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Recently we discovered my Grand Father was half indigenous.

There are a few versions of the story but we believe he was born out of wedlock by whom he thought to be his elder sister, Katherine. She was about 20 years older than he was.

Katherines parents raised him and his younger brother Dan, whom we believe to also be Katherines child, as their own and it was never spoken of again.
The timing of Katherine reaching maturity as a young woman and the timing of the Poppy and his brother Dan’s birth show a definate timeline of change in the family.
Poppy and Dan’s darker skin was always written off as a throw back to a mixed bloodline of Irish & Spanish. No one ever doubted it even though every other child in the family up to that time had been basically pale skinned and definitely looking like they were from Irish decent.

He grew up with the nickname of Slockee, which we have now discovered is an old Aboriginal family name from the Murwillumbah region of NSW, Australia. We believe poppy knew the story and kept the secret from the rest of the family. It was sadly a different time back then.

The picture of Poppys heritage came to light before the passing of my Uncle Bob in 2007. He revealed a few details to my cousin Tricia before he died. This intern triggered memories that my mum has. Mum can remember regular visits from indigenous families when she was little and poppy going fishing with other indiginous men from the Byron area before the family relocated to Sydney.

Katherine eventually married an indigenous man. We believe the surname to be Nugent or Noonan. Sadly Katherine died at a young age of about 45.

A few of us are trying to find out more, mainly because we want to but in some ways because we need too.

It won’t change anything but it may reveal something quite wonderful.

Poppy died of cancer in his 60’s in the late 1960’s. I can remember the last time I saw him at Liverpool hospital through the window into his ward. He waved and smiled at me.
I remember sitting on my poppy’s knee in the lounge room in his favourite chair in the corner. I can still see his face today.
There was a sadness behind those big dark eyes of his.

Love you poppy and that is all that counts to this day. Hopefully we can find out more of your past and therefore more of our own heritage.

Say hi to Nan and the rest of gang up there.

Love
Steven

The journey from white to black – A tribute to poppy

This story is part of my heritage and is more widespread thru the community than we may realise.

In memory of Poppy “Slockee” Baker

Comments

  • Ariane
    Arianeover 6 years ago

    Wow – what a revalation – no wonder you have such a connection to the land.

  • Thanks Ariane, hopefully I can make him proud. I just got an email from my cousin she was the one I mentioned in the story. We have both had a little cry this afternoon. xsg

    – Steven Guy

  • Simon Gottschalk
    Simon Gottschalkover 6 years ago

    Was just about to question the title before I read the story. Interestinging stuff Mr. Guy, thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks my friend and please call me Steven. I am glad you liked my story, I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. Take care

    – Steven Guy

  • butchart
    butchartover 6 years ago

    it’s amazing the things we find out later in our lifetimes that can have such an impact on how we not only view ourselves but the world around us…. good look on your quest to find out more…. and wonderful image to display your thoughts on this…………..b

  • Thanks my dear friend. I have no idea where to start searching for the missing pieces but I will work it out. I am thrilled by your response to the “work” as well. It took me a few hours and many attempts to get the feeling I was after. Life is made of many fragments and cracks. The story came easily, the trueth always does. xsg

    – Steven Guy

  • ajax
    ajaxover 6 years ago

    This shot reflects your writing Steven.Enjoy your discoveries my friend Jacky xx

  • The journey continues !

    – Steven Guy

  • SaRaHKnOwDoG
    SaRaHKnOwDoGabout 6 years ago

    Beautiful image and story. Almost made me cry ……..
    PS: Love yr profile pic : ]

  • Thankyou Sarah, the journey continues, it is slow but slowly we are piecing it together. It has been an amazing discovery for me personally. I am lad you felt the emotion of it with me. This work has made many of my family cry. It is the first official recognition of my pops heritage and what we didn’t know !
    Hugs

    – Steven Guy

  • linda858100
    linda858100about 6 years ago

    stunning

  • Thankyou Linda, I really appreciate you dropping in and taking the time to read this one.

    – Steven Guy

  • SaRaHKnOwDoG
    SaRaHKnOwDoGabout 6 years ago

    Awww, now thats what ArT should be about : ]

  • Thankyou !

    – Steven Guy

  • mariarty
    mariartyabout 6 years ago

    A wonderful and moving story. Good look in finding the missing pieces.

  • Thankyou mariarty. The pieces are slowly coming together and almost making sense.

    – Steven Guy

  • Robert Knapman
    Robert Knapmanabout 5 years ago

    I don’t know if this would be helpful or not, but you could have a chat with this ’redbubbler":http://www.redbubble.com/people/crowmanic. An old colleague of mine who might have some wise words or tips for you. What a wonderful discovery Steven. I wish you well.

  • Thankyou Robert. I really appreciate that bit of info. Steve

    – Steven Guy

  • nellibell49
    nellibell49over 4 years ago

    Hi Steven. Well. I have just come back from living 7 years on the Tweed River in Tumbulgum and Bilambil just out of Murwillumbah. It was there that I found that my Scottish Bells ( Poppa’s family) and Mcleods lived there in the mid 1800s. In amongst there is my Poppa Bell, whose birth certificate we can’t find although we have his brothers’ and sisters’. I will put his pic on fb. Tweed River Historical Society is pretty good. It is in Tweed Heads. The very best researcher however is gone now. Bill Bainbridge he was and helped me very much.
    I call us the Lost Generations. My family then went from there to Laurieton and then to Redfern to live.
    When I found that I had gone to live in a 7 street village that I had never heard of and that it was one of my family’s place , another layer of peace settled on me.
    Incidents and stories of childhood began to make even more sense.
    I shall keep my eyes open and look through what I have for Noonan/ Nugent and for Slockee.
    I don’t know how functional LinkUp is these days but it might be able to help.

    Yrs L.

  • Thanks so much Lynne, you are a dear friend and one who gets it.
    No phased by anything dysfunctional is ok with me, i should fit right in !
    :-)

    – Steven Guy

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