The Day of Mourning

An advertisement for the event from Patten and Ferguson

An advertisement for the event from Patten and Ferguson

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Saturday 13 November 1937, page 15

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), Saturday 13 November 1937, page 15

The transcription reads:


1 50 th Anniversary


Day of Mourning

MELBOURNE, November 12.

Plans for-the observance by abori- gines throughout Australia of a day of mourning ?. simultaneously with the 150th anniversary-celebrations in Syd- ney were announced at a meeting to- night convened by tho Australian Aborigines’. League. j,

“While white men are throwing their hats Into the air with joy,” said the chairman (Mr. A.’ P. A. Burdue), “aborigines will be in mourning for all they have lost. It ia hoped that the day of mourning will direct the atten- tion of the people of Australia to the desire of the aborigines for full citi-

zens’ rights.”

Mr. W. Ferguson, organising secre- tary bf the Aborigines’ Progressive Association of New South Wales, said the aborigines of New South Wales were asking for the abolition’ of all legislation dealing with aborigines, so that aborigines would have the same, rights and privileges as white persons.

Mr. Ferguson complained bitterly of the treatment of aborigines at abort ginal settlements in New South Wales.

At one settlement, he “said, the aborigines, including women and children, had been deprived of their rations for a fortnight because none would confess to the slaughter of a sheep which had been found dead at another settle- ment. Aborigines wero forced to fell timber for a sawmill for rations worth 3s. 2d. a week. Girls were sent but to work for Hs. Cd. a week, of which 2s. was retained by the Board and Gd. given to them as pocket money. Abori- gines who protested were placed on the expulsion Hst, and even if they were married with fumllies they were not allowed within 10 miles of. an abori- ginal settlement.

“The aborigines do not want pro- tection,” he declared. “We have been protected for 15U years, and look what has become of us. Scientists have studied us and written books about us ns though we were some strange curiosities, but they have not prevent- ed us from contracting tuberculosis and other disensos, which have wiped us out in, thousands.”


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