On Saturday, 26 November I took the ferry to Baringhoe / Garden Island along with some 60 descendants of Bungaree, mostly from the family of Uncle Bob Waterer. The Navy has dedicated a plaque recognising Bungaree and the fact that he died on Garden Island in December 1830.
As you step from the ferry you see the copy of the famous oil painting Bungaree, A Native of New South Wales, painted by Augustus Earle in 1826. On the reverse of the poster is a larger version in blue and white.
There were speeches and a smoking ceremony and three Navy men from the Bungaree Dancers sang and danced wearing blue camouflage trousers, painted up on their bare chests, face and arms. One had a didgeridoo (yidaki) and clapsticks.
These Navy ratings with technical skills fly in from their ships when needed for Indigenous recognition ceremonies.
Keith VIncent Smith