(We remember you)

A nation’s pride turned to shame

the pain in life

merged into memories

the blood of the wounds

still weeps

today in history. 

The beaury of this land

irretrievably stained

by the Myall Creek massacre

of 10th June 1838;

innocence blood 

landmarking through the centuries

this moment in time.

A winter afternoon

of fear, crying, disbelief

as together Aborigines

were roped, herded off,

raped by white stockmen;

as the setting sun

witnesses the massacre

of twenty-eight

loved Wirrayaraay people.

The horror of the aftermath when seen,

saw the journey to justice begin,

six months and two trials later;

seven white stockmen hanged,

the first time the perpetrators

were caught and punished.

Today, on the 162nd anniversary

amidst smoke dispelling

from a ‘smoking’ ceremony

black and white together gather

turning visions of harmony

steadily into reality;

acknowledging the darkest dark of history.

Dedicating this memorial

of eight stones, each

telling part of the story,

a gentle walk along

the pathway to reconciliation,

pausing …..

reflecting ………. 

Spirits of the dreamtime

reawakening to the

enlightened dawn of a new age,

bridging the gaps,

outstretched hands linking

black and white,

the flame of euphoria

of new friendships

most lovingly be rekindled. 

Hearts must remain open,

what has begun must not die,

understanding must prevail,

time must not weary

what lieves in the memory 

of history,

ngiyani winangay nginda

(c) J.A. Butler, ‘Killara’, Bingara 2404   

11-23rd May, 2000

* Broadcast ABC Radio – Bill Gleeson’s Poetry Segment – 9/6/2000

* Broadcast ABC Radio – James O’Brien Programme – 9/6/2000

* Read at opening and dedicaiton of Myall Creek Memorial – 10/6/2000

* Published Koori Mail – 229th Edition – 28/6/2000