With cyclonic rains making roads impassable to vehicles, many marrngu shifted from the Blue Bar area on foot through heavy rains.
Molly Williams, Walking from Blue Bar to the Bore
Molly Williams (Kulyu), Walking from Blue Bar to the Bore. Recorded by Anne Scrimgeour, Woodstock Station, 22 October 1992
We went right round in this place now, we gotta walk, from Blue Bar ’nother side, near about Nullagine, we went there now. We was working on the wolfram. Mmmm finish well now, some people got no car, some people got a car, they had arrangement, we gotta walk from there to Port Hedland, from Nullagine, Nullagine River. Alright, we do the same. We take that word, we went. We leaving in afternoon, about one o’clock. Right they went there, we make a camp in the middle, near the working place. Righto, in the morning, make a dinner somewhere in the middle. We might gotta have a water in the billycan. No plastic, only waterbag, that’s all. Keep going! We make nother camp, near Mt Edgar Station, other side Marble Bar, we – near about there now, in a windmill. And a big rain was coming last night, afternoon, all night. We was getting wet well we couldn’t help we got nothing, no tent, only got a blanket, that’s all, only one. Get all that spinifex, make a bushes house, make ’m, and sleeping there. Keep going, we went from there in the morning, we have a dinner in the middle. We went to Mt Edgar, we stop there. We camp there one night, and Don was coming with the loading, load of tucker, tobacs, and we was happy then. We get feed then. We went, Marble Bar now, that morning. We went there had a dinner in the windmill, middle, and went right up near the Moolyella. We stopped there, we sleep there, rain was coming, we can’t find the road we getting lost. We’ll have to stop side of the hill. Righto, we miss the road, in the morning, we went to Moolyella then, see my mummy and daddy. My mummy was give me few tin of tobacco, but they not getting a tin, they bin getting that stick tobacco, eh, that’s for old people. Yeah, was take ’m straight through. Right, we went from there, come back right – he come with me half way take me far as Brockman, where that race-course, take me far as that, leave me there. I bin leave ’m right there and I went, come through, we went to Two Sister, that two hill, camp there. We went, Dingo Point, we had a dinner, and camp. Julinya Gorge we come through there bit early, river was running. Right, we let some dogs going first, and nothing wrong they went. My husband was coming pull me in the hand. We got swags and everything, but we get through all right. Ah, that was bit morning. Righto, Eginbah siding, we seen the mob there, and all the Road Board was, “You fellas want a lift?”
“No, we right, we going not far.”
We went to other side Road Board camp, that creek, ah Warralong turn-off. We camped there, where that creek. Alright, we go. We camped there, in the morning we went to Warralong now, Warralong whatdoyoucallit, boundary, we was stop there. Truck was coming again with a loading. Righto, he leave us, he only leave us loading, but he taking old peoples alright, not young fellas, we gotta walk, we gotta battle for ourself. Kids they take ’m, take ’m piggyback, mm. I had nothing yet. And we came through, Shaw River. There was that much water can’t see leaf, nothing. That old brother was coming with a truck, big truck, semi-trailer, put some old people in, some can’t swim, you know. Right, and he coming last and pick us up again, put ’m other side. Boys went cross the river. Keep going right up to Strelley boundary, stop there. And that thing was tyre, he was blow out that truck, we gotta wait there, gotta wait for part. They was going get ’m. Road Board here, Road Board was give us help, he going get ’m. Mmmm we stop there one night, next morning he coming, he was coming late last night. He poke ’m on, we start early part, walk right up to Petermarra Creek, slept there now. Stopped there, righto, that’s the last one. He said, “Righto, all the old people can go in truck, and put all your things in truck. We take ’m, you gotta walk from here”. We walk, from morning, we get there lunch-time in the 12-Mile. I was really tired! Camped there one night, two, three night, righto, “We take ’nother lot”, take another lot now, old people they take down to Bore, this Bore here. From the Nullagine river that much we battle, right back to Bore. We do the same when we coming from 12-Mile, walking, right up Bore. We settled there now.
Audio: Molly Williams (Kulyu), Walking from Blue Bar to the Bore. Recorded by Anne Scrimgeour, Woodstock Station, 22 October 1992.
Photo: Molly Williams, Eugenie Knox 1960.