Territory Stories

The Garden Point Mob



The Garden Point Mob

Other title

Stories about the early days of the Catholic mission and the people who lived there, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the mission


Historical Society of the Northern Territory


Brogan, Thecla


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




Garden Point


Published to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Roman Catholic mission at Garden Point (Pularumpi) on Melville Island begun in 1940; consists of stories mostly from the early days, prepared by people who were taken to the mission as children in the 1940s and by some of the staff of the mission in the early days; includes evacuation to Melbourne in 1942 and return in 1945, conditions at the mission, dormitory life, education, recreation including hunting, bush trips and football.


Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Early days at the mission at Garden Point / J. Pye -- Mission 1940-1945 / E. Bennett -- Gifts from the skies / L. O'Dwyer -- Arrivals at Garden Point; daily life / Sister Elsie, Mick Cussen, Marie Gardner, Thecla Brogan -- How Leon Gregory go the name "Foxie" / Luke S Morcom -- Ada's story / Ada Bailey -- Faye's story / Faye Gavenlock -- Happy days at Garden Point / Barbara Tippolay -- Evacuation 1942 / Eileen Ryan -- The first months / Sister Antoninus -- Harold Anderson / Luke S. Morcom -- Some of the boys / Jack Cusack -- Memories of Garden Point 1956-1964 / Sister Christopher Cleary -- Garden Point grows up / Peter Brogan -- Melville Island song / words by Sister Mary Annunciata.




Melville Island; Catholic Church; Missions; Aboriginal Australians; Religion

Publisher name

Historical Society of the Northern Territory

Place of publication



x, 85 pages : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 25 cm.

File type




Copyright owner

Historical Society of the Northern Territory

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

' In the early days to do the washing we had to carry everything, clothes tubs, soap, pegs from the girls house down to the billabong which is about 1 km from the house. We spent the whole day down there. When the clothes were dry we would fold them and carry everything up to the house again. We had about a dozen Tiwi women working and laughing with us. Mary Ann Tipungwuti, an older Tiwi lady, helped Sister with the mending on a treadle machine. During the war years Mrs Daisy Liddy did a wonderful job on that same machine looking after Father, Brother and the boys. 28 \ HOW LEON GREGORY GOT THE NAME 'FOXIE' Luke S Morcom A long time ago when I was a little boy growing up at Garden Point Mission, there was a little boy called Leon Gregory in our class. He was always getting into trouble with the Sisters because he was so active and full of mischief. Every time the Sisters had a story to read to us in class, Leon too wanted to tell us stories of his own. He always wanted to compete at anything especially story telling. Unfortunately, the Sisters couldn't get a word in and his enthusiasm therefore got him into lots of trouble. He was always told to sit in the corner most of the time during class. One day Leon got into big trouble that earned him the cane. It was at this time that the Sisters brought some hens and chickens. Leon knew that these hens would lay fresh eggs for the babies. After the Sisters had fed their prized laying hens and went back to the convent to pray, it was then that Leon seized the opportunity for revenge for the hiding he copped for being naughty in class. He took the knife that he had stolen from the kitchen and cut off as many of the hens' heads that he had caught. The next morning when one of the Sisters went to fetch some eggs she was shocked to see some of the hens dead in the chook-yard. Well it was obvious who had done this dirty deed, because of the tiny foot prints and the fact that only Leon would do such a thing. Once again Leon earned himself the strap and was told to sit in the corner. On this particular day the Sisters had a new story to tell us called The Fox and the Hen. After the story was finished, one of 29

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