1911-1912 - 1912-1913:
FIFTY-FOURTH AND FIFTY-FIFTH REPORTS
ABORIGINES’ FRIENDS’ ASSOCIATION.
Reports of Committees.
The attached reports, financial statements, and acknowledgements of amounts received toward the support of the Point McLeay Mission cover a period of two years, and are presented in order to give information to the public, andf maintain the continuity of the story of the Mission.
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Work on the Station.
In the last report mention was made of ther appointment of a Farm Manager, as well as Superintendent, at Point McLeay, but subsequent experience proved that the scheme did not work out satisfactorily, and ended in the retirement of the Farm Manager. For some months the Superintendent has been carrying on the work of the various departments, and harmony and good order now prevails on the Station. The Superintendent has been actively assisted in the work by his wife and daughters, the teacher (Mr. Francis), and the Matron (Miss Hunter). The two latter, who have been associated with the Mission for many years, are still rendering useful service in their respective departments. The appointment of a Farm Manager, to work under the direction of the Superintendent, has been postponed for the present.
Appeal to the Government.
Owing mainly to the insufficiency of ther Government grant to develop the land and meet the needs and requirements of the Mission, the difficulties arising at the Station during the year compelled the Committee to wait upon the Government to request them to assume control of the industrial [ 4 ] work of the Mission, making adequate provision for the Association to carry on its missionary work. This step was taken with much reluctance, as it was felt that, given proper and adequate financial aid, the Association could do much better work than any body of officials appointed to deal with the Natives by the Government.
Royal Commission Appointed.
The deputation appointed to wait upon the Government were cordially received by Sir Richard Butler, and as the result it was decided by the Government to appoint a Commission to deal with the requirements of the Natives. The President, Mr. T. W. Fleming, Ven. Archdeacon Bussell, the late Mr. W. E. Dalton, Rev. J. H. Sexton, Mr. C. E. Taplin, gave evidence before the Commission, making suggestions for dealing with the larger question of the Natives throughout the State, and particualrly with the Mission at Point McLeay. The Commission, it is understood, will submit to Parliament shortly their report and recommendations.
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Work Must be Maintained.
The nation has much to answer for in its treatment of the Natives. Some of the reserves allotted to them have been sold, their happy hunting grounds taken, and they have been driven into very limited spaces by the advance of civilisation. The white man has invaded their hearths and homes, leaving behind him a serious half-caste problem, who are to be pitied and sympathised equally with the full-blooded Natives. Their taint of colour excludes them from the privileges of the white race, who, though responsible for their existence, objects to funds intended for aborigines being devoted to half-castes. These, along with their darker comrades, have ever found a home of success and refuge at Point McLeay. So long as any members of the Native tribes remain, the work of the Association will be needed to give life and guidance to untutored minds, call forth higher aspirations and desires, minister for their physical well-being, and in a loving and sympathetic spirit smooth the pillow of a dying race.
THOS. W. FLEMING, President.
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Departmental Reports, 1912.
The Superintendent’s Report.