Jack Moffatt Domo Boy – sleeping on beds

Jack Moffatt who spent many years in Boys’ Dormitory describes how the boys used to sleep on the floor and how they came to sleep on beds

Jack Moffatt – sleeping on beds

Transcript

We slept on the floor when I first come here. And we hardly had any blanket, and they – what they – they used to cut flour bags up and sew calico on them and they called it “woggas” and we used to sleep amongst woggas, and I tell you this place used to be covered in bugs! And there were times when we had to sleep outside in the yard, and they fumigated the place, and I tell you, when you was walking inside, you was walking on bugs before you was walking on floor! Oh I tell you it was terrible. But we got through all that – and when we were kids, they used to use this place for like a second hospital. They had a big epidemic here once, or a flu, and they asked us all to leave, and we didn’t know where to go! And I remember they asked the people to come down from the town, from the mission like, to come down and pick out a boy to take and live with them. And one fella named Ben Turner, he was married to Ellie Bennett’s sister Beryl.  He come down he said, “Boy you come with me see.”   And from that time on I always call him Uncle Ben see… And we all went up the camp, and immediately the epidemic was cleaned up, we came back here, and they didn’t take the beds back to the hospital, they left them here, and that’s when we started to sleep on beds.

Comments

Leave a comment

*

The Cherbourg Memory is an initiative of the Rationshed Museum and brings together the photos, videos, oral history recordings, documents and other artifacts of our lives on this settlement. It a website, an archive, an educational resource, a recording project, a research data-base, a store of the people’s stories and an interactive space for comments and engagement. We encourage the people of Cherbourg, the Indigenous communities in Australia and others who have experience of our settlement to help us create a living archive of Barambah-Cherbourg. So find out a little more about the Cherbourg Memory, view the Interactive space, discover how you can Participate, or find out how you can Contribute to the development of the Cherbourg Memory.