Topics: People: Community leaders: North Coastal

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1823 - view

Birth of Charlotte Ashby, daughter of Sophie Bungaree and James Webb.

1828 - view

The census in 1828 lists Lewis Ferdinand (Biddy’s Lewis’ husband) as living at Lower Portland Headland (Broken Bay). Lewis is listed as a labourer to John Grace, and Sarah (Biddy) as Lewis’s housekeeper.

1830 - view

Birth of Theda Bungaree, father: Bowen Toura Bungaree, Mother: Maria.

1834 - view

Rickety Dick of the Broken Bay tribe has his portrait painted.

1836 - view

Bowen (Toura Bungaree) and his wife Maria, and daughters Jonza, Nan, Theda (Jane), and son Mark, move to Pittwater, near Barrenjoey. Bowen has perhaps decided to lead his clan away from the destruction and poverty of Sydney life back to a semi traditional existence.

1836 - view

Bowen may also have been disappointed in British justice. Bowen had requested the Reverend Threlkeld to make representation to the NSW Attorney General for the unsuccessful prosecution of two Aboriginal men, Murrell and Bummaree for the murder of his brother-in-law Jabinguy and another man. His appeal to the Attorney General was unsuccessful. Bowen returned to find his country much altered with traditional coastal fishing grounds blocked off to them and borders from farms and roads.

1836 - view

Bowen and other members of his clan find work employed as black trackers and also catch and trade fish with settlers. He works beside Customs Officer Howard and is friends with local farmer John Farrell. He is described as a valuable asset to the force. The Sydney Herald reports that Bowen has given information that leads to the capture of three bush rangers. “A black fellow named Bowen told Brophy that the other bushrangers were on another island near Mooney Mooney Creek”.

1836 - view

Bowen is a very effective black tracker in detecting illegal stills in the upper reaches of McCarrs Creek, Church Point. He leads John Howard from the Customs House at Barrenjoey, Pittwater, up the creek to where a man William Farr is detained. Howard recognizes Bowen’s skills and recommends to the Collector of Customs in Sydney that he should ”have a second boat which would cost about four hundred pounds and enable him to get a living for himself and family consisting of two daughters and a son. … as he will be liable to insult and oppression for having aided me”. Later Howard writes “I am reluctant to employ (Bowen) … without the protection of a constable as I have reason to believe that violence would be used towards him.”

1842 - view

Boio (Long Dick). son of Bungaree and Cora Gooseberry, gives a Broken Bay vocabulary to John Mann.

1844 - view

Her (known) children are ‘Miss Diana Bungaree’, Long Dick and Young Bungaree.

1849 - view

Bowen Bungaree, Bungaree’s son, sails with other Koories to the Californian gold fields with Richard Hill because of their skill in sailing boats and in the hope to be given jobs to carry the crowds of gold seekers flocking to the Eldorado. Black Bowen is the only one to return. He speaks with ridicule about America, “That country! No wood for fire, but plenty cold wind … no good for me! No good for blackfellows!” On his return Bowen resumes his duties as a Police Tracker and reports to police the activities of two assigned servants (convicts) who had escaped and are petty thieves on the Northern Beaches. The men are captured and sent to prison. Bowen’s reputation is now well established, for example he tracks and uses his gun to hunt the bush-ranger Casey. Bowen wear grand clothes, Farrell describes him: “He was in full rig with dress coat, his hair knotted up behind with three feathers stuck in it”.

1853 - view

Bowen is shot by four white bushrangers at Newport. He is 56 years old. John Farrell relates that a bushranger Casey, who frequented Bushranger’s Hill, had murdered Bowen as he sat by his fire at night.

1862 - view

Death of Queen Gooseberry, at 78. Her father was from the southern Sydney area. After Bungaree’s death she has settled around Camp Cove with other displaced Aboriginal people. She wears a breast plate with her name on it. Wrapped in a blanket, her head covered by a scarf and with a clay pipe in her mouth, she is a familiar Sydney personality. Her grave is in the Presbyterian section of Botany Cemetery. “In memory of Gooseberry Queen of the Sydney Tribe of Aborigines”.

1863 - view

Clara Duggan, born 4 November 1863 at Wattle Flat, NSW. Esther’s daughter (William’s mother), descendants of Bowen.

1868 - view

Thomas Booker

1880s - view

Mrs Benns (and husband Joseph Benns) are still living on Pittwater. She acts as midwife to all the families along the Hawkesbury River.

1880 - view

Biddy Lewis dies and is buried at Bar Island near Brooklyn.

1895 - view

Birth of William de Serve, a Guringai Koori farmer and fisherman on Barenjoey Peninsula.

1920s - view

‘Black Lucy’ lives in Milling Street Gladesville until she dies in late 1920s. She is referred to by Europeans as the last (traditional) member of the Gamaraigal tribe and is buried in the Field of Mars Cemetery.

1940s - view

William de Serve, a Gai-mariagal man born on Barrenjoey, is living in several camps along the Hawkesbury River making a living by selling his fishing catch at Brooklyn. He is also known at Coal and Candle Creek and at Narrabeen.