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Das Testament

Any reading of the annals of human history, its achievements and failings, in both majestic endeavour or mean deception, will uncover the heroic alongside the cowardice of the spirit of humanity indelibly written into the texts and transcripts recorded in those annals … even an attempt to hide or disguise the facts of a moment of importance cannot be forever obscured … there is no hiding from history.

The primary sources of Roman history are well served with examples of both. Tacitus will record with both pride in deed and shame in action those annals he has written for the elucidation of posterity. His candid revelations without fear or favour can be an inspiration to those who follow and would like to record their own interpretations of their own contemporary histories, an example most encouraging. Even the everyday chattering of the Diary of Samuel Pepys gives sublime clue to the machinations of his times.

There are those moments when researching contemporary history that certain discrepancies in what one can remember being taught in primary or secondary school can be revealed … and revealing most alarmingly a betrayal of honour by those educators entrusted with the teaching of an accurate and honest history of one’s own State or region. The revelation of which can be more than a shock to the system. The lie about the Governing class of South Australia, in that it was a honest, well-meaning if a tad unknowledgeable about Indigenous peoples and affairs … that it had the best interests of the State and people at heart … that the colony was run on a tight rein by competent administrators right through till the end of the 2nd WW … well .. this was a lie … from the start to the finish … a complete fabrication carefully constructed by thieves, speilers, con-men and killers … AND all of them the most political conservatives.

These ruling conservatives, of whom many of the streets of Adelaide are named after, used their political and financial networks to corrupt and destroy the original intentions of the Letters Patent written for the British Parliament and signed off by the King of England … While there is but obscure evidence of unbridled corruption in the official documents, we can see within the signed off letters between the board members and their agents, some of them quite subversive, that there is the agenda of intent to profiteer from their favourable situation … and after all is said and done, under all the pomp and ceremony of the official documents, we see nothing but a collegiate of cowboy entrepreneurs, spivs and speculators.

The entire official history is open to capricious interpretation and in dire need of total overhaul. The activities in the latter decade of the nineteenth century and into the first decades of the twentieth century of shady political organisations like The National Defence League, ostensibly a lobby-group for the conservative conspiracy operating in a covert manner to block social policy, usurp the procedures of democratic governance and to frustrate fair taxation in the state.

As we go about the mundane and banal business of our everyday lives, we are sometimes suddenly, in the midst of any one of those everyday chores, in between those activities of boring methodology of habit, we are confronted with a moment of such sublime beauty … perhaps an intrusion of natural sights, sounds or actions … like the movement of an obscure lizard or caterpillar that attracts our eye … or the sudden syrupy call of an obscure bird nearby … the movement of a kangaroo if you are in the country or even some domestic animal that you have petted rubbing about your leg … and all of a moment, putting aside those mundane chores you are doing, to either listen or look, a door of perception can open to you … a pause to gaze through that door into an ethereal world full of distracting mystery and strange reward. A world so different to that of the everyday, that one has to hold it in abeyance so as not to be too distracted from the work at hand … a kind of pause and reset moment.

We are dreamers by nature, imaginers by desire for what can be unattainable and indeed … given a bit of thought … perhaps not really wanted … but desired all the same … a kind of sweet-sorrow … as “the bard” would have it! But the strangest thing is, that all those visions that delight us, that provoke such emotional hunger and desire in us are really no more than an exercise of gazing into that which is already in our hearts … already inside us. Such moments happen in historical research where a flash of light can suddenly illuminate a confusing jumble of historical detail and reduce to hard-core evidence that which has been in some doubt for a long time … like the below.

Letters Patent establishing the Province of South Australia 19 February 1836 (UK):

“ … Provided Always that nothing in those our Letters Patent contained shall affect or be construed to affect the rights of any Aboriginal Natives of the said Province to the actual occupation or enjoyment in their own Persons or in the Persons of their Descendants of any Lands therein now actually occupied or enjoyed by such Natives In Witness whereof We have caused these our Letters to be made Patent Witness Ourself at Westminster the Nineteenth day of February in the sixth year of our Reign.
By Writ of Privy Seal

In my recent research into the pioneer Germanic settlers of this region, called by some with more an eye of an acolyte’s hunger for approval than to interest of knowledge as ; ”white-bread contemporary history”, a research that has given me access to a cache of pictures and documents archived by a local historian of good research repute, I have been sifting the many pictures of schools and churches and residences of those hardy settlers … when I came upon one picture of a group of school-children in the year of 1930, varying in age from about ten years old to mid-teens. Upon first glance, they appear to be the usual mix of grinning or scowling kids under instruction to “smile for the birdy!” … and then I noticed one boy, mostly hidden behind the first row who looked different than the blond-haired Germanics, standing in the shadows there … and sure enough, upon enlargement of the frame I saw that he was an indigenous child … and going through the names so gratefully written under the pic, I see his name as ‘Mervyn Sumner” … and that is all.

Having a familiar knowledge with the surnames of many families of this region, THAT particular name did not ring any bells … I started to research through Trove and elsewhere and there he was, sadly recorded in another state (Victoria) in a police inquiry.

(The Argus/Melb Feb 4th 1936):

“Pending the receipt of further Information from the South Australian authorities it is practically certain that the half-caste aborigine youth who died on Lock Island last week and is believed to have been poisoned was Mervyn Sumner who escaped from the Edwardstown Industrial School After the Inquest was opened and adjourned two fruit-pickers who arrived during the week-end stated that they knew Sumner well. The Inquest was reopened mid one of the pickers identified the body as that of Sumner. The hearing was then again adjourned to a date to be fixed.”

(The Age/Melb 30th March 1936):

“MILDURA. The deputy coroner (Mr. H. F. Paul) concluded an inquest on Saturday into the death of a half-caste, Mervyn Sumner, who was found dead on 30th January at Lock Island, Mildura. A finding was recorded that death was due to strychnine poisoning, but there was not sufficient evidence to show how it was administered.”

(Children in State Care Commission of Inquiry):

“In 1921 a two-year-old boy was placed in State care until the age of 18 for being illegitimate. When he was 14, he absconded twice from subsidy placements and, at 15, from the Edwardstown Industrial School. He died 11 months later in Victoria in 1936. His SWIC recorded ‘died’ and the Mortality Record Book ‘sudden – poison’. No coronial files were held in South Australia because the death occurred interstate. The Inquiry obtained department files relating to the boy.

One file contained a report on absconding from the superintendent of the industrial school, which said the boy absconded in February 1935. The police were notified and a warrant issued. Eleven months later, the department received information from the police regarding an unnamed person dying from poisoning in Mildura. According to an informant, the person had given himself a different name but stated that he had come from an Adelaide orphanage.

He told the informant that he had twice previously escaped from the orphanage and that he had no intention of returning to SA until he turned 18. Fingerprints taken from the deceased matched those of someone with a different name again. A photo was then sent to the department, which identified the boy. It appears he had used at least two false names after he had absconded. A newspaper article on the file refers to the circumstances of the death. The boy had been camping on the River Murray with two other youths. He wandered on to an island and what happened next was not known, but later the boy came running from trees and collapsed, saying, ‘I am dying’. He died ‘in agony almost immediately at [the boys’ ] feet’. The article said that a swiftly acting poison caused the boy’s death. The file contained no official document s following up the circumstances of the boy ’s death.”

The above records give a lie to the Royal and Parliamentary proclamation of allowing the indigenous peoples land to be “enjoyed by such natives thereof … “The deliberate actions extant in the files of The South Australia Company, to exploit both persons and land of the new colony from the beginning to the end give testament to their culpable actions to enrich themselves and their colleagues at the expense of the labouring settlers and the indigenous peoples. These so-called Administrators were nothing … NOTHING … more than a bunch of entrepreneurial “free-enterprise” cowboys with good connections and no idea, who found an opportune moment to be in on a good thing! And when it all went pear-shaped, they manipulated the situation so as to be bailed out by the British government of the day with taxpayer money yet leaving themselves still “in situ” to profiteer on their already swindled and plundered estates … no different than these times … not the slightest difference at all.

My studies into the early and subsequent multi-culture immigrants to this country has shown a coordinated discrimination and crushing, one-culture-at-a-time, NOT necessarily by a dominant CULTURE, but certainly by a DOMINATING middle-class capital/financial system … and THAT was and IS the ONLY flag of allegiance such entrepreneurs and swindlers fly … it is their State, their Nation, their Empire, their Tyranny.

Starting with their own duped labourers, then the innocent indigenous peoples, then the Germanic peoples who migrated here in good trust to SA … with the isolation & discrimination wherever possible, using poverty as a weapon of persuasion, then, when the hardiest of them all could no longer be ignored because of their success, bringing those selected from among them with the most adaptability to a “consciousness of kind” … into the tent to control the others and so on and on with the other ethnic peoples, the Italians, Greeks, Slavic peoples, Baltics, Asian and middle-eastern … and even now as we witness these days with certain Indigenous individuals.

Each people, one ethnic group at a time … the same procedure: invite, contain, divide, reject their culture … introduce debt along with aspiration & expectation until cultural and financial control does the rest until capital/material obsession becomes the new culture … with the help of those among their own who will work with and perhaps for the masters in that “consciousness of kind” cooperation.

Until those unique cultures become a pastiche of the original … a blancmange confectionery of the real thing … one culture at a time till we are all looking and sounding like a Dutton, an Abbott or a Hanson or a Howard. We must revive our individual cultures within our multiculturalism … and THAT includes that most crushed of all the imported cultures: Those of the Scots, the Welsh, the Cornish and including the Celts … Look now how successful the Indigenous peoples are being against EXTREME oppression in holding and restoring their cultural tribes … It’s still one hell of a fight and it is one we must win!

Cultural Renaissance now!


  1. New England Cocky

    White Australia has a Black History.

  2. Phil

    Good read. Is conservatism an inherited trait? Why is conservatism so commonly exploiting, corrupt and corrupting? it must be incredibly hard work to be an arsehole for an entire lifetime.

  3. Joseph Carli

    Phil…it would seem that those with such traits are aware and on the lookout for opportunity. In the case of SA., there was an opening after Charles Sturt made his voyage down the Murray River and reported on the lands at the end of the Murray. This prompted Wakefield to construct his theory of a “Free-enterprise” colony…and then the sharks moved in, starting with Gouger and he got Angas on the money….
    They are like a hunting pack of hyenas…when one gets the smell of a wounded beast, the rest soon follow toward the prize..except where a hyena is only following their natural instincts, the conservative takes advantage of the opportunity to indulge his worst instincts.

  4. paul walter

    Hmmm, yes., someone else had a crack at SA history in a series over several days about a year ago. Was very good for the removal of the more sentimentalising stuff we were taught as kids..actually a real estate pyramid shonk.

    Some of my ancestors were Germans and I remember my dad showing me a barn built in the 1840’s, brilliant carpentry.

    I know the name Sumner also. Quite few I met growing up in Elizabeth during my youth in the sixties and seventies..most were ok but there seemed an ill star overlooking this family, with several dying a bit too young.

  5. Joseph Carli

    Worse than a shonk, Paul..the British govt’ wanted nothing to do with it, but several of the Lesser aristocrats and their “creatures” in the upper middle-class wanted a cut of the colonial action…and while the govt’ made it as tight as possible on regulations and restrictions, the “free-market” warriors went for broke and by using their conservative and financial network, they took a gamble…which was a disaster for those “on the ground” doing the hard work, but was a boon for the absentee landlords…

  6. helvityni

    My Dutch-born sister in law is married to a Kraut (as the Aussies so affectionately called Germans). He arrived here with his parents when he was five. They settled in SA, the boy went to school, his knowledge of English was understandably lacking, he was put to the back desks of the class, to the DUMB row…

    No extra teaching, and no, he wasn’t dumb, just a little innocent new-comer to the country…

  7. Joseph Carli

    helvityni.. ” just a little innocent new-comer to the country…”…..So, helvi’…did he grow up to be a..(wait for it); sour Kraut?…

  8. helvityni

    J C, he’s a polite well-spoken builder, known for his professional workmanship; open to progressive ideas, he ought have become an architect…

    No ‘sour Kraut’, not that there’s anything wrong with that, if it comes out of a jar…

    The older Dutchies did not like the Germans either ( because of the war), but he became mother in law’s favourite extra son…

  9. Joseph Carli

    “. . .a polite , well-spoken builder..”….crikey!….he IS in the wrong occupation!..but seriously, the strange thing about the Silesians that came to Aust’ is that many of them were escaping from the Kaiser’s tyranny in their own land…

    “Silesia Uprising

    Word arrived of an uprising in the Prussian region of Silesia, where on June 4, 1844, a group of weavers marched on the home of Prussian industrialists. Their demands for higher pay denied, the weavers stormed the house and destroyed it. The next day, as many as 5,000 weavers and their families burst into homes and factories, destroyed machines, and looted and ransacked residences and offices. The industrialists called in the Prussian military, which fired on the crowd, killing 35.

    The revolt was the first of its kind involving industrial workers in Germany, and though it failed, Marx recognized in it the connection he sought between an impassioned proletariat, economics and the state. ” (wiki).

    I think the bigger fear among the SA. colonialists was NOT whether they would side with Kaiser Bill in the first WW, but if they brought socialism/bolshevikism to the colony…hence the forming of the National Defence League in the 1890’s that eventually morphed into the Liberal Party..I will be writing on such things in another post soon..

    ” As a result of this poem, and the riots resulting in revolution, the king of Prussia was forced to allow his people a constitution. This theme was also treated in a naturalistic play called Die Weber by Gerhart Hauptman inspired by the accounts of Wilhelm Wolff. When first preformed in 1983 in Berlin, the German authority banned it.

    The Silesian Weavers by H. Heine
    Translated by Sasha Foreman

    Their gloom-enveloped eyes are tearless,
    They sit at the spinning wheel, snarling cheerless:
    “Germany, we weave your funeral shroud,
    A threefold curse be within it endowed-
    We’re weaving, we’re weaving!

    A curse on God to whom we knelt
    When hunger and winter’s cold we felt,
    To whom we flocked in vain and cried,
    Who mocked us and poxed us and cast us aside,
    We’re weaving, we’re weaving!

    A curse on the king, the wealthy men’s chief
    Who was not moved even by our grief
    Who wrenched the last coin from our hand of need,
    And shot us, screaming like dogs in the street!
    We’re weaving, we’re weaving!

    A curse on this lying father-nation
    Where thrive only shame and degradation,
    Where every flower’s plucked ere it’s bloom
    And worms thrive in the dank rot and gloom-
    We’re weaving, we’re weaving!

    O shuttle fly! Loom crank away!
    We weave unfailing, night and day-
    Old Germany, we weave your funeral shroud,
    A threefold curse be within it endowed-
    We’re weaving, we’re weaving!”

  10. helvityni

    Studying German at Uni (Finland) I had to read Heine, well , in German…Most poetry is not easy, not even in your own language….

    Talking about Heinrich, this is what he said: Whenever books are burned, men also in the end are burned.

    …and another: When the heroes go off the stage, the clowns come on.

    They have come on, those clowns…..haven’t they.

  11. Joseph Carli

    The clowns have been sent in!…Ah for the days when a poem or two could start a revolution!…God knows what you’d need now….

  12. paul walter

    No, it is too much a masquerade.

  13. johno

    Interesting read Joseph. Reminds me of the bullshit going on with Ramsey, Howard and the ANU.

  14. metadatalata

    Generally, most Australians aren’t really racist: They just hate immigrants from every country but demonstrably more so if your skin colour is not pasty white. But Joseph’s article is more about opportunistic shonks. It seems that perhaps Australia’s higher portion of first invaders were in fact a bunch of crooks and this might not have served our present predicament well.

    Australia has two directions it can go from today. One is the progressive direction where we dismantle the current system of governance and law and build a fairer representative system. The other way is where things are currently tilted: towards anarchy and destruction of the ever more extreme 2-tiered economy of extreme wealth for the bankers, lawyers, corporation execs and politicians. And poverty for the rest of us.

  15. stephengb2014

    As always Joseph, good read, thank you.

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