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Old Jan 4th 2005, 11:07 am   #31
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Dr Holland took a cattle boat from Perth to Derby and then travelled the last 555 km by T-model Ford, horse and sulky and foot. He finally arrived in Halls Creek only to find that Darcy had died the day before. It was this event which inspired Rev John Flynn to establish the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Halls Creek

'Flynn of the Inland'

There is a memorial by the intersection of Bealiba and Murray Sts which is dedicated to the Reverend John Flynn, the founder of the Flying Doctor Service, who was born here in 1880.

Moliagul

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Old Jan 4th 2005, 11:23 am   #32
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinkana
Dr Holland took a cattle boat from Perth to Derby and then travelled the last 555 km by T-model Ford, horse and sulky and foot. He finally arrived in Halls Creek only to find that Darcy had died the day before. It was this event which inspired Rev John Flynn to establish the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Halls Creek

'Flynn of the Inland'

There is a memorial by the intersection of Bealiba and Murray Sts which is dedicated to the Reverend John Flynn, the founder of the Flying Doctor Service, who was born here in 1880.

Moliagul

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Two of the early miners disembarked at Derby and set off to walk to the diggings at Halls Creek. Unfortunately, one fell and broke his leg. His mate pushed him in a wheelbarrow for more than 200 miles.
A statue commemorating this demonstration of mateship stands outside the Shire Council Offices.
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Old Jan 4th 2005, 11:29 am   #33
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Originally Posted by TheCrone
Two of the early miners disembarked at Derby and set off to walk to the diggings at Halls Creek. Unfortunately, one fell and broke his leg. His mate pushed him in a wheelbarrow for more than 200 miles.
A statue commemorating this demonstration of mateship stands outside the Shire Council Offices.
There's the tale, tall or true, of a Scortsman who, provisioned with a bag of oats and a wheelbarrow made from a forky tree, made it from the Palmer Diggings (NE Qld) to Halls Creek.
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Old Jan 4th 2005, 11:45 am   #34
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Russian Jack.
On the 50th anniversary of the Perth Russian church, the Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in Australia, has consecrated a Fremantle Cemetery memorial to Ivan Fredericks, (1864-1904) better known as the handmade wheelbarrow pushing Kimberley prospector Russian Jack, who wheeled an injured mate from their bush camp, the 300km to remote Hall's Creek in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

http://www.mining-australia.com/nib-july00.htm



Russian Jack, one of the many men who walked from Perth to the Goldfields.


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Old Jan 4th 2005, 2:09 pm   #35
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

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Originally Posted by Quinkana
There's the tale, tall or true, of a Scortsman who, provisioned with a bag of oats and a wheelbarrow made from a forky tree, made it from the Palmer Diggings (NE Qld) to Halls Creek.
I hadn't heard that one!
But I was asked by The West Australian if I would act as their East Kimberley correspondent some time after I arrived. As part of my journalistic duties, I was invited to attend all Council meetings and there I met a wonderful old Scotsman, Mr Lou McBeth. He was a trooper (policeman) in Halls Creek in 1926, later becoming head of the Roads Board for the district, then a pastoralist.
One of his stories concerned a fellow Scot, Sir Alexander Angus Cameron Mc*******, who was a remittance man and a notorious drunk.
It seems that after heavy rain, the Old Town was split into two parts by a stream. The police station was on one side of the water, the pub on the other. It was necessary on one occasion for Lou to lock up Sir Alex - not an infrequent occurence. But while he was sleeping it off, rain fell during the night and the stream began to flow. Waking, Sir Alex's thirst caused him to rant and rave, shouting that he wanted to be let out. When there was no response, he began to push and tug at the bars across the window - and since termites had damaged the frame, one enormous tug removed the bars, which settled like a necklace around his head. According to Lou, Sir Alex then swam across the stream and marched into the pub, still wearing the frame and demanded drinks all round!
Ah, those were the days!
And thank you, Quinkana, wish I'd thought to put up those pictures.
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Old Jan 4th 2005, 10:29 pm   #36
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And thank you, Quinkana, wish I'd thought to put up those pictures.
No prob.

Met a few running Aboriginal Hostels but never had the opportunity to have long chats.

How was it?
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Old Jan 5th 2005, 12:52 am   #37
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No prob.

Met a few running Aboriginal Hostels but never had the opportunity to have long chats.

How was it?
All sorts of words spring to mind! Hard work, stimulating, difficult, fun, rewarding, scary...an experience I wouldn't have missed, but would never want to repeat.
Kids are kids, regardless of skin colour, so they weren't really the problem.
Government policy at the time insisted that all children between the ages of approx. 6 years and 15 years receive some degree of education. The majority of Aboriginal people lived on cattle stations, often hundreds of kilometers from the nearest school, so these hostels were set up to house the kids during the nine months of the year when they had to attend. And although the concept of removing Aboriginal children from their parents as a matter of policy had changed, this enforcement of education standards had much the same effect. Especially with the small ones, there was a lot of heartbreak and homesickness, for which three square meals and clean clothes every day was no compensation.
The logistics of running the hostel - food, clothing, bedding, medical stores - so far from sources of supply, where every item had to be requisitioned through a penny-pinching Government Dept was sometimes difficult, compounded by the large numbers involved and a poor transport system. And then, of course, there was the mountain of paper-work.
Being fairly young, more than a little naive, a recent migrant who knew absolutely nothing about Aboriginal people or their customs (I don't think I'd ever spoken to a person of colour before I arrived there), I sometimes found dealing with Aboriginal staff, some of whom had no conception of the Protestant work ethic, to be quite a challenge.
The people who'd previously run the hostel were much stricter disciplinarians than we were. Sure, there had to be some rules when dealing with such large numbers; but my philosophy was that this was their home for much of the year, so they should be able to treat it as such. Provided they showered at least twice a day, attended school in clean clothing, were present at mealtimes, I saw no point in confining them 'to barracks', as had occured before. Initially, this caused some concern among the townspeople, who weren't accustomed to seeing the children running around the town, but when crime numbers didn't drastically increase, that soon settled down and many became much more involved with the hostel. So when there was a public holiday weekend, several would help transport the children out of town, where we would set up a camp ground and sleep out for a couple of nights. I learned so much about the bush, bush tucker and the habits of native animals from those children!
As I suppose I should have expected (but I said I was naive!) most 'trouble' came from the teen-age girls and their swains. When the girls weren't trying to sneak out of the dormitory at night, their fellas were trying to get in! At different times, both my husband and I were attacked when we were out in the grounds at night; my husband was knocked unconscious and was in a coma for three days, while I was bruised and battered, with severely torn muscles.
But then, their customs were so different. Several of these girls were married, under tribal law, and saw us as trying to keep them from their husbands. We had one 15-year-old who was already the mother of two children. Western concepts of what was a child was in direct contrast to Aboriginal tradition and custom. There were bound to be some conflicts.
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Old Jan 5th 2005, 3:56 am   #38
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Ta muchly. What do you think of the education the kids recieved? My impression is that the only outcome of note was that they learned to speak English.
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Old Jan 5th 2005, 4:05 am   #39
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this would make a great book/ mini series...I'm hooked!
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Old Jan 5th 2005, 5:43 am   #40
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Ta muchly. What do you think of the education the kids recieved? My impression is that the only outcome of note was that they learned to speak English.
Oh dear, I could get into serious trouble here!
Let me say that most of them - and I stress, that was at THAT time and in THAT place - learned as much as they were capable of learning. For most, regardless of age, that was what was called "Advanced Primary" level.
But much of what we considered education had little or no relevance to the lives they would lead once they left school and hence had little interest for them.
The whole Aboriginal mind-set, with regard to education, was completely different from that of most Europeans. Learning to survive in a harsh terrain was much more important than, say, learning the names of Australian Prime Ministers from Federation. It would have been possible to set up a system to more adequately address their needs, but what then of the European kids who attended the same school? Wouldn't this have been a form of apartheid? There were 212 pupils at the time, only 15 of whom were not Aboriginal and since they belonged to the dominant 'caste' the system was tailored to their future needs, rather than those of the majority.
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Old Jan 5th 2005, 8:14 am   #41
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Much as I saw it. But I interupted ...
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Old Jan 5th 2005, 2:07 pm   #42
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Much as I saw it. But I interupted ...
No worries, mate!
The granting of full citizenship to Aboriginal people on July 1st, 1971 created many problems. A four-day racing and rodeo meeting was held at the beginning of September each year, when station owners and managers would come from miles around, bringing all the Aboriginal people who lived and worked on their properties. The festivities ended with a Presentation Ball on Saturday night, and by Sunday evening the town was quiet again, with all the owners,stockmen, horses and people making their way back home.
This year was very different. For the first time for many, they'd had access to alcohol. Indeed, the Aborigines called it 'getting their drinking rights' - and some even thought that it was now obligatory for them to do so. Many refused to return to the stations, preferring to remain in town. Now they could cash their Social Security cheques immediately and spend the money as they wished. Now Pension Day saw fights, drunks in the streets, often lying unconscious in the gutters. And by the following Monday, few had any money left for food. Residence at the hostel was restricted to children whose parents lived more than three ks from the school. With their families now in town, many children had to leave. Our numbers decreased from in excess of a hundred to forty; but the ones who left suffered quite badly. No longer were they assured of an adequate diet or any degree of cleanliness. There were many who came begging at the kitchen door at meal-times. We did what we could, but with the reduction in numbers, our rations had been severely cut.
It was known that we held enough food stocks to feed the children even if the roads were impassable, so we became a target for attempted thefts. There were few nights when we were not woken by hearing someone moving around outside, or trying the doors. We had been trying to get the Dept. to provide increased security - better external lighting, lockable gates, stronger locks on external doors - but although there were promises, nothing actually eventuated. After the attack on my husband, which may well have proved fatal, we decided that enough was enough and it was time to move on.
We had become friendly with the manager of an exploration group who had their headquarters fifty miles 'up bush' from Halls Creek. When we told him that we were leaving, he asked if we would like to care-take the mining camp. The rains had come early and he wanted to move all his crew to Kalgoorlie for the Wet. We jumped at the chance!
Conditions at the camp were actually much better than at the hostel. There was an insulated 70ft. long building , as opposed to the single skin metal hostel buildings; and airconditioning as opposed to ceiling fans.This housed the bedrooms, dining room and a beautifully equipped kitchen. There was a separate Laboratory; but best of all, there was an above ground swimming pool, the only one between Derby and Karratha. Moreover, we had nothing to do except be there as a deterrant to those who would have stripped the place if it had been left empty.
We thought that we would be there only for a few months, but results from the cores which the crew had sampled were disappointing. Although there traces of many valuable minerals and gemstones, there was nothing in sufficient quantities to make mining a viable commercial proposition. So to get the maximum benefit from various taxation schemes, the camp would be sold off - in the next financial year. And would we stay till then? You bet your boots we would!
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Old Jan 5th 2005, 4:35 pm   #43
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Finally a real post that doesn't involve "How many dollars do I get for my pound", "Property prices" or "Plots of Land for Sale"! No offence meant to those that this applies too at all, as these are of course life issues, it is just this is really a great on-going story.

Makes me feel that life does not offer some of those wild experiences any more. Everything has become a little too sanitised and I think we fear too much rather than just doing.

Keep up the posting. I’ll be the first to buy the book.

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Old Jan 5th 2005, 4:44 pm   #44
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Talking Re: It's been a long, long time!

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Originally Posted by TheCrone
Well, folks, I have an anniversary coming up. On Jan 4th, it will be 36 years since I migrated to Australia with a husband and 2 daughters, one 11 year-old and a 3-year -old.
We arrived in Perth, but only stayed here briefly. Since then I have lived and worked in Toodyay,Geraldton, Northampton ,Carnarvon, Derby and Halls Creek in Western Australia; in Katherine and Darwin in the NT; in Cairns, Atherton,Topaz and 10 kms north of the Daintree in FNQ.
I have worked as an hotel receptionist, airline cook, manageress of a hostel for Aboriginal school children, book-keeper; and caretaker at a mining camp, 50 miles out from Halls Creek. I have picked tea, house-sat, worked for Telstra, and the Commonwealth Departments of Defence (Army), Education, Housing and Construction.
Along the way, I and both my daughters achieved University degrees.
My husband succumbed early to the dreaded Australian disease of alcoholism - more prevalent then than now, I think, especially in the NW - so effectively I was a single mum.
I have been reading your posts for quite some time now and it seems that so many of you just want to recreate an English life with sunshine, near the sea. But hey, Australia is so much more than a beach-side suburb. It's an adventure!
Do, please, see as much of it as you can, and enjoy it!


Hi there "TheCrone"

To be honest how can you possibly offer a balanced view when you have only been there for 2 minutes,
I'm sorry but your views wont wash with a number of people on here.


Oh by the way welcome to the forum and apologies for the sarcasm, and tremendous post by the way.

Thanks for taking the time.
Cheers
D
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Old Jan 5th 2005, 4:53 pm   #45
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlot
Finally a real post that doesn't involve "How many dollars do I get for my pound", "Property prices" or "Plots of Land for Sale"! No offence meant to those that this applies too at all, as these are of course life issues, it is just this is really a great on-going story.

Makes me feel that life does not offer some of those wild experiences any more. Everything has become a little too sanitised and I think we fear too much rather than just doing.

Keep up the posting. I’ll be the first to buy the book.

Merlot
I will second that - except you will be second in line to buy the book after me
TC please keep the life story coming - it gives a fascinating insight for those of us who have had a sheltered life ( I nearly said a more privileged life but the more of this tale I read then the less privileged I feel. I am envious of your experiences if not the hardships)

Cheers
Peter
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