June Bond

June was an indigenous woman from the local Gubbi Gubbi tribal group. She tells of what happened to her family and their removal to the Aboriginal Reserve at Cherbourg

Interview with: June Bond (nee Hutton)

Date of Interview: 16 January 1985

Interviewer: Susan Brinnand

Transcriber: Colwyn Boulton

Born: 1923 at Barambah

Education: Cherbourg Primary School

Married: 1941 at Cherbourg

Children: Ten

June Bond was an indigenous woman from the local Kabi Kabi tribal group. She tells of what happened to her family and their removal to the Aboriginal Reserve at Cherbourg.


June Bond oral history [MP3 57MB]


Aboriginal Families at Cherbourg in the 1920s

SB: Are you a member of the Kabi tribe?

BOND: My grandmother and great-grandmother, my mother, were all born on Barambah Station. Unlike most of the other families that were bought in there we belonged to that area. The only family living there now that belongs to that special place would be Weazles, most of the others were bought in.

When I was small I do remember families in those days. We never mixed much. People that came from different parts of Queensland, they all had their own special area of camping, we never ever ever mixed in. You'd find people came down from around Hawkwood Station. They had their own areas. The people that came from anywhere north of Townsville - we call them the Cooktown people – they had their own area. There was another lot that came from Thargomindah and those places and they had their own area. But I do remember the families that always visited us and they were the ones that I knew were related to us in a tribal way or in a blood way.

One family in particular, they were Browns, they came from Noosa and they spoke the same language as my grandmother, Granny always told me that we were all Kabi Kabi people. Some say Kabi Kabi, some say Gabi Gabi and some say Gavi Gavi, but it doesn't matter how you say it, it's the Wide Bay group, from the Scrubs.

That was our special place for the holidays. We would never go anywhere else but go to the Scrubs. I think some of my family (Manumbar was their home), and Browns, I believe they came there very early at the time of settlement. They were very aged people. I didn't see the first lot - the ones they used to call 'Old King Brown'.

He wasn't alive when I could remember but I did remember he had a son, Matty, and then he had another son, I can't remember his name but I remember his wife's name, she was Maggie Brown. She was crippled. She always used to walk over to our place leaning on her walking stick.

The ones at that time that visited you, that stayed at your place, you could be very sure they were closely related to you by kin or tribe. I think that it was not ‘til after I left school that there was a gradual moving out. When they wanted to build new homes they would knock down the old camps and they’d move camp families to other places and then of course when the older people died the younger ones weren’t so strict in keeping to their area.

SB: So the different tribes did not mix very much?

BOND: Very little contact, even the older people would never go to a corroboree from another lot unless they were asked to go. They never would. The younger ones, they would like to go and stickybeak. Sometimes they'd try and join in, especially if it was the easy ones that they could do but the older people never ever did, not that I remember.

Families from the Maroochy Area

SB: Were there people from further south, from Maroochydore or Kenilworth?

BOND: There were some people that came there, the Dunns and then there were Monklands, they came from around Gympie. Then I would meet other relatives - Darrawines - I think they were more from Kilkivan and Miva. I don't think too many would have come from down at Maroochy because I think a lot of them were just shot out and I think the ones that did make it home were very fortunate. My people have never lived down in that area. We were always called the Manumbar crowd, the Kilkivan crowd, the Miva crowd. Then you would get another lot, it would be the Maroochy or Noosa crowd and then the Gympie crowd, that would all speak one language.

(SHOWS PHOTO) --- This old lady there, she's still living, Mrs McGowan. She came to Cherbourg years ago. She was Elsie Hill. Her mother was an Aboriginal woman and her father was a South Sea Islander. I think a lot of the dark people that lived down there - that have survived to this day - a lot of them have South Sea Island blood in them.

I sat down talking to her (Mrs McGowan) one night around a fire. She was a great friend of my mother’s. Her and my mother were both confirmed together at my church and I always looked on her as someone very close. I asked her where did she come from and she said she was born down Yandina and she told me then that her father was South Sea Islander. I don't think she was Kabi Kabi because I do remember her very close kin to a fellow by the name of Andrew Ball. Old Andrew was the head man, and very well thought of by the Badjala people. They were the people from the Island, you know, coming down from Great Sandy and Fraser Island, that was their home and parts of Moreton Island. She spoke of her aunt, her mother's sister. Her mother's sister she told me was Jenny Lind, she used to call the 'Old Queen of Cherbourg'. But Jenny was bought there too, bought from Maryborough, but they were Waka Waka people, they always classed themselves, so I don't know, probably wrong marriages somewhere.

SB: Did Andrew Ball go to Cherbourg?

BOND: Andrew Ball, he was a full blood man, he used to always come over to see my mother's cousin Old Fred Embrey (that was the name they gave him on the station) but his Aboriginal name was Whardin. Sometimes people used to call Yabba Fred but his name was Whardin, that was his Aboriginal name. He was married to my grandmother's sister, Sylvia, and most of the information that I got was from him and from my grandmother's sister-in-law, Winnie Cobbo. See my family, my great-grandfather was a Booubyjan Cobbo. They always used to say they were the Miva men, or Boohara men - that was their home.

SB: Did you meet Andrew Ball?

BOND: I've met Andrew. He used to come over to my Uncle Whardin and they sat and talked in a different language to my grandmother. There were three languages, Badjala my grandmother's language, Kabi Kabi, and there was Waka Waka - that's my husband's. All of them sort of married in and I think you'll find some of the words can be exchanged.

Kinship Structure

SB: Did Andrew Ball tell you any stories?

BOND: No, very rarely they would talk to children. There was a big generation gap. They would never sit down and tell you a story just for the sake of entertaining you. They only told you that as more of a Aesop's fable type of thing. You know if you did anything wrong, well, they said: "You mustn't do that because I'll tell you" - you'd get a tale to explain to you. But they never sat down and told us anything just for entertainments sake.

SB: So it was more for your education?

BOND: It was more for education to teach you, see what happened to them can happen to you. That's all it was, that's what I remember anyway. The family that I was reared up by - Uncle Whardin had been initiated so was my great-grandfather. I think that they would be amongst the last of the men who would be initiated.

SB: Kabi Kabi?

BOND: No, my great-grandfather was Kabi Kabi, but his son-in-law, who I called Uncle, he was Badjala. Always there was a strange thing, because I had to call him Uncle, but I had to call his wife Granny. She was my grandmother's sister and she became my Gran because she was Mum's mother's sister. Mum's mother had died when Mum was a little girl and Granny Sylvia reared them and when I was born she reared me. So she was my grandmother, just the same as my own grandmother would have been. They did tell me they were married wrong. They would not let me call him anything else but Uncle and call her anything else but Granny. I had to keep to that. I get very weary now talking to my cousins and trying to explain it to them.

SB: Did you speak Kabi Kabi?

BOND: No, I never spoke much, didn't learn much. I could understand a little. Granny was too intent on sending me to school and I think when you went to school you had to learn to speak good English. I think we lost a lot in learning English. Whereas my husband, he hadn't been to school, and he speaks his language fluently, very fluently. There are some things that I do understand, some words, places and that. I cannot carry on a conversation like they can.

SB: Did you hear any stories about the families that came from the Sunshine Coast area, the Dunns and people like that? Did they tell you any stories about what it was like where they came from?

BOND: No, the Dunns, old Fred died when I was in my teens. There was a very funny thing, that I picked up lately, cause everything sort of come back to me and I've remembered. My grandmother, Kate Cobbo, she married a fellow called Barambah Cobbo or Willy Crow, sometimes they called him. All our lives people were saying that's your grandfather's brother. I was married and Grandfather Crow visited me and all he was telling me was, he'd got the pension. He showed me the paper where he'd put his application in, and I noticed then that his mother's name was Emma Dunn, and I see the woman's name and I said, "Who is that there?" and he said, "That's my mother." And when I saw my grandfather's death certificate there was another woman altogether it wasn't Emma Dunn at all. So, it occurred to me it must have been just the Aboriginal system of two men marrying two sisters, became brothers. But Emma Dunn, I remember that name when I got a book by Nancy Cato, I had a look at and I did see then Emma Dunn and her husband lived at Noosa and they had a fine upstanding young son called Willy - so it must have been the old gentleman that I saw. All of the years I used to hear him talk languages. It never really occurred to me that he was from the same area. We lost a lot too, because children just weren't allowed to question older people. You could never ask questions. If they wanted to tell you anything they would tell you. When I see the young people I often wish I'd done what they're doing now, ask questions. But I never did, it never occurred to me.

SB: Did the women have initiation?

BOND: I don't think they would have had initiation like the men did, but I think they had to learn certain rules. They would have to have learnt certain rules to obey most of their lives. Even now a lot of the things that they speak about now are very new to me, like sacred sites. We never heard them when we were children but when you remember back you would hear your grandmother or someone telling you that's a bad place you must not go there and I'd say, "Why?" and they'd say, "Merlong was there" and we knew that would be a bad spirit, they're called a 'Merlong'. Well that then of course if you thought back you would realise that that must have been a place where certain events took place, initiation or even ceremonial killing, things like that. We kept right away from places like that.

SB: So as children you obeyed the older people?

BOND: Oh yes, you never questioned it, if you weren't to go there you never went there. There were some places even at home at Cherbourg, my people lived there all their lives but there was one place we never ever went because we were told by old Grandfather Crow (Willy Crow, well, his proper name should be Willy Dunn). He used to say "Oh, that's the slaughterhouse you mustn't go there, that's where they used to kill people who disobeyed laws", and yet the people that were bought in from other places they don't know anything about it.

SB: How did the people who were brought in feel? Were they happy being taken to Cherbourg?

BOND: Oh, the ones that are there now of course are quite happy but my mother told me it was quite a common thing. She was reared a girl with some of the young ones who came there. She said it was terribly sad at sundown to see the teenagers walking, trying to leave the settlement, trying to go back home.

SB: So the teenagers, they would try to leave?

BOND: They tried to leave Cherbourg, but it was Barambah then, try to leave that to go home.

SB: Did the authorities stop them?

BOND: They had to, they made laws, we had to keep them. I don't know if they thought it would be cheaper to have Protectors, you know.

(SHOWS PHOTO) --- Even here, all of these, they all came from somewhere else, to Cherbourg. And my cousins were saying to me "Why isn't our name there? Why isn't great-grandfather's name there?" And I said, "great-grandfather wasn’t bought from anywhere, that's why his name's not there."

SB: Can you remember how many people were brought in?

BOND: Oh, in every house I do remember seeing families. The Holts family came from Springsure. About the middle thirties and after that when war was coming they (the authorities - editor's note) were interested in other things then, you didn't see so many come. SB: Do you think there were no more left to bring in?

BOND: Oh, there were still people around but I think, like my husband's family, they were very important on the cattle stations. I think if they went and saw them working there on cattle stations they didn’t take them away while they could find employment.

Johnny Campbell

SB: Can you tell me something about Johnny Campbell?

BOND: I did hear about him. I suppose you could say these days, he was a womaniser but I don't know what happened, if someone hurt some of his family and it was more or less a payback. I don't know because it was very very rare in those days, we were so frightened of the guns, but he had committed crimes, I think it was rape against some white women. They couldn’t get anyone to testify against him in court because they didn't want people to know, as they say. But when he was up our way that was his own area and people were bound to protect him and not to give him away. Even though he came down to Maroochy, though they spoke the same language - they were all the one tribe - the people there got a little worried and they gave him over to the police. Johnny, I believe, was fairly well educated. Old Mr Campbell looked after his education, had him taught. Then he went to England. He came back, then all the other crimes happened. When he was caught then he was hung in Brisbane jail. And I believe that wherever there were Kabi Kabi people they were dragged down to witness the hanging so that none of the young tribesmen would ever do that again. But I do believe that they bought them down from wherever they could grab them.

Mrs McGowan's Story

BOND: But then again while a lot of them are not left, my people are left, around the North Coast area, there used to be a lot of shooting. That was one thing that Mrs McGowan told me that they tried to get away from. When they left there people were being shot out for land. She walked her and her grandmother from Nambour right up to the back of Barambah Station and when she got there they met my own grandfather and his brother-in-law, Willy Crow. Well old Willy could speak her language, he was Kabi Kabi too. They were able to talk, my own grandfather couldn't because he was different altogether. But she told Willy then that people were being shot, men and women down around Nambour. They wanted to get away, find a tribe that they could get along with, that they could fit in with. That's how she came up home and they walked all the way too. She was only a little girl, she told me, about four or five, not quite ready to go to school.

SB: So they must have been very afraid.

BOND: Oh they were, and yet her sister, I don't know what it was, she had a sister that never came home. She might have had the appearance of the South Sea Islanders too, Granny Elsie (Mrs McGowan) does, yes she does have the appearance of the South Sea Island people.

Arriving at Cherbourg

BOND: They were terribly frightened that someone would ask them, "Where are you from, where did you come from?" and if they would say, "Oh, I came from Springsure or came from Rockhampton." They'd say, "Oh, well there's another family that came from there, we'll take you." It was really wonderful the way they would get together and find the kinfolk, it wasn't so bad then. Then again, I remember seeing young men who never had a relative on the place, they were there totally alone. You would see them come home; even babes in arms, just bought there, don't know where they came from, who they belonged to. They were given names such as David Niven, Elizabeth Allen after all of the film stars that were the rage of the day. But I suppose it was a lot better than some of the names I heard some of the old men get.

Daily life at Cherbourg

SB: What was it like living at Cherbourg?

BOND: I was very fortunate, I had a good family, had a wonderful mother. All her cousins, they were all fathers to me. I was home, I didn't know any other place. It was after, when you left, when you got into your teens and into your twenties that you thought back. At the time of growing up, I really liked it.

SB: Did you go to primary school?

BOND: Yes, we had a state school there. We were never taught as much as the students outside, we only had to fourth grade education but of course you had to remember there were four preps in those days before you got into grades. I finished off my education with the correspondence school.

BOND: My teacher was Robert Trevor Crawford, he never tried to have us learn what was in Primary at the time. But he would sort of fit things to our stage of progress. It used to become a little boring for me at times because I used to get ahead of my classes and I'd have to just sit down and listen and watch the others try and catch up.

SB: Were you taught anything by your grandmother and mother about Aboriginal ways?

BOND: Well, there were the usual things like you'd have to watch relatives. You couldn't really get playful with your male relatives. You had to learn to keep your kinship in the right perspective I suppose. To even think about marrying even a fourth cousin, it was something terribly wrong, so I would hate to think what would happen if you wanted to marry a first like some of them do these days. There were some very strange things I used to notice when we'd do our ironing. In those days most of the old customs were gone, yet they'd try and adjust the old laws to what we were going through home living then. I know you couldn't go and get a blanket for ironing (we didn't have ironing boards we just used to iron on the kitchen table) you couldn't get a blanket off a female's bed, the blanket for ironing always had to come from a male's bed and sometimes we didn't have enough on hand. To ever think to go and buy teatowels, that was out of the question. We would have to tear up old clothes for wiping up, it always had to be the back part of a man's shirt. You couldn't go and get a petticoat or an old dress. My grandmother would have had forty fits.

My great-grandfather was still living when I was quite a size, I was in my teens and he was still living and everything that he had to use, well it would be my job to carry. I had to get his wood but I noticed after I got the period, where I had menstruation, that stopped. I couldn't do anything much for him any more, my younger sister had to do that then until he died. So they did try to keep the old system of living as long as they possible could.

Booubyjan Cobbo

SB: Can you tell me something about your great-grandfather?

BOND: My great-grandfather, he was a stockman and he helped ride around and get to know the Aboriginal people in the areas that he wasn't from, with the Lawless family. I think they are still there at Booubyjan. The old families in the Burnett. My great-grandfather was with him and I often think now, no wonder great-grandfather had four wives, and I think he used to say, when I think of it now, "Save the trouble of carting one family to one place and another family to another place."

My great-grandmother, Alice Barlow, was his first wife. She had two girls. Then he was with his second wife, Maryann Thompson, she had three boys. And then another person Biddy Cameron. More or less the settled existence, and I don't know where she went to. The last wife we saw him with was called Daughter, I don't know why. We always had to go back in relationship. Yet I have never seen families so close, as the children of those four women. They were terribly close, and they had a life like that. I think it was quite normal in those days for them to have four different families. I do remember a lot of the older women too, one first husband, second, third, and possibly the fourth. My husband and I were only talking about that yesterday. You have to trace relationships with people.

SB: It makes it very difficult, doesn't it?

BOND: If you know, you'd never get lost anywhere really.

SB: Did the white people understand the different marriages?

BOND: I never had much contact with white people. I didn't but my husband may have had more so on the stations. I didn't have much contact because the white people were always the boss. You would have one boss of the farm, another one would be boss of the stores, another one would be big boss over all the bosses. You never got to know them. The only one, I was only telling the children - I did a lecture up at the school – I think I was about fifteen, going out to work, before I ever spoke much to a white person, apart from my teacher, and my minister.

Domestic work on the cattle stations

SB: What was your first job?

BOND: I worked out on a cattle station. We used to see girls like this coming home. See girls dressed like that coming home.

(SHOWS PHOTO) --- I'd watch them, and I say, "Gee I'm going to go out and get a job so that I can get nice clothes like that." That girl there, I don't know if you know footballers at all, she is the grandmother of Mark McDonald. I think he plays for Easts. She was a very fashionable girl, still is too, although she is getting on in years now. Never see her unless she is nicely dressed.

SB: What did you do at the cattle station?

BOND: I used to do domestic work on the stations. I went to one place, I don't think I learnt much there. I decided I'd do a better job the next place I went. I did. I really liked it when I was at Gladstone and then I went out to Blackall. I didn't mind going out. When you went to work in those days, you had to sign a contract. If you dared to leave that job within the time limit, you possibly wouldn't find yourself coming home, you'd be going to another Aboriginal settlement as punishment. You had to stay, so I think you could imagine my mother's life, with me as a baby, she left me with my Granny Sylvia, and the only time I ever saw my mother would be at Christmas when she came home from working. She liked her job. She spoke quite fondly of the places where she’d been. She realised it was a job you had to do and she went and did it.

SB: How long were the contracts?

BOND: Twelve months. Always twelve months, sometimes you'd get home a month sooner, if the mistress wanted to go away for a holiday, well you couldn't be left on the place on your own, so you would go home then.

SB: What were the wages?

BOND: Not much I'm afraid, we didn't have any unions to back us up. The wages would be about ten shillings – one dollar. The first job I was given two shillings a week to my hand, the rest went to the Native Affairs Department. Second one wasn't too bad. I got one pound five shillings; I got the five shillings to my hand. Then when I went up to Blackall I used to get two pounds. I get half of that and the other half to Native Affairs.

SB: Did Native Affairs find you the job?

BOND: Oh yes, there was always someone writing home for domestic servants. When you took a job you had to do everything. You had to be an assistant cook, you did all of the housework and then you did all the laundry as well. The first job where I went to, it was a funny thing, she showed me how to make the bread and I came up with it quite well so I had that extra job too, breadmaker as well.

SB: How many hours did you work?

BOND: You worked all the time that they wanted you to do something. The first job it was on the go from about seven in the morning until about eight at night. The next place it was quite good. There was no children so I always had that rest in the afternoon. The third place it was quite good. But if you were unfortunate to go to a place where there were about two or three children, well you didn't have much spare time, you found yourself looking after the children.

SB: Did you work every day?

BOND: Oh, Saturday and Sunday as well.

SB: Where was your first job?

BOND: It was out at Taroom, that's not far from my husband's home. His home was Camboon Station although his father was born on Taroom. It used to be part of an Aboriginal reserve then in those days. They moved from there to Woobinda.

The Depression

SB: Did the Depression have any effect?

BOND: Oh no, it had no effect on us. I became more aware of things, things around me, around 1930. I wasn't very big. Up at Barambah they had their own cattle and they killed beef. I mean you might not have got the best of it but at least you'd get meat and they did grow their own potatoes there. They had one of the best farms I think that you could ever get anywhere. And lo and behold when I went up there I saw they had built a football ground over this beautiful farmland. I couldn't believe my eyes, because from that farm we used to grow enough for the whole settlement. They always had some cows there, my mother told me that the horses that they started off with there at the settlement; they belonged to me great-grandmother's second husband and his grandson. I thought she was dreaming you know, imagined it, but I did read in that book "From Wilderness to Wealth" about old Billy Barlow. He was my mother's step-grandfather. It said that he was a very fine horseman. The owner of the Station then, Jones, and their managers, they always saw, when they used to break in horses, that Billy got as good stock as the other stockmen did. So it must have been right, he must have owned the horses that they (Cherbourg) started off with. And they had milk. Of course butter was an unknown item, you had to buy that yourself

Dormitories at Cherbourg

BOND: Once you reached a certain age, you got into your teens, you were taken from home and you went with the girls to a girls' dormitory, didn't know who was boss there either, there were so many bosses. The meals were fairly adequate what I remember of them.

SB: Were the parents happy to let the teenager girls go?

BOND: Well, some of the mothers never liked their children going, you know leaving their home. When girls got into their teens, and it's like any family, you expect a little bit of help from your children. You like to have them, some mothers like to sit down and talk to their children. But I do remember even if you wanted to visit your parents you had to get a permit to walk from the girls' dormitory up to what we used to call the camp. Where we used to have the houses for the married families. You had to get a permit to go up there, so I'd hate to think of asking to visit town at that time. It was something we never saw, we never saw Murgon only four miles away. We only went in there at Murgon Show time. If you were lucky, to do Christmas shopping. They really believed in keeping them away from the white community. I have no idea what was the idea. I don't know why, but we never ever went in.

SB: Why were you taken from your parents?

BOND: They had a great faith in the word 'protection' and I think in the first place, most of the reports that I've read, they moved away from places as a protection against the white men that used to live with the Aboriginal women and have half-caste children. I used to read of it a lot, you know the Aboriginal problem, the half-caste problem and things like that. And then, of course, I think it was more or less a 'protection' so that young girls wouldn't become involved with men.

SB: White men?

BOND: Well, there were not many white men on the place. I don't know what it was. It was always a great thing to protect them against this and to protect them against that. I think it was once they became capable of having children, they'd move them from their parents to keep an eye on them. That's the only thing that I can think of.

Sickness - traditional remedies

SB: Was there much sickness out there?

BOND: Well, there was quite a lot of it really and then again some of the old people lived great ages. There was TB at that time and the thing that used to make me feel sad was the death of babies. Children that would be quite healthy on their mother's breast and then when it came to that period from being weaned to school years, quite a lot of babies would die. They've overcome that now because they have a very good maternal clinic up there. It's quite a different matter now.

SB: Did children die from measles and influenza and things like that?

BOND: I don't think they died from measles but I remember we had a couple of epidemics there. I was affected by one of them. They took over the whole of the boys' dormitories and had all the children there that had measles but they (the children) were able to get over that. They only had about six children I think in quarantine with typhoid fever and they managed to contain that. My mother did tell me there was a period of time that they had a very severe type of flu and she said that they had to dig a couple of trenches to bury quite a few of the people.

SB: When would that have been?

BOND: That would have been about 1917-1918, somewhere about that time. When Mum talked she always talked in the period 'The Great War', or before it or after it, that's how Mum used to work out her period of time.

SB: Did the Aboriginals have any traditional medicinal treatments for the sicknesses?

BOND: Oh, I suppose. I don't know about a lot of them. You can only talk about your own people, your own tribal area. My family's asthmatic and there was a weed that we had to go and get, it resembled that Pentas out there. It had a pink flower like that. Well we’d have to go and get that. Once the flower came on we’d pull that up and then we’d hang it up to dry and they made tea with that.

SB: You can’t remember the name of it?

BOND: I can’t remember the name of the weed but I’d know it if I saw it growing. I think it grows up around home and then they’d get the bark of the Quinine tree, that grows up home. That bark was boiled too. They had great faith in the Eucalyptus tree. If you didn’t know how to do it of course it could be very tragic but I do remember they’d dig a hole about the length of whoever had to be treated and they’d make a fire in that. Then on top of that would go a lot of leaves from the gum tree, and the patient would be put in that and covered with more and used as a steam for different aches and pains but if they didn’t know how to do it, it could end up in tragedy. People from different areas I think they had different customs for doing things. But I know that down our way there was that one little plant and the Quinine tree.

SB: You were telling me about a Mrs Silca?

BOND: Serico, yes Evelyn, she’s Kabi Kabi. She was a Monkland, Evelyn Monkland and she’s now Evelyn Serico. I think her daughter is doing papers for the University. I think about that a bit though because Mrs Serico, she was related to old Andrew Ball. That is like you have one elderly person that is the head of the family. Yet of course Andrew might have been related to her father or her grandfather and she might have been Kabi Kabi on the other way but she does claim Kabi Kabi.

Barambah, my old family called it Burrum Beer and it is just Beerburrum back to front. When you say it Burrum Beer, it means the wind is coming and Beerburrum, the wind is gone.

The site of the Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement

SB: Where did the name Cherbourg come from?

BOND: Oh well I think they used to get mixed up with the mail on Barambah Station and the Settlement. Mr Jones really wanted it called Childberry after the place that he came from in England or Wales. But unfortunately someone didn’t write it correctly and we ended up with Cherbourg.

SB: Who was Mr Jones?

BOND: Mr Jones was the first owner, the son of the first owner of Barambah.

SB: Did he give land?

BOND: I don't think they'd give land, the government just went and resumed it. Although before that was resumed he did have that area aside as a meeting place for Aboriginal people. My mother was saying long before the settlement was formed they'd go down from Barambah Station to see old Alice Barlow, my great-grandmother, she was with Billy Barlow. My mother used to go down and her own grandfather, old Booubyjan Cobbo. They were all living there, there was no settlement then. There was no Murgon, no Wondai, no Goomeri, all they had to do was ride to Kilkivan. They had to go to Kilkivan, was the only town then and Nanango of course.

SB: That was about 1900?

BOND: It was at the turn of the century.


Sunshine Coast Council acknowledges the Sunshine Coast Country, home of the Kabi Kabi peoples and the Jinibara peoples, the Traditional Custodians, whose lands and waters we all now share.
We commit to working in partnership with the Traditional Custodians and the broader First Nations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) community to support self-determination through economic and community development.
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