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Hongyong's Story single work   short story  
Issue Details: First known date: 2002... 2002 Hongyong's Story
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  • Author's note: The history of Canberra did not start in 1927, nor did it start one hundred years earlier when the first white man sighted the Limestone Plains 'fresh burnt by the blacks'. Indeed, as the skeletal remains discovered at Lake George attest, the history of Canberra may be as old as human life itself. The above are excerpts from the story of Hongyong, a Ngunnawal warrior, as told through the eyes of Irish convict, Garrett Cotter, after whom the Cotter River and Cotter Dam are named, and who was exiled to the country west of the Murrumbidgee during the first fifty years after Ngunnawal country was invaded by the British. Hongyong's name, variously spelt (and mispronounced) Yongyong, Ongyong, Hongkong, appears on blanket lists in this area from about 1830, and in the local histories by Bluett, Hewitt and Ann Jackson among others. The story of the desecration of his grave is in the De Salis family's diaries as well as other local historical publications. Garrrett Cotter's recollections provide a brief glimpse of that history, one that is located in historical as well as cross-cultural heritages.

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Last amended 6 Apr 2018 08:43:38