The Kirrip Aboriginal Community and the City of Melton hosted a Journey to the G Community Day at the Kirrip Aboriginal Community House in Melton today. The community event was organised to celebrate the Aboriginal Cricket Team of 1866 while the Journey to the G Message Book is in the Melton community.
Ron Marks, a Cultural Educator from the Barengi Gadjin Land Council provided an entertaining and informative presentation on members of the famous Aboriginal Cricket team. Not surprisingly Ron is a keen cricketer as he is a descendent of a member of the Aboriginal Cricket Team of the 1860s, King Richard or Dick-a-Dick (Traditional Name Djungadjinganook).
Ron told how King Richard threw a cricket ball over 100 yards during the tour of England in 1868 and the only person to match that distance was the great W C Grace who went on to become one of the greatest cricketers of all time.
He also said King Richard was renowned for his skill using the waddy, a traditional Aboriginal weapon. During the tour of England King Richard would challenge men, up to four at a time, to throw cricket balls at him from 15 paces away while he used a waddy and a shield to protect himself. It is reported he was only hit once but he claims he was not ready at the time.
Other special guests included the Mayor of the City of Melton, Cr Sophie Ramsey and the Deputy Mayor Cr Bob Turner. Jane Nathan, Chair of the Mullagh Wills Foundation, provided guests with an overview of the Journey to the G project and thanked the local community for their wonderful support in celebrating the incredible achievements of the Aboriginal Cricket Team in 1866 and in doing so helping to build the awareness of this remarkable story involving all members of the community 150 years ago.
The community event was completed with the raising of the Aboriginal flag on the newly erected flag pole in front of Kirrip Aboriginal Community House.
The Message Book will remain in the City of Melton until the Council Meeting on Monday November 21st. During this time it will be on display in the City of Melton offices.