Big trip so far. Our first night out we camped 60 kms south of Mt Magnet and woke to find ice on the windscreen and bonnet. We managed about 800 kms the second day and it has got progressively warmer as went north. We got to Muccan on Thursday and then across next door to Yarrie Station. We placed four plaques at Yarrie and then were shown another grave of an old and greatly respected aboriginal elder and rainmaker, so we will make a plaque for him and install it next trip..
We also were taken out to Ben Dhu Station, now part of Muccan, where two brothers brutalised and killed three blackfellers. We found the grave of the one buried there. Glennis and Lorraine can give you the story of the other one, who was jailed for life, but released on ticket of leave after about 6 years and he died in Fremantle.
Then we raced up to Warmun, about half way between Halls Creek and Kununurra, getting there on Sunday and we installed 7 plaques, with the permission of Gabrielle Nodirr, the senior lawman, who was one of my soldiers back in my NORFORCE days. Photo attached. We found a good campsite that night, next to the bridge over the Little Panton River, photo attached.
In Kununurra Monday morning and caught up with Howard and Leslie James for dinner at their place last night. Leslie works at the Kununurra Visitors Centre and Howard is a long time (30 years plus) helicopter pilot and they are keen to work this end for us. I have left him some plaques, posts and bolts etc and they are really excited to be part of our project. Also at their house was Pat and Peter Lacey, who owned Mt Elizabeth Station and have recently sold it. Peter's father (Frank Lacey, a Kimberley legend) started it in 1947. They have a bunch of graves up there and are making a list for us. It was great fun to catch up with them again, haven't seen them for years.
We are camped at the NORFORCE Army depot tonight. The soldiers are having a training night and then we will have a few beers with them in the Trevor Tough Bar. Tomorrow we are driving down to Argyle Station to have a look at the plaques we left with them last year. They have put them up in their recreation bar area. Then on to Rosewood Station, as they have installed their plaques on an enormous granite boulder at their homestead. Great people, who are so pleased with what we are doing. Then on to stay tomorrow night with Mike Shaw, the owner of Spring Creek Station. He is the one who took me in his helicopter to find the graves at the old Argyle Police Camp.
On Thursday we will call back through Kununurra to bomb up with fuel again and head over to Wyndham to visit the Wyndham Work Camp, who have made the replacement headstones for the Dunham River graves. Then race down the Gibb River Road to install plaques at Mt Barnett, Mt House, Glenroy and Mt Hart. Lots more to do after that, but will send you another instalment then.
Hope all is well with you all down there.
Cheers and Beers
Trev and Suzie