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News & events of the Kaurareg homeland of Kaiwalagal, the Torres Strait homeland, and Cape York homelands of the Anggamuthi, Atambaya, Wuthathi, Yadhaykenu and Gudang Peoples
7 - 13 March 2012 • Thursday Island • www.torresnews.com.au • firstname.lastname@example.org • Edition No. 1004 • $2.00 inc. GST
Steer clear of the water
Big crocs spotted at Quarantine IN croc-spotting news this week, a couple of four-metre beasts have been reported lurking at Cook’s Landing in the Thursday Island suburb of Quarantine. Marsat Ketchell and his partner Edith Dorante, who have been keeping an eye the crocs, say people should steer clear of the water. “Pass the word around and have the kids go swimming in your back yard,” Marsat says. He said he had seen six crocodiles in the area recently, fighting over scraps left behind by hunters. “On Tuesday night (February 21) there were two at the half-tide mark fighting over ‘left-behinds’, and they were four metres plus,” he said. “They are so unafraid that they come to within 30 to 40 metres of the Landrover with all my lights on, including the spot light, and watch me watching them. “I park just over the mound behind Benny’s tinnie. “On Wednesday night, there were four at the waterline. Two of them, over four metres long, went into high school oval creek after a couple of hours and never came out. “Last night (Thursday) the same four were joined by two smaller ones from Hammond, which equals six, all in the same area. “Two always swim around to the OTC mangroves at the bottom of Clark Street, and the two monster four-metre crocs always come out of, or swim back into, the high school oval creek. “The other smaller ones head for Hammond.” He said the presence of the crocodiles was worrying, considering there was “no real big mess of left-behinds” at the landing. “We need the trappers here - but where do we relocate them to?” he said.
Uncle Steve’s return ‘a blessing’ He is a life member and Director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service, helped establish the Wagga Dance Company, and facilitates cultural awareness workshops in schools and universities. When the Torres News caught up with Uncle Steve on Monday he was chatting with old friends at the public seating area near the Primary Health Centre on Thursday Island. One friend who dropped by was Maluwap Nona from Badu. “It is a blessing to have Steve Mam back in the Torres Strait,” Maluwap said. Uncle Steve says he wants to spread the health message about diabetes to his brethren in the Torres Strait. He pointed to the word sibuwani on the front of the Primary Health Centre on Douglas Street. “Sibuwani is the Islander word for ‘contribution’,” Uncle Steve said. “I am not only interested in helping people, but in making a contribution to Torres Strait Islanders. “It’s not up to me to tell people what to do. I want to work with old people and young people, people who need support.” In July last year, the State Library of Queensland invited Uncle Steve to give his insights into Torres Strait Islander family life and customary adoption practices in a presentation as part of Strait Home, a celebration of the history and culture of the Torres Strait. Despite attempts to ‘retire’ more than a decade ago, Uncle Steve and his wife Aunty Pamela Mam have continued to work with the Torres Strait Islander community. During his induction into the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council Hall of Fame in September last year, Aunty Pam said: “We never have to Steve Mam (left), shown here catching up with his friend Maluwap Ali Nona, is back in the push each other. We’ve done everything Torres Strait after half a century away. PHOTO: MARK ROY together. Everything we’ve done is Sunday, February 26, after 50 years togetherness.” By MARK ROY away. Uncle Steve agrees. Moa Island’s Uncle Steve is wellSTEVE Mam is happy to be home. “I’ve been away in Brisbane for 50 Originally from St Paul’s community, respected and well-known locally, years, and happily married for 50 years,” Steve returned to the Torres Strait on nationally and internationally. he said.
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Independent clergy keep the faith
At the PKA Hall for the third diocesan meeting for 2011-12 are (front row) Fr Aruba, Fr Mari, Fr Banu, LNP candidate for Cook David Kempton, Bongo Sagigi, Fr Aruga, Fr Eseli, Kaurareg Elder Wigness Seriat, (second row) Willie Baira, Betty Sagigi, Fr Bob, Denna Nona, Patrick Amber, (back row) Flora Rose Sagigi and Josie Mast. By MARK ROY
tion Hall on Friday, February 24. “We are the governing body, and come The Diocese of the Independent Christian together for policy-making, clergy appointChurch in the Torres Strait and Kaiwalagal ments to various parishes,” Mrs Sagigi Australia has held its third diocesan council said. “There are 11 parishes within our diocese, meeting for 2011-12. LNP candidate for Cook David Kempton from the top western islands to Tully. “While here, we also had the opportunity was a special guest at the meeting. Diocesan registrar Betty Sagigi said to meet and listen to LNP candidate David clergy and laity travelled from Cairns and Kempton.” She said there had been a healthy level of the outer islands of the Torres Strait for the meeting, held at the Port Kennedy Associa- debate, and the membership was steady.
“We see some members drop out but they are being replaced with new ones,” Mrs Sagigi said. “It is good to see we are still going strong, despite our bishop passing away in 2010.” The late Bishop Gayai Hankin was consecrated and enthroned on April 26, 1998 at St Mark’s Pro-Cathedral at Badu Island. He was also the Parish Priest of the Parish of the Resurrection on Thursday Island. Born on Mabuyag in 1940, serving as a
Diocesan registrar Betty Sagigi at the Independent Christian Church meeting. priest in Papua New Guinea for many years before returning to the Torres Strait to serve as Dean of the Cathedral of All Souls and St Bartholemew Anglican Church on Thursday Island before forming the Diocese of the Church of the Torres Strait. “We still repeat his words, and he is still a guiding influence in the church, even though he is no longer here,” Mrs Sagigi said. “Our meeting today is an encouragement for our clergy to keep strong in the ministry and to carry out his work.”
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