T-Team Next Gen–Return to Hermannsburg (2)

Hermannsburg Here We Come

[In 2013, the T-Team, next generation embarked on their pilgrimage to Central Australia. Purpose: to scatter Dad’s ashes in his beloved Central Australia, in Ormiston Gorge.

Over the next few weeks, I will take you on a virtual trip to the Centre and memories of that unforgettable holiday in 2013, with my brother and his family; the T-Team Next Generation.

This time, the T-K Team (my husband and I) return to Hermannsburg and catch up with friends there.]

As we powered along the sealed Larapinta Highway, I mused, what a difference some 60-70 years makes. When Mum T lived in Hermannsburg, back in the 1940’s and 50’s, the trip to Alice Springs was a long arduous half-a-day journey on a dirt track in a truck where one spent several days in Alice Springs stocking up on supplies.

[Photo 1: Travelling in Central Australia in 1950’s required a stop for lunch…]
[Photo 1b: Or for the car to recover… In outback Australia, there were few sealed roads back then © M. E. Trudinger 1956]

As we passed the turn off to Jay creek, I said Anthony, ‘Mum told us the story of her mum (Grandma Gross) who, when the Finke flooded, had to wade through the waters to reach the other side to continue the journey to Alice Springs. She was 8-months pregnant at the time.’

[Photo 2: Community enjoying the Finke in flood © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

‘Hard to imagine the creek flooding,’ Anthony glanced at the dip, a dry riverbed, that signalled the up-coming fork in the road leading the Hermannsburg. ‘But I know from camping in the Flinders Ranges, at the first drops of rain, you don’t hang around, you get out.’

‘Your mum and friend didn’t when they camped at Parachilna,’ I said. ‘They were stuck there on an island with the river all around them for days.’

‘I know, my mum’s friend liked to take risks.’

[Photo 3: K-Team in Parachilna Gorge when not in flood, but very windy © L.M. Kling 2000]

A sign with an image of a cow, and below written, “Beware of wandering stock”, flashed by. Brumbies galloped on the side, as if racing with us. Hawks soared in the cobalt blue sky above. A lone wedge-tail eagle, having gorged on a carcass of roadkill, waddled off the road just in time, avoiding the same fate as its feed.

[Photo 4: Brumbies rounded up in times past, Hermannsburg stock yards © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

This time, when we arrived in Hermannsburg, we made a beeline for the FRM (finke River Mission) store where we located our friend, P. He welcomed us and gave us a tour of the store. So much bigger than in 1981; more like the size of our local IGA store in size and shelves fully stocked. It even stocked fridges and washing machines. P proudly showed us the bakery where fresh bread is made each day and he introduced us to the Indigenous workers at the store.

[Photo 5: In front of the store © L.M. Kling 2013]

After settling into our P and K’s home, we spent the afternoon drinking coffee and storytelling with P and K. Storytelling continued over dinner. Much had changed since the T-team visited in 1981. The population of Hermannsburg has now grown to 600, the Finke River Mission still exists there, and the Christian community is growing. However, there remain challenges for the Indigenous community as there are in communities all over Australia, and the world. ‘It just is,’ as P stated, ‘we’re at the coal-face, being a small, isolated outback community; you see everything…’

[Photo 6: Memories of times past celebrating Kuprilya Day © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955]

‘Whereas,’ I concluded, ‘in the city it’s hidden by numbers, a larger population and behind the walls of our castles.’ Then I changed the subject. ‘Oh, by the way, this is the house I stayed in when the T-Team visited Hermannsburg in 1981.’

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021

Feature Photo: Hermannsburg way back when, enjoying a game of friendly footy © C.D. Trudinger circa 1955

***

Virtual Travel Opportunity

For the price of a cup of coffee (takeaway, these days),

Click on the link and download your kindle copy of my travel memoir,

Trekking with the T-Team: Central Australian Safari. (Australia)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (United States)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (UK)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (Germany]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [France]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari (India)

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Canada]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Mexico]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Italy]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Brazil]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Spain]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Japan]

Trekking With the T-Team: Central Australian Safari [Netherlands]

One thought on “T-Team Next Gen–Return to Hermannsburg (2)

  1. Pingback: T-Team Next Gen–Return to Hermannsburg (2) | leeannemarieblog

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