, Mr Dufiield plenty make um flour, Mr English build um town hall long Adelaide,—no one come; so whitefellow say, neber mind; we askum King Tom and him lubra old Caroline, and ask plenty blackfellow, and plenty lubra, plenty pickaninny, give um plenty tuck out. Hoorah; welly good, whitefellow. Then by-um-bye twenty whitefellows come dressed up for corroboree like Sunday and Mr Fergusson say, " Gemplemans, Governor no come ; we must do widout him." Then whitefellow dig up little ground, put um in wheelbarrow, wheel him along and I turn him over, then yabber, yabber and everybody hurrah! hurrah ! Then walk along township, and whitefellow eat plenty tuck out. Register newspaper say steamer Crest of Wave up along lamppost public-house. Plenty gammon ! He want to make out plenty water here for steamer to come along public-house. Big one lie that. By-um-bye whitefellow plenty growl cos Governor no come. Mr Bright, no come; plenty more no come—only two three white-fellows come from Adelaide. Plenty tucker left, whitefellow say dinner cost him sixty pounds; so cos whitefellow can't eat um all give um blackfellow. Plenty tuck out, welly good. Whitefellow sit down Adelaide, no likum Port Wakefield tramway; thinkum cost too much whitemoney, and no good, only bring down wheat. Blackfellow no thinkum much good. Port Wakefield welly good place for blackfellow to fish, walk out in water long way, two three miles.

THE CLARE RAILWAY BANQUET. (from an aboriginal correspondent.)

Mr Wallaroo Times,—Me sit down Port Wakefield ; sebeu leeps ago Mr O.P. him drive coach, tell me Jimmy, by me bye big one tuck out down Wallaroo, along Clare Hailroad. Welly good tuck out Port Wakefield along tramway; me say, Wallaroo tuck out all same,—me go ; lubra you come along carry ' possum rug and blanket. Byrne bye we come along Wallaroo, plenty whitefellow all about. Big chimney plenty smoke, big fire plenty makum copper. Jetty welly good, plenty deep water, no like Port Wakefield. No ships here when me come. Byrne bye steamer come; plenty whitefellow, what you call'em members come Adelaide eat tucker Wallaroo. Xah.! yah! all same blackfellow; likum good tuck out. Then whitefellow Mr Barrow, (paper massr along Adelaide) Mr Captain Smith Port Adelaide, Mr Parkin, picanniny old man whitefellow, Mr English buildum town hall along Adelaide, and nother whitefellows all walk up Mr Haselgrove's. Me go too ; get tucker all same Port Wakefield, Mr Haselgrove say what for you come here, no want blackfellow ; plenty whitefellow eat up tucker, none for blackfellow. Plenty whitefellow all about; byme bye he give me a little tucker; welly good. Me go upstairs, look in big room, plenty whitefellow sit down all round table, Mr Bower up a top 5 him got big one bird to eat. Captain Hay get picanniny pig ; other whitefellow got fowls, pigs, plenty tuck out. Plenty drink beer, wine, no get drunk. Byme by Mr Bower say gemplemans charge for glasses we drink the Queen. Me no see Queen, only drink wine and all whitefellow say Queen, Queen. Then Mr Bower say drink again, Governor, and whitefellow all drink wine and say Governor; welly good fellow him Governor. Then picaninny old man whitefellow, eyes all same blackfellow, get up plenty yabber along Parliament, say whitefellow Wallaroo no muffs; then all drink wine again and sing out hurrah. Mr Barrow, (big one paper massr 'sit down along Adelaide) yabber next; welly good this one, yabber long time all same book ; whitefellow say yah! yah! and clap hands, drink again and sing out Clare Railway hoorah. If blackfellow drink likey that, by and bye roll about and waddy lubra. Then Mr English yabber, other whitefellows yabber long time. Then say tank you Mr Haselgrove welly good man you give whitefellow plenty tuck out. Me no think welly good all same Port Wakefield, cos none left for blackfellow—Good bye.



Wallaroo Times and Mining Journal (Port Wallaroo, SA : 1865 - 1881), Saturday 28 December 1867, page 2

The flat race, 200 yards, was won by a blackfellow, " Jemmy," who distanced his competitors, notwithstanding his spindle shanks.

We are informed that the native who won the prize at the foot race, on 26th instant (£1 5s), elated with his sudden accession of fortune, so far forgot his sense of propriety—although a married man as to make proposals to a sable Louisa to become Mrs Black Jemmy number two.
The lady, probably enticed by the wealth as well as prowess of her suitor, consented, and accompanied him to Messrs Hamilton Brothers to procure a new rig in the style of the first London Houses." Being decked out in the latest fashion, so far as the 253 would go,—including even a petite bonnet, if we are rightly informed,—the happy bride accompanied her husband to Kadina to spend the honeymoon. We are told Jemmy has no intention of altogether discarding Mrs Jemmy number one, but probably thinks if he can earn money so easily he can afford to keep two wives instead of one.


The annual meeting, at the Wesleyan Moonta Mines Chapel, in aid of the Native Mission took place on Monday evening last. The spacious building was crowded. There were present on the platform the Revs. W. Wilson, T. Jarrett, J. T. Simpson, and Capt. Hancock, who was elected to the chair. The proceedings of the evening having been initiated in the customary manner, by singing and prayer, the Chairman made a few appropriate remarks, and then celled upon the Rev. W. Wilson to read the report, which stated, among other items of information, that " since the last annual meetings suitable dormitories have been erected at a cost of about £60, also a verandah to Mission-House, in both of which the native labor has been largely utilised. Last year the number of scholars under Mr Kulin's charge were males, 15; females, 16; total, 31. At present there are males, 18; females, 15; showing an increase of 2. There has been one death among the scholars. The station at Point Pearce has frequently been visited by large numbers of wandering natives; as many as 60 sometimes attending Divine service on the Sabbath. The word of life thus preached cannot fail to bear fruit in elevating some at least to their rightful dignity as members of the consciously redeemed human family. One of the adult scholars has beeil baptized, expressing an intelligent trust in Christ as his Saviour. Mrs Kuhn has conducted a bible class for the elder girls, and prayer meetings have been held once a week, at which two of the male natives engage in prayer, the same two also conduct evening classes. The Missionary with the natives have been busily engaged in planting mulberry trees for the cultivation of silk, which were kindly given by Dr. Schomburg,: also flax, and kitchen garden products. Some 120 sheep have been purchased ; the lambing season has been prolific; and an average clip of wool. The natives have been employed in raising tone, building tank, shepherding, &c., and two of the young men are building houses for themselves with a view to entering the marriage state. Mr Lane next read the financial statement of the business. The contributions received during the year amounted to £183 9s 3d, in addition to which there were special contributions as follows: Hon. Gr. F. Angas, £50; London Missionary" Society, £25; collected by Rev. J. Lyall, £9, making with balance previously in hand a total of £274 4s 2<L The expenses during the year, including Rev. Mr Kuhn's salary, building, purchase of sheep, &c., amounted to £223 18s 9d. The Rev. W. Wilson moved the first resolution as follows: -That this meeting do hereby express its gratitude to Almighty G-od for the success granted to the Mission during the past year, and adopt the report which has now been presented by the Committee. This was seconded by the Bev. T. Jarrett, and carried unanimously. A number of natives were here introdueed to the meeting by the Rev. Mr Kuhn, and were ranged along forms placed on the platform. They were of both sexes and of various ages, and presented a neat j and interesting appearance. After singing a hymn, I which they did very nicely, they were examined by Mr Kuhn on Scripture History, and the replies which they made to his questions were apt and intelligent. Several copy books containing ; specimens of the handwriting of the natives were subsequently handed round to the meeting, and they were examined with much interest and were highly commended. The second resolution was moved by the Rev. J. Y. Simpson as follows: That this meeting do hereby resolve by prayer I and effort to sustain the Mission during the ensuing year. Seconded by Mr Jolly and carried. A collection was made in aid of the funds of the Mission. The third resolution having reference to the appointment of officers and Committee for the ensuing year, was moved by Mr Davies and seconded by Mr Smith. Several hymns were sung by the natives during the evening and were loudly applauded. The doxology having been sung and the benediction given, the proceedings were brought to a close.

One of those curious but interesting exhibitions, ceremonies, or whatever they may be called, a native corroboree, took place in the vicinity of Moonta on the evening of Feb. 3. The corroboree was a very grand one, no less than two kings being present, King Tommy and King Jemmy, with, no doubt, the requisite number of queens,' princesses, and princes. King Jemmy is said to have been rather a remarkable man as far as corporal structure was concerned, his frame being evidently a powerful and muscular one. Two tribes were present, numbering, in the aggregate, about one hundred and fifty persons. As the sun went down immense fires were lighted, and by the pale light of the moon, and the ruddy glare of the fires, the sable warriors yelled, danced, and performed. Each one was naked, with the exception of a cloth tied round his loins, and the paint of various colors which had been daubed all over his body. The wildness of the scene, the weird look of the paint bedaubed, pie-bald looking blacks, the sombre relief into which the trees and shrubs in the background were cast by the flickering light of the wood fires, formed a strange and imposing picture, vividly impressing itself on the memories of the spectators, of whom there were from two to three hundred from Moonta present.
There are now no less than nineteen aborigines employed at surface work on the Moonta Mines. They are said to be well-conducted and industrious, more so in some instances than their white brothers. The officers of the mine have undertaken the task of supplying them with rations at cost price, consequently a portion of the difficulty and also the temptation they would experience if they had to visit the township for everything they wanted, is obviated. At present they live with their lubras in some wurleys on the outskirts of the Mine, but it is contemplated when they have saved a little money to erect for them shanties upon the mining sections. This method of dealing with the aborigines seems to be calculated to cope with the difficulty hitherto experienced, of knowing what to do with our sable relations, and, we take it, is more likely to be productive of benefit than some missionary enterprise; but we are rather puzzled to conceive what blackfellow will think of whitefellow's justice in one contingency. Should the blackfellow save money, put, up his shanty on the mining sections, and then fall out with his present employers, he will be rather astonished to find that the house he has built and paid for is not his own, and that he is liable to be dispossessed at a moment's notice without any reason being assigned.

Mon 9 Mar 1874, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Trove

BOORKOOYANNA NATIVE MISSION. The buildings are all of stone, situate in the middle of a small plain of which Boorkooyanna is the native name, Boorkoo signifying a small shrub which grows there, and yanna plain. It is within about three miles of the sea, and in the sandhills a plentiful supply of fresh water is obtainable. There were 18 in the school or working at the establishment at the time of my visit, and two had gone away to see their parents. The institution, which is under the management of the Rev. W. J. Kühn, is conducted mainly upon the principle of self-support, and an important part, though by no means the whole, of the work is sheepfarming. A commencement was made with 100 ewes five or six years ago. and now there are about 1,300, some 400 having been sold for £142 after last shearing, which yielded a return for wool of £317. The Mission originally had one square mile, which has been all enclosed with stake and brush fence; but three years ago, the flock having so far increased as to require more grass, the Surveyor-General visited the place, and shortly afterwards the Government granted the use of 'The Point,' which has an area of about six square miles, and is enclosed by simply one fence run from beach to beach. The whole of the work on the place is done by the natives under the guidance and instruction of Mr. Kühn, no white labour being employed. They received this season £18 for shearing, being paid at the rate of £1 a hundred, and their work is acknowledged to be better done than the ordinary shearing in surrounding stations. Six of the young men are now employed at a weekly payment of 5s. beside their rations, and others can get employment at occasional times if willing to undertake it, the handsome return from the sheep last year having enabled this system to be adopted. The wages are for the most part spent in clothes, and the appearance of the young people on Sunday particularly is a source of satisfaction to the wearers, as well as having the effect of emulating the other blacks to improve their condition by the same means. The girls are employed in the ordinary household duties, taking it in turns to cook both for themselves and for the superintendent's house, all of which duties are performed in a highly creditable manner. They make their own clothes, and also earn something by making rush mats and baskets, which are sold at the Wallaroo townships. Of course the benefits of the institutions are not confined to pure aborigines. Indeed, most of the inmates have a good deal of white blood in their veins ; and while on the one hand they are raised above the normal state of their tribe, they, are still placed under disabilities which such institutions as the one I am describing help to lessen or eventually remove. The younger children are taught for a few hours daily, and all those who have been some years at the station can read and write and cipher. Same of the copybooks would be no discredit to white children of the same age. They have a good schoolroom, 40 feet long by 18 broad, and a dormitory each for boys and girls 18 feet square and well ventilated. Saturday is always made a free holiday, when the boys all go either fishing or hunting, kangaroos being plentiful in the scrub and fish on the coast. There is an island about two miles from the point where penguins abound, and another which is thickly inhabited by shags. In olden days the blacks used to swim over to this point for the sake of the eggs which they were able to obtain at certain seasons in abundance, and of which they are particularly fond. The young natives, however, have almost given up the art of natation, and none of them now care to go except 'along boat.' The aborigines of the Peninsula, who number between 100 and 200, are the remains of two tribes, distinguished now as the Peninsula and the Wallaroo mob, and they together with the Crystal Brook mob have friendly intercourse, meeting occasionally by invitation and arrangement of the respective kings. They frequently attempt to get the young people away from the station, and though they sometimes succeed, it is satisfactory to Mr. and Mrs. Kuhn to find that in many cases their allurements have not been sufficient to induce the children to leave their comfortable home and return to savage life. Unfortunately about two years ago a sickness in the shape of chest complaint carried off several of the children, and the old natives in consequence took several children away. A short time ago one of the girls was married to one of the young men rejoicing in the title of Jack Wilson, and they are living in a comfortable cottage on the land, Wilson being one of the regularly employed hands. Another marriage is expected to come off shortly, and a cottage is m course of erection by the blacks themselves to provide the necessary accommodation. Furniture is not expensive, as the mallee and pine in the neighbourhood afford material for most of the requisites. As with the other stations, Government rations are supplied to the sick and aged, and blankets to all who apply once a year. A service is held every Sunday in the: schoolroom, and the young natives join in the singing. In the afternoon they have Sunday school, and most of them have a fair knowledge of Bible truths, while several have been admitted to the church. At present cultivation of the land has not been attempted, but this season a small piece now being ploughed is to be sowed and cut for hay, to supply the horses that, are required for the use of the station, and perhaps a small quantity may be saved for grain. The appearance of the place and the financial results altogether reflect credit on the superintendant, and must be satisfactory to the ladies and gentlemen at Wallaroo town-ships who originated and carry on the mission. The value of the work is not to be judged by the number of the inmates. Although the race may be fast dying out, yet while any of them are left it can be no more than right that they should have a refuge where in time of need, through sickness or other cause, necessary aid may be given to the adults, and where the young ones who are thrown upon the world may have somewhat of the care which is bestowed upon other orphan or neglected children.


Sat 2 Jan 1875. Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904) Trove

At Boorkooyanna, Point Pierce, the Mission Station of the Yorke's Peninsula Aborigines Friends' Association, a marriage in " high life" has been celebrated with unusual surroundings, Prince "John," the acknowledged heir of "Tom," the King, having led his coloured affiance to the hymeneal aItar. At 11 a.m. there were evident signs of the approaching event as the natives gathered wearing holiday dresses, cheerfully smiling, and indulging in ringing laughter. The day before a conveyance had been sent for the King and Queen, who were found some miles away 'at the royal wurley feasting on kangaroo, followed by a smoke of the " backie pipe" as a favourite dessert. The bridegroom-elect acted as coachman to their Majesties, who were accompanied by a favourite few. Having arrived at the Mission Station they reported themselves, and then passed the night in the open air. Early next morning our Kadina correspondent had a formal and cordial introduction to the monarch and his consort, and he has furnished the following report:—

" The King is advanced in years, and is rather grey. He was dressed in striped trousers which were rather too narrow for him, but his coat was of excellent quality and admirable fit; it showed his fine proportions to great advantage. His Crimean shirt was scrupulously clean, boots he had none, and his royal big toe appeared to have seen much active service in the battle of life. His brow bore no diadem or other insignia of regal descent, but had an ample crop of curly black hair that seemed to testify of absolute liberty run wild. He is about five feet nine inches high, and a little over 12 stone in weight, with broad square shoulders, light limbs, and broad flat feet. The sovereign's eyes are full and clear, and he can look you straight in the face. His organs of benevolence, veneration, and firmness are fully developed, especially the last, while his combativeness is less than his acquisitiveness, and contrary to expectations moral faculties are decidedly more prominent than animal. The Queen is a fine specimen of her race, considerably above the average size. Her cranium indicates natural ability and good temper; yet contrary to the common opinion that all lubras are slaves to their husbands, she manifested the fact that she had a will of her own, for when the King ordered her to go 300 yards on a message she absolutely refused, then told him to go himself, and the autocrat obeyed. An old misanthrope suggests that this is one of the surest signs of civilization and refinement in female life. The bride-elect is an honour to her tribe and a favourite at the Station, where she has been for six or seven years. She is able to read and write welL The bridegroom is a noble specimen of the genus homo, and shares not more than a moiety of the blood of the second son of Noah. He is above average size, and his physique challenges the attention of even a moderately observant eye.

An interesting occurrence took place at 9 o'clock in the morning, when the King and Queen went to inspect the palace just finished and designed for the permanent residence of the young couple. It Is externally oblong, measuring by estimation 378 inches by 168 inches, with a corresponding height of walls, carrying well-selected mallee rafters, to which is fastened with ample cordage a well-set covering that has been gathered from the marshy portions of the neighbouring plain. The main entrance has a plain batten door with latch and string. The first object that strikes attention in tbe interior is the dinning-table. Turning towards the fireplace—which every Englishman does when he enters a room unless some special object attract—the mantleshelf and its adornings meet the eye, flanked on each side by two sets of shelves well furnished with culinary and kindred utensils. After gazing at these for some time and carefully examining some knives and forks, the King burst into a hearty laugh, saying " All same as whitefellow.'' The room is furnished with an excellent iron bedstead, a washstand, sundry seats, &c. The parents seemed thoughtful while inspecting the furniture, and His Majesty said, "Me like one house too.'' The interest is heightened when it is known that under the architectural direction of the Rev. Mr. Knhn; formerly connected with the Moravian Church, the Prince was the builder of his own house; and not only so, but has parchased the furniture out of his savings since he resided at the Station. He has still a handsome balance, which he is husbanding to meet contingencies. Before the wedding the Queen was called into the Mission-house and dressed in a new robe. It fitted well, and this, with a knot of ribbon on her breast, excited her husband's admiration and approval, but she said little. The morning was. very fine, and there was unusual briskness at an early hour; even a large parrot in the eastern verandah seemed to catch the spirit of the day. He whistled the first part of 'There's nae luck aboot the hoose,' and paused. I will not say that the songster did not think it wise to finish this, but he began and ended the next tune as if he considered it more appropriate to give 'Pop goes the weasel.' Pots and pans and crockery were rattling under the basty touch of happy native maidens' fingers, and snatches of whistle and song were bom on the early breeze of mom. At 11 o'clock the schoolroom presented a striking appearance. Seats in horseshoe form were placed for the spectators, while on the right of the desk the Queen took her place; and the King, who led the bride, having safely left his charge to the care of three bridesmaids, resumed his seat. To tire left of the desk Mrs. Kuhn and her daughter sat, and near them a number of young girls stood in rank each holding a beautiful bouquet of freshly-plucked flowers. The boys stood opposite similarly equipped. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Mr. Kuhn, assisted by the Rev. B. G. Bayley, Congregational mhustar. The bridegroom spoke in a clear full voice and in a spirit and manner calculated to win approval; and the bride, after a long struggle to keep her feelings under control, wept. Mrs. Kuhn, a close observer of character and with some knowledge of practical philosophy, was instantly at the side of the bride, and by taking a firm hold of her arm inspired sufficient self-possession. As soon as the marriage ceremony and the address which followed were over the girls who held bouquets, led by Miss Selina Kuhn, presented them to the Princess, while the boys handed theirs to the Prince. The marriage was by special licence, and as the pair were under age the consent of the parents was obtained according to law. King Tom's sign manual, in the form of three heavy crosses, having been witnessed as ' his mark,' refreshments were liberally supplied to all who chose to partake, and then a conveyance to Victoria Bay, where a boat awaited the party, completed the arrangements made for the royal marriage at Boorkooyanna.

" So far as your reporter has seen I gladly bear testimony to the excellent arrangements and the prosperity of this Mission Station. At public worship I was greatly pleased with the evident reverence of the natives, also with their very good singing. I have examined their writing copies, which bear evidence of care, and am satisfied that the certificates forwarded to the Registrar-General, signed by four natives, are quite equal to the average penmanship of South Australians. That the ignorant savage is here being raised into a state of intelligent civilization is a statement at which the sceptic may shake his head; nevertheless it is true, and the Boorkooyanna Mission Station not only gives promise of success, but success there has already been achieved. Several of the non-resident natives ask for medicine for pains and wounds, to all of which requests the m&t prompt attention is paid by Mrs. Knhn; and on the day that I spent at the station two females and two children 12 or 14 miles seeking medical aid—one for dysentary and another for measles. One of the patients informed me that she had on a former occasion received efficient medical help from Mrs. Kuhn."

Fri 19 Nov 1886, Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1878 - 1922) Trove

Death of King Tommy.—On the 15th inst., at the Mission Station, Point Pearce, Old King Tommy, head man of the aboriginals on Yorke's Peninsula, joined the great majority. With him no doubt ends the line of kings belonging to this tribe. His father, grand and great-grandfather, occupied the same position. From what was known of the old man's urbanity and kindness, his rule must have been a mild one. His kindness begat kindness from others. He was loved by all the natives both young and old. He was well known by the old settlers on Yorke's Peninsula, and was receiving a pension from Sir W. W. Hughes up to the time of his death. To all appearance he had attained to his threescore years and ten, and up to within the last few months was hale and hearty. He has often told his experience with the first white men he met, which meeting took place on Wauraltee Island, Some sailors came ashore and gave him a smoke, which made him sick. He thought "white fellow poison him." Not-withstanding this experience he took to smoking, which he did not give up until compelled by Nature's inevitable law. The Superintendent of the Mission had a conversation with him about two hours before he died, when he said he was going to leave, and hoped it might be soon. He had no fears and was perfectly resigned. His stories of travel were quite interesting. Before the whites settled on the Peninsula he has gone up the Murray for grasstree to light fires, and was never molested by the other natives. He has frequently swam to Wauraltee Island with a fire stuck in his hair. The distance is between 2 and 3 miles, but he would choose low tide for it, when he could occasionally rest on sandbars. We doubt if any of the young ones would do it, as they are too much frightened of sharks. His wife, Queen Mary, died about five years ago. She, too, was as fine a type of a native woman as we have ever met. One son of the old woman's, a half-caste, with his two sons and two grandchildren, children of a daughter of the old man's, remain, but it is not likely they will ever wield the sceptre over the aboriginals on Yorke's Peninsula.


A quarterly meeting of the committee was held in the the Moonta Institute, on tlie afternoon of Wednesday, the 8th inst. The President H. B-. Hancock, Esq., was in the chair, and there were present the Rev. Messrs Casely and Campbell, and Messrs Furner, Drew. Corpe, Burden, Deeble, Jolly, Lewis, and Birks. Apologies were read for the nonattendance of several gentlemen.

The following report by the Rev. Mr Kubn was read:-During the month of July we have rebuilt and plastered the gable-ends of the two cottages and repaired the garden walls, all damaged by the late heavy rains; and we also topped the fence of the wheat padlock. About the middle of this month wc commenced carting posts on the KUkerrai: Liue. Owing to the continous heavy rains the roads were very heavy, especially the black grass land without a track. I seat seven dozen of kangaroo skins to Mr Peacock. The value received was very unsatisfactory, he having placed three distinct sizes all in the smallest, and then gave the lowest market price, according to the statement of auction sales. I wrote to him on the subject and told him I could not accept the cheque as value received and unless he could give an advance, requested him to send them to auction. He replied that they were valued by his forman, he could not give more and regretted not being able to forward them as they were in process of tanning. Being confident in this want of justice has induced ine to decline farther business transactions. The limiting party has increased to about 40. I regularly visit them once and sometimes twice a week, cart all their rations to them, and shift them when required for the sake of kangaroo. The kangaroos are tolerably numerous in some places. The complaint of their being wild is owing, I suppose, to their being interfered with.

The natives exhibit a much more friendly feeling towards the station. I believe the prospect of at least some of the married couples settling at the station, is greater than it has ever been, which I consider to be chiefly owing to the prospect of their being more liberally dealt with.

August- A farmer Mr Wilson kindly offered me the loan of a horse, which I gladly accepted our two are constantly engaged in post carting, and I can scarcely keep the fencers supplied with posts. John Bower has engaged two natives. We have been carting long thin mallees and stakes for basket fences. We have also enlarged the hay yards and made a yard around the woolehed for shearing. I am also preparing to finish the basket fence in the sea, finding the wire is continually out of condition, as the sea rots the wire thereby causing labor and expense. I made doors, tables, and bedsteads for the two new cottages. Two married couples have arrived from the hunting camp expressing a wish to live at the Station, and they occupy the cottages. The men are raising stones and cutting wood for a lime kiln. On the 21st inst. another married couple arrived bringing their mother and brother, expressing a desire to remain, consequently more cottages are immediately wanted, but at present it is impossible for me to commence building, owing to the want of horse power. The visiting committee arrived on the 18th inst., with whom I consulted respecting the sale of wool. It was resolved that it was advisable to ask Mr Scarfe to act as woolbroker, to whom I have written. On the 24th a party of five arrived to see the Mission, one was Mr John Martin, of Gawler, who expressed his gratification at the general progress of the Station, (having visited it three years ago) by offering John Nagelschmidt (king's son) a set of harrows delivered at Ardrossan, as soon as he has his land ploughed. I have sent 31 doz. kangaroo skins for sale to town. The hunting party suffer very much from colds. I hope the wire will soon come as it is greatly needed, if not it will cause the fencers a great deal of extra labor. Regarding the spiritual work, instruction is regularly given. It is gratifying to observe the general attention paid by old and young, and I may say interest manifested. The Sabbath is observed by the hunting party, and all look forword to my arrival every Sunday afternoon. I can only say the seed of the word is town and divine blessing sought. I will therefore trust in the promise. " That the word will not return void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing hereto I seat it." There are twenty living at the Station- five married couples, one old woman, nine children and about 30 in the hunting party.

A letter was read from the Secretary to Commissioner of Crown Lands, in reply to an application for 20 miles of land, stating that the Commissioner would endeavour to get a clause inserted in the Land Bill to that effect.

Mr Furner read the following report of the Visiting Committee. We visited the Station on the 17th and 18th of August, and beg to report as follows;- namely,

1. That we are compelled, although reluctantly, to admit, that the mission has not been such an unqualified success as we at first anticipated.

2. That with a view to rendeing the operations more effective and satisfactory, the Committee would recommend that native settlements should be encouraged, by granting certain portions of land, say 40 acres to each couple who would cultivate and reside on it; the Mission providing ail yeeessnry implements and < cattle. To carry out this arrangement, it would be necessary to at once purchase two more horses, and another plough.

3. That with a further view to utilise the native labor, as well as to provide the requirements of the station, a ram paddock should be fenced in with basket fence, and a wool shed erected.

4. We would also recommend that 60 feet of iron sheep troughs be procured to supply the place of the present, worn-out wooden ones.

5. Also that sufficient wire to enclose the land granted by Government, for the purposes of the Mission, be procured forthwith, if the funds permit.

6. The Committee authorise the Rev. Mr Kulin to make certain small advances in the rates of wages paid te some of the natives who have been constantly employed at the Station.

7. The Committee also think that it would conduce to the welfare of the Mission, if a trust worthy white working overseer were appointed to work with the' blacks, and would recommend that this should ba carried in, to effect as soon as possible.

8. The number, of children at the Station, at the time of our visit was seren; there were also 4 married couples engaged about station work. The Missionary also informed us that there were about 30 engaged hunting, with whom he was in pretty constant communication, sending them supplies and receiving their skins; showing that there were theu 45, more or less, under the influence of the Missonery.

The report was adopted, and the treasurer stated that the income during the past year had been £510. It was resolved that the President, Treasurer and Secretary form a sub-convmittee to raise supplies for the object recommended. That kangaroo skins should be sent to auction at Parr & Laxmores and that Messrs Furner and Drew be empowered to engage a working overseer for the station ; to purchase wire and sheep, to negotiate the sale of wool, and to carry out the requisite improvements on the station. The same gentlemen were also appointed a visiting committee for the ensuing quarter.

The meeting then adjourned till next quarter at the same place.


Sat 6 May 1876, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Trove

From the report of the Rev. J. Kuhn it appeared that difficulties had been experienced through want of water. He exceedingly regretted that they had not been able to do any ploughing, owing to want of horse-power. For the past nine months there had been fifty natives at the Station; since Christmas the old ones camped near the beach to fish. Every inducement was offered to able-bodied natives, and wages were paid to all according to merit ; they were supplied with rations; notwithstanding there were some who preferred an idle life, to whom he had persistently refused rations, which had at last brought some of them to the Station for work. The old and infirm, who receive their regular supply of Government rations, of course shared it with the idle ones, consequently they were often short. Finding they would not come for regular work, he asked them to cut rushes for roofing, and offered 3s. per load. Six able-bodied men cut about two loads per week; one white man could cut as much in a day. The dogs of the natives had given a qreat deal of trouble and anxiety owing to their having made sad havoc among their sheep. Once there were 33 wounded and fly-blown, many had to be killed, and many were found lying dead. He constantly urged the natives to tie up their dogs, and threatened to lay poison ; but they took no heed, so that he was compelled to lay poison. The dogs of station hands also killed the sheep. A fortnight since he saw a letter in the papers stating that there were 40 natives near Edithburgh and Stansbury in want of food, recommending Government to supply them with a boat, so as to enable them to earn a livelihood by fishing. The following week he started to visit them, and found about 30 at Edithburgh, Sultana, and Salt Creek. He offered all employment and a home. They seemed to be pleased with the offer, and promised to come after the races. He supplied them with provisions, and conducted service with them. A miller at Yorketown told him he engaged some able-bodied natives to cut firewood next day, gave them a good supper at the time of engagement, but saw no more of them. At Edithburgh he was informed there was ample employment for natives if they were willing to work. A death occurred on March 23. A lubra of the wurley natives had suffered a long time from a swelling in her throat, which proved fatal. In the evening all the natives had a grand corroboree. He was thankful to state there was a good work going on in the hearts of several of them. They had their private devotion, and morning and evening prayers were regularly attended. On Wednesday he held a Bible-class tor children and women; on Thursday evening a singing meeting; on Friday a meeting in which John the king's son always took part. The Sunday services were well attended. Sunday-school was conducted in the afternoon, when from 20 to 30 attended. During that time he visited the wurley natives in the neighbourhood to conduct service. During the month of January there were 41 natives on the Station— 15 able bodied, 10 infirm, 5 sick, 11 children, 3 infants. During February, 49—16 able-bodied, 17 old and infirm, 12 children, 4 infants. During March, 47— 16 able-bodied, 18 infirm, 1 sick, 9 children, 3 infants.

It was resolved that the financial year should be made to terminate in June each year at the time of the annual meeting; and also that Messrs. Lewis and Furniss, of Kadina, should be requested to act as Auditors. And also sub-sequently it was resolved, with a view to the extinction of the Bank overdraft, and to more fully and profitably stock the Mission Station, that the Finance Committee be empowered to piocure a sum of not less than £1,500 upon mortgage.

The Visiting Committee, with the addition of the President to its membership, were invited by resolution to continue in office until the ecd of the year, June 30.

Mr. L. L. Furner, as a member of the Visiting Committee, reported a visit paid by himself and Mr. Drew to the institution at Point Pearce, and of the arrangements they had made consonant with the instructions of the General Committee.

A discussion followed respecting the alleged insufficient supply of meat to the natives resident upon the Mission, but the Committee were given to understand that a quarter of a sheep had been issued to each married couple every Wednesday and Saturday, but by the express desire of the Superintendent of the Station the Committee now furnished him with a ration scale, as follows :— Daily 3 lbs. of meat to each married couple, 2 lbs. to every single male adult, and half that ration to children, with the ordinary additions of other items. The old, sick, and infirm to be dealt with at Mr. Kuhn's discretion. The majority of the Committee wore of opinion that those only who worked should receive full ration.

After the transaction of formal business the proceedings closed.



A deputation representing the Committee of Management of the Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission on Thursday, August 17, waited upon The Commissioner of Crown Lands (Hon. J. Carr) for the purpose of asking that a more secure title to the land at Point Pearce might be given to the Mission. The Point Madeay Mission was also represented with a view of obtaining a similar privilege. Mr. Duncan, M.P.. introduced the deputation, watch consisted of the following gentlemen:— The Hons. R. A. Tarlton and W. Parkin, Messrs. K D. Boss, M.P., and J. Richards, M.P., the Reva. W. Wilson, S. Knight, and F. W. Cox, and Messrs. C. Smedley, Neville Blyth, C. B. Young, G. N. Birks, James Counsell, and D. Murray. Mr. Duncan having briefly explained the wishes of the deputation, The Rev. W. Wilsor read a memorial from the Point Pearce Mission, as follows :—

To the Hon. the Commissioner of Crown Lands and Immigration. 'The petition of the undersigned residents of Yorke's Peninsula humbly showeth'—

1. That your memorialists take a deep interest In the welfare of the numerous aborigines of Yorke's Peninsula, and have by personal effort and liberal contributions of money from time to time assiduously endeavoured to promote their moral and material wellbeing and to ameliorate their condition generally.

2. That with this object in view a number of your memoralists about ten years ago formod themselves into a Committee, and established a Mission Staticon at Point Pearce on a piece of land granted for the purpose by the Government, which the Committee placed under tha charge of a zealous and indefatigable missionary, the Rev. Julius Kuhn, the requisite funds for the initiation and carrying on the institution having been subscribed by your memorialists and the public.

3. That the benefits accruing to the natives from the establishment of the Mission Station have been confessedly great, and are demonstrated by their increasing aptitude for conforming to the usages of civilized life, by their growing habits of industry, and In the young especially by their general improvement under the careful teaching of the missionary.

4. That but for the establishment of the Mission Station the natives would have been reduced to great distress and destitution, inasmuch as by the spread of agricultural settlement they would have been deprived of their hunting grounds; and moreover would not have been brought under the beneficial influence of the missionary's labours.

5. That for the purpose of affording increased advantages to the work of the Mission the Committee some time since applied for and obtained an additional reserve of land at Point Pearce, and in connection with which there are no fewer than 70 natives, who are frequently employed in hunting, and on convenient occasions receive secular and spiritual instruction from the missionary.

6. That various buildings necessary for carrying on the duties of the Mission have been erected on the land, such as schoolhouses, dormitories, missionary's residence, outbildings, and a native village; moreover, the land has all been well fenced, and many other substantial improvements have been made upon it.

7. That in addition to the improvements of permanent character your memorialists have partially stocked the station with sheep. 8. That the accommodation of the station being inadequate to admit of all the natives settlkg in separate families, your memorialists wish to expend a further sum of money in making such additions to the native village as will give the necessary accommodation.

9. That your memorialists do not solicit any monetary aid from the Government, as they hope in the course of years, by careful and economical management of the station, to relieve themselves of the pecuniary liabilities in connection with the Mission.

10. That a number of your memorialists are immediately connected with the working of the Mission Station, and have not only largely contributed towards its maintenance, but have been called upon to become liable for the payment of a Bank overdraft of £1,500, moneys advanced on behalf of the Mission. A still greater sum is needed to carry out successfully the objects of the Mission, and to provide for the wants of the numerous natives of the district.

11. That your memorialist have no right or title to the land reserved for tho natives at Point Pearce, and are consequently liable for the payment of the overdraft referred to; and as your memorialists in their dealings with the Mission have been actuated by motives of benevolence and a desire to advance the public interests, they think they may fairly ask that some kind of title to the land in question should be given them, in order that they may obtain, sufficient funds to carry on the work of the Mission and free themselves of their responsibility to the Bank. Your memorialists therefore respectfully pray that the Native Reserve at Point Pearce may be vested in the Mission Committee, or such other trustees as may be approved by the Government.

'And your memorialists, as in duty bound, ill ever pray.'

He would add to the prayer of the memorialists by stating that tha Mission was entirely catholic and perfectly unseotarian, it being supported by the public generally, and having in view the elevation of the aborigines from their awful physical and moral degradation, and their training, so that they might live In hopes of a better life hereafter. When the second Instalment of land was granted to the Mission by the the Government a deed of conveyance was executed under the supervision of the trustees; but Government subsequently wrote stating that it had no power to sanction such a conveyance as had been contemplated, and it waa then suggested that fresh legislation should be resorted to in order to meet the case. If this should ba found necessary he felt sure that a majority of both Houses would support such a step. There was some difference of opinion as to the form in which the claim should be made, but no one disputed that the claim was a substantial one.

Mr. Ross said he appeared there as a representative of the district, and in this capacity he might Btate that he sympathized entirely with the object of the deputation. At the same time, he must reserve to himself the right of considering the matter anew should it be brought before him in his capacity of Cabinet Minister.

The Rev. S. Knight said that the object of the deputation must be regarded as an experiment in connection with the civilization of the aborigines. Sheepfarming and agricultural experiments were expensive ; and, In addition to this, the idea of the Mission to establish a native village would, if carried into effect, occupy a considerable number of years. On these grounds the gentlemen of tho Committee felt that they ought to have security for the large amount of capital which would be involved by being put in possession of the title to the land. He need hardly point out that the answer which would be made to the deputation would concern other similar endeavours, and would affect the welfare of the aborigines generally.

The Rev. F. W. Cox read extracts from correspondence with a former Government In reference to the land held by the Point Macleay Mission, resulting in a formal instrument for the conveyance of the land being prepared by four trustees. The deed, however, never came into operation, it being found out that It was not exactly valid; and tha Mission at Point Macleay had continued to hold its land on sufferance as It were. Property had accumulated on the land to the value of £2,670, aad also funds had been handsomely granted by successive Governments. There were Bank overdrafts in connection with the management, which some gentlemen, who had been made responsible, found somewhat trying. He would rejoice to see such legislative action taken as would place the holding in a more tangible position than the simple permissive tenure under which it was now held. He had do fear of the Government resuming the land so long as it was used for aboriginal purposes; and he hoped that the Commissioner would see his way clear to yield to the suggestions of the deputation.

Mr. Neville Blyth concurred in the remarks of the previous speakers as to the desirability of giving the Mission a more tangible claim to the lands they occupied, so as to prevent misapprehension at any future time.


Wed 7 May 1879, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Trove

Sir - In your issue of the 29th April I read with much surprise the report of the Commissioner's visit to this station, and beg in justice to my character, and for the welfare of the mission, to correct some of the errors.

The visit was not "unexpected," beyond that of not knowing the day. I read of it in the Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser. That it was "a flying visit" is true, being here scarcely three quarters of an hour. In consequence, perhaps, the mission suffers. Had Mr. Playford been able to give more time he might have gathered such information as would have been more satis factory to him. The institution is spoken of as "being badly managed, and quite worthless as a means of civilizing the natives, who seem almost universally to shun it." I am at a loss to know the source if such information. Mr. Playford asked if I had any married of my scholars. One was standing near. I said, "There is one." He also asked if they settled down for a length of time. He was told one had been here for five years without leaving the station, but that he with his wife and children had gone for a change, bringing the key of his cottage, saying he would be back in a few weeks. While those two only were mentioned, I did not intend to convey that they were the only ones who had remained for any length of time. One lived in my own household as servant for seven years. Others have been here for years, would occa sionally leave for a few weeks, and return. I may here state when I first commenced my labours among the aborigines I brought every energy to bear to prevent these occasional wan derings, but experience taught me it was not wise. They are a nomadic race, and as such require a change even more than their more favoured brethren. Regarding the institution as useless to civilize, I would ask where but at the station have they been taught to build, fence, make tanks, plough, till, &c., &c., all of which they do, while the women and girls make and mend all their clothes, cook, wash, &c. That they "universally shun the place" is quite new to me, and I think my average number given in my returns proves the contrary. Since the Commissioner's visit I have been informed he had an interview with a half-cast at Port Victoria, and who if he men tioned the station would I know malign it, but he had been expelled from it for immorality and drunkenness. Others, too, in the neighbour hood of Ardrossan, who had lately such an out break, dislike the station, because they have been frequently upbraided on the same ground. Such as those may shun it, and it is well they should. I told the Commissioner as long as I am here I was determined to put my foot on it and stamp it out if possible. It is said there are a "few buildings, but mostly very dilapidated and miserable." Our first building was a store, which is now in a very dilapidated state. I have long urged the importance of a new one, but other things have been thought even more necessary. There are seven two-roomed stone cottages, some of them built in the early days of the mission. In some a family lives in each room. The interior presents a comfortable appearance, while the occupants take pride in keeping them neat and clean, adopting civilized habits, having cooking utensils, crockery, &c., &c., purchased by themselves. My responsibility regarding the debt is as follows : — For many years the mission had no debt, even a small balance on hand. The fencing-in of the additional grant of land and purchase of sheep incurred a debt of £800 in July, 1876. Before sufficient time had elapsed for any returns to lessen this debt of £800 the late Overseer was engaged and the management placed in his hands, under the supervision of an Executive Committee. I am therefore not in the slightest degree responsible after the above date. My work from July, 1876, to January, 1879, has been confined to teaching and attending to the temporal and spiritual wants of the natives. There were only thirty-one natives at the station when Mr. Play ford was here. Several had recently left for a little change, fishing, &c.; but the day after his visit sevem returned, and more are daily expected. I now come to the children's sleeping accommodation. I regret to say we have not an "iron stretcher" on the station. The so-called "huts" are two dormitories built several years ago by a white man, each room 18 x 18, 10 feet high. That the Commissioner thought them neither clean nor neat, I would ask, can it be expected when the poor children have to sleep on the floor, and one at least in a wretched broken condition, so as scarcely to be swept ? The boys have placed a few old broken bedsteads together, which I made years ago, and so have made one wide bed and sleep together rather than on the ground. The girls have each a single bed on the floor. I have frequently deplored their con dition. I applied eighteen months ago for bed steads, and frequently urged the necessity of a new floor, but that as well as many other things equally necessary to the carrying on the work efficiently have not been responded to ; financial difficulties have prevented. The rule for each room is, beds to be made and floor swept daily ; though I know unless daily watched they will neglect it; but the dormitories are inspected twice or three times a week. If found not clean or tidy the girls are made at once to do it. If the Government would help to relieve the committee of the present unfortunate debt (which is the first time a pecuniary grant has been asked for) a radical change for the better would soon be effected. Since January last the management of the station has been entrusted to me, at least until some definite arrangements for the future are made. There is no "Overseer," but the same white man engaged during the late Overseer's time is still here. Things have worked harmoniously. Sheep are not depastured on Wauraltie Island, but are on the mainland. As the boat for cross ing requires much to be done to, the com mittee naturally feel shy to make any further outlay. I now come to the last charge in the para graph, respecting the "price of goods kept at the station for the natives." At the request fo the committee, goods are kept for the sole benefit of the natives; they are bought at wholesale prices. A small percentage is put on to cover freight, &c.; every article purchased, with the price is copied in a book, as well as every article sold, and can be inspected at any time. Only on Saturday, when I first saw your paragraph at a store, I was told by the proprietor that the native had informed him of prices of goods given at the station — even less than he could buy them at. I think in all mission enterprises glowing results are too frequently expected without thinking of the materials to be worked on. To break down the walls of super stition and heathenism is not an easy work, and, indeed, beyond human power. But I fear I am trespassing on your valuable paper ; still I hope you will do me the favour of inserting the above. I will simply say, I shall be most happy to receive a visit from any one at any time who is anxious to see this institution, desiring to prove the correctness of statements herein contained.

I am, Sir, &c.,

W. JULIUS KUHN Mission Station, Boorkooyanna, May 5.


Massa Whitefellow Paper,—Me want to yabber long a you, long a waterhole, long a Ninnes scrub, First time massa paper you yourie that one budgery white fellow long a Kadina, what name you call him (Land Commissioner), that one yabber; me catchem big one waterhole, all about this one country. Massa, that one white fellow send him nother one whitefellow long a Adelaide, first time him put him picaninny waterhole long a Ninnes Plain, then him put him picaninny waterhole long a Thomas' Plain, and find him mungerry (very good) clay two fellow places, big one good place catchem water, mungerry place. Now nother one whitefellow write him letter long a paper—what name you call him " Fair Play," big one fool that one fellow. What for him yabber like a that; him say me no want him long a Ninnes, me no want him long a Thomas, but me want him long a my wurley. Me think that one whitefellow all the same as Emu when wild dog chase him—him, stick him head long a bush. Me think that fellow all a same big one fool. Massa whitefellow paper, me wongad a (went) long a Kadina long a that one big one corrobberry— big one tuck out—what name you call him ? Banquettey. Mungerry that one you yourie budgery Government whitefellow him all about yabber ; me big one look out waterhole long a this one country ; what for him no gib it, only gammon. Winter time run away, mucca (no) waterhole sit down, summer time comes on poor fellow farmers only catchem water, this one winter all a same as last one winter, farmers only catchem picaninny wheat, then muldappy nanto (locomotive) bring him water long a Green's Plains. Then poor fellow farmer all about catchem money long a wheat, then spend him long a water, no catchem nuff water bullocky tumble down nanto tumble down—no plough him ground— no get him tuokout, got to run away long another country. Suppose him no do that him go long a Adelaide—long a that one place where whitefellow whitewash him—'Solvence Court, you call him. Poor fellow him no gettem tuckout 'cause Government make him fool long a that one fellow. How, massa whitefellow paper, what poor farmer fellow wantem, put down big one water hole long Thomas' Plain—put him down this one moon, so catchem this one winter water then him mungerry.

Massa Whitefellow Paper, me WHEELBARROW JEMMY, long a Ninnes Plain.



I intimated in my former notes on a visit to the Peninsula that I intended giving a fuller account of the Aboriginal Mission Station, at Point Pearce than was then convenient, and I therefore now resume the subject.

The interest in the aboriginal inhabitants of these colonies seems to increase just as the race diminishes, so that the last old couple, and at length the last old lubra in Tasmania became objects of interest and special care. " Passing away " is the sad doom written over these poor creatures, who can neither assimilate with nor hold their own against, higher and more civilized races. It is undoubtedly the duty of every Government, under whose control the lands of a colony come, to take all. possible care that the temporal concerns of the natives do not suffer through their being deprived of their former means of living, which the game of the uninhabited country afforded. The question of religion is not one for the Government so much aB the churches—a matter which has not been neglected, and which has not been unfruitful in good results.

The Point Pearce Station is situated between Maitland and the sea, about nine miles from the former and one and a half from the latter, and this contiguity to the sea is a great advantage for the natives in the matter of fishing, who do a considerable business in that line. The basis of the station in regard to its resources and means of support is this— The Government give a certain portion of land which is vested in trustees and worked under their control by a manager, who has charge of the station in all its business, both temporal and spiritual.

The land on which this station is built, consists of twenty square miles of fair scrub country, having a large sea frontage, and in addition to this the trustees rent an adjacent island, Wanratta, consisting of ten square miles, which is particularly good for fattening stock. Thus the station altogether consists of thirty square miles. The stock on this land consists of from 6,000 to 7,000 sheep, about fifty head of cattle, and some working horses. It is worked by the natives under the direction of the manager, who has an English overseer. All this management, and the resources of the station are intended for the benefit of the natives.

Let us now see how it works in their interests. The number residing on the station at the time of my visit was about fifty, including several duly married couples, single persons, and children. Each married couple has a stone cottage of two rooms, suitably furnished and neatly kept, and these homes presented in every instance a olean and tidy appearance. There are about a dozen such cottages. The young girls and ohildren have a place of their own on the other side of the square, where they are properly looked after by the seniors appointed to that office. In addition to these cottages there are single rooms for single men on the married side of the establishment. Th« other buildings are a large room used as chapel, schoolroom, and Institute Hall, the manager's residence, a good store (which combines draper, grocer, and ironmonger, from which the natives get all their supplies), a large shed for housing farming implements and for stabling, and a woolshed. Most of these buildings, if not all, were built by the natives, and for solidity and good workmanship do them great credit, though not quite equal to skilled mason's work.

The community presents the appearance of comfort, industry, and contentment, and in every cottage were to be seen signs of taste and some refinement, in the pictures from the Graphic and other illustrated papers which covered the walls; in some, attempts at painting and oarving done by the men, particularly two full rigged schooners creditably executed, and in festoons of sea eggs and gull's eggs hung on the walls, and strings of beautiful green shells, which they use as necklets and bracelets, and also a model shell church.

With regard to the means of living, there is a dietary scale carried out irrespective of labor, quite sufficient for necessary wants,whilst the store is open for any who choose to bay more than this with the money which they may earn . by their labor. The ration scale' is this - Married couples get for a week 201bs. flour, 4dbs. sugar, ilb. tea, and meat in abundance three times a week, but not weighed. There are also Government rations supplied to children and the sick and infirm, at the rate of lib. flour, 2ozs. sugar, and ioz. of tea daily.

In addition to the ordinary station rations the comforts, and even some of the luxuries, of life can be purchased ; and both men and women, and even children, can earn a little money. There is always work for those of the men who are willing at from Is. to 2s. per day, according to work done, whilst female hands make something by the sale of shellwork in necklaces and bracelets, which are really pretty. This possibility of increasing their comforts by their own earnings gives a stimulus to industry, which is good for them.

With regard to mental and religious matters —there is school for the children in the afternoon conducted by Miss Sutton, daughter of the Superintendent, and there is regular Sunday service, supposed to be undenominational, which may be conducted by any accredited minister or layman, and which all attend, ho matter by whom conducted. This ditty usually falls on Mr.. Sutton, who is a Wesleyan lay-preacher, and seems well fitted both for that and every other duty connected with his office. In these different ways all is being done that seems possible to do for the bodily, mental, and spiritual welfare of this remnant of a passing, race, and the result, judged from the appearance of all on the station, and from the report I heard of their general good conduct and quiet orderly ways, must be considered very satisfactory. I must add that resideuje at the Btation is perfectly voluntary, and therefore the numbers vary at different times, as most are attacked occasionally with their natural wandering propensity. Altogether I was much pleased and interested trith my visit to the station, and sincerely wish it all possible success under, the able, kindly, and intelligent management of Mr. and Mrs. Sutton.


Wed 8 Apr 1885, Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA : 1869 - 1912) Trove

The Protector of Aborigines has, in compliance with the request of the Commissioner of Crown Lands (the Hon. T. Playford), made a report on the work being done at the Point Pearce Aborigines' Mission. In this report Mr. E. L, Hamilton says that he visited the Mission Station on the 25th inst. The number of aborigines on the Station was —Married, 10 ; single men, 9 ; old " King Tommy," 1; single women, 4; children (including 9 orphans), 24; total, 54. The average attendance during 1884 was 51. The aboriginal population of Yorke's Peninsula, according to the census of 1881, was—Adults, 127; children, 46; total, 173. From the date of the census to the end of 1884 there had been recorded—deaths, 27 ; births, 6. There had, therefore, been a decrease of 21 during the four years. Of the 54 inmates, 43 belonged to the Peninsula, and nearly all had been reared at the Mission Station. Two ; claimed to be the last of the Adelaide tribe, three belonged to the Riverton district, four were from the South-East, and one was from the River Murray. They were represented as generally steady and well conducted, cases of drunkenness on the Station being extremely rare. One native was a mason and another a carpenter, and the specimens Mr. Hamilton saw of their work were very creditable. The wages paid ranged from 6s. to 12s. a week, with rations for all. To supply them with meat about twenty sheep were killed every week. Old King Tommy, the head of the Peninsula tribe, resided on the Station, and was in receipt of a pension of 5s. a week from Sir W. W. Hughes for some services rendered in the discovery of copper. The school, containing twenty-one pupils, presented a neat and orderly appearance, and the pupils went through some exercises in drill, singing, and other elementary instruction in a manner that showed intelligent progress on the children's part, and tne care and attention of their teacher (Miss Sutton). This was now rated as a provisional school under the Education Department, and was periodically examined by the Inspector for the district. The financial statement for 1884 showed a revenue of £1,716 17s. 9d., and expenditure £1,483 5s. 9d. The assets amounted to £6,125, and the liabilities to £420 11s. 9d. An acceptance for £334 19s. (6d., for sheep sold, which was due March 1, 1885, would almost clear the Station from its liabilities, and henceforth it might be expected to become self-supporting. On the whole, Mr. Hamilton was favourably impressed with the appearance of the institution, and its general management had improved since his last visit, about four years ago. Therefore he thought it would be unwise to break the Station up, especially as the greater portion of the inmates looked upon it as a home and a refuge, now that almost all the surrounding country had passsd into private hands, and the blacks would be trespassers on it. The number of stock on the station was as follows:—Sheep, 5,800; bullocks, 16; head of cattle, 19 ; pigs, 10; and horses, 12.


Tue 25 Oct 1887, South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) Trove


All the country on this side of the Gulf from Cape Jervis to Mount Remarkable was stocked before stations were formed on Yorke's Peninsula. Several sheep farmers had settled at Port Lincoln, and had gone to the expense of shipping sheep there, while Yorke's Peninsula, which was close at hand, remained unoccupied. Two special surveys had been taken out in 1840, one at Port Vincent, and the other at Port Victoria, in Spencer's Gulf. Survey parties were sent out, but after remaining some weeks were withdrawn, as they failed in finding water. The prevailing opinion was that the Peninsula was nearly all a scrub, and it was not till 1846 the country was taken up. Charles Parrington, one of Colonel Light's men, had been ashore there in the early days, and reported to his employer, Mr. A. Weaver, of the South-road, that he was pretty sure he could find him a run there. He was a fearless kind of fellow, and thought nothing of going round overland by himself although the place had a bad name on account of the blacks. He took out a run at Oyster Bay, now known as Stansbury, and very soon afterwards Mr. Bowden, of the Chain of Ponds, applied for the country adjoining, where Yorketown Edithburgb, and Coobowie now stand. Messrs. Coutts & Sharples followed soon afterwards, and the next year I took up the country about Minlaton and Curramulka for Mr. Anstey. It was no easy matter getting sheep round there, as the scrub grew so close to the cliffs that in some places we had to wait for low water to drive the sheep. Mr. Coutts suffered greatly in trying to take his sheep round in the summer, and loss nearly 2,000 by their drinking salt water. We had to travel 100 miles— from the Wakefield to Gum Flat— before we could get a drink of water for our sheep. We sent ours just after they were shorn before the hot weather set in, and fortunately got them round safely. We took a blackboy from the Wakefield with us to act as interpreter, thinking, as a matter of course, that he could talk the language of the natives. We were not long before we found out our mistake, for on the first occasion of our meeting with blacks he could not understand a word they said, giving as a reason—' That fellow stupid. Him German blackfellow.' I selected the best man we had in our employ as overseer. He was an excellent judge of sheep, and, moreover, a determined resolute fellow, just the sort of man for a new country. His name was George Penton, and I never regretted my choice, for a better man we could not possibly have had. He came out in the Rapid with Colonel Light in 1836, and was one of the Colonel's best men. The blacks did not trouble us at first, beyond trying to burn us out when the grass was dry. Penton caught them one day setting it alight, and, by way of punishment, made them break branches off the trees and beat out the fire. He kept them at it until the perspiration fairly rolled off them. I think it must have been nearly twelve months before they made the first onslaught on our sheep. This took place in the neighbourhood of Gum Flat, now called Minlaton. They attacked the sheep herd in the daytime about 2 miles from the station, and drove him away while a number surrounded the flock and helped themselves to the sheep. The shepherd ran to the station at once, and fortunately Penton was at home. He lost no time in getting in the horses, and taking a man with him, they galloped off as fast aa the horses would carry them. It did not take long to find the flock, but as there was not a black to be seen there was nothing for it but to track them. That was not an easy thing to accomplish, for the ground was so dry and hard that it would have been difficult to have tracked cattle or horses, let alone the foot of a blackfellow. However, the scrub was only half a mile away, and as he was pretty sure they would make for it he rode straight there. He knew, too, that the soil was lighter in the scrub, so that blackfellows tracks would be much easier picked up, especially with the weight of sheep on their backs. Accordingly he kept a sharp look out, and was not long before he came on the track of one black, and on getting further into the scrub a second, and so on, till at last there were quite a number of tracks, the blacks following each other in single file. He soon found that the scrub was too thick to follow on horseback, and instead of tying their horses up and the pair of them pursuing the blacks on foot, he gave his horse to the man to hold, and the plucky old fellow went after them singlehanded. He had his short double-barrelled gun with him, and alter walking pretty smartly he came in sight of a blackfellow carrying a sheep. As soon as the native saw him he threw down his burden and ran, and old George after him. He was never very smart on his pins, but had a capital pair of bellows, as he used to say of himself, and after running for a time he found he was over hauling the black. All of a sudden the native stopped to pick up a spear that had been dropped by one of his fellow-countrymen, but before he could throw it Penton dropped him, the ball going right through his neck, and killing him on the spot. He still continued on their track, and soon arrived at their camp, where he found about 20 dead sheep, but the blacks had made themselves scarce. Although the marauders had vanished, they must have gone off in a hurry, as they left all their possessions behind them— waddies, spears, nets, &c. On returning to the station he dispatched the bullock-dray, which brought away all the dead sheep and their various belongings, and made a grand bonfire of the lot. As there was no Police Station on the Peninsula, he went over to Adelaide by the next boat, and reported to the Commissioner what had taken place. Many bushmen came to grief by keeping things of this sort quiet, but he was always straightforward and aboveboard, and it was the best policy too, as he was only doing his duty in protecting his employer's property. The Protector of Aborigines (Mr. Moorhouse) came over soon afterwards to find out from the blacks their version of the story, and admitted to me that it tallied pretty much with Penton's statement. The blacks never gave us any trouble at Gum Flat after that, but when the cold weather came on they attacked one of our shepherds near Hardwicke Bay and brutally murdered the poor fellow. If he had not shown the white feather they would not have touched him; he had his gun with him. but unfortunately took to flight as soon as he fired it off, and they gave chase and speared him as he run. The savages were not satisfied with killing him, but mangled his body frightfully. After killing the shepherd they drove off a lot of the sheep. As soon as Penton heard of it he followed them with another man, and on coming to where they were encamped he found there were too many to tackle. They had made a brushyard for the sheep, and by the way they handled their spears made it plain that they meant to stick to the sheep. The ringleader was a blackfellow named Williamy, who had been employed at the station all the summer, and had made himself useful ; a second edition of Billy Poole, but Williamy was a much older man. As it was nearly dark Penton deemed it the wiser plan to make for Mr. Sharples' station, which was not far off, where he remained the night. The next morning Messrs. Sharples, Lodwick, and Field started off with him and his man— five in all— and found the blacks still in the same place. A scrimmage ensued, but the natives did not make much of a stand, and soon beat a retreat. One was killed, old Williamy, the ringleader, George Penton having shot him. Of course they had eaten a good many of the sheep, but we got back about 180. Penton came over to Adelaide at once, and reported the occurrence just as he had done before, and stated that he had shot old Walliamy. Another shepherd was killed about this time at Milner Stephen's station. Our men became much alarmed at this, as was but natural, and most of them, brought their flocks in to the head station. Two men who were shepherding at Curramulka ran away and left their flocks in the yards. The hut keeper, however, was of better stuff, and took charge of the sheep after the cowardly men bolted. He was only a lad, too, of about 16 years of age, and moreover a German. On Penton praising him for the pluck he had shown in sticking to the sheep he remarked that he was not frightened of the 'blessed blacks.' None of the other men dreamt of leaving their flocks ; they all brought them in to Gum Flat. I never knew men who had been unmolested leave their sheep before, and it was on a part of the run where the country was open, and blacks rarely came. Penton showed such high courage and determination that he seemed to impart his spirit to the men, and he persuaded them to take their flocks back to their different stations the next day. As soon as I heard what had taken place I engaged other men and went to Yorke's Peninsula with them where I remained for some time. We kept two shepherds to each flock for some months till the blacks quieted down. Three or four police-troopers were sent from Adelaide soon afterwards, and a police station was formed at Moorowie. On their enquiring of the blacks about the last shooting match, a son of Williamy charged Mr. Field with having shot his father. Field was accordingly taken into custody, and committed for trial on the charge of wilful murder. It was proved that be had never fired a shot on the occasion of Williamy's death; indeed, he had no gun with him, and as Penton had already sworn to him having shot Williamy Mr. Field got off. On the boy being asked if it was not Mr. Penton who shot his father he became greatly excited, exclaiming, 'No, no, not Misser Penton, Misser Field.' I could not make out till afterwards how it was that this boy should have been so persistent in charging Mr Field with having shot his father. It appeared that he had been lamb-minding for us, and was caught breaking the legs of the lambs so that they could not follow their mothers, when the blacks would pick them up and walk off with them. Penton threatened if ever he could catch him he would tie him up and give him a sound whipping with his stockwhip. The boy stood in such wholesome dread of Penton, knowing that he would keep his word, that he was frightened to tell the truth, and so brought poor Field into trouble. It was not long before it was found out that it was a native named Tulta who had killed the two shepherds. The police hunted for him high and low for three months, but without success. One day Penton was on the run some 20 miles from home, and came across him with his lubra. He tried to escape at first, but finding the unerring double-barrelled gun unpleasantly close to his head, thought better of it and quietly walked in to the station. Penton then sent off a man on horseback to the police station, which was 20 miles off to let them know that he had taken Tulta prisoner. The black was securely fastened to a post by a bullock-chain, and the men took it in turns to watch him all night, so that he had not a chance to escape. The police arrived the next morning and took charge of him, and in a few days he was safely lodged in the Adelaide Gaol. His lubra stuck to him all the time, and was taken over to Adelaide with him. He remained for some months in gaol, but as there was not sufficient evidence against him, he was set at liberty. He was not long in finding his way home, but from some cause or other he did not live very long. Penton assured me that he was not shot, but he thought the close confinement of the gaol, with possibly the high feeding that establishment was renowned for, had so affected his health that he died in consequence. A shepherd of Mr. Rogers' was killed at Yorke Valley not very long after those I have mentioned, but he was the last white man that met his death at the hands of he blacks. Soon after we settled at Gum Flat I went up the Spencer's Gulf side of the Peninsula with Penton, and we encamped all night at Yorke Valley, near where Maitland now stands. I recollect quite well that it was in the winter, and what a cold frosty night it was. On turning out in the morning we espied a smoke not far off, and after we had had our breakfast we rode to it. We took care to move quietly, and did not speak a word, but could not see the sign of a blackfellow till we got within ten yards of the fire, the smoke being in our faces. All of a sudden a blackfellow jumped up, and such a object of abject terror I never before witnessed. His face, and, indeed, all his body, turned pale — a kind of neutral tint — his hair stood on end, positively 3 inches straight off his head, and he screamed with fright. It is very likely that he had never seen a white man before, and to be so suddenly brought face to face with two on horseback would naturally be rather trying to his nerves. The first thing he did was to make a dash at the fire, out of which he pulled a lizard and an opossum, and with one in each hand he held them towards us for our acceptance. We had, however, had our breakfasts, and as we did not care to deprive him of his, declined the delicacies, the cooking of which had evidently absorbed all his faculties to the exclusion of hearing our approach. We gave him some damper and mutton in return for his politeness, and the poor miserable wretch became somewhat more tranquil. I had often read of a man's hair standing on end with fright, but never put much credence in it. However, seeing is believing. We had no trouble with the blacks after the affair at Hardwicke Bay. They may have stolen a few sheep that had been left out on the run, but did not attempt to take any by force. I never knew an instance of their stealing by night as at Lake Albert. One poor wretch lost his life some three years afterwards, being shot through the head by one of our hutkeepers. I happened to be at the Peninsula at the time, and heard from the hutkeeper what follows :— He was only a lad of about 17 years of age when I engaged him three years previously, and a very clean, smart, tidy fellow he was. I never saw a hut kept cleaner or food better cooked than in his. He had such respectful quiet manners, too, very different from the general run of that class that I was greatly prepossessed in his favour. His antecedents, however, were such as to make one somewhat suspicious, as he bad been educated at Parkhurst, a kind of Reformatory where young criminals are supposed to mend their ways. Our experience of him goes to prove the truth of that proverb ' What is bred in the bone,' &c. Old George always used to shake his head when his name was mentioned and remark that he was a polished young sweep and had too much softsoap about him. What he told us was this:— 'A blackfellow had been employed lamb minding, and when he was leaving wanted flour in addition to the tobacco, clothes, &c, he was to get for his services. He was refused, but the black would not take 'no' for an answer, and hung about the place for several hours. At last he came into the hut, and in an excited way said, ' Me must have flour, 'nother one blackfellow tell me you bring 'em. Suppose you no give, me take it.' With that they both made a rush for the gun that was in the corner, and in the struggle it went off and shot the black through the forehead, the ball coming out at the back of his head, and lodging in the doorpost. I saw the place afterwards where the ball was embedded. I told my man to go at once and report the affair to the police, the station only being a few miles from his hut. He did as I advised him, and the policeman who was in charge accompanied him to his hut and buried the body. Before doing so he laid the body across a log and cut its head off with an axe, and took it with him to the station. His reason for doing so was that he found the ball had not entered through the forehead as stated by the hutkeeper, but had found its way out that way, clearly proving that the hutkeeper's statement was false. The bone around the aperture had been driven inwards at the back of the head, and outwards around the hole in the forehead, showing that the native's back must have been to the hutkeeper when he was shot.' The policeman was a 'new chum,' and on being told that he would get into trouble for what he had done, very foolishly took back the head and buried it in the grave by the body. He reported at once to headquarters what had taken place, and was ordered to repair forthwith to Adelaide, and bring the hutkeeper with him, and the head of the blackfellow. He had no difficulty in carrying out his instructions as far as the white man was concerned, but the job was to get the head of the blackfellow. He had put it carefully in the grave alongside the body, but to his astonishment on reopening the grave he found it had disappeared. The extraordinary part of the affair was that the hutkeeper could not enlighten him at all, and to all appearance was as astonished as he was. He searched high and low, energetically assisted by the Parkhurst graduate, but it was of no use, and in the end he had to content himself with carrying out his instructions as far as the live man was concerned. The hutkeeper was kept a short time in gaol, but as nothing could be proved against him he was set at liberty, and very soon afterwards left the colony. After he was gone I heard no end of stories about him. While he was there our woolshed was burnt down with nearly all the season's clip in it. The men at the station were satisfied that he had been the incendiary, as he was the only man seen in the neighbourhood. They believed his motive was to get the overseer discharged, as he had charged him with breaking into the store. The overseer was a German who had taken Penton's place, Penton having taken the management of the station I bought of Mr. Bowden, now known as Pentonvale. The shepherd at the station he had been at assured me that he poisoned him by giving him strychnine with his food, and it was a great piece of lack that it had not killed him. They had had a quarrel, and by way of putting an end to it he tried to put an end to the shepherd. Penton told me that the young rascal tried to get to windward of him on one occasion, but he bowled him out famously. Rations of flour, tea, and sugar used to be seat round to the stations once a month, and they were expected to last the time, as a liberal allowance was given. One day the hutkeeper came to Gum Flat for an extra supply, and reported to Penton that the natives had robbed his hut and stolen the rations when he was away. He also told Penton that if he would come to the station he would see the tracks of their feet about the hut. Penton had begun to suspect my young gentleman of not being 'all his fancy painted,' and very wisely took a black boy with him to examine the tracks. As soon as they arrived the black boy exclaimed, on seeing the tricks — 'No blackfellow track this one, him whitefellow,' and after giving a close inspection took Penton to a log where the hutkeeper had sat down and taken off his boots, and then tramped about around the hut He showed him too plainly where he had returned to the log and put his boots on again ; indeed, he made it as clear as day that the hutkeeper was the thief and not the natives. The young rascal tried to brazen it out for a time, but the 'cloven hoof' was so clearly visible beside his own footprints that he made a 'virtue of necessity' by confessing that he had made away with the rations himself, and that no blacks had been near the place. It was well that he made a clean breast of it, for he saved a whole skin by so doing, as Penton was as severe to a man that acted ' on the cross' as he was kind to those that acted 'on the square.' It was a pity that he did not pack him off the station there and then, as the blackfellow he killed might have been alive now, and we should have been none the worse for getting the wool off 10,000 sheep that he burnt. Four years after I received a letter from this out-and-out young villain, written from another colony. He stated that a report to his prejudice had been circulated in regard to his shooting the blackfellow, and that he would be glad if I would send him a letter exonerating him from blame. He also said in his letter that he was now in a much higher station than when in my service. I did not reply to his letter, as I could not very well give him a character, seeing that there were strong suspicions of his having committed arson, poisoning, burglary, and murder — rather a heavy catalogue of crime for a man under 21 years of age. I can quite fancy that it would not be many years before he reached the most exalted position a man with his proclivities could possibly attain. Penton married soon after these occurrences, and continued to manage our stations on the Peninsula as long as he lived. It used to be pleasant to hear him spin yarns about olden times with Colonel Light. No man could possibly have had greater respect for the memory of an old master than he had for the fine old Colonel. He died twenty years afterwards, leaving a widow and four children. Two of the latter, a son and daughter, are still residing on Yorke's Peninsula.


The entertainments given at the exhibition a couple of months since by eighty or ninety natives of the Point Madeay and Point Pearce Mission Stations wera so successful that the Exhibition authorities recently arranged for similar entertainments. Last week a large number of Point Pearce natives attended the Exhibition, and on Tuesday night, November 22, 230 natives— men, women, and children — belonging to the Point Macleay Mission provided an entertainment. Over 3,300 persons attended. The main hall was crowded in every part, the galleries and the stairs also were so packed that scores of people could only now and again get a glimpse of the performances. A wurley was erected in front of the organ, and the seats in each organ gallery were occupied with the natives. Old women were engaged at native work in their wurley. Five tableaux of savage life as could be witnessed fifty years ago amongst the Naringeri tribe, to which most of these natives are related, were presented.

Scene 1 represented camp life with mat and basket makers, firemaker, twinespinners, netmakers, native toilet, &c.

Scene 2 was a ' Native Song' — a Maaaeager's Reception, part 1, of which represented the reception of good news, and part 2 the reception of news of the death of a friend bewitched by their enemies.

Scene 3 was 'The Rainmaker,' and the next ' The Native Doctor.'

Scene 4 perhaps created more laughter than any of the rest. The doctor placed a rope around a native's chest in order to squeeze out the native's disease. Two human arm-bones were produced, and the disease was supposed to be extracted from the head and then from the chest, a woman in the meanwhile bewailing in the background. At last the disease was brought out at the man's extremities.

Scene 5 represented 'The Hunter's Sacrifice,' a wallaby being placed on a fire, around which the natives chanted an indescribable song. The men engaged in the various scenes were evidently old hands at their manoeuvres. Decked or almost covered in evergreens and their bodies painted they looked most comical, and the manner in which they danced about the platform, beat time with their sticks, and expressed themselves in language unintelligible to the audience, created a great deal of fun. Their almost continual chatter and clatter was bound to entertain the youngest child and oldest person present, even these who had been privileged to see the aboriginals in their wild state before the colony was settled by the whiteman. Explanation of the scenes were given by Mr. F. W. Taplin, the Superintendent of the Mission. Following the tableaux came a recitation, 'The British. Flag,' rendered very well indeed by a young man. Then seven hymns are sung by a host of native children, to the evident satisfaction of the listeners. Mr. D. Blackwell, Overseer of the Mission, led the singing. Mr. Blackwell has had the training of the children, and those who heard them could scarcely express themselves other than that the children acquitted themselves admirably. There was a sweet blending voices, especially when the children sang their opening number, 'All Hail the Power of Jesus Name.' The performances in the main hall were concluded amid prolonged applause. Afterwards a sham fight took place on the promenade. This doubtless was the most amusing part of the night's entertainment. Several natives were engaged as attacking and defending forces, and after a great deal of spear-throwing and rattling of shields two of the soldiers were wounded, and shortly afterwards she battle ended. The native woman and children who were seated around the ring seemed to be as much amazed as the strangers, especially when a soldier's naked foot was unexpectedly struck by his opponents dart. But these civilized aboriginals, although, they enjoy the fun as much as other people, would rather not resort to their primitive customs. They think it is to degrading to do so many of the younger members of their race absolutely refuse to enter into such expositions.


Whilst Mr. Robert Thomson was hunting for horses this morning in the vicinity of an old well distant a mile from the township he heard human sounds, and proceeding to the well discovered a native named Charley, of Point Pearce Station, in an exhausted condition at the bottom of the well. The man fell down last night. Assistance was speedily obtained, and the native was hauled to the surface with ropes. It was found that he had sustained severe injury, and also that wine had been supplied to him. He was conveyed to the Mission Station for treatment. The matter is in the hands of the police for investigation, as this is not the first case of wine having been supplied to natives.


Sat 2 Dec 1893, Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904) Trove

On Friday, November 17, I drove to Point Pearce, which is situated on the shores of Spencer's Gulf, about twenty miles below Moonta and within six miles of Port Victoria, which is the nearest post town. The first thing which attracted my attention on approaching the mission station was the solidity and good repair of the sheep proof fences and gates which enclose the property; next, the neat and comfortable appearance of the homesteads, which are ranged in regular order a healthy distance apart, with a wide street between the two rows of houses. The first building we approached was a splendid woolshed, with drafting-yards, &c., all in good repair, and eminently suited for the purpose for which they were erected. A substantial haystack added a farmlike appearance to the little settlement. Looking up the street I counted eight neat stone cottages of two rooms each and three cottages of four rooms, also the school and meeting house, Superintendent's resi dence, storehouse, butcher's shop, &c., and a superior stone stable provided with a large number of stalls. Three large underground tanks supply the residents with fresh water, and a big tank with a good catch ment supplies the live stook employed on the station. Altogether the settlement had the appearance of a well-to do sheep station,with about five times as many hands as are required. The genial Manager (Mr. B. G. Edwards) courteously supplied us with a good deal of interesting information. The station has not received a penny of Government grant for the last ten years. It seems to be an object lesson in Christian communism supporting eighty-four people. It started with a free grant of 12,000 acres, and rents 6,000 acres, the latter being on Wauraltee Island, about a mile from the mainland. There are between 6,000 and 7,000 sheep on the property. The management is vested in a committee consisting of Captain Uanoock, Captain Jolly, Mt. Hughes (Manager of the National Bank), and Mr. Marshall (Manager of the Union Bank), all of Moonta, Mr. Lathern (Secretary of the Moonta Mines) being Secretary of the Board of Management. All the natives on the station are provided with houseroom and rations. Those employed at any kind of work are paid wages. All able to work are charged for clothes, which are supplied from a distributing store in the centre of the settle ment. These clothes are obtained from wholesale dealers in Adelaide, and are furnished to the natives at a cheaper rate than they can be got elsewhere. Regular paysheets, giving accurate returns of all labour done, clothes issued, &c., are submitted to the management, and adjusting cheques are passed monthly. The soil is not at the beat, the open rubbly subsoil causing the moisture to escape rapidly. The sheep-carrying capacity of tbe land era be increased fourfold by a judicious system o3 ploughing up the hard black grass. This is being done by several teams -of bullocks and bones, none but coloured labour being em ployed. Unfortunately, like many other in stitutions, a legacy has been left in the shape of an overdraft of about £1,000, which will absorb this season's clip of wool, after which better times are anticipated. The carrying capaoity of the property is rapidly increasing, and the price of wool, it is hoped, will in crease also. This last year 300 acres have been cropped, yielding enough hay for all require ments, thus saving expenses in that direction, and it is hoped the wheat will turn in a good supply of flour.

On Wauraltie Island many difficulties are encountered in trying to conserve water owing to the land .being so level and of such a soft nature. There is no clay to puddle the bottoms of the dams, and even if there were the soil being soft it is almost impossible to get the rain. water to flow over the surface, so the only way is to build stone tanks and ship cement over to line them with, and then prepare large flat catchments.

At present the population is eighty-five including the Superintendent and his family. Every room is fully tenanted, and more cottages must be erected at once, as natives are constantly coming from Poonindie and other places. The natives seem very well cared for and happy. With the exception of two or three they can all read and write. The children seem a bright intelligent lot. Two little orphan girls appeared to be specially well cared for, and showed signs of making good progress at the mission school. The young English lady who presides over the school has a rather mixed audience, as it comprises the Superintendent's family, the children of some neighbouring farmers, and a motley collection of halfcastes and pure black children. The schoolroom is also used as a reading-room in the evenings, and magazines of all sorts are eagerly read by the natives. Any old copies of picture and other papers would prove most acceptable. Age appears to make no difference, the natives reading old copies as eagerly as the latest editions. Religious services are held every evening and on dun days ; occasionally a question-box lecture is given by the Superintendent, when such questions as the following are asked "Where do these blacks come from, and why don't they get on in the world?" "What is light and how can it travel ?" " Who led the English at Trafalgar, and what were they fighting for?" " What was the good of the Reformation?'' The attendance eat the evening meeting was good, and the attention and intelligence shown by the coloured audience were inspiriting. They can see a joke quickly and enjoy it intensely. The singing of Sankey'a hymns was hearty and correct, some of the girls having very good voices.

Near the main building a large bell is hung. This peals out vigorously every morning at 6 o'clock as a signal to get up; work begins at 8. A handy-sized plot of ground is under cultivation as a vegetable garden, and it is proposed to allot small portions to each householder that he may grow his own vegetables, &c., and take an interest in cultivating the soil. The Superintendent; whom I found most civil and obliging, has his hands full. As he is the village apothecary also he has to have a large stock of medicines on hand, as the natives come for medicine for the most trivial complaints. Some of the men are fine specimens, being healthy and very strong, and win prizes for athletics, putting the hammer, &c. The women keep their cottages in order, and decorate the walls with brackets, prints, &c,, in much the same style as their white sisters.


Aboriginal residents at Yorketown Lake. B 42065 State library of South Australia


Fri 29 Jun 1900, The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922) Trove

Our aboriginal tribes are rapidly becoming extinct. During the last, half-century their number has been so reduced that few remain. We have taken their country by force, and, imbued with superior intelligence, have literally forced our presence and settlement upon them. Our duty as conquerors is plain - We must provide that those deprived of the opportunity to make a living may live in comparative comfort. Philanthropic men years ago founded systems for the housing, subsistence, and protection of our aboriginals. One of these is the Point Pearce Mission Station. It was founded many years ago by a few leading citizens of Moonta, Captain H. K. Hancock and Mr. Lathern, of the Moonta Mines, being conspicuous amongst them. These gentlemen formed a committee, and appointed an able manager. He resigned some time ago, and the present manager is a brother of one of the founders. Well and nobly have they carried out their duties, as can be seen in the good-order and general cleanliness of the settlement to-day.

The mission is entirely self-supporting, though the natives only work, for their rations two days out of the six. On the other four they are paid a fair wage for labor done. It is an ideal settlement. No care for to-morrow ever troubles the residents. Regularly on Monday and Friday mornings rations are served out by the chaplain (Mr. Finlayson), who efficiently acts in both capacities. The operations are largely pastoral. The station comprises an extensive tract, six miles north from Port Victoria, upon Point Pearce proper and Wauraltee or Wardang Island. Although, the country has no available springs or wells there is a good, system of water conservation. Natural catchments are used where available, and where the earth is porous (as upon the island), a watershed of lime and cement is constructed, resembling a large roof, with underground tanks at three corners, into which the rain water is drained. About 6,000 sheep and, 100 cattle are tended by the natives upon the station. This season's wool clip, if present high prices are maintained, will put the finances in a sound condition. The wheat crop, too, promises a bountiful harvest. The head station on the mainland is on rising country, about two miles from the coast. There are two large dwellings the residences of the manager and chaplain 15 or 20 pretty cottages, a commodious shearing shed, a workshop, a store, and a schoolhouse, also used for worship. Neatness and cleanliness characterise all the dwellings, thus reflecting great credit both on the management and the natives.

During my stay, which extended over two days. I could not help contrasting the state of those neat happy families with the squalor and wretchedness among white people in the city slums. If this experiment succeeds with aboriginals, on very poor country, why should not the unemployed in congested cities find the great areas of unsettled Australia a veritable Eden of peace and plenty? There are available thousands of acres of better situated and superior country to the Point Pearce land. Communism failed in Paraguay partly through bad management, but principally because of the absurd basis on which the settlement was founded. Men possess different abilities, and the system will be at fault; that rewards the less able equally with the man of greater power and cleverness. That would deprive man of the incentive to put forth his best effort in short, would eliminate his individuality and failure must result. Quite a different communism is needed to the New Australian Commonwealth, under the presidency of Mr. Lane. In some respects the station reminds one of an old English village, with its curfew calling the villagers to prayers and to bed. A stranger, hearing the oft ringing bell, would be curious as to its import. It calls the dwellers at 7 a.m. to rise; at 0.30 a.m. (for children) to school; at 7 p;m. to prayers; and at 9 p.m. to bed. The services and school each Sunday are conducted by the chaplain or one of the preachers from the Weetulta or Maitland circuit; These spiritual helps have undoubtedly softened the savage hearts, and given the natives a higher ideal than the black man naturally inherits. The aboriginal idea of morality is very different to our own. Their women have hitherto been the slaves of the tribes. It was common in past years to see the lubra carrying a burden almost too heavy for her to lift, while her spouse walked ahead free of encumbrance. Oftimes she had a piccaninny slung to her shoulder as well. This practice has been banished at the station. Just one vestige remains. The colored "lords of creation" consider it beneath their dignity to apply for rations at the store. The women have to receive and carry the subsist to their cottages themselves.

The population at the mission station is steadily increasing, where the father or mother has white blood in his or her veins. The pure-blooded aboriginals, even amid such pleasing surroundings, are rapidly dying out. The inexorable law that people must advance or be annihilated as a nation holds good. But another potent force operates in the decimation of the dark-skinned Australians, and that is disease, introduced by the white people. When the history of the races of mankind is finally written some dark stains will appear upon the character of many so-called civilised nations.

I was received with faultless hospitality during my pleasant visit. If a stranger visit Point Pearce I am confident he will came away with a more exalted opinion of mission work, and he is sure to find his stay too short to allow all the phases of the life of aboriginals to be fully understood.

Point Pearce Mission Station

Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 - 1924), Saturday 8 April 1911, page 3

An Object Lesson. Visiting the Aborigines,

It was a happy thought which directed my friend Mr. Cole and I to turn our steps - or more accurate, our ponies steps - toward Point Pearce on our way from Port Victoria to Maitland. Our tour on the Referenda questions had been planed without regard to the mission station and that I think was mistake; but leaving aside all question of that, the interest which ever attaches to an institution of the kind was sufficient to warrant us in turning aside to see it, and to give whatever encouragement such a visit enabled us to convey to those whose life's work is linked up so intimately with an institution of so noble a kind.

A summary is very often most useful as an introduction to a theme, and I would say here, right at the beginning, that, seeing what I did during my visit, I cannot think of any other institution of the kind so well adapted for the work which is being done - not attempted, mark you, but done in connection with the duty of the white races in their efforts to establish a native race like the Australian aboriginals in surroundings which will secure to them a certain degree of independence and a full measure of self-respect.

The transition from absolutely nomadic savagery to the habits and customs of a settled civilisation is only achieved after such patient and self-sacrificing work as those who have guided the destinies of this settlement since its foundation, have put into it. Such work is a task for men and women of the best type only - not to be taken up spasmodically by dilletante philanthropists who will haggle over the operation of twopenny half penny regulations, but by men and women with ideas, with brains, hearts, and hands working together like directing angels for the uplifting and establishment of a race which is worth saving.

A chance visitor, however well intentioned has no right to assume that he can probe the depths of the principles which underlie the working of such an institution as this mission station during such a visit as I made to it. I will, therefore try to avoid the error which so many passing strangers fall into, and leave for others the duty of enlightening the public on details which are so interesting and important that they ought to be dealt with accurately and with knowledge. Every minute spent on the station was full of interest of an unusual kind, and the impression left on me was entirely favorable and pleasing. Mr. Cole and I were most kindly received by Mr. Garnett (the superintendent), and were practically made free to go where we pleased, look at everything we wanted to, and form our own judgments. In this he was courteously assisted by every native settler that we met, so that we saw quite a number of people and things with which others may not have been so fortunate as to come into contact.

The statistical facts of the mission are interestingly eloquent; there is a native population of 170 souls. It occupies an area of 18,000 acres, which is variously suitable for agricultural and pastoral pursuits; 4000 acres of this is under cultivation, 2000 acres in wheat, and the remainder in oats and barley. The livestock consists of 6500 sheep, 50 horses, and 60 cattle. The sheep are principally grazed on Wardang Island, which lies off the coast some miles distant. The people are housed in cottages of a type quite equal to those which are occupied by settlers in the country, and, from the casual observation which we were able to make unobtrusively, I should say that as a rule, they were kept quite as neat and clean as the house of the average white settler. And why should they not? Those who have seen the native living in his nomadic state only, do not readily believe in the possibilities which such a work as this mission is revealing.

But there it is !

Hardly one generation removed from the stone age, and plunged all unprepared by any sort of training, right into the bewildering environment of a civilisation which we and our forefathers have evolved through the centuries, these natives have in many things acquired habits of thought and action which place them on an apparent level with us. It is really marvellous as an object lesson in the adaptability of the genus homo to circumstances and conditions which are wide as the poles apart from those into which he may have been born and bred. We may philosophise as we please on racial differences, and on the essential superiority of the white race, but when I think that what we Britishers are today is a growth, long and painfully achieved, from conditions similar in kind to those of the Australian aborigine l am prepared to believe that the aboriginal native will respond to the appeal which the higher and better always makes to the lower and less cultured. Let us remember that the woad, the skin garment, and the stone age period have places in the history of our race too, and let us also imagine, if we can, what sort of a showing our remote ancestors would have made had they, like the Australian aboriginal of this generation, been lifted without warning, into the age of the flying machine and wireless telegraphy.

Moving about the settlement, chatting with, this one and that getting glimpses of the home life, not so much through open doors which disclose something of household arrangements, although this also helps to tell the tale, as by the revelations of social intecourse when the people meet each other in the relationship of fellow-workers, next-door neighbors, playmates, and so on, one is impressed with, the likeness of the community to many of others where the color of the settlers is white instead of black. Talk to the men about politics and their interest is as keen their questions and remarks as indicative of an intelligent understanding as will be found to be the case in any average assembly of white men. No one need approach this community in a condescending mood, for although there are many things for this people still to learn they have at least acquired an assurance of their own manhood and womanhood which would prevent any but the most ignorant and inconsiderate visitor from treating them with anything but courtesy and respect that they are quite up to date may be gathered, from the fact that just at present there its a strike on, the ploughmen having determined that their rates of pay are not as good as they should be. I do not propose to enter into the merits of the dispute and would only say that I understand the policy of the trustees of the settlement is to pay equal remuneration to white or black labor for the class of work that is being done, which is a soundly democratic and just principle. The common and primary rule upon which the mission work is based is that axiom of the Apostle Paul, who laid it down, that "if a man will not work neither shall he eat." Following this rule rations are dealt out only to those who will give some return for them in service to the community, but houses are found for all whether they work or no, so that justice is still tempered with a finer mercy than is exhibited towards the white loafer.

The large estate with, all the various forms of industry which its working necessitates gives ample occupation to everybody. Agriculture, tending the sheep and cattle, repairing implements, providing the thousand and one things which are demanded by life in its civilised associations, gives an outlet to energies which grow keener with the exercise of them. One has great sympathy with Mr. Garnett in his pride of what has been done to establish the industrial and social sides of the mission's work on a substantial basis. We visit the stables and find the most perfect accommodation for the horses and harness, everything up to date, and in some things ahead of what is found in some of our best town stables. We look at the water supply and find a huge underground tank holding 150,000 gallons, and said to be the largest on the peninsula. We go to the blacksmith and carpenter's shops and find there well stocked and well arranged, and enthusiasts at their respective traded in charge of them. The implements are all well housed, and chaff and hay are stacked in large and commodious sheds. Wherever to turn we find that neatness, economy, and cleanliness are quite the prevailing characteristics in this branch of the mission's activities. Of the social side I can only speak haltingly. A two hours visit does not give one a, right to speak with authority. One thing, however, that greatly struck me was the fine recreation ground and the good use to which it is put, for just before leaving our attention was attracted by ringing shouts and laughter which I found were arising from as merry and agile a party of young lads and lassies on the tennis courts as ever wielded racquet.

The school, too might just have been one of our ordinary State schools but for the color of the children. When my, friend and I entered the room the children stood and gave us good day as prettily as in any school we had ever seen. Their copybook, transcription and color work was quite up to the average, and altogether Miss Francis, their teacher, I had reason to be very proud of the little folks, who are under her care. Of course we talked to them and one noticed that touch of nature in their modestly intent little faces which proved their kin to all other little children, who have at various times and places suffered a like infliction.

Mr. Garnett is guide, philosopher, and friend to all who are under his care, from the old greybeard who well remembers the days when all these things were not, to the youngest child who is brought to him with Its most simple or complicated, infantile trouble or complaint. Business manager of the settlement, he is also the healer of ills and the curer of souls. Go into his office and you will have difficulty in knowing from its contents whether he is merchant, medico, vet, or parson, but you may take it that he is by way of being all four and probably many other things besides. Vale, Mr. Gannett ! God bless you and your assistants in your great but quietly done work you are doing it vicariously, I think, for a great many people who have not realised that the occupation, of this land by our race lays upon us duties toward the native race which as individuals we do not think of fulfilling. The mission seems to have got beyond the need of outside assistance, but I am sure its managers will not resent the "well done" which a grateful public are never slow to bestow when, as in this case, their deepest sympathies are touched.







Sat 22 Mar 1915, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Trove

We have received from a Mr. T. S. Archbold, of Moonta, a pamphlet containing a brief record of the history and operations of the Yorke Peninsula Aboriginal Mission. In addition to the descriptive matter it contains portraits of founders and officials of the mission, with photographs of the station and the aboriginals. The mission was founded nearly half a century ago, but few records are available of events prior to 1878. The Point Pearce institution, it is expected, will soon pass out of the bands of the present executive, and be placed under Government control. In 1913 the mission had 3,500 acres under crop, of which 600 acres of fallow were cultivated by the natives, 500 acres were stubble, and 2,400 acres were cultivated by the share system. I The population consisted of 109 males and 79 females. There were 26 school children, and about 20 children under school age. The income in that year was £5,095, and the expenditure £7,5M. The items of revenue show:- Wool, £1,245; hides, £263; stock, £44; wheat, barley, and oats, £5,193; stores, £1,570: and sundries, £378. The natives drew £2,105 in wages, and the salaries amounted to £-?41. The credit balance at the close of the year 1914 was £500.


The Chief Inspector of Aborigines, in' his report for the year 1915-16, states that 20 aboriginal South Australians were accepted for active service in the expeditionary forces. Several others offered, but were rejected. The enrolled men hailed from the following 'centres:— Point Macleay Station, 11; Point Pearce Station, 3; Wellington, 3; Coorong, 1; Goolroa, 1; and Victor Harbour, 1.


One of the few of the remaining pureblooded natives died at the Point 'Pearce Mission Station on the last night of the old year, says the Register. The old man, Ben Simms, took his cognomen from one of the oldest families in Moonta under romantic circumstances, He was working for Mr Simms, and told Mrs Simms that he was going to be married. She said, " You must have a name, then," and promptly he took the name of Simms. He was thrice married, but survived all his partners. Ben Simms was buried on New Year's Day in the Point Pearce Cemetery.



The second reading of a Bill to make better provision for committing half-caste aboriginal children to institutions under the control of the State Children's Council was moved by the Commissioner of Public Works (Hon. W. Hague) in the Assembly on Tuesday. The Minister said the Bill referred to the children at the Point Pearce and Point McLeay mission station, where there are 95 and 81 children respectively between the ages of one and 14 years. There were practically no full-blooded native children on the stations. Experience had shown that when the half-castes grew up on the stations they were unwilling to work, and refused to be placed out. They seemed to regard the mission stations as a permanent home from which they could not be turned away. It was felt that the children should be taken from their present environment and placed in a new atmosphere, free from the contaminating influence of their present mode of life. There was no machinery in the Aborigines' Department for placing out and supervising halfcaste children: but the State Children's Department possessed such machinery, and the Government proposed to hand over those children on the mission stations to the control of the State Children's Council. At present those children could not be taken charge of by the Stat Children's Council except by judicial process. The idea was for the council to take charge of the children and place them out in the homes of the people until they were 18 years of age, when it was hoped they would not be anxious to return to the mission station.

Mr. Allen hoped the measure would not he agreed to. It was a slur on the mission stations, which had been doing good work in the past, and there was not the slightest necessity for it. It was not a humane measure. The Point Pearce Mission was on one of the best-managed stations in the Commonwealth. The natives themselves had feelings which should be considered. Trouble had been caused in the past by interference from well-meaning people outside, who considered they could control the station better than the manager. Unless it was shown that the parents were unable or unwilling to look after their children the Protector of Aborigines had no right to take them away. The way the children were cared for at Point Pearce would be a credit to any white community.

The debate was adjourned.


'Shooting Tommy' was one of the last of the Yorke Peninsula aborigines. B 21961 State library of South Australia

YARNS FROM GREENS PLAINS. Early Settlers Settling Down. No. II.

Sat 19 May 1923, The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929)

Our Greens Plains correspondent writes: —The majority of the early settlers came from the old settled districts of the south, and were mostly hard doers, innured to toil, and having no knowledge of anything less than 16 working hours in a short day. The wives, daughters, and sisters were as brave, capable, and energetic as the men. Does any one ever stop to think how much we owe to these splendid pioneer women all over the State? When a man gets tired or discounted he can relieve his feelings by taking a spell off, or kicking things around, or gassing to his neighbours about what he could do if he were able and knew how to do it. But a woman just keeps on keeping on. Many a man and many a time in the outback would have thrown up the sponge and anything else he could lay hands on, but for the hopefulness and encouragement of the woman. God bless her! Of course, the firstcomers did not long have the plains to themselves. The vacant blocks were quickly taken up by the Conners, the Trains the Lammings, the Roddas, the Hammiltons, the Thomases; more Smiths, and the Bill Browns; and the overflow land seekers simply flowed over and across to the newly opened lands on Boors Plains. It might incidentally be mentioned that the Boors Pains, is not, and never was, on Greens Plains, as some people might think; but it is a little suburban plain distinct unto itself, and some six miles distant. Among its first settlers were such men as the Messrs. James Allen and Christopher Mathews from the Auburn district, and William Trenhertts, William Cross, Andrew Daddow, and Thomas Scott (Scotty), from somewhere else.

Shooting Tommy.

As soon as the settlers began to settle down properly, so also did the blacks. They ceased their aimless wanderings to and fro, eased off most of their hunting expeditions, and looked to their white brother to provide for their daily and increasing needs. They toiled not, neither would they spin, unless something unusual was after them. Old Shooting Tommy, whose royal ancestry dated far back into the dark ages, was a most loveable old reprobate. He was a clever mimic, a champion loafer, and an inveterate cadger; and yet, with all his other faults, and they were past finding out, he was a general favourite in the settlement, and he knew it but, of course, didn't presume on that knowledge. Nothing was too good for him to ask for, and nothing too bad to pass off on him, and he was always so politely thankful, and always willing to come again for more. Prior to the coming of the whites Tommy had been a mighty hunter, roaming the plains and forests from shore to shore, in search of big game and had won several belts and some braces by his skill with the waddy, spear and boomerangs, to say nothing of his leg work, for he was 'also' a tireless runner. But now Tommy must have a shoot gun like his white phellar brother. Nothing less would do him and he asked for nothing more, or at least, not just then. But he never failed to mention the gun when rounding up supplies, and at length a kind-hearted settler who had often expressed regret at the thought of the remnants of an ancient race slowly but surely passing away, without some special effort being made to delay that passing, and improve their condition, sold Tommy an old single-abarrel muzzle loader for 30/, on the instalment principle, to be paid for by some slabs of sweat off Tommy's brow. Meanwhile, he undertook to instruct Tommy, and through him his tribe in the mysteries of woodcraft, which should provide the exercise necessary for health purposes, teach them self reliance, make them self-supporting, and might eventually lead to affluence or perhaps a motor car. He then provided Tommy with half a dozen brand new axes, and let him a contract to cut down and burn some scrub at 10/ an acre with plenty big one tucker. This, he thought, would give Tommy a chance to work out his own salvation and the thirty bob gun. Needless to say, the tribe were simply delighted with their new toys, and pottered around all the morning cutting out small shrubs and bushes, and running in at shore intervals for tucker. When remonstrated with for wasting time and tucker, Tommy rounded up his axemen and sooled them on to a big mallee, and stood back and watched them while they hacked away at it two at a time, the others standing around to await their turn or wildly dodging chips or flying axes when a handle broke or a blade struck sideways on the trunk. When, towards evening, the tree began to wabble, they all crowded around and under it, prancing, shouting, and clapping their hands. And the tree fell and great was the fall thereof. Five lubras had climbed up earlier in the day to be out of the way of the workers and to get a better view of the operations, and they and the tree came down together, and laid out nine others, including Tommy and the heroic axemen. And that same night Tommy returned the axes, cancelled his contract, and demanded a week's tucker in advance. He still kept the gun on time payment.

A Famous Test of Endurance.

Tommy's first experience with the gun was not an unqualified success and caused him to pass many weary days and several hungry nights, for, although his gun was continuously going off, so also was the game. But, to minimize this risk, he later on adopted the plan of carrying a belt full of waddies, and if he missed with the gun, which he mostly always did, he took a second lightning-like shot with a waddy and seldom missed with that. His pet aversion was an old man kangaroo that had long treated him and his gun with absolute contempt, and so it came to pass that at the breaking of day one fine morning, Tommy came suddenly on his enemy on the outskirts of the plain, and unthinkingly emptied his last charge of slugs on the brute just out of range. The 'roo, however, merely glanced over his shoulder to see what was happening, and then kicked up his heels at Tommy and ate more grass, which so exasperated Tommy that he threw away his gun, unsheathed a waddy, and charged headfirst in the same direction that the slugs had gone. The 'roo kept well out of reach all day, but Tommy tired not nor stopped to rest until darkness compelled him to do so, and then camped on the tracks. After taking in a grub and a hole in his belt, he resumed the chase at dawn, and lay down that night within a hundred yards of the cause of all the trouble. He was up next morning, however, with the first streak of light, and after absorbing a couple of fat grubs from a nearby stump and taking in another hole in his belt, was going as strong as ever. The distance between pursuer and pursued gradually became less and less, the kangaroo beginning to wabble on his tracks, and every once in a while glancing backward at the grimly dark shadow slowly, but surely, drawing nearer. The shades of night were not far behind when in desperation he turned and grappled with Tommy; and they fell, and rose and fell several times, during which exciting process the kangaroo relieved Tommy of his belt and the few scraps of clothing that he had brought with him, besides several strips of valuable skin. But after the fifth round Tommy rose alone, and returned to camp bringing most of his capture with him. And this remarkable test of endurance between the wild man of the woods and his wilder compeer the kangaroo was staged and run off within a circle of three miles, in proof of which the running track was kept open for inspection for several months, with no special charge or amusement tax for admission. Tommy was a great old dandy, and dearly loved to set the fashion for his tribe. Shortly after his adventure with the kangaroo, and being sadly in need of some clothes, he was looking around for the latest styles when a kindly disposed resident rigged him out in a tight-fitting pair of underpants, overlapped by a red Crimean shirt about three sizes too big, and topped off with a widespreading belltopper adorned by a white puggaree. Loaded up with tea, sugar, flour, tobacco, billycans, and waddies, with which Tommy proudly made via way across the paddock to where his tribal remnants were excitedly awaiting his arrival. He stepped high, occasionally prancing sideways to get a glimpse of the shirt-tail of his shadow; but it so happened that there were cattle in that paddock, and those early-settler cattle were not fond of too much colour. When they saw black and red prancing defiantly about before their eyes, they started out to investigate, led by a big red he cow which announced its coming with a roar that took all the prance out of Tommy and let I him off to break records, with the tail of his red shirt streaming far out on the breeze. But the he cow was a goer too, and gained so fast that Tommy began to shed his belongings. The belltopper was the first to go, and while doing a ten-foot stride, he lost his sugar, tea, and flour. At twelve feet his billycan went, and he parted with tobacco, matches, and waddies in the middle of a fifteen-foot-two step; and was easily doing eighteen feet when he reached the fence. He would have cleared it in the middle of his stride had not the tail of his shirt caught on a projecting knot on the top rail bringing him up standing as it were on the other side of the fence, and within a few inches of the horns of the infuriated animal that was prodding through the rails at a tender spot under the overhanging shirt. But Tommy's only, remark as he ducked out of the shirt and hastily climbed the nearest tree, was: 'By cripes, that cow have plenty big one growl!' In the fulness of time, or perhaps a little more, after outliving his tribe, poor old Tommy was one morning found calmly resting in his rolled-up blankets in his little wurlie in a little belt of the scrub be had loved so well. He had passed quietly to the happy hunting grounds in his sleep —a fitting passing for one of the last of his race.



There recently passed away at Point Pearce Mission Station, at the age of 67 years, Mr. Alfred Hughes, after an illness which lasted three or four months. He had made his home at the mission station ever since he went there as a boy of five and grew with it, seeing the settlement evolve from a collection of "wurlies" inhabited by parents and their countryman to the well ordered station it is today. He received practically all his training in the school established by the missionary superintendent, Mr. Kuhn, and in farm work on the station. According to the testimony of his lifelong friends he early developed a strong sense of responsibility which never left him. When there was but the one white man on the station supervising the economic and spiritual life of the natives, Hughes soon became his right-hand man. A worker himself, be always wanted to see industry in others, and whether working himself or overseeing others, he never failed in his trust. His record on the mission station was equalled on the farms and stations where had worked from time to time. Like a number of his aboriginal country men, he made a practice of going away for the shearing -season. In the sheds he set an example of industry, sobriety, and good living that many white men would do well to imitate. A farmer on Yorke Peninsula said 'No matter how many troubles might crop up during his work I have never heard Alf swear .'

Many tales are told of his endeavors to break the gambling habits of the natives, of his walks to certain spots in the scrub favored by the gamblers on Sunday afternoons, and the consequent vanishing of the "school."

In talking of Hughes the word peace-maker, was constantly used. 'Alf was always a peacemaker.' In the drunken brats that at one time disgraced the station, he was a familiar figure, reasoning with, and soothing the fighters and generally getting his way in the end. His most notable characteristic was his unfailing optimism. To him the world was a very good place when nothing ever went very far wrong, and if there were little troubles here and there, a laugh was the best antidote for them. He carried this abounding cheerfulness through to the end. In spite of constantly increasing pain and weakness during the last few months, of nights of unrest (for from the nature of his malady he could not lie down for any length of time), his cheery outlook on life did not abate.

To those who knew him best, it was apparent that the source of his trustworthiness, upright living, cheerfulness, and care for the welfare of others was in religion, the Bible was his Book, the guide of his life and his increasing comfort, as he became convinced that his days were numbered. For many years associated with the Methodist Church, when the mission church was established recently under the auspices of the Aborigines Friends' Association, he joined as a foundation member and was appointed a deacon. Unfailing in his attendance at services and every church meeting, his thoughts were to the last with every effort for the spiritual wellbeing of the station. He left a widow and five children; The: family consist of Mrs. Fred Graham, Mrs. Eric Angie, Miss Nina Hughes, and Messrs. Walter and Lionel Hughes, all of Point Pearce:


The Chief Protector of Aborigines (Mr. F. Garnett) writes:—Mrs. Louie Adams died at the Point Pearce Aborigines Station on September 23. She was about 85 years of age, and was one of the oldest natives on the station, being much respected and loved by all her people, because of her many estimable qualities. She and her husband lived originally on the Poonindie Mission Station, until that institution was closed, when they went to Point Pearce. She always spoke of Bishop Hale, the founder of Poonindie Mission, with veneration and affection. Her husband, Tom Adams, who is also about 85 years of age, has had a magnificent constitution, and has always lived a temperate life. This year, notwithstanding his advanced age, he again took his stand as a shearer of the station sheep, and did good work. He began shearing in his teens, and has never missed a season, following the work from shed to shed, and averaging, until recent years, his 100 sheep a day, shorn with blades in a way to delight a squatter's heart.


A novel football match was played on the Jubilee Oval last Saturday afternoon between a representative team from Gawler and a team comprising aborigines along the Murray, and from the Point Pearce Mission Station. The natives played and kicked surprisingly well, and some of them were amazingly fast. The game was keen, but nevertheless clean and friendly throughout. The final scores were:—Natives, 12 goals 19 bchinds; Gawler, 10 goals, 17 behinds. Our composite shows:—1. The aborigines team and supporters. 2. A scramble for the leather. 3. The Gawler representatives. 4. Native women at the match.



A distressing happening in connection with the visit of Point Pearce natives to Gawler on Monday last was their appearance in the Gawler Court on Tuesday morning, charged with being in unlawful possession of liquor. The defendants were Herbert John Milera, Norman Lennox Angle, Wilfred Lawrence Wanganeen, Edgar Wanganeen, Leslie Nortnari Wanganeen and Alfred O'Loughlin who pleaded not guilty.

Mounted Cons. Smith, of Gawler, gave evidence that on Tuesday morning at about 10 o'clock he walked into the Globe Hotel at the South end of Murray Street, and in the parlor at the back of the bar saw the defendants seated at a table. Each had a glass of liquor in their hands. He said to the licensee — 'I'm surprised at you coming at this sort of thing.' The landlord replied, 'They pestered me that much for drink, and said that if I gave them a drink they would just get away, and so I decided to give them one to get rid of them.' One of the defendants then said, 'You are pretty hard on us. Three butchers of beer among six of us. That much would do no harm, hardly a mouthful for each.' Witness said, ''Who is going to have the beer?' and received the reply, 'We were going to have a 1/3 glass each.' The constable then said to Milera; 'I thought you were a T.T.?' Milera replied, 'Yes, I did say that, but we have always to put up these sort of tales.' Another said, 'We were going to whack it up amongst us.' He took their names and got them to the police station, where the charge was made out.

Virtually each defendant, who was tried separately, told the same tale that they went into the hotel to bid good-bye to the landlord, and they saw the three butchers of beer on the counter. They had had none of the liquor, and what the constable stated was not true. The Bench (Messrs. Cox and Bright, J's.P.) smiled when one broke out: 'I just walked in with a cobber to bid farewell to the landlord.' The charges were considered proved, and a conviction without penalty was recorded with 15/ costs in each case, in default three days' imprisonment.


From 'DON,' Point Pearce:— Surely aboriginal ex-soldiers should be allowed the same rights to the hotel bars and liquor, as Europeans exercise. While they wore the King's uniform, on active service abroad, they were quite eligible to have as much liquor as they cared to consume. The law here gives the police officers almost unlimited power, over the poor, unfortunate "aboriginal". The time has arrived when they no longer need the protection of the State but would do far better if they were on the same level as their fellow comrades. This subject calls for immediate attention.


Sat 3 Jul 1926, Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931)

By a Special Representative of The Register.

An Aboriginal Hunting Ground.

Close to Minlaton, on tbe eastern side of the town, lies Gum Flat, so called by reason of its many stately gums, similar in variety to those met with along the River Murray. The flat, some 50 acres in extent, is the only part of Yorke's Peninsula in which native gums have ever grown. Each winter the rains convert most of this flat into flooded swamp, and this perhaps, is the reason why a number of the old trees are dying. The old Gum Flat homestead was situated among the trees, only half a mile on the eastern side of Minlaton. The flat was a favourite hunting ground of the aboriginals in the early days, and many of their remains have been found at various times in the swamp land region. At one time kangaroos, wallabies, and emus abounded in the locality. Kangaroos are still plentiful in the Stansbury scrub, although wallabies and emus have completely left the peninsula. Between Minlaton and Stansbury there is a tract of scrubland country, 10 miles in extent, which is reckoned to be a worthless area, unsuitable for agricultural purposes. The scrub is gradually being encroached upon by farmers whose holdings adjoin it, and there is every probability that it will in the future be brought into crop-yielding order. At Minlaton this scrubby country is known as the "Stansbury Scrub," while Stansbury residents speak of it as the "Minlaton Scrub," neither town seemingly desiring to own it.


Tue 6 Jul 1926, The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929) Trove

Point Pearce Mission Station, the only aboriginal reserve on Yorke's Peninsula, is situated 30- miles along the coast from Moonta, and 12 miles from Maitland. The station contains 20 square miles of agricultural and pastoral land, in addition to Wardang Island, with an area of seven square mile, some three miles to the south-west from the mainland. Although the full-blooded natives for whose welfare the mission was originally established (nearly half a century ago) seem as a race doomed to pass out of existence within a limited period, yet Point Pearce has an excellent record of good work in the advancement of the moral and spiritual conditions of the aborigines of Yorke's Peninsula. There are at present living on the station 280 aboriginals, of which 30 are full blooded. The 'Point Pearce' village consists of ; 30 native cottages (laid out in municipal style) a church (which is generally well filled), a modern day-school (under the control of the Education Department), officers' houses, public baths, bachelors' quarters, the usual farm buildings (and implements), and a splendidly equipped windmill water scheme. Along the main street are avenues of gums, while surrounding the town are spacious parklands. An oval is provided adjacent to the parklands and many interesting games of football and cricket are witnessed here. There are two tennis courts in the town which are continually kept in use. The community is orderly, and social evenings and entertainments given great enjoyment to the natives. The natives are employed principally in agricultural work, end many of them are experts in shearing, wool classing, road making, fencing, building, carpentering, blacksmithing painting, and indeed all work pertaining to farm life in all its departments.

At the present time 2,880 acres of wheat, oats, and barley are under crop, in addition to 1,700 acres of fallowed land. Seeding operations are practically finished and form the present outlook, the prospects of a bountiful harvest are bright. The department has not a farming plant large enough to occupy the whole of the natives, and on this account lets a certain amount of land to white share farmers (most of whom are returned, soldiers).

A certain number of natives are given share-farming blocks on the third system, as follows:— The station provides them with teams, implements, and super, the natives paying for one-third seed used, one-third hay (to put in crop), and one-third of all bags and twine used. In return they receive one-third the value of the crop reaped, which in two instances last season amounted to £140 and £190 respectively. Modern farming methods are employed on the station, which is supervised by a farm overseer. The stock varies in accordance with the seasons, and requirements, the present number carried being 4,500 sheep, 100 head of cattle, and 50 pigs. The noble work which was started by a few pioneers of Yorke's Peninsula, and to ably continued by the various trustees and officers, and taken over by the South Australian Government in September, 1915, will not wholly be lost sight of in the ages to come. These men, who made sacrifices of energy and means, and whose sole purpose was to promote the moral welfare of the aborigines and their progeny, are worthy of the highest commendation. Mr. J. B. Steer, who was formerly superintendent at Point Macleay Mission Station, for 10 years, is carrying on the good work as superintendent. Wardang Island has been used by the station for grazing purposes since the year 1877, but owing to the scarcity of water can only carry stock during certain parts of the year, although tanks were constructed on the island from time to time until their holding capacity has increased to over 300,000 gallons. As, however feed runs short on the mainland, then the island becomes a necessity in order to maintain the sheep. To overcome the difficulties in transferring the stock to and from the mainland, a large, two masted boat was built, and substantial jetties constructed during 1910, at both sides of the channel (at a cost of £600). These give good facilities in the transfer of stock from the mainland to the island, and vice versa. Further interesting pages of the town on Yorke's Peninsula will appear in The Register at subsequent dates.

News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), Thursday 11 August 1927, page 15


Trophy for Best Display

"Is boomerang throwing among the aborigines of South Australia dying out?" Spectators at the Charity Carnival will be able to answer this question themselves after seeing in action three competitors who have journeyed from Point McLeay and Point Pearce to show their skill with the curved wood.

Features of the last Charity Carnival were the skilled exhihitions by Clarence Long and George Murray, two full blooded aborigines from Point McLeay. This year, through the courtesy of Mr. C. Ranmey (former superintendent of Point MLceay) and Mr. J. B. Steer (superintendent of Point Pearce Station), it has been possible to arrange a competition between exponents of boomerang and spear throwing, native arts which are dying with the fast-disappearing aborignal race. The competitors are:- Clarence Long, of Point McLeay; Jim Johnson, of Point Pearce; Frank Blackmoore, of Point Pearce. A trophy will he awarded, to the native who gives the best exhibition.




Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954), Saturday 13 August 1927, page 5

COLOSSAL CROWD ATTENDS Great Band Demonstration

As early as 10 'o'clock many hundreds of people were gathered round the gates of the Adelaide Oval. They included many children who desired to be among the 3,000 who were to receive presents of sweets. The general public also kept pouring in. When the first item on the programme — that of boomerang and spear throwing by three aborigines — was presented the stands and mounds were packed with an eager and expectant throng. Weather conditions were ideal and the delightful greenness of the oval contributed to the pleasing effect. Sir Tom Bridges (Governor), was an early arrival, and Sir Wallace Bruee (Lord Mayor) and Mr. R. L. Butler (Premier) arrived later. Just how boomerangs and spears should be thrown was cleverly demonstrated by three aborigines — Clarence Long (Point MeLeay), Jim Johnson and Frank Blackmoore (Point Pearce), who for 20 minutes delighted the thousands that thronged the oval. In the bright sunshine . the spears and boomerangs gleamed and glistened as they sped s through space, while the aborigines in their quaint native dress gave to the demonstration a striking touch of ' the picturesque past. An appreciative cheer followed the natives as they left the arena when their demonstration had been completed.

Aborigines will arrive in Adelaide today from Point Pearce and Point McLeay to complete their preparations for the exhibitions of boomerang and spear throwing. From the tine the first boomerang is thrown until pushball, with contestants in fancy dress, concludes the festival the intense interest of patrons will be held. The complete list is as follows:12.30 to 12.40 .. EXHIBITIONS OF BOOMERANG AND SPEAR THROWING. by full-blooded aborigines.


News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), Saturday 13 August 1927, page 8

Uncanny Boomerang Throwing An exhibition of boomerang and spear throwing began the arena proceedings for the day. Bedecked in war-paint and fea thers three full-blooded aborigines -Clarence Long, of Point McLeay, and Jim Johnson and Frank Blackmore, of Point Pearce, delighted the large crowd. Sir Edward Lucas, who judged a com petition of a similar nature later in the afternoon tried his hand at boomerang throwing with fair success. The aboriginies were handicapped in their exhibition by being new to the boomerangs used. Their uncanny efforts nevertheless brought looks of wonderment on the faces of many of the spectators.

Impressions of a Teacher on the Aboriginal Scholar


The following interview with the late Mr. H. J. Franklin, public school teacher at the Point Pearce Aboriginal Station, who was a son of Mr. F. Franklin, of Narracoorte, and whose death was recently reported in our columns, will be read with interest:On behalf of the Aboriginal Protection League, Mr. D. Roper interviewed ths late Mr. H. J. Frankiin, public school teacher at the Point Pearce Aboriginal Station. Before the minutes were typed Mr. Franklin, whose health has been failing for several years, died at Kadina ou February 5 last. Mr. Roper, however, believes that the statements printed below are a correct record of the interview, which makes an interesting contribution to the aboriginal question. Mr. Fraklin was so engrossed in his work that he refused the advice that he should take a rest when it was so much needed.

Mr. Roper said to Mr. Franklin

With the experience you have had in teaching and training native children we would very much like you to give us your opinion of their mental ability and industrial skill, as compared with the white children you taught in former years.

Mr. Franklin. I have been teaching the native children of Point Pearce for about five years. I have found that the children of the lower grades, that is, between the ages of five and eight years, are not so quick as white children of corresponding ages. The native children appear at that age to have the ability to concentrate on only one line at a time. One day the child will be thoroughly in touch with his lesson, answering correctly and smartly. The next day there is nothing doing. In trying to understand this peculiar attitude of mind, I have found that possibly on the previous evening the child has been upset by a quarrel in its neighborhood, or excited by something coming as a surprise, or been to a concert or a picture show, one or the other of these things having for the time taken complete possession of the mind. When the child advances in the higher grates of study he becomes mentally alert, quick to grasp the meaning and illustrations of the teacher, and acquires the power to concentrate on the work in hand.

What about the mathematic part of the school work? Are the children not dull at figures? In the lower grades, yes; but in the higher grades the mathematical mind asserts itself.

On the whole, do you find them inferior in mathematics to white children?-Not by any means when they get to the higher grades. There, I think, they are quite equal, even to the solution of problems. I am at times astonished at the facility shown in solving them.

Are they good with pen and pencil, I should say they are from good to excellent, their drawing being especially good.

What results do you get from manual work? The average of their manual work is excellent.

Are you specializing in wood work, etc.?-Yes, and with splendid result, and the work is not mere copying. They work on proper principles, making a plan of the article to scale. In this geometrical work they show intelligence, and do it easily and readily. In the actual work they are careful and exact, the fitting together of angles, joints, &c." being done in tradesmanlike style. A boy just 14 years won a valuable prize for a collection of models in wood, and his carving was splendid.

What about the girls?-The girls, 011 the average, show facility and skill in the lessons given on household and needlework, including cookery. In fancy work many of them do excellent work.

May I ask, from an industrial point of view, your opinion on the adult as an artisan and workman.-The question is a difficult one, as there are so many points to be considered. The common idea that the native is indolent is a misnomer as we understand it. It is not that he will not work. ] He will when he has an objective carrying with it a responsibilit3\ I know there are, as with whites, some who will never rise, but I believe a fair average would. As to their skill, I have been observing what they do, and how they do it, and I have no hesitation in saying that in farm or industrial work, they will never be put to shame by comparison with the white fellow-workers. As masons, plasterers. &c., they have done work here that white artisans need not be ashamed of, although the native has never had skilled training. The same may be-said of them with regard to wood and iron work. As farm hands, whfre are there better haystack builders or shearers than our natives? But I need not enlarge further. Of this I am positive-they have the mental ability and skill to make good artisans and industrialists.




Known in many parts of the State as an expert shejarer, Tom Adams (aged 84 years), an aborigine, of Point Pearce Mission Station, can look back on many interesting experi ences of the early days. Born at Skilly, near Balaklava, he was as a small boy transferred to Poonindie Mission on the West Coast, which was founded by Bishop Hale. So far as can be ascertained, he is the only surviving inhabitant of that mission who was resident there during the control of Bishop Hale. He remained there until the mission land was cut up. He was always among the sheep, and tended the flocks to keep the dingoes (which were numerous) from destroying them. White people were few and far between, but in numerable natives would come and go, and were always assisted with food and clothing by the bishop, who was known as 'father' by all the natives far and near. When a young man Tom took on shearing as an occupation, and has not mised a season since. As far north as Beltana, and in the north west of this State he has gone to fulfil shearing engagements, and for nine consecutive years shore for Mr. J H. Angas of Hill River Estate.

At one time during his career he received a challenge from a notable shearer who had a reputation for high tallies. They met and Tom easily disposed of his rival, shearing 140 sheep without being troubled by the 'big-gun' shearer. He afterwards received offers to go to New Zealand and Queensland, but was content to remain in this State. Tom does not class the shearers of to-day with the old hands, as they are mainly out for high tallies and do not, he thinks, give of their best in the way of good high-class shear ing. Tom Adams was born a generation ahead of the advent of the shearing machine, with which, it is believed, he would have made history as one of the foremost shearers of Aus trala. His surviving children are Messrs. T. F. and C. Adams, and Mesdames R. Wilson, J. Edwards, H. Angie, and W. Salisbury, senr. All live at Point Pearce.

OLDEST NATIVE OF POINT PEARCE Tom Adams, Expert Shearer, Passes at 89 (An Appreciation by "G. M.")

Tom Adams, oldest native at Point Pearce Mission Station, died on Monday while sitting in his chair. He was known in many parts of the State as an expert shearer, and was about 89 years of age. Scarcely knowing what a day's illness was, Tom Adams had lived a true openair life. Surely one could not wish a more fitting close to a long life of outdoor activity. He appeared to be well and healthy to the end.

Tom has now laid down the spade, hoe, and shears, for right up to the last shearing season he performed his work. A greater shearer than he never tramped the bush to follow his calling. He claimed to be the first legitimate halfcaste born in South Australia. From information gleaned from him, it can be safely recorded as correct. Born at Skilly, near, Balaklava, he was when a boy transferred to Poonindie Mission, on the West Coast, under Bishop Hale. Later the mission property was subdivided and Tom, with his wife and family, moved to Point Pearce. For years as a shearer he had tramped the West Coast, which was then little known; as well as the northern parts of this State. For nine consecutive years he had sheared for Mr. J. H. Angas, of Hill River Estate. He had been offered good positions in other States, but always remained in South Australia.

Tom was one of the few men of his type. Hard work and arduous times could not make inroads on his physique. He was at the time of his death as upright in stature as when in his teens. This is surely evidence that the present generation, which lives in ease and comfort, cannot compare with the rugged type of our pioneers. Tom's memory will always be revered at Point Pearce as a true type of natural-born Australian citizen. He has left four daughters and two sons, all of whom are at Point Pearce. He was also responsible for the upbringing of John Milera, a much-respected native of Point Pearce. "OVER THE BORDER" Just over the border, Gone to his rest. Tramped his last tramp on the station--. One of the best. Just over the border, Into the Haze. But to live, and to work, and to die, Tom has shown us "It pays."



The death of Princess Amelia, which recently occurred at the Point Pearce Mission Station, removed not only a familiar figure from the streets of Moonta, but also the last of the tribe of natives which formerly occupied the district where Adelaide now stands. Amelia was her maiden name, but she married Mr. C. J. Savage, pi Moonta, and for many years they resided in Moonta and at North Moonta. A few weeks ago she was not enjoying gobd health, and went to the mission station at Point Pearce, where she died .

Princess Amelia was a daughter of he head of the tribe to which she belonged. A representative of 'The Advertiser' who interviewed her some time ago in the interests of native nomenclature, found that although aged she still possessed a fair memory, and more than average native intelligence. She had been educated in some of the early Adelaide public schools. She said that Princess Amelia Walker was the name she was known by among the white people of Adelaide when she was a 'girl, but her native name was Princess Everety, and that she was the only surviving member, of the Lundagunya tribe of aborigines. She was a daughter of the last king, who was at the head of the tribe when the whites were surveying the city of Adelaide. Her father's name, she said, was King Perna Adyunda Rudkee. but the white settlers called him King Rodney for short. Princess Everety related interesting matters concerning her father, the tribe generally, their customs and warfare, and gave accurate information concerning the settlement of Adelaide when the district was covered with gum trees and mallee, and later when it became dotted here and there with the homes of settlers. Some of the information she imparted was amusing as well as informative. The white people, she said, among other things, induced her father to don European clothes in the early days, and when he went' out so attired to his people they all bolted from camp into the bush, and he after them. They ran miles before they learned that it was the king from whom they ran. A light-hearted soul was Princess Amelia, quick to see a joke, and hearty was the laughter that fol lowed. She must have been nearly 90 when she died.



The carnival held at the Wayville Showgrounds under the auspices of he Underdale Athletic Club was a pronounced success. It was the club's seventh annual venture, and the large fields and good attendance testified to the Excellence of the organisation. The club arranged for Tim Banner, the ex-world's champion, to appear, and many spectators journeyed to the oval to see this runner in action.

A Point Pearcenative, R. Wilson, began by winning the first heat of the Sheffield easily in 11 4-5 sec., and anotner native, F. Karpenny, won the succeeding heat, and still another, in F. Warrior, qualified for the second round in the eighth....


Wins Underdale Gift And Handicap

A TEAM of Aboriginal runners from the Point Pearce Mission Station' surprised local competitors in races at the Gift meeting of the Underdale Athletic Club at the Wayville Oval yesterday. The best of the team was R. T. Wilson, a sturdily built fellow, who won the Underdale Gift and the .75 yards handicap, the chief events of the programme. Wilson won the first heat, of the Underdale Gift race- in 11 4-6 sees., and another member of the team, F. Fv Karpenny, von the second heat easily. Wilson broke the tape about a yard ahead' of G. Bead in the final in 11 4-5 sees. Then in the 75 yards handicap Wilson and another team-mate. Warrior, trained first and -second place in seven seconds.. Karpenny brilliantly won a heat of the 4iO yards event, but failed in the final, H. Lang won the Old Buffers' championship (75 yards) for the third time. The 100 yards match race between Tim Banner, former world's champion, and W. E. £. Mobbs (4) and M. J. Dunn (2) was won by Banner by inches. His time was ft 0-10 sees. Miss Myrtle Thomas, woman champion cyclist of the State, did not strike her top form in the final of the women's half-mile race, and was easily defeated by Misses Paget and Maddiford.


Pioneer (Yorketown, SA : 1898 - 1954), Friday 11 September 1931, page 3

By Edna Davies, of Minlaton.

Though most of us regard the Australian aborigine as having a very low standard of intelligence, we regard with wonder their ability to send and receive messages by means of signal fires and the like. The majority of us have no doubt credited them with having some crude sort of Morse code as a means of communication. Recently a member of a South Australian tribe said that mentally he considers the Australian aborigine the equal of any race. He points to their prowess as trackers, and says that they have brought to perfection what the white man calls telepathy. And he says that it is by means of telepathy that their messages are transmitted—the fire smoke is only a means of attracting attention and notifying neighbors that a message is on the way. When an aborigine sees the smoke from a signal fire he tries at once to free his mind from all thought, thus leaving it free to receive the message which is being sent "over the air," and the sender concentrates on sending his message, clearing his mind of any other thought When it is necessary to send messages at night, when smoke could not be seen, the aborigine waits until he considers the person to whom he wishes to speak will be asleep, and then sends out his thought waves, knowing that the subconscious mind of the sleeper will be fully awake when his conscious mind is at rest. This is how they do it, and some of us had thought they must do a sort of flag race through the night, using their fastest runners, as the quickness with which news travels from one tribe to another has puzzled the white man as long as he has been dealing with aborigines.


Life At Point Pearce Mission Station HAPPY CAREFREE CROWD

By Our Travelling Staff Representative.

MAITLAND, August 12.

I thought I bad been transported to another part of the world to day when Mr. Rowland Hill (District Agricultural instructor) motored me to the Point Pearce mission station, a few miles north of Port Victoria. A settlement of nearly 50 stone huts resembles a township on the cinema. It provides plenty of local color. It is essentially a rendezvous for aborigines, engaged mainly on agricultural and pastoral work.

Although the population comprises 326 men, women, and children, only six are full-blooded natives, and these are males. A few of the older generation speak the language of their tribe. The younger folk are not bi-lingual; English suffices for them.

These natives are a happy, care-free crowd, and are well treated. They have free housing accommodation, wood and water and a morning issue of milk; free medical, dental, and ocular treatment: in fact, almost free everything.

Contrary to popular belief, this race is not dying out. In the last 10 years the population at Point Pearce has been doubled. Hence I was not sur prised to learn Irom the manager (Mr. A. H. Bray) that 'we are a bit over crowded at present.' But additional cottages are being built each year. There is a Hospital for maternity cases at the settlement, and Mrs. Bray is a qualified nursing sister with war experience.

Great Meat Eaters

These colored folk are great meat eaters; they consume 1,000 sheep a year, and buy the main article of diet or a flat rate of 6d. lb. Sometimes they have beef and pork for a change on the menu. And some are heavy smokers; they would sooner have a pipe than a feed, if it came to a matter of choice.

See them at a singsong, concert, or dance, and they are the happiest people in the land. Some are really clever musicians. When it comes to a political meeting, old Mark Wilson can preside over the proceedings as well as any white man might.

Some shine out as mechanics; some are good masons, and others good carpenters. In good times their services were freely sought; for shearing and building, and the best operatives were always on outside jobs. During the depression naturally the white man has supplanted them. Mr. Bray paid a tribute to the Koonibba mission, whence came, he told me, his best blacksmith and builder. 'The natives get a very good training there,' he said.

These Point Pearce natives are good sports, and are very keen on football, cricket, and tennis. The football team hope to win the shield in the Yorke Valley Association this season. They are head of the list, and have to play only two more matches before the finals are contested.

The Women And Children

What of the women and children? There is not much diversion for the former, but a scheme to teach them weaving is being discussed. The widow of a naval officer, now in West Australia, has offered to come over and give six months' gratuitous instruction in the ancient art. This should prove a stimulating mental uplift.

The children provide an interesting study in types: shy youngsters with soft, elusive eyes, who shrink from a visitor's searching gaze; clean, nicely groomed infants with almost lovable expressions. It is not their fault that their colors range from ripe olive to almost white.

The head teacher, Mr. B. J. Grewar, and his daughter, Bernice, are doing good service in the bright little school, at which an average attendance of between 70 and 80 is taxing accommodation to the utmost. I asked Mr. Grewar about their attitude towards their work, and he replied. 'When it comes to actual reasoning they slip a bit, and require a lot of help, but on ordinary mechanical learning they do very well. I find them very honest in their endeavor and habits, and every child has a savings bank passbook, with balances ranging from twopence to nearly £3.'

Miss Grewar teaches the girls domestic arts, and, wearing white caps and pinafores, they looked radiantly happy today trying their hands at cookery.

Sheep And Farming

Point Pearce mission station embraces 20000 acres, including 7,000 of Wardang Island, three miles from the mainland. The Broken Hill Proprie tary Company controls flux deposits on the north end of the latter; the remainder is an aborigines reserve.

No underground water supplies have been found there, but catchment provides for 2,000 mission sheep. This island is considered healthy country for sheep, and ideal for lambing ewes, as it is free from foxes and gives reasonable shelter. An attempt is being made to establish a good line of Merino sheep, which have proved more profitable than the varied crossbred flock now run there. 'Natives are exceptionally good shearers.' Mr. Bray told me.

On the mainland about 3,000 acres are cropped annually, and with the present plant available the natives farm as much of it as is possible. Portion is worked by white share farmers. According to the manager the natives make good farmers under supervision.

The absence of a big flock of fowls surprised me. Poultry as a sideline would pay handsomely with plentiful labor available. Some of the natives own an odd hen or two, and yet dozens of eggs from outside suppliers are sold over the counter at the mission store. Why not a local product from White Leghorns or Black Orpingtons, whichever the settlement prefers?

COOKING CLASSES form an important part of the training of young aboriginal girls in South Australia. Picture shows a class at the State mission station. Point Pearce. photo

Real Life Stories Of South Australia

Thu 9 Feb 1933

Mrs. Parrington And The 'Buck'

Perhaps the part played by the women in pioneer days was greater even than that of their menfolk. The story below illustrates the dangers by which they were faced— and how they met them. Mrs. Parrington was the worthy wife of the first white man on Yorke Peninsula.

Mrs. Parrington and the Black.—

The account of the late Mr. Charles Parrington in 'The Chronicle' article on Minlaton (formerly Gum Plat) was exceedingly interesting to one who happened to be born on the Peninsula 60 years ago. Mr. Parrington no doubt was a fine type of Englishman, and his wonderful wife, of whom you make no mention, was equally plucky. She was not in the least frightened of 'them natives,' as she used to say, and on one occasion, at least, she showed up to some advantage. Parrington had received word to meet a flock of sheep which were en route to the station. This meant he would have to be away from home for three or four days. Usually on such occasions he took Mrs. Parrington with him. But on this particular trip she did not want to go, and, woman-like, got her own way. All she wanted, she said, was the gun left fully loaded in both barrels, and she would deal with them natives if needs be. Parrington duly loaded the gun the night before he left but, during the evening he decided that he did not want the natives blown to Kingdom Come. He got up and withdrew the shot, replacing it with a wad of paper. Parrington had not long gone in the morning when the whole camp, about 24, turned up. They stood in a half circle around the back door awaiting their daily allowance of meat, tea, tobacco, sugar, flour, &c. Mrs. Parrington handed these things out, and told them to be off. But they were aware that she was by herself, and they straight away demanded another serve. In reply Mrs. Parrington produced the gun. One big buck, thinking to bluff her, stood up grinning at her, and, pointing to his stomach, invited her to fire. There happened to be a water butt, which was at the back door of every house in those days, over which she leveled the gun. She pulled the trigger, and the concussion and paper wad striking the native fair in the stomach, lifted him off his feet, and landed him half a chain away on the broad of his back,—dead to all appearances or purposes. The rest of the mob went for dear life, and she let go the other barrel at them, glad to help them on their way. They did not stop for 16 miles. Some time later, when Mrs. Parrington was considering just what she would do with what she thought was a dead native, she saw some slight move. He appeared to be getting his breath and soon rolled, over. First he got on his knees and then suddenly up and off on the track of his tribe. Some time towards afternoon he got within sight of them, but when they saw him, knowing that he had been shot, they thought it must be his 'ghost,' and away they went again for another ten miles with the 'ghost' in pursuit. They never returned to worry Mrs. Parrington. If anyone should think there are any flies on this story, Just let them get someone to pull a trigger on them with powder and paper. When they wake up they will certainly have altered their mind.— D. N. Martin,


Drinking And Gambling Among Natives OFFICIALS' DIFFICULTIES

Unsatisfactory conditions at the Point Pearce Aboriginal Reserve are described by the Commissioner of Public Works (Mr. Mclnnes) to the indifference, inertia, and general habits of the natives.

A letter from a resident aboriginal stated that drink, gambling, and the "filthiest of language conceivable" could be seen end heard in the main street every day. The men in charge knew all about these things, it was alleged, but did not lift a finger to stop them.

The Minister referred the letter to the Public Service Commissioner (Mr. L. c. Hunkin), who has carried out a progressive investigation of the conduct and management of the station, to which he had paid frequent visits, for the past two years. In his report to the Minister, Mr. Hunkin said that the reflections on the officers were wicked and unjustified. The people of the community were treated with great consideration, and their physical and moral welfare was the constant care of the department, assisted by a number of public-spirited people and ministers of religion.

Discipline Resented

"Unfortunately the results obtained do not reflect the great efforts made to improve the lot of these unfortunate people," said the Minister, "and it is a matter of grave concern that the demoralising' personal instincts and habits are so difficult to moderate and eradicate. Every step taken to enforce disciplinary measures for the protection of the health and welfare of the community is resisted and resented, and in very few instances can the Individual be persuaded or coerced Into accepting a code of conduct designed to protect and benefit his community.

Mr. Mclnnes said that the officers of the department living on the station were most carefully chosen for their tasks, in which they had all given evidence of competence. They were, in addition, men of unblemished character and reputation, interested in their work, and tolerant towards the aborigines. They applied themselves to the work assiduously, under the most disappointing and discouraging conditions.

Hard To Stamp Out

"It Is true-that drink and gambling are Indulged in," said the Minister, "but these offences are committed surreptitiously, and they are hard to stamp out. Offenders are dealt with by the police when discovered. The police officers at Maitland and Port Victoria keep a very close eye on the natives, and pay frequent visits to the station. In addition, a special constable is stationed on the reserve. The natives are not confined to the station, and drink is apparently obtained In neighboring towns."

Idleness On Rations

The fact that a number of the natives, owing to the increased numbers and the limited employment which could be provided on the station, were living in comparative idleness and drawing rations conduced to mischievous conduct and made supervision and control more than ordinarily difficult, said Mr. Mclnnes.


Thu 14 Dec 1933, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Trove

Point Pearce Aboriginal Mission Station, on Yorke Peninsula, where are gathered some of the remnants of Australia's vanishing native race and their descendants — the latter representing 98 per cent, of the community — is a place of remarkable contrasts. In part it is a Utopia, for its people pay no rates or taxes, live in rent free houses, and pursue a life which seems singularly care-free in these days of stress; in part it is a village of comedy for every day and hour one may see and hear strange and humorous incidents, and in part, it offers first-hand illustration of the problems facing governments in habituating the wreckage of once vagrant tribes and their progeny to the settled life of civilisation, and moulding them so that they may play a useful part in a scheme of economy dominated by the conquering race.

The difficult of the problem is accentuated by the heterogeneous nature of the community. Of the present population of Point Pearce, 354 — the figure is variable because of arrivals and departures — only five are full-blooded aborigines, and they are all men. The remainder consists of half-castes, quadroons, octoroone, some with so slight an infusion of native blood as to be almost indistinguishable from white, and some with a blending of aboriginal, white, and Mongolian strains. The number of this remainder is increasing at a remarkable rate, as proved by the presence of 175 boys and girls under the age of 16, and of more than 90 in the station school under 14. Marriages are frequent, and families are larger than in the average country township, some running as high as eight or nine, while the average is about five.

Surprising Township

The station township, which lies about 12 miles from Maitland and seven miles from Port Victoria, surprises visitors whose knowledge of native habitations has been restricted to tumble-down wurleys, or kerosene tin and bag huts. Driving through a fringe of scrub, one comes upon a township which bears an intangible, but nevertheless, very real, resemblance to a cinema 'location.' Arranged with geometrical precision in four streets are about 50 cottages, all solidly built of stone, and roofed with galvanized iron. Many of them are of four rooms, several are of five, while in recent months a start has been made one a new row of two-roomed cottages for newly married couples. The new quarter has been christened 'Colonel Light Gardens.'' A reserve planted with gum trees runs down the centre of the village.

Four or five of the houses have wireless sets, and one or two of the residents own motor cars. Several of the cottages show pride of ownership on the part of the householders, and, in isolated cases, there has been an attempt at gardening, but the absence of a continuous and ample supply of water has been an obstacle. In most cases, however, nothing but bare ground surrounds the homes. Nearly all of them have at least one or two rooms with board flooring and ceiling or fluted iron, and those improvements are being extended as funds permit. In addition to having the homes rent free, the inmates have glass and similar breakages repaired without cost. In view of the constantly mounting number of marriages, the township is steadily increasing in size, and before the end of next June two more houses will have been completed labor for their erection will be supplied by the station, for it has masons, carpenters, painters, blacksmiths, and other tradesmen, who are paid for their work, even when they are employed on their own homes. Among the men at Point Pearce are several well-trained artisans from the Koonibba mission station on Eyre Peninsula.

Almost Self-Contained

The community is almost self contained, for in addition to the products of the farm, its people can make purchases from the station store, which carries a stock more comprehensive than the average country township store. Purchases are booked against tbe buyer, and reckonings made by deducting debits from the weekly pay of those employed on the property. Daily, two pints of milk from the station dairy are delivered to every house free of charge. The property has its own slaughter-house, and, as natives are essentially meat-eaters, the consumption is abnormal. Every year between 700 and 1.000 sheep, a number of pigs, and an occasional bullock, are killed, and the meat sold at a constant price of 6d. a pound.

There is a hall where 'talkies' are shown once a week, and which also serves as a church, dance palais, and general social centre. Medical attention and medicines are free. The ordinary health of the community is cared for by Mrs. Bray, wife of the superintendent, Mr. A. H. Bray. A fullytrained nursing sister, with war-time experience in some of Great Britain's best-known hospitals, she attends to patients with minor ailments, dispenses for two hours every morning, and attends midwifery cases in the mother's own home. A cottage hospital was provided for that purpose, but it was found that the women preferred to remain at home. Dr. C. G. Wells, of Maitland, visits Point Pearce to examine patients with serious ailments.

The responsibilities of Mr. Bray are legion. To take one of them, to mediate in disputes and troubles which inevitably arise in a community living at close contact calls for firmness, tact, unfailing good temper, and a knowledge of a nature which is often subject to strange caprices. With these, and other necessary qualities. Mr. Bray, who also had war service, is endowed in a large measure. In the management of the station he is assisted by a farm overseer, stockman, storekeeper, and bookkeeper.

Big Property

The station covers 20,000 acres. Far a long distance it runs to the sea coast along Spencer Gulf, and 7.000 acres of it lies on Wardang Island, which is out off from the mainland by a narrow channel. Said to possess a strange influence over the needle of compasses because of its metallic deposits. Wardang Island is almost a graveyard of ships, for seven have perished on its rocks and reefs. The last was a French barque whose hull may still be seen. Wardang and its surrounding islets, are a favorite fishing place and several fishermen from Moonta have established a colony of camps nearby. On the island is a flux deposit worked by the Broken Hill Pro prietary Company.

Although some of the mission land is shallow soil, most of it is well adapted for mixed farming. It seems particularly suited for sheep, and at present carries between 4.000 and 5.000. During the early summer many of them are depastured on Wardang Island. However, no permanent water has been found there, and although artificial catchments provide for several months, many of the sheep have to be transferred to the mainland in November if the season be dry. They are lightered across in the station's barge, towed by a launch.

The property also carries about 75 cattle and as many pigs. About 3.000 acres were cropped this season by white and native share farmers, and although absence or rain during the filling-out period, and a number of days with hot drying wind shrivelled some of the grain, a paddock of 800 acres sown to wheat by four native share farmers promises well.

Water is reticulated to every house at the station. The supply is a soakage well close to the seashore and about a mile from Point Pearce whence it is pumped by a series of windmills to pressure tanks near the superintendents house. Although the supplv is ample for the needs of the community, the absence of wind for a few successive days leaves it without water.

Full School

One of the most interesting spots at the mission is the school, where Mr. B. J. Grewar and Miss B. Grewar teach 92 children. Brown, olive, and almost white, they are a fascinating group, particularly those in the lower grades. Many have the attractive, almost elfin-like, expression typical of many full-blooded native children. However, the inborn characteristics of their ancestors make it difficult for many to concentrate on books and studies, and it is unfortunate that, when that disability is being overcome, they leave immediately they attain the age of 14. Some of the boys show a flair for drawing, and others have done well in woodwork, and in mechanical reproduction. For the girls there is a domestic arts centre, where they are taught the elements of cooking, needlework, and homecrafts. The fife band played commendably for visitors, and the junior grades recited 'Ba. Ba, Black Sneep' with gusto.

The church services at the mission give another insight into the life of the people. On Sunday there is an Anglican service in the morning, an interdenominational Sunday school in the afternoon, and a Methodist service at night, and on Wednesday night there is another Anglican service. Singing is a feature of the week-night gathering and the congregation joins in with enthusiasm seldom manifested outside districts where there is a big proportion of Cornishmen.

Native's Story

There are many interesting characters at point Pearce. Many of the older men speak excellent English, and one talked easily of the life of Abraham Lincoln, and the struggle of Garibaldi and his heroic band. Old Mark Wilson is well versed in the public topics of the day, and talks on political subjects as fluently as many speakers at the Botanic Park.

Pat, one of the full-bloods, dresses like a white man, but some of the beliefs of his forefathers cling. His old home is at Point McLeay, but he has been at Point Pearce for 11 years, and likes it so well that he will never leave, he says. He told a strange story of his marriage near Wellington, to a wife whom he had never seen until the beginning of the ceremony. He had no thought of marriage until his brother suggested to him that it was time he settled down. Pat replied that he did not know of any young woman whom he wished to have as a wife, but his brother told him that there was one 'over there' No choice was left to Pat. However, the union entered into so strangely proved happy. His wife and children dead. Pat lives much in the past, and appreciates a talk about it.

The retention of old superstitions was apparent when conversation was turned to bone pointing and the working of spells.

''You don't believe in pointing the bone, and that sort of thing, do you?' Mr. Bray asked.

'I don't know so much about that.' Pat replied with a chuckle. Then he told a story of how his wife and himself, and two other natives and their wives had been visited by a spirit while in camp. An enemy with evil designs crept to windward with a bunch of emu feathers which had been placed near a corpse. Immediately the influence reached them they were thrown into confusion. When they recovered, one of the women had disappeared and whereas Pat had been lying with his feet toward the fire, his head was now in that position.

Pat, who has wandered about the State shearing, had an alarming adventure on a far northern station, and for a time, was in terror of his life from those who, from the color of their skin, should have been his brothers. At one station part of the shearing was done by a party of outback natives only partially civilised. Their habits alarmed Pat. 'Yes,' he said. repeating himself lest the listener should think his story incredible, 'they come into the shed with only their shirts on and when they finish work, they take their shirt off and roll them up.' Pat confessed that he was afraid to go near the native camp at night.

Other strange stories go round among the full-blooded natives at Point Pearce — strange tall men seen about the township, but always in the dusk ; or at night, never during the daylight.


Tue 12 Dec 1933, News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954) Trove

ABORIGINES and half-caste at Point Pearce Mission Station have formed the Australian Aborigines' Union, to agitate for better treatment of natives, an improved standard of education, an opportunity to become a valuable asset to the land, and redemption from "the degrading conditions under which at present they are forced to live."....


Complaint That Mission Station Is 'Dead End' OUTLET SOUGHT

Some aspects of the aboriginal mission station at Point Pearce were described in 'The Advertiser' yesterday. Problems associated with the mounting half-caste population there, and the necessity for providing an outlet for it are dealt with below.

Those cognisant, of the position in South Australia are seized of the necessity for active measures to deal with the half-caste problem, and the formation of the Australian Aborigines' Union at Point Pearce recently has introduced a new factor, for hitherto those most directly concerned have not seen articulate. They propose that henceforth they shall have a share in deciding their destiny, and two of the objects of the association are to organise so that they may have a voice in the all-important question of the belter treatment of aborigines,'' and to induce Parliament to formulate a scheme whereby ''civilised and educated natives could become a valuable asset to the land that rightfully belongs to them.''

Growing Population

With a population of about 350, which includes; five full-blooded natives, and of which approximately half are children under the age of 16, the capacity of Point Pearce is taxed, and as the population increases more rapidly than that of a white community— it has doubled in the last 10 years — the necessity for finding an outlet for its people is apparent. That aspect was emphasised by Messrs. R. M. Wanganeen, president, and W. Taylor, secretary of the union, and other officials. Under present conditions, they said, they and their children had no hope for the future, for while they remained at the mission they were at a dead-end. They desired something more than that should be their be all and end all. '' At present we are a drag on the taxpayers.'' they said. 'We want a chance to earn our independence, so that we will be free of Government support.'

Past efforts to obtain what they consider just recognition of their claims having been unsuccessful, they hope that throush their association they will be able to speak with a united and therefore stronger voice. Mr. Taylor said that the union had approached the Aborigines Protection League, the Aborigines' Friends Society, and other organiratians interested in the welfare of natives, and the secretary of the Protection League (Mr. E. A. Genders) had asked the union to appoint delegates to meet his association to discuss plans. It was hoped that with the assistance of such bodies requests to Parliament would command greater attention than had those made by individuals. Efforts would be made to induce the Minister in charge of the department (Mr. Hudd) to visit Point Pearce early nest year.

Technical Instruction

Better education for their children, and the appointment of a native protector of aborigines, who would have the point of view of his people, are other objects for which the association will strive. Its spokesmen suggested that the Government should provide a hostel and technical school in Adelaide, where youths might be taught trades. As proof of their aptitude for such pursuits, they pointed out that there were first-class tradesmen at the mission, and that the Koonibba station on Eyre Peninsula had trained excellent artisans. When it was pointed out that some who had employed natives and half-castes found that, though some were good workmen, they soon tired and lest interest in their job, they replied that there might be some failures, but they thought that they would be counterbalanced by the successes.

Another suggestion was that some of the men from the station should be placed on the land. Officials of the union said that under an Act of 1911 half-castes and aborigines had been promised a grant of 160 acres of land, and they urged that the Government should honor its obligations, either by purchasing properties, or placing them on the station land. At present share farming on the mission property was largely carried out by whites in the district, while the station population who might be doing that work were maintained in idleness.

Seasonal Work

That aspect of the situation, in the opinion of many who have visited the station, needs revision. Under present arrangements, the Government maintains unemployed men and their families on the mission. Periodically, many of the men leave the station temporarily for seasonal employment. Some who ere good shearers, obtain work from Peninsula farmers during the season, while others are employed for several months every wheat export season leading grain into ketches at Balgowan, an outport about seven miles from Point Pearce.

Scores of others, tradesmen, and farm laborers, are employed at the mission. Last week, said the superintendent (Mr. A. H. Bray) 65 men were on the pay sheet, working part time, their average earnings being £1 14/6 a week. The average disbursement in wages was £120 weekly. In addition, others earn a little trapping rabbits, for which they are paid a bonus of a penny a scalp.

In ordinary seasons — and Yorke Peninsula has few really bad ones— the share farming proposition is an excellent one for men at the station. Those who undertake it are paid at 8/ a day while working on their farm, and receive a tenth of the proceeds of the crop. The mission supplies super seed, and plant. At present 11 men are working under those conditions in three groups, Mr. Bray having found that a grouping system gives the most satisfactory results. Four are interested in an 800-acre paddock of wheat which should yield well, and return them a handsome bonus. A rotation of wheat and barley is practised, and the land at present in fallow gives evidence of careful working. The extension of the system is urged as an excellent means of absorbing some of the men at the mission, spokesmen of the union pointing out that continued idleness cannot but have an ill effect upon them. A difficulty is that more farm plant would be required, but it is contended that the expenditure would be amply warranted.

Youth Problem

The future of the youths is another of the problems of Point Pearce. Despite the advice of white officials, boys leave the mission school immediately they attain the, age of 14, and just as they begin to profit from the training, and for two vital formative years, drift about the mission idle. One or two of the more independent trap rabbits, and so earn a few shillings, but others do practically nothing until they qualify for the receipt of rations on reaching 16. Even then it is rare for them to obtain work, and officials of the union said that many passed into their twenties before obtaining anything like regular employment.

'All that we ask is British justice.' said Mr. Waganeen. 'We want the Government to fulfil the promises they made when the Commonwealth and the States were proclaimed. We complain that land which was set aside for aboriginal reserves is being used for other purposes. Rightly it should be ours through our forefathers, for it was theirs before the arrival of the white men. If good land was provided for us we feel that a big percentage would work out their own salvation and become independent.'


'Graveyard Of Ships' Is Little Industrial Centre


ONE of the loneliest of South Australian settlements is that at Wardang Island, in Spencer Gulf. On this little island less than a dozen families live in happiness and contentment, despite the isolation. Although their sole means of communication with the outside world is a small motor launch which crosses to the mainland three times a week, the islanders keep themselves well informed of current events through the medium of radio.

Almost everyone possesses a wireless set, and the freedom from interference and excellent range of reception would make the city radio enthusiast green with envy.

Wardang Island is the largest island of the Wauraltee Group, six miles from Port Victoria, it is 4½ miles long and two miles wide, and has an area of approximately 5,000 acres.

Because of the number of bandicoots found there it was originally named Wauraltee Island— "Waural," in the language of the local natives, meaning bandicoot, and "tee" Island. But the name has long since been changed. The bandicoots have disappeared, and the island is now infested by penguins and rabbits. The rabbits were introduced by fishermen about 10 years ago.

Aboriginal Legend

THE early aborigines had an interest-ing legend explaining the genesis of Wardang and the Wauraltee group of islands. They told of a mighty tribal god named Nugna. This god was in the form of a man of gigantic stature and prodigious strength. On one occasion when his people had invoked his wrath Nugna took up his huge club and dealt the earth a terrific blow. The force of the blow caused several fragments of land to fly into the gulf, to form the Wauraltee Islands; while the great depression caused by it was invaded by the sea to form Port Victoria Bay and Point Pearce.

Wardang Island is the property of the Point Pearce Mission Station, and is used for grazing purposes. Unfortunately, low rainfall and the absence of artesian water strictly limit the number of stock that can be pastured there, while the prevalence of coast disease necessitates frequent transference to the mainland.

Principal Industry

THE island's principal industry is the carting and shipping of sand to Port Pirie. The polyzal sand is exceptionally pure, and ideal for use as a flux. Consequently, large areas of the island are leased by the Broken Hill Associated Smelters, which are shipping thousands of tons of sand annually, to be used in the Port Pirie Smelting Works.

A jetty has been built, and a large storage bin erected. In this the sand, which is conveyed from the sandhills in horse-drawn trucks, is stored to await shipment in the fortnightly barge. Several weatherboard cottages have been provided for the laborers, and a small general store, the property of the company, supplies the employes at wholesale rates.

The island has seen much busier days. For many years polyzoal sandstone — of which there are large deposits — was quarried and used for flux. Then, as many as 60 men were employed at the quarries, but soon after the war it was discovered that the sand from the sandhills contained essentially similar properties to the stone. The carting of sand then supplanted the quarrying of sandstone, and the facility with which the sand could be obtained led to a reduction in the number of hands employed from 60 to about 12.

In addition to those employed by the B.H.A.S., there are several fishermen at Wardang Island, and a few aborigines engaged in looking after the Mission Station property, and tending the flocks and herds.

Notorious For Wrecks

WARDANG Island at one time became notorious in shipping circles because of the number of vessels that met their doom in its vicinity. The island was referred to as a "graveyard of ships." Even now the gaunt, red hull of a once trim barque, the twisted plates and girders, red with rust, still to be seen on the weather side, testifies to the treachery and relentnessness of this reef-bound shore.

Even after the provision of a light-house, wrecks continued to occur with alarming regularity. No less than 11 ships met with disaster on the shores of Wardang Island, eight of which became total losses. The last wreck occurred in 1927. The island is now striving to live down its sinister reputation.

This composite picture shows: — (Left) The settlement at Wardang Island — the school is at the right; (lower centre) Point Pearce Mission Station sheep; (upper centre) the French barque Notre Dame d'Arvor, wrecked at the island in 1920, as she is today; and (right) storage bin for polyzoal sand awaiting shipment to the Port Pirie smelters.

Reminiscences By Mr. L. G. Phillips, of Strathalbyn


Police Depot on the Station

In the early days of Moorowie there was a police depot on the station property, as the blacks were very troublesome. This police depot was at one time in charge of the late Inspector Tolmer. The late Tom Coward was also there for a time. I believe the Police Department still hold the piece of land. It is a little north of the old shearing shed, and still called the "Police Reserve." The little well where the police got their drinking water is still there.

My earliest remembrance of the location of the blacks camp was a little north of the homestead and slightly west of the old men's kitchen. When a boy I attended many a blacks' corroboree there. Their principal burying place was in the sandhills, near Longbottom's farm. There is a reserve there called "Onegowie," meaning "fresh water in the sand."

Some of the old station hands still reside on the Peninsula, viz., Mr. Tom Eggington at Warooka; George Eggington, at Marion Bay; and Alex Thomson, near Yorketown, who erected most of the stone walls round the homestead. At shearing time Mr. Christian Twartz, of Yorketown, was on the job.

I omitted to mention earlier that practically all the carting was done by bullock teams. The family vehicle was a spring dray or spring cart. Yorketown was known as "Weaner's Flat." I believe Penton Vale Station had a hut and sheepyards near there, where they used to send the lambs to be weaned, shepherded, of course, as there were no paddocks in those days.

Rabbits brought from England

In reply to a question, Mr. Phillips said, "Yes, Mr. Fowler did bring rabbits from England to Moorowie, and introduced them to some old wombat holes in the old station home paddocks, south of the homestead, near where there was afterwards an orchard planted. I can quite remember when there was a wool-washing plant at Moorowie, but all evidence of this has long ago disappeared, and the old well filled in."

The Corroborees

We put some further questions to Mr. Phillips in reference to the blacks and their corroborees. He said corroborees were usually held at night. The male blacks would dance round a fire, and imitate kangaroo hunts, fishing exploits, fights with other tribes, etc They used to daub themselves with pipe clay and red ochre. The men would chant a kind of song and the women would sit around in a circle with an oppossum rug in their laps, rolled up to make a drum, which they used to beat with their hands, and keep excellent time, too. Each song would represent some event, such as the "hunt corroboree." I remember one vividly, the "rain corroboree," or, in native lingo, "the Munga corroboree." The natives had a meeting place for north and south blacks at Minlacowie, somewhere between the Baptist Church and the fingerpost, known as the "old chimney," or "Yonglacowie." Anstey and Giles a hut there. I believe the ruins are still there. I remember a shepherd named McDonald being in charge. Corroborees used to last for nearly a week. There was a good crowd of blacks in the tribe, whose hunting grounds extended from Moorowie to Warrenben. About 100 used to congregate at the station, and they were very troublesome in the early days; that was why the police camp was formed.


News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), Tuesday 18 December 1934, page 3

Paintings From Pt. Pearce The Director of the Art Gallery (Mr. Leslie Wilkie) has returned to Adelaide from the Point Pearce Aborigine Mission, where he painted nine natives. The paintings were secured as a record of the coloring and features of South Australian aborigines. "It was hard work from morning until night," Mr. Wilkie said today. "One day the temperature reached 109 degrees. Some of the natives spoke English exceptionally well. In fact their intonation and form of speech was superior to that of many white men. The natives Mr. Wilkie painted belonged to the Narrinyeri tribe. The paintings will be placed on exhibition at the Art Gallery.

WORK OF MISSIONARIES - Early days of South Australia Rites And Ceremonies Of Blacks

Thu 10 Oct 1935, Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Trove

The pioneers and the explorers at times found the services of the blacks useful, even indispensable. At other times they suffered terribly from the treacherous and barbarous traits in their character. Always, however, they marvelled at the acuteness of the native senses. The gradual decay of the South Australian tribes due to white settlement cannot be justly regarded as an eternal stigma on the memory of our forefathers. In this article I outline the schemes put forward in the early days by philanthropic and religious men for the welfare of the blacks, and give a few facts about the various tribes and their customs.

Most people are aware that the Australian aborigine, untouched by civilisation, approaches very nearly to primitive man In many respects. He is a nomad, having no settled place of abode. He erects no permanent habitations, does not cultivate the ground, weave cloth, or make iron, has no literature, and his picture writing is of the crudest description and extremely rare. He possesses only the most rudimentary ideas of art. Yet, despite all this, there is tribal organisation, some kind of family life, and a social structure, superstitions, and traditions without number, established habits, strange customs, numerous rites and ceremonies which, although crude, are exceedingly elaborate.

No Australian, Babylon, or Thebes will ever invite or reward the explorations of the archaeologist. No remains of an ancient civilisation belonging to the time of Athens or Rome will ever be unearthed in Australia. When the great overland telegraph was strung through the heart of the continent it progressed through wild bush that had never known the erection of a stone dwelling before. Prom the stations which sprang up along its course far-reaching influences radiated. The story of the overland telegraph constitutes a romance which I will tell in a subsequent article. What I want to stress here is the fact that progress of white civilisation in this and other ways meant the disturbance of native conditions which had remained unchanged for centuries. The traditions, customs, and habits of the aborigines began to feel the impact and to show the results.

Census Of 1881

When the census of 1881 was taken the aborigines of Australia were said to number about 31,700, and to be distributed as follows: — New South Wales, 1.643; Victoria, 780; Queensland. 20585; South Australia, 6,341; and Western Australia. 2,346. It is very important that no account was taken in the South Australian figures of the tribes of the Northern Territory, and it was thought possible that in the entire area there were probably as many as in Queensland.

The term 'tribe' is one which has been very elastic in meaning when applied to our blacks. Thus the Narrinyeri, or people who occupied the region bordering on the lower Murray and the lakes Alexandrina and Albert, werr regarded by most settlers as forming 0 tribe; but the Rev. G. Taplin, an early missionary, described them as 'a nation or confederacy of 18 tribes, each of which has a distinct appellation' Each of these sub-tribes he spoke of a' a family, all members of which were blood relations, and between whom no marriage could take place. Though these families might quarrel among themselves, they always presented a united front to the neighboring tribes when necessary. Taplin recorded that he saw 500 warriors sent in battle array against a mutual powerful enemy.

In the main, the tribal relations In other parts of South Australia corresponded to this description. Each group, or family, had its own tribal genius, or totem, and was held together by that bond.

Tribal Government

Such government as prevailed among the tribes of this State was neither patriarchal nor feudal, neither aristocratic nor monarchial. It could, perhaps, have been called democratic for It contained an elective element, and there was no ruing caste. Properly speaking, the tribe had neither a chief nor a king. Such popular designations as 'King Billy' in the early days owed their origin to the white man's humor. The old men have always been the natural leaders of the Australian blacks.

White man's law was, of course, very often an Insoluble riddle to the aborigines. Their own administration of Justice, in cases of suspected criminals, was sometimes, at least, orderly and methodical. Mr. Taplin, speaking of the Nartayeri, said— ''They actually have an institution which is extremely like our trial by Jury, and have had it from time immemorial. This they call the Tendi. The number of the Tendi Is not fixed; it appears to be regulated by the size of the clan, but always consists of experienced and elderly men. All offenders are brought to this Tendi for trial. In case of the slaying of a person of one clan by a person of another dan, the fellow-clansmen of the murdered man will send to the friends of the murderer, and invite them to bring him to trial before the united Tendies. If, after full enquiry, he Is found to have committed the crime, he will be punished according to the degree of guilt.''

If an accused person were found guilty of murder he would be put to death, If the verdict coincided with what we would call manslaughter, he would receive a good thrashing, or be banished from the clan, or be compelled to go to his mother's relations. This last sentence was considered exceedingly ignominious.

A common sentence for any public crime was eo many blows on the head. A man was compelled to hold his head down to receive the strokes, and would be felled like a bullock; then he would have to get up and take another and yet another, until, as Taplin said, 'it was a wonder that his skull was not fractured.'

Avenging Parties

Sometimes, however, the Tendi failed entirely. In the Dieri tribe, a council used to be called for the purpose of appointing an avenging party. The Australian aborigine does not believe that death can be due to natural causes, and holds that some enemy Is responsible for it. The avenging party of the Dieri was called the Pinya, and upon its appointment a number of ceremonies would take place. A victim would be decided upon in a curious manner.

One of the old men would ask who caused the death of their friend or relative. In reply the warriors named several natives of their own or neighboring tribes, each attaching the crime to his bitterest enemy. Thereupon, the leader, perceiving whom the majority would like to have killed, would call out. that man's name in a loud voice, and the avenging party would grab its spears.

Our aborigines had a social organisation of a very definite character, which profoundly affected both the individuals and the race. The unit of civilised life is the (family, formed on a monogamous basis, and with it is associated all that is best in human character at its highest developments. Each aboriginal tribe was divided into several inter-marrying groups. Thesn groups were very often still further broken up, and the whole system appears to have been further complicated by its relation to the totemic system In a number of ways.

Only fragmentary information regarding the rites and ceremonies of the South Australian natives seem to be available. Taplin gave some account of them in his description of the Narrlnyeri. Other early information gathered about the Dieri tribe shows that, although this tribe occupied country nearly seven hundred miles distant (in the north) from that occupied by the Narrinyeri, yet in both the totemic systems the initiatory rites show a remarkable degree of correspondence with each other.

The aborigines of this State were never, it seems, numerous in proportion to the vast area they roamed over, and after white settlement they gradually dwindled away until most of the tribes became wholly extinct, while the rest were reduced to mere handfuls.

They were never remarkable for war like characteristics, though cunning and treacherous, and their savage intelligence was not of a high order. They were swiftly decimated by internal squabbles, barbarous customs, disease, and the irresistible march of civilisation.

Some of the aboriginal Inhabitants of South Australia have been charged with cannibalism and infanticide, and conclusive proofs that both horrible customs were followed have been recorded.

The best known tribes were the Narxlnyeris and Dierls already mentioned, and the Port Llncolns, the Encounter Bay, the Adelaide, and the Woolnahs (Northern Territory), all speaking different dialects. The language was musical, abounding in vowels and liquids, and several vocabularies of the best-known dialects were published in the early days.

With the remarkable exception of the boomerang, the blacks displayed vary little intelligence in the construction of their weapons of defence, which were otherwise limited to throwing sticks, spears and shields of bark. They snowed some cleverness, however. In making nets or baskets of grass fibre. But their accomplishments were few as compared with those of other races of savages.

The aboriginal men had, as a rule, well-formed shoulders and chests, broad foreheads and noses, large mouths, and magnificent teeth; but their lower limbs were generally weak and small in proportion to the rest of their frames. The physical development of the women was poor, and the life of complete drudgery they underwent at the hands of their lords and masters quickly aged them. Although persistent attempts were made on the part of benevolent colonists to arrest the decay of the native tribes of the province, it became evident quite early that there was little hope of their eventually escaping the almost Inevitable fate of inferior races when opposed to the progress of civilisation. It was merely a question of time.

Aboriginal Missions

The charge has sometimes been made against the people of South Australia that they neglected their duty towards the people they displaced. It is said that they drove them from their hunting grounds, thus depriving them of their means of subsistence; that the treatment, in Bpite of the stand of protection taken by the Government, was frequently harsh and cruel, and that not uncommonly criminal outrages were perpetrated with impunity upon very slight provocation.

Such an indictment Is too sweeping. While it cannot be denied that the contact of the two races has been stained by many individual acts of wrongdoing on both sides, it is easy to prove that the general policy of the white man In South Australia has been humane and considerate.

At the very earliest period of British occupation, thev were — as Is well known—considered as under the protection of British law and authority. Their claim to good treatment was recognised and insisted upon from the first. The hope was cherished that they would be raised in the scale of existence, and private efforts were continued in harmony with the principles thus laid down.

It Is true that widespread public interest in the welfare of the aborigines never existed in this State, or for that matter in any other Australian State. As colonisation progressed the sight of a black in the larger areas of settlement became more and more of a rare occurrence. The efforts of the missionaries failed to attract large numbers to the mission stations, but beneficent work was, nevertheless, accomplished there. Earnest and persevering endeavors were not lacking, and defeat was not accepted lightly.

Various religious bodies took up the care of the natives from the beginning as part of their work. The Methodists, for example, within a month of the formation of their society, and before they had a minister of their own, set apart a lay agent to work principally among the aborigines. When they laid the foundation stone of their Gawler place chapel in 1838 they discussed the question of providing a pastor for the natives, and began a fund for that purpose, raising £15 on the spot. Not long afterwards, a school for native children, at a place called the 'Location,' was established. Within five years the minister composed a native vocabulary of 950 words, visited the Murray to ascertain the prospects of establishing a mission station there, and was so hopeful that he offered to go himself.

Other workers were also in the field. Indeed, tbe honor of being the first pioneer In the mission field belongs to the Iiutheran Church, the missionary society of -which, at Dresden, In 1838. sent out Messrs. C. G. Telchelmann and C. W. Schumann, under the auspices of Mr. Geoxge Hfe Angas, and mainly at his expense. These two men were followed two years later by two otflier missionaries mm the same society—Messrs. H. A. O. Meyer and O. Klose.

Restlessness Of The Natives

All the missionaries worked In harmony with the successive Protectors of Aborigines appointed by the Government. The ill-success of missionary efforts In this State was commonly ascribed to the invincible restlessness of the natives, as typified in their nomadic habits. It was most disheartening to the missionaries to find their schools scattered, and then* congregations dispersed by seemingly aimless migration. They were not alone in their complaints. Mr. H. W. Wiltshire, the officer in charge of the Interior police patrol party, for many years, described this rooted habit as evidence of 'selfishness and base ingratitude.' He says, 'After a residence of seven yeans among them, and the spending of £300 of his own money in feeding and clothing them over and above what was allowed by the SubProtector for Aborigines, the writer has been deserted by all those whom he endeavored to attach, to him. Although both sexes were treated with the greatest kindness at the police camp for years, they all deserted it in one night. These facts are only mentioned to show how entirely devoid of any grateful feelings the aborigines now described invariably show themselves to be.'

This migratory habit did indeed prove disastrous to religious and educational work, but it was probably due not only to a wandering tendency in the aboriginal blood, but also to the constraint of tribal law and social customs, the force of which was never fully appreciated by the whites, if ever it were known.

Point Macleay Mission The most Important of the early mission establishments were tbe Point Macleay Mission, the Point Pierce, and the Kopperamanna. Point Macleay, situated on the shores of Lake Alexandrina, had the largest number of parsons in its charge and was best known, partly because it was the most easily accessible from Adelaide. This mission was founded in 1859 by the Rev. George Taplin, under the auspices of the Aborigines' Friends' Society. He personally selected tfte site on a peninsula formed by the lakes and the Ooorong, which was a favorite resort of the natives. To this place- he took his family, and tbere he resided for many years, endeavoring to instruct the natives, to understand their languagte, to gain an insight into their character, and to win their confidence. The general purpose in view was to Christianise the blacks and to secure their moral elevation, also to civilise them In the broadest sense of the term.

Mr. Taplin has left a lengthy, account of the manners and customs which he found to be in existence. Extracts from his diary clearly show with what diligent self-sacrifice he worked, and the serious disabilities and discouragements against which he had continually to contend.

At Point Macleay mission station, the men were taught to do woolwashing, road-making, fencing, building, carpentry, and blacksmith work. They painted the houses and huts and carried on the farm work in most of Its departments. The stock consisted of sheep, cattle and horses, and the cultivation was similar to that of an ordinary farm in a similar locality.

Near Port Victoria, on Yorke Peninsula, the Point Pierce mission station was situated. It was managed on the same lines as that of Point Macleay. The men were employed in the neighborhood, at shearing, wheatharvesting and general farm labor, some of them showing that they were quite able to earn their living independently of the mission. The only trouble was that of natives obtaining intoxicants in the neighboring towns. The self-sacrificing zeal of tine German missionaries, Moravian and Lutheran, led them into the arid country to the east of Lake Eyre. There, at Kopperamanna, they did their work, very often under a blazing sun, when the temperature reached 120 degrees in the shade.

But they made little, if any, real Impression on the blacks.


Wanted To Hear Debate On Aborigines Bill

One of the most alert listeners in the public gallery at the House of Assembly yesterday was Mr. Mark Wilson, one of the four full-blooded aborigines left at the Point Pearce Mission Station.

In Adelaide for treatment for leg trouble. Mr. Wilson visited Parliament House in the hope of hearing some of the debate on the Bill which proposes to transfer the control of aborigines to a board. In this he was disappointed, as the debate was not resumed yesterday.

Mr. Wilson, however, made good use of his opportunity by interviewing the Independent member for his district, (Mr. Davies), whom he supplied with information which Mr. Davies proposes to use when he speaks on the Bill next I week.

Mr. Wilson's sentiments can be summed up in his remark to Mr. Davies that "the present system of control has now had 100 years to prove itself, and it hasn't."

Mr. Wilson"s visit recalls an Incident at the Point Pearce station during the last State election campaign when he was asked to preside at a meeting held by Mr. Davies. Mr. Wilson startled the whites present by declaring in perfect English, when opening the meeting, "I would like to stress the fact I that brain and intellect are not the exclusive heritage of any race or color."

The population at Point Pearce Is about 300, and produced about 80 votes at the last election.

The Days of Long Ago

Pioneering on Yorke Peninsula

Gum Flat Station at one time extended from Penton Vale in the south almost to Maitland in the north, and Mr. John Butler remembers as many as fifty blacks coming up to the outstation hut. They had a burying ground not far from what is now the Minlaton-Stansbury Road, and Mr. Butler remembers that they always buried their dead in a sitting position.


Sat 30 Jul 1938, The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Trove

Sir— I desire through your, paper to express our protest against the unwarranted attack on the aborigines of Point Pearce Mission Station by the Rev. E. H. Woollacott, in his evidence before the Betting Commission. Mr. Woollacott would have the public believe that the natives have forsaken sport for betting, and are no longer keen on healthy outdoor sport. Had he investigated matters affecting the Yorke Valley Football Association, he would find that the white teams in the neighboring towns were unable to field a team, and not the natives, as stated. We applied for admittance to the Yorke Peninsula Football Association, but the application was refused. We have always tried to foster the Australian game of football in our district and providing Mr. Woollacott will try to create Interest among the whites, not forgetting his home town, Maitland, the natives are prepared again to join the Yorke Valley Football Association. Mr. Woollacott, I feel sure. Is misinformed in regard to moneys earned on this station. On the wages paid it is just possible for many of us to exist. Married men with a family ranging between four and eight, are expected to feed and clothe them on 30/ to 35/ per week. Therefore, many of the natives seek employment elsewhere, in fishing, farming, shearing, wheat handling, rabbiting, &c., and in respect of all moneys paid for honest labor we claim the right as British subjects to save or spend as we think best. Mr. Woollacott is endeavoring to couple betting with liquor. The statement 'during betting excursions natives come in contact with unscrupulous whites, who, for a consideration, would supply the natives with liquor.' is a misrepresentation of facts, as the local police records will show. Further, according to Mr. Woollacott, our women are just as bad as the men. But I am pleased to state that not one woman from Point Pearce has ever entered the betting premises to bet, either at Port Victoria or Maitland. We may not live the life Mr. Woollacott would have us live, but we do try to live in accordance with Christian principles. We are intelligent enough to know that people cannot be made good by legislation. Further, any legislation that would prohibit a minority of people from any privilege enjoyed by others would tend to turn a peaceful, law abiding community into lawbreakers. —

I am. Sir, &c. R. M. WANGANEEN, Point Pearce Mission Station.

Unusual Charge

An unusual case brought under the Aborigines Act was heard last week. Phillis Angie, 22, domestic, of Point Pearce, was charged that, being an aborigine, she refused to remain within the Point Pearce aborigines' reserve, to which she had been removed by the Aborigines' Protection Board. She pleaded guilty and was ordered imprisonment for six weeks.

News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), Tuesday 28 September 1943, page 3

M.M. for Half-Caste Who "Killed a Few Japs" Corporal Tim Hughes, a half-caste aboriginal, formerly of Point Pearce Mission Station, was recently awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery at Milne Bay.

WHEN home on leave, he was asked by his mother how he had won the award, and he replied. "Oh, for killing a few Japs, like everyone else over there." Cpl. Hughes, who is 23, has been in the A.I.F. for more than three years. He served in England, Tobruk, and Syria before the New Guinea cam paign. The secretary of the Aboridines' Protection Board Board (Mr. Penhall) said today that he could not recall any other instances of aborigines having been honored by military awards. Cpl. Hughes is a son of Mrs. G. Elphick, of Ann street, West Thebarton, and of the late Mr. Walter Hughes. His father died six years ago. Mrs. Elphick said today that her son was educated at Point Pearce Mission Station. He had worked in the salt industry, and at grapepicking, before enlisting. He had been actively associated with the Maitland Methodist Church and Sunday school. "Tim never mentions the war, or his experiences, in his letters." said his mother. "A couple of his mates told me he was going to be recommended for the medal, so I asked him about it when he was home on leave. "He brought me back a 7-lb. tin of lollies all the way from New Guinea. He said it had been given to him by 'the Yanks,' and he was determined to hang on to it until he got home." She said Tim was fond of the sea, and for a time had thought of joining the Navy.


The Commonwealth decision to allow aborigines to vote meant that about 1,500 natives in South Australia would be entitled to enrol as electors for Senate and House of Representative elections, the Protector of Aborigines (Mr. W. R Penhall) said yesterday. Aborigines had always had the right to enrol for South Australian elections and some who lived in Aborigines Department cottages, were included on the Legislative Council roll as inhabitant occupiers. Mr. Penhall said that it was not unusual for 150 aborigines at the Point Pearce and Point McLeay missions to record 100 p.c. polls at State elections. They had always shown themselves keenly interested in State politics and he recalled a 100 p.c. poll at Point Pearce in which there were no informal votes. More than 100 SA aborigines discharged from the services would now be entitled to a Commonwealth vote.


While Mr A. Trueman was digging in his garden at the school house, Cunliffe, he unearthed a human shin bone about six inches below the surface. On making further investigations he came across the full skeleton of an aborigine about a foot down. Buried with its owner were a string of shells, a hammerstone (used to sharpen spears) and decayed boomerang which appeared to be laid across the chest of the deceased aborigine, probably the custom when one of the tribe was buried. Very old residents report that aborigines roamed this district in the early days.

Point pearce's oldest resident passes.

Point Pearce's oldest resident, Mr Robert Wanganeen, passed away at the Wallaroo Hospital on Monday, July 12th.

The late Mr Wanganeen, who was 93 years of age came to Point Pearce Mission from Poonindie Station when he was a boy, and has lived there ever since, where he was held in high esteem by all who knew him.

In his younger days he was employed on the station clearing sheoak scrub, lumping wheat at Balgowan general farm work, bullock driving, and was for a number of years employed by Mr S. Moody on his farm. He was also coach driving for the officers in charge of the Mission Station. The deceased, prior to his death, was the oldest native in any institution in South Australia.

He was married in 1880, his wife predeceased him five years ago. Nine chiidren were born and five survive. There are 34 grandchildren, 81 greatgrandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren. He was buried in the Mission cemetery. Rev. Northern officiating at the graveside.

Y.P. Dies

The death of a wellknown Yorke Pen. aborigine, at Malvern at the week-end, was announced by the Protector of Aborigines (Mr. W. It. Penhall) this week.

Mr. Penhall said that Joe was one of the most notable natives he had ever come in contact with. He was an expert at farm fencing, and have done hundreds miles of fencing in his around Point Pearce.

He was a highly respected citizen, and a confirmed church-goer. An expert athlete and footballer, Joe was especially known for his cricket ability.

"If Joe had been properly in footwork, he'd represented Australia at cricket," Mr. Penhall said.

"One match we played together, in which I was captain of the team, was at Urania in 1920. We made partnership score of 150 in 90 minutes, Joe making 102. He was a fine type of man."

500 Aborigines To See Queen

Provision has been made for more than 500 aborigines to see the Royal Progress through Adelaide, the State director of the royal tour (Mr. M. A. F. Pearce) said yesterday.

Forty native children from the hostel at Alice Springs and 40 natives from Ernabella Mission would see the Progress in Hindley street. Space would be provided in Light square for 50 children from the United Aborigines' Mission.

These children would come from Colebrook Home and from parts of the River Murray.

Four hundred natives from Point McLeay and Point Pearce Mission stations would see the Royal Progress from North terrace.

The Protector of Aborigines was arranging for natives from Port Augusta and Alice Springs to visit Whyalla to see the Queen, Mr. Pearce said.

Fifty natives from Koonibba Mission would present a display at Whyalla.

Natives Enter Machine Age

A regulation approved by Executive Council yesterday empowers Government officers to take action against natives for dangerous driving on aboriginal reserves. Many natives at the Point Pearce and Point McLeay reserves own cycles and managers of both stations are believed to be concerned about the danger of accidents.