Protector Aboriginals Alice Springs


National Archives of Australia Canberra Office Series F68 Item A19 Protector Aboriginals Alice Springs Copyright P J Mackett 2015 1941 - Koop v Geesing Firstly there is the charge supported by Section 59 of the Aboriginal Ordinance which places the onus of proof on the defendant. The charge is supported by the opinion of expert and experienced persons from their observation. On the other hand a great deal of evidence has been adduced as to the pedigree of the defendant. A portion of it has been given as facts personally known to the witness but many important matters have been based on common repute or general reputation. It appears to me that the facts testified to have tended to support the general reputation. I have summarised the evidence in the case as under :- Mary Mother - no evidence presumably aboriginal. Father - Binfield - Topsy states Mary who is deceased told her that Binfield was her (Mary's) father. Topsy and Mrs Chong state Binfield was a white man. Mrs Chong states Mary told her that Binfield was her father. Ballingall states Binfield had told him that Mary was his daughter. Norman Jones - considers Mary had white blood. Ballingal - when he saw Mary in 1898 she was light in colour and he considers from his experience she had a mixture of black and white blood. It appeared to him that at Alice Well Mary lived with Binfield under his care and protection and not with the blacks. Mrs Chong - states that she knew Mary well and that Mary was a Halfcaste also that Mary always lived with whites and not with blacks. Mrs Geesing - states that there was a family belief Mary was a halfcaste and that she remembers Mary living with the Smiths and Evans at Arltunga. Topsy Smith - states that Mary was known as Mary Binfield, that she was very fair in appearance and looked to have a white parent. Topsy Father - Mrs Chong states Mary who is dead told her that a white man named Creek was Topsy's father. Topsy states that Mary who is dead told her that a white man named White was Topsy's father. Ballingall states reputed at the Peake where there were 20-25 persons living that Topsy was the daughter of White. He presumed all people knew. Mother - Mary - Mrs Chong knows Topsy was the moher of Mary. Mrs Geesing states there was a family tradition that Topsy was Mary's daughter. N. Jones states at Arltunga it was generally understood that Topsy was the daughter of Mary. Topsy's Appearance Constable Hamilton from appearance would say that Topsy was not more than half white. Johannsen classes her as a Halfcaste and does not think it possible that she has more than half white blood. Koop & Kennett - Mrs Geesing's statement to them that her mother (Topsy) was a halfcaste. Evidence of Other Witnesses N. Jones does not think it possible to tell definately from appearance. Ballingal - with his experience does not claim to be able to tell from appearance alone. Mrs Geesing states there was a family belief that Topsy was a quadroon. Topsy states that she was married to Bill Smith at Arltunga although she is unable to give particulars and no marriage certificate is produced. She did not have any children before she married him. Norman Jones states that she lived with Bill Smith there and raised a family of eight children. Ballingal also knows she lived with Bill Smith at White Range. There is no suggestion that she lived with anyone else although Mr Johannsen from his experience of one visit stated that they lived after the manner of blacks. This however is disputed by Mr Jones' evidence. Mrs Geesing Father - Bill Smith Topsy's evidence of marriage also that Smith was father of Mrs Geesing N Jones evidence that Topsy lived with Smith and he reared the family. Also that Mrs Geesing is the dead image of Smith in features and walk. Topsy states that Bill Smith was a white man and N Jones states he was a Cornishman. Hamilton - common repute Smith was father of Mrs Geesing. Mother - Topsy Hamilton - general reputation Topsy was other of Mrs Geesing. Topsy states Mrs Geesing is her daughter. Mrs Geesing states her first remembrance is of Arltunga where she lived with Bill Smith and Topsy whom she understood to be her parents and with other children whom she understood to be her brother and sisters. She also believed she was an octaroon. Constable Hamilton's opinion from his observation and opinion that her mother was a halfcaste and from observation of Mrs Geesing considers she is a quadroon. On the evidence submitted I feel satisfied that Mrs Geesing is an Octaroon and therefore dismiss the charge. V.G. Carrington