History Snippets By Warwick Outram

We may not have done the best we could for all local natives.
Queensland’s first native reserve was established at White Patch.
Going back to early settlement, we read in Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland, of an official attitude back in 1877, during the Douglas Ministry . Here are a few extracts from her book: “Natives were supplied with a boat, fishing net, harpoons for dugong and had to work in exchange for rations, catching fish, curing them and making dugong, shark and stingaree oils … they caught great hauls of sea mullet …. the settlement bid fair to become self supporting were all sold in Brisbane to purchase rations… My father asked the Government, during the life of the settlement, for authority to keep blacks from the city, where they could get drink, but this was not granted… It was quite true what the gins had said, and many deaths occurred in drunken fights ,.. In 1879 the McIlwraith government did away with the whole thing. My father asked what was to become of the old men and women? “Oh let them go and work like anyone else”, was the reply. The Catholic Father McNab and gentlemen of the Church of England took an active interest in the native population but we do not know how often they visited. We are told that Tom Petrie, who was in charge went to White Patch about once per month to check out things. From what is known, Kal-Ma-Kuta had a different life.