Saturday morning I flew out of Croker, via Goulburn Island again, and back to Darwin. Another week in the sun, then back to the ‘now when it’s freezing, here in these cold, cold, hills.’ The trip has been successful and enjoyable, perhaps falling a little short of my goals in some respects, but exceeding expectations in others. The booklet which doubled as a field guide to Fort Wellington, and showing the locations of of the remains of the fort proved invaluable. Last night, Tuesday 3rd July, Brother Max, Sharon and myself had a great meal (Indian) at the Nirvana restaurant, and night spot, after which I did a few songs at the ‘jam’ session, which I had participated in on other occasions. The Adelaide Hills winter will be difficult.
My project has certainly been progressed, and so it should be after two full months. There is much I will be able to use in my writings, and much of which has fueled my own interest. It is probably not absolutely necessary to view the ruins of Fort Wellington in order to write about it, but it was certainly a most satisfying experience, and I am sure I will have a better feel for the place as I frame my script.My endeavours to get a feel for the culture of the Iwaidja people of Croker Island fell a little short of my expectations. A key contact, and traditional owner of the Raffles Bay region, Stephen Fejo, was away for much of my stay on Croker, due to ‘sorry business’ in Darwin, and I have no doubt that had I met Stephen sooner, I would have gotten deeper into the culture and would have gotten to know more people there. He has made it clear that he would be pleased to have me visit again, and that he would accompany me to Raffles Bay, using his own boat, and teach me all he can about the region. He also suggested that I should camp there for a few days, something which I had really wanted to do all along.
The difficulty about the island visit was in not knowing how it would be at all, and in not knowing anyone there. The next time I go there, and I feel I will, I will be off to a flying start. I met with, talked to, and showed photographs to lots of people in the last couple of days, but alas, I had to move on. I had already been there for ten days. I have also been put onto a DVD about traditional culture on Croker and have obtained the name and contact information of a linguist who visits Croker regularly, and who everyone tells me, would be very helpful in providing me with useful cultural and historical information.
Meanwhile, the Adelaide Hills beckon…..
NT independence day celebrations