National Archives of Australia
CRS F126 Item 29
Tanami 1937 - 1941
Copyright P J Mackett 2020
10. 5.1937 Report on trip to the Granites 22-28. 4.1937
Three aboriginal workers Albie, Sambo and Mick who were fully clad and
could speak pidgin English.
Two half-caste employees Ben and Harry Palmer.
The following whites are at present living and working at the Granites
C H Chapman, Senior, manager and owner. Married but living separately from his wife.
C H Chapman, Junior, unmarried
A M Williams, wireless operator and battery man. Married, wife and children are
down South at present, but have lived at the Granites.
Jack Lewis, miner and contributer. Married, wife South.
Jim Callender and his wife.
Fred Gorman, lorry driver. About to be married; his wife will also live at the Granites.
In addition, Chapman is considering engaging two more whites to replace
"Bluey" Connell, and Edward McCormick, who have just left the Granites.
Harry and Ben Palmer were brought up in the old Half-caste Institution at Alice Springs
by Mrs Standley. Harry Palmer was apprenticed to Mr Chapman in 1933; Ben Palmer was
apprenticed to two mining prospectors, Bray and Cogan, about the same time. Both are
over 21 years of age and are therefore exempt.
The three full-blooded aboriginals, Albie, Sambo and Mick, are used on the sands, in
shifting broken rock on to the lorries prior to being carted to the batteries, in
shovelling the ore into the battery, etc, in short, on work overground at the mines.
The myalls are used for supplementary labour, the lubras on odd days to do washing.
No half-caste children were seen at the Granites.
2. 2.1939 From CPA to P/O Strehlow
"Complaint received from Deputy Commissioner Native Affairs West Australia that one named
Bolton removed aboriginal Nellie to Tanami also one named Slater removed aboriginal
named Molly same district also one Laurence Albert Charles Maynard removed aboriginal
Lily Moolabulla to Tanami investigation of these cases comprises your mission Tanami
Stop Mr K Harris applied minister for supply blankets and rations aged and infirm Tanami
actiondeferred pending your report whether such should be issued paying due regard same
might attract natives from reserves to areas remote from supervision Stop investigate also
all routine matters stations mining camps etc en route"
18. 2.1939 From P/O Strehloe to CPA Darwin
Summary Report on recent trip to The Granites and Tanami.
"Nugget" Hunter and Edward Bolton were committed for trial in Alice Springs Police Court.
Hunter sent to prison for four months, Bolton was fines 20 guineas.
The lubra Alice is being held at Jay Creek.
Maynard went back to Western Australia several months ago.
No one at Tanami had heard of any man by the name of Slater coming across the W.A. border.
Other details mentioned in the full report
Met Ben Nicker who was driving a truck to the Mt Stafford Tin Field.
Camp of Bob Davis. Nugget Hunter was here.
Camp of Ted Williams.
Camp of Nugget Hunter. An elderly full-blooder couple and a young native woman were there.
The lubra was Alice and had lived with Nugget for the past twelve months.
Randall Stafford was at Coniston.
Picked up an aboriginal aged about 35 years called Albert for a guide.
At The Granites Mr Chapman and his sons Pat and Gordon are the only people working.
Three natives Furdy, Paddy and Barnie are said to have broken into his stores.
Barnie was the right hand man of Mr Texas Lechleitner, a Tanami Field worthy.
Mick, one of Chapman's boys.
Left for Tanami and found Ted Bolton on the way. He admitted having been associated with
the lubra Nellie and said he had been rearing her half-caste child and feeding her.
Bolton claimed the W.A. Police new about the lubra and that he had talked to Father Francis
of Moolabulla about paying for the child's education.
Goodall, a Tanamite, had been employed by Mr Morley Cutlack of Sydney.
Mr and Mrs Ken Harris.Laurence Charles Albert Maynard and one Williams had bolted back over the W.A. border.
Two nororious gin hunters Messrs McCormick and Lechleitner had left Tanami.
Barnie was captures and held by Albert.
Mentions two white men McKenzie and Duncan Smith had fired several shots into the aboriginal
camp at The Granites on 28. 2.1938.
16. 8.1939 To DNA Darwin
Application by Mr Bolton to adopt the half-caste child. Bolton disclaims
paternity of the child and has not legally married the lubra.
Correspondence from Sgt Koop states
E Bolton stole the mother of the child from a Mission in W.A. some years ago and
has been sought by the W.A. Police ever since.
. 6.1939 From P/O Strehlow to DNA Perth
On 15. 7.1938 a native named Ginginana alias Bob was accidentally killed at Gordon
Downs Station near Halls Creek while he was in the employ of the station belonging
to the Australian Investment Company.
Bob's woman's name is Mudia alias Lorna and the names of his children are Marang
and Mulga. They left for the Tanami after his death.
25. 3.1940 To DNA Perth
The dependants of Bob are stated to be in Lewis Creek vicinity just over the
border on the W.A. side.
24. 4.1940 To DNA Darwin
About alleged removal of native girl Watie alias Maudie from Gordon Downs Station, Western
Australia by J Goodall.
17.12.1940 To DNA Darwin
Location of two roving prospectors Jack Romberg and Bob Lee.
11. 1.1941 From Police Alice Springs to DNA Darwin
Lubra Annie was accidentally shot near a stock camp a few miles from Mt Doreen
a few months ago. She has been discharged from Hospityal and is to be sent to
the Jay where she will be detained. She is a single girl.
16.12.1940 To DNA Darwin
Report on Trip to The Granites 11-14.12.1940
Two victims of a brawl at the native camp were inspected.
One was a lubra called Maudie aged about 19 years who bore numerous scars
of spear wounds on her arms, shoulders, legs and thighs. The other was a
male aboriginal named Fardy who was lying in Chapman's truck shed. He had a
knife wound on the right side of his chest. He was flown to Alice Springs
and Maudie went by truck.
It appears that Maudie is the fourth lubra of a native named Bob. Ferdy
seduced Maudie. Bob and some other men speared Maudie badly. Then Bob drove
his knife into Ferdy's chest. Bob then fled from The Granites taking one of
his lubras and left the other three at the Granites.
Mentions Sergeants Koop's Tracker named Walter.
Names mentioned in Mr Chapman's ration book are like Jack, Bob, ...., Ruby, etc.
Employee names were like Gloomy, Tanami Bob, Fuzzy. etc.
9.12.1940 To DNA Darwin
Report on trip to Mt Doreen
Two roving prospectors Jack Romber and Bob Lee came through Mt Doreen at the end of July this year.
A man caller Gardiner reported the matter to Sgt Koop.
Mr Braitling employs Peggy Wallis, a halfcaste girl from the Alice Springs Institution.
Mentions Norah Itjinapula
Mentions Mr and Mrs Jaeger the mine overseer.
2. 3.1941 From DDNA to Mr W Braitling Mt Doreen Station
About education of half-caste Cusack's children
1. 4.1941 From Mr Braitling to DDNA Alice Springs
About children of half-caste Jack Cusack
There are two boys 6 and 4 years of age.
Cusack has two other children, one a girl of 9 months, a full sister of the above boys.
Another a boy of 6 months to a different mother.
There are also two other half-caste children here, a girl about 7 years
who came from near the Granite Road with her mother. Also a boy aged about
4 years living with his mother.
Alec Wilson, half-caste, who is prospecting to the west reports two more
children have died from measles making 9 deaths in all.
Also looking after a 3 year old with acute pneumonia.
19. 4.1941 From Mr Braitling to DDNA Alice Springs
Alec Cusack is prepared to marry the woman Topsy who is the mother of his youngest
child aged 6 months if he is allowed full family rights over the other three.
24. 3.1941 From P/O Strehlow to Mr K Harris Tanami
Mentions Tanami Bob and his lubra Annie, Popeye, Billy Granites, Mick and Ruby.
14.10.1941 From Mr Chapman, The Granites to P/O Strehlow
The following boys are working at the Granites at present but they
leave without notice and their place is taken by other boys if available.
Mick and Ruby, married couple
Alby and child Dez
Frank and child
Old Charlie, partly blind
Aby and child
Paddy and child
Spinifex and child Jimmy
Sambo and child
Bob and Bill alternately with lubras
15.10.1941 From C E & K W Harris to P/O Strehlow
Six months ago lubra "Blind Fella" with an ailing baby went to Alice Springs
for medical treatment. The baby died and the husband Paddy is worried about
the non-return of his lubra. She says she will die if she cannot return.
3.11.1941 From P/O Strehlow to K Harris, Tanami
I assume the lubra "blind fella" is " Lilly Tunchia" who came in from Tanami
by plane because she was blind and had been abandoned to starve by her husband.
She is well and has been at Jay Creek for several months and in the company
of two lubras from the Granites districy Maudie and Maudie's sister Lilly.
Lilly is free to return to Tanami if suitable transport can be arranged and
an undertaking by her husband not to abandon her to starve once more.
11.10.1941 From Mr Braitling, Mt Doreen to P/O Strehlow
Half-caste Jack Cusack's children are
Jack, born 24. 1.1935
Tom, born 31. 1.1937
Their mother is full blood Jenny
Laura (girl) born April or May 1934, father unknown, mother full blood
known here as Rita, her husband boy known here as Bob.
Ted (boy) born 29. 3.1937, father unknown, mother full blood known here as Topsy
at present living with Jack Cusack.
31.10.1941 From Mr Braitling, Mt Doreen to P/O Strehlow
Natives employed at Mt Doreen are
Name Native Name Dependents
Jumbo Yangarri 5
Jerry Minari 3
Smokey Minari -
Dinny Alooboni 2
Hitler Warbagie 5
Rufus Minari 3
Lion Wagalarri 1
Romeo Warrino -
Loui Warrino 1
Chungari Icherwarri 1
Bamboo Carbi 2
Paddy Malaki 6