Day of Mourning

In 1938 there were big celebrations for the 150th anniversary of British settlement. The Aboriginal people had a Day of Mourning on Australia Day. One of the leaders of this was Bill Ferguson.

His brother, Duncan, was living on Menindee Mission until he put in too many complaints about the bad conditions there. He was thrown off the Mission.

Bill Ferguson pictured left.
Bill Ferguson, pictured left

On Australia Day in 1938 at Sydney Cove, where the First Fleet had landed in 1788, there was a re-enactment of the landing. Aboriginal people from Menindee Mission were put on a train to Sydney.


They were made to play Aborigines running away from the British soldiers in 1788. They were housed in the stables of the Newtown police barracks overnight and put back on the train to Menindee the next day.

From the book Changing times along the Darling, 2009.