Mrs Janet Kennedy (nee Williams) recalls “that the Manly district contained a number of Aboriginal camps”. (Kennedy 1937) The people were living on a mixture of British food (especially tea, flour and sugar) and bush tucker.
Mrs O’Shanessy, a daughter of ferry engineer Robert Grant recalls “Where the Catholic Church now stands in Whistler Street there was an aboriginal camp that was nearly always occupied by a tribe of the coastal blacks, then an everyday feature of Manly’s life.” (Manly Council 1910, Official Jubilee History)
Billy Fawkner was a Koori servant of the Ward family in Brisbane Waters, who helped to raise the children. During the 1860s and 70s he would travel to Dural to sell oysters and fish. With the money he would buy tea, sugar, flour, tobacco and pipes from the general store. The poet Henry Kendall knew Billy and wrote about him. King Billy’s cave was about 2 kilometres south of Berowra Creek. His wife Sal is said to have lived in a nearby cave. (Local Colour, 1977)