As the sun rose over the Kingston Park Foreshore Reserve and the Tjilbruke Spring this morning, Thursday 1 August 2019, the smoke rose from a ceremonial fire indicating the Kaurna people had returned to Tulukutangga, formerly their camping and ceremonial site, now known as Kingston Park.
It was the day their old people returned to country, their own land. Their remains having been repatriated from both The British Museum of Natural History and the SA Museum. The remains of 11 Kaurna people from our area, including those of a 20 year old young woman and a baby were reinterred, with great emotion, dignity and ceremony, witnessed by members of both the Kaurna and local community.
The Kaurna representatives welcomed and interacted with the local community, sharing their knowledge and answering questions.
They stated we are all one community now, as joint custodians of this unique area.
All were invited to pay their respects to the old people at rest. Sincere hugs and thanks were shared.
After the ceremony, one of the elders, Yundamara, advised that the younger Kaurna people had been on site to observe and learn about their inherent tradition and culture, one being that while the fire is burning , they don’t sleep. It burnt all of last night!
He advised that remains of campfires had been found in the side wall and at the bottom of the grave site. He was happy the old people had been returned to an area they may have camped on.
He indicated that he expected it to rain soon, thus cleansing the earth, and the old people’s spirits would finally be content inherent in their own place.
This repatriation ceremony was a watershed moment for our two communities coming together. We acknowledge the ongoing reconciliation process and the importance of this repatriation ceremony in the healing journey.
We shared an experience and commitment to Kingston Park as a place of tranquility and healing.
Thank you to the City of Holdfast Bay in supporting this event.
We acknowledge the generosity of the Kaurna people in allowing us to share this special occasion with them and providing the local community a warm and heartfelt experience for everyone present.