Report on the Sanitary Camp - Alice Springs 1949

Narional Archives of Australia Darwin Office CRS F315/0 Item 1949/393A Part 2 Patrol Officers Reports - All Patrol Officers 1949 Sanitary Camp - Alice Springs 1949 Copyright P J Mackett, 2005 Native Affairs Branch Alice Springs 13th July 1949 Acting District Superintendent Native Affairs Branch Alice Springs Sanitary Camp - Alice Springs 1949 In accordance with the Director's instructions of 30th June 1949, I inspected the Sanitary Camp at the Gap at 10 am today. I have to report the following :- (a) Names of all Aborigines in camp at the time of the inspection Pompey, wife Milly and two children Paddy, wife Daisy and three children (Kathleen, Lizzy and baby boy) Toby, wife Tilly and two children (Dawn and Valerie) Don, wife Milly Stan These people are all sanitary workers or families of workers. A lubra Topsy (single) is at present staying with Don's family, but is returning to Mt Cavanagh on Monday next. Warri, wife Milly and two children are also camped here. This boy is working for Arthur Pope, but may be a relief man occasionally on the sanitary gang. Warri was not present at the time of my visit. Jim (wife Mary and one boy, a half-caste, Ronnie) is working for John Murray and is also camped here. He has revieved at times on the sanitary gang. The camp is also used by five or six boys, working for Jim Clark's wood-yard. When in town, these boys camp about 100 yards from the san- itary camp. There were none present today. They are most likely to be found there at the week-end. While I was at the camp a taxi arrived with Victor, his wife and baby. Victor is Aranda and camps at the Bungalow but is going droving and his wife wished to camp among her rel- atives (Pidjendara) at the Gap. Victor will be away from one to two months and I will arrange for his family to be returned to the Bungalow. I informed him of this. The camping of other than sanitary workers at the camp, will be a constant problem, in as far as it is the natural mecca of any Pidjendara working or passing through the district. They wish to be with their own countrymen and don't want to stay among the Aranda at the Bungalow. The group of six boys from Jay Creek sitting down in this area, re- turned to Jay yesterday. I noticed a few other native children including two half-caste, playing some distance from the camp, whose parents are sanitary employees not then in the camp. (b) Steps taken by the Contractor re conditions in the camp Complaints were made by the natives that the camp was dusty and that the ground was stony. The first complaint re dust has been rec- tified. The Contractor (Mr Butler) has had the area watered and it pads down very well. He has arranged with the Municipal Section for a loan of a tip-truck this afternoon and the whole area will be covered with a layer of coarse sand. While the ground surface is good, the sub- soil is admittedly stony, particuarly on the upper side of the slope. The stone is a nuisance when sinking holes for building purposes, but only requires a little energy and patience on the part of the builder and it presents only a minor obstacle as I have found out for myself. The Contractor has supplied them with a heavy crow-bar and shovel. At present there is only one house and this was erected by a native whom I removed as a non-sanitary worker some days ago. The remainder of the natives were camping in iron wind-breaks and humpies on the lower side of the cleared strip. However, to-day a concented effort by the Contractor and the workers saw the partial erection of three more homes. There are six 44 gallon drums of water at the site and two others nearby. I received no complaints regarding water. In my opinion the main obstacle to the success of the present site is the apathy of the natives concerned. Unfortunately owing to labour shortage, there employment is necessary on this essential service. (c) Health General health is good. Pompey is suffering from a common cold and is taking a brand of patent medicine. I will check on his condition, but believe him to be OK. (d) General Conditions The natives are not short of money, clothing or food. J W Connolly Cadet Patrol Officer