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Vale Lindsay Bookie

TLCC Secretary 10 Aug 2014 0 Comments

For those of us that have travelled the Hay River Track & camped at Batton Hill, Lindsay Bookie passed away on the 2.8.2014.

Having met Lindsay at Batton Hill he was a gentleman.

An extract from Jol Flemings website www.direct4wd.com.au

"Old mate, buddy and one of natures gentlemen Lindsay Bookie has moved on to Greener Pastures after a heart attack on Saturday 2.8.2014.

He will be surely missed by all that knew him.
There will be a memorial service on Thursday 14 August at Alice Springs Catholic Church at 2.00pm.

Its my job to give 'Lindsay's Last Ride' to the Batton Hill Camp where he will be laid to rest on Saturday at 2.00pm.Campsite available, all welcome."

Lindsay Bookie - Tour Guide

When Lindsay Bookie was 12, he was doing a man's work as a stockman on cattle properties east of Alice Springs. He is an initiated member of the Eastern Arrernte tribal group, and while he does not know if he is 55 or 57 years of age, he knows where his heart is.

It is firmly located along the banks of the Hay River in what is now freehold Aboriginal land, thousands of square kilometres of it that stretch away to the Queensland border and south into the vastness of the Simpson Desert.

Lindsay, a member of the region's Rain Dreaming clan, lives in a community further east. He was one of the main witnesses at the Native Title tribunal giving evidence on behalf of his people about their involvement in and traditional ownership of the land.

It was a tough time for Lindsay who had to deal with probing questions in a foreign legal setting. But he stuck to his guns and his love for his land won through for himself and members of his extended family who were finally awarded freehold title. It was a triumph for Lindsay, now a respected tribal elder who holds a number of positions in Aboriginal health and community organisations.

It has been a long journey for a kid who could not speak English to the present articulate voice of his people's needs. He is a treasure trove of knowledge on the pastoral history of the area and counts some of the present white station owners, with whom he grew up, as his brothers. He means it in the Aboriginal sense: that undying bond between people who have shared a common experience and reality.

Lindsay is in the process of establishing a bush tucker enterprise on his family property, south east of Jervois, about 350 kilometres east of Alice Springs. He has  built facilities for bush campers on the block so that visitors can come and sample some of the simple delights of the area, like its native fruits and vegetables, kangaroo and emu.

But it has not all been plain sailing. Lindsay had to access finance through Aboriginal organisations, and it was no easy task. But they saw the merits of his submission to establish the business. Now he has erected toilet and shower facilities as well as a bush kitchen and bough sheds along the banks of the Hay River to cater for the visitors who make the trip from Alice Springs.

The showers and toilets are a delight after a trip to the Batton Hill camp, as anyone who has made the trip there will attest. In the longer term, he wants to locate an airstrip near his camp so that people can fly in to experience what this rich region has to offer. He sees it as one way of creating employment opportunities for extended family in a region where there are few jobs of any sort for Aboriginal people.

But he is determined that his land will not be spoilt by uncontrolled exploitation. He wants instead for it to remain a virtual paradise, untouched by the hand of man, and the domain of the animals, reptiles, insects and plant species which live there.


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