Many years ago, long after Australia was settled by the white man and the Aboriginal peoples were being assimilated into the white man’s world of money, alcohol and all the other trappings that only a white man carries, a strange story was told around the camp fires at night, the story was how a young aboriginal boy vented his anger at the loss of his Aboriginal way of life, the loss of his identity and beliefs with his lands and culture.
I will tell you the story as best I can remember as told to me many years ago when once I was camped around a fire somewhere in Australia’s vast outback the other side of Katherine in the Northern territory.
A young boy of aboriginal background , his mother was of the Pinjarra tribe and his father a white man who he never knew ,this young boy strayed to the city’s big lights and way of life , drugs alcohol and the pub scenes became the norm to this young lad ,after a number of years of living on the edge of society trapped between his cultural life and the white man’s life of money alcohol and drugs the young boy decided it was time to return to his ancestral lands and so left the city and its life and headed back to his homeland and tribal grounds . One night he sat and listened to the elders speak on how the impact of the white man’s coming had changed their lives ,their cultural beliefs were mocked and their way of life eroded to conform with the white man’s beliefs ,their way of life was changed forever , one old aboriginal elder was quiet and never spoke a word till the young boy said , grandfather , what do you think , the grandfather said , I would pay 25 white man’s dollars for every white man’s head, the young boy never thought any more of those words that night and returned to the city and his old way of life .
One night alone in the city the young boy remembered the grandfathers words and it was then he felt the shame of his people , he decided then that he would claim that bounty of 25 dollars for each white man’s head ,it was late at night in the darkness of a quiet corner of one of Sydney’s secluded parks , he crept up behind his first victim , it was an old soldier , he could tell by the uniform , quickly and quietly he removed the head from the body with a hacksaw , he stuffed the head into a bag and furtively crept from the scene , thus began a life of crime for this young boy.
Soon headless bodies were being found in various parts of the city, mostly in dark secluded parks and gardens, his next victim was an old man in the uniform of a sailor, quietly and furtively he crept up behind his victim and now using an axe, he silently removed the head from the body in one swoop, bundling the head he disappeared into the night. By now the count of headless bodies was rising and was soon being discovered in other parks and gardens throughout Australia, in one attack the youth was able to decapitate the head of a victim mounted on a horse, adept at his trade by now he eluded all efforts of capture, his secret was stealth and swiftness.
Finally the authorities had to react and show results as the mounting government pressure and public fear and outrage was rising , the last straw was when the lad successfully removed the head of one of Victoria’s governors followed by the decapitation of one Captain James cook ,this latest outrage was too much for the government at the time as the arrival of an imminent overseas ambassador loomed , it would not look good for a visiting dignitary to be exposed to the media uproar and headlines of decapitated bodies throughout Australia
Finally the police ambush paid off as one night in a secluded part of Hyde park they watched as a lad armed with an axe and carrying a bag quietly crept up behind his victim, just as the axe was about to fall they arrested the young lad, taken into custody he admitted to over 51 decapitations over a period of years, he showed no remorse and laughed in the face of the police and scorned the judge as he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Time passed and Australia moved on with the case of the decapitated bodies becoming a fading story of the past.
Seven years later , the young boy , now a man was released into society and promptly disappeared into the history of Australia never to be heard from again ,many months after his release , on a secluded foreshore of Western Australia’s coastline there appeared four statues , an aboriginal man and his wife and two small children , standing and gazing out to sea
The statues are crafted to perfection
The site is revered by the aboriginal peoples
For the statues you see
Are made from copper bronze
And molten lead
All taken from the melted down statues
Of the white man’s head