In November, Rose and I visited Cooktown and Hope Vale as part of State Library's Languages and New Media Project. This project entails the use of information technology and new media to document, record and preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. This area is home to the Guugu Yimithirr language speaking groups; the first Aboriginal language to be documented by Captain James Cook and Joseph Banks in 1770. P P King in his survey of the coast of Australia also compiled words from the Endeavour River in 1820. Roth in his Report to the Commissioner of Police and others makes reference to the 'Kokoyimidir speaking blacks' and includes several word lists from the Cooktown Region, e.g. Mt Cook and other areas. The images above and below are from one such word list and was compiled in 1898. Historically, there has been a range of research and linguistic study undertaken on the Guugu Yimithirr language and associated dialects. Today, there is a diverse range of language activities happening in Hope Vale and Cooktown to maintain their traditional language. State Library conducted language workshops at Hope Vale and Cooktown to find out about these activities and document them through digital stories. The Hope Vale IKC is a hub of activity with community language lessons run by Dora Gibson (IKC Coordinator) and Shirley Costello. At the school, Lilian Bowen teaches Guugu Yimithirr to students and has developed her own teacher's handbook and other materials. Songs ranging from traditional songs to hymns and contemporary songs also bring the language to life in the community. At the workshop, there was a comment that community members can still sing language songs even if they are not language speakers! A great example of using modern technology for language revival can be seen in the following image. Dora, Shirley and others in the community regularly text each other in Guugu Yimithirr! In Cooktown, there is also a buzz of activity around language. The Cooktown Library has signage in Guugu Yimithirr as well as a range of resources, including Miromaa software installed on a Library computer. One of the popular language resources is a picture book by Irene Hammett aimed at younger readers, with engaging illustrations by Donna Cobus. Alberta Hornsby is a key person in language revival in Cooktown and is continuing the great work of Uncle Eric Deeral. Alberta is compiling the draft community dictionary initially started by Uncle Eric; this text will document the different dialects and regional varieties of Guugu Yimithirr - linguistic research and community knowledge already recognise 'inland' and coastal varieties! When completed, it will add to the existing materials on Guugu Yimithirr and provide a valuable resource for maintaining and preserving the local language. Guugu Yimithirr is a great example of language maintenance as there is a range of everyday activities happening in the community across age groups and in different settings. There are a number of key community members and organisations that provide the driving force behind language revival. Additional support is also provided from the North Queensland Regional Aboriginal Corporation Language Centre (NQRACLC). These elements are critical success factors in the strength of an Indigenous language and provide an insight into why Guugu Yimithirr is a living language! Desmond Crump Indigenous Languages Coordinator, Queensland Memory State Library Indigenous Languages Webpages References and Further Reading Curr, E. M. (1887) The Australian Race: its origins, languages, customs, place of landing in Australia and the routes by which it spread itself over that continent. RBF 572.994 cur De Zwaan, J. (1969) A preliminary analysis of Gogo-Yimidjir: a study of the structure of the primary dialect of the Aboriginal language spoken at the Hopevale Mission in North Queensland. Q499.15 dez Gordon, T. and Haviland, J. (1980) Milbi: Aboriginal tales from Queensland's Endeavour River. JUVQ 398.20994 GOR Haviland, J. (1979) 'Guugu Yimidhirr', in Handbook of Australian languages. Vol 1. J 499.15 HAN Hope Vale Community Learning Centre (2006) Mangal-bungal: Clever with hands, baskets and stories woven by some of the women of Hopevale, Cape York Peninsula. P920.72 MAN King, P P (1969 - facsimile edition) Narrative of a survey of the intertropical and western coasts of Australia : performed between the years 1818 and 1822. J 919.402 KIN Koko Yalanji and Koko Yimidir people - spoken word Bible lessons. QKIT 781.629915 KOK Roth, W. E. (1898-1903) “Reports to the Commissioner of Police and others, on Queensland aboriginal peoples 1898-1903.” FILM 0714 State Library of Queensland Indigenous Languages Project - Eric Deeral Digital Story Photographs Hope Vale IKC from IKC Blog Waymburr (Mt Cook) dual-signage; Cooktown Library; Tharnggan Book and Guugu Yimithirr SMS from James Leech.
http://youtu.be/6rym9QCdKSw?list=UUYaSJB3JoiAw_EYGB2VNHCA Medicos from Queensland played significant roles during the First World War. The John Oxley Library features holdings such as the Marks Family Papers, which include the letters and photographs of three brothers who served as doctors throughout the bloody conflicts of Gallipoli and the Western Front. Captain A.G. Butler from Kilcoy, Regimental Medical Officer with the 9th Battalion was aboard one of the first boats ashore at Anzac Cove. He would go on to write the official account of Australian Army Medical Services in the War of 1914–1918. Listen to distinguished army medical officers and historians Professor John Pearn AO, RFD and Dr Robert Likeman CSM in discussion with ABC Radio National broadcaster Ian Townsend. Recorded on 21 Ocfober 2014, State Library of Queensland, South Bank.
Guest blogger: Sandy Bickerton, University of Queensland There is a constant struggle in the production of popular music to balance honesty and musical integrity with the need to release an appealing and saleable song. Australia’s Boys in Khaki and Blue was the second song written by returned sergeant S. D. Hewitt. After Dinsdale’s help in publishing his first song, Hewitt sought to find that balance with this patriotic tune. His first song, The Kaiser’s Boast, was a cheeky patriotic march which featured the lyrics: "The Belgians showed the Kaiser they were brave and true, so we’ll tickle his back with the Union Jack till he’s red, white and blue."1 It sold 15000 copies in Victoria alone, ensuring Sergeant S. D. Hewitt’s name and the sight of his manuscript became well known through Australia. For his self-published number he ensured the sheet music was near identical to his first. Buyers would see a familiar heroic infantry soldier, the same font and format, and even be treated to the brave background story of Sergeant Hewitt himself. "…The composer, Sergeant Hewitt, is a returned wounded soldier, having been shot right through one lung. Though suffering greatly through haemorrhage and weakness, he is independently handling his own clever composition throughout Victoria…" The name of the song is noticeably similar to one of the most successful songs of the time, Boys in Khaki, Boys in Blue by A.J. Mills and Bennet Scott (1914). The song achieved its success being performed by comedian and singer, Jack Cannot, as a part of the Tivoli Revue, a travelling show combining music, sketch comedy and drama.2 The people of Australia evidently enjoyed a good patriotic sentiment, and a good popular music writer makes the most of such moods. Hewitt’s song is featured in an advertisement in the ‘items of interest’ section in The Advertiser (Adelaide) in July 1918.3 The only other way to advertise was on the sheet music itself, which like others of the time features a ‘sampler’ of his earlier song on the last page. The two year gap between publication and this newspaper ad suggests perhaps he did not achieve the success he had hoped. Despite these elements of the song that make it truly ‘pop music’, Hewitt has maintained honesty in his lyrics and integrity in his music. He has aimed to evoke a deep sense of patriotism, which he undoubtedly harboured himself. The lyrics reflect a genuine love for country that neither glamorizes the war, nor exaggerates their military feats. It is no idle boast for him to say "we did not want for waiting, we were ready for the fight". Hewitt was a recruiting sergeant of his battalion, which was raised within two weeks of the declaration of war and sent within two months.4 The Third Fighting Battalion (based in Sydney) also participated in the ANZAC landing on the 25th of April 1915 and served there till the evacuation in December, making this an ANZAC song.5 It is unclear when Hewitt sustained his injury and whether he participated in this landing or not, but the seemingly severe presence of his injuries in 1916 suggests he probably was. Like many of these songs, the tempo is a march, aptly capturing the military theme. The piano part features in spots a mimicking of trumpet fanfare. The chording is very creative and quite pleasing to the ear, a variation not seen in most contemporary popular music. Australia's Boys in Khaki and Blue Vocals: Alexander Bickerton Piano: Callum Gibson Production: Callum Gibson Lyrics: From North, South, East and Westward, We heard the call to war. We donned the suit of Khaki to fight on foreign shore. We did not want the waiting, we were ready for the fight, to make our name in hist’ry, And prove Australia’s might. Chorus Australia, Australia, the boys in the Khaki and the blue, Behind the guns our noble sons have shown what they can do. For our glorious King and Country, and the dear old flag that flys; They gladly fought in battle, and they bravely bled and died. We were told our chance was coming, so get ready for the fray, Just pack up our belongings and get the troops away. All hearts were then rejoicing, the reck’ning was at hand, When we would meet the foe-man then they would understand… We landed in the morning just at the break of day We took the ridge before us, the enemy our prey. Australians did their duty and a fearful price did pay, But won a glorious victory on that immortal day. References: 1. View online at: http://nla.gov.au/nla.mus-an5445019 2. Otago Daily Times (NZ), August 10, 1915. http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=ODT19150810.2.74 3. The Advertiser (Adelaide) July 5, 1918. http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/5570281?searchTerm=Hewitt%20S%20D%20boys%20in%20the%20khaki%20and%20blue&searchLimits=l-category=Article|||l-decade=191 4. Australian War Memorial, War History, Units, Third Battalion http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_11190.asp 5. Australian War Memorial, War History, Units, Third Battalion http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_11190.asp