Category Archives: URUNGA




Dawn and New Dawn were magazines published between 1952-1975 by the New South Wales Aborigines Welfare Board, with the aim of providing interesting information and an exchange of news and views. The Dawn and New Dawn also served as a way for people to keep in contact. Today the magazines are a valuable source of family history information as they include details of births, deaths, marriages and baptisms, as well as hundreds of photographs.

Now, what do you know about Urunga ?
I have just had a letter from Kevin Degges, of Sydney,
and he said he would like to see more in Dawn about
this town. Kevin said, “ I come from Sydney where
I am a junior clerk with the Railways Department,
but I am holidaying here in Urunga, a lovely seaside
resort. I found here a fellow-aborigine, an ex-Alamein
digger named Andrew Boney, who owns a lovely home
in Nambucca Street. A few doors away his father-inlaw,
Mr. Harry Kelly, a wonderful man, and one of
the pioneers of the district. Then next door again,
Mr. Robert Avery and his family. Not to forget the
three well-known boys Kevin Boney, Bruce Brown and
Brian Kelly, all topline footballers. Then there is
Ray Kelly whose tracking instinct has assisted the
police on many occasions. The white folk here in
Urunga do not object to the aboriginal children in the
schools and the older generation attend local housie,
card games, dances and many other activities. This
Urunga is really a town ! ” Well thanks for that letter,

It sounds quite a place

The last male full-blood aborigine in the Boggabilla
district, Mr. Bertram Cubby, died in June in the
Mungindi Hospital.
Mr. Cubby, who was 62, was a returned serviceman.
He was a bachelor.
His father, King Bungo (Charlie) Cubby, was a tribal
leader in the Urunga district.
One of his brothers, Mr. George Cubby, was killed
while serving with the Army in 1943.
Another brother, Charlie, lives at Mungindi, and a
sister, Mrs. Lexie Prince, lives at Moree.
It is believed there is now only one full-blood left in
the district, a woman who lives at Toomelah.

Mr John Lugnan of Urunga has passed a
correspondence: course and received his 2nd Class
Building and Bridge Inspector’s Certificate. The
come took 44 years and represented a mighty
effort as John’s education was very limited.
Originally engaged by the N.S.W. Railways as a
painter, determination kept Mr Lugnan at his
study. Anyone who has ever done part-time
study while holding down a full-time job will
know what this means in sheer effort. The arrival
of the certificate was a happy surprise to the
family because John had kept his activities secret.
As soon as he had passed, he was put on Inspector’s
wages while awaiting a vacancy. However he has
not finished yet. He has already started another
correspondence course to enable him to qual% as
a civil engineer over a period of 3 years. This
will include 6 months face to face instruction at
Sydney Technical College. Pictured are Mr and
Mrs Lugnan with Joseph, Maria, and Rory.
Joseph is in 3rd form at Bellingen High School.


Old Friends Meet
During my recent tour of the North Coast, my wife
and I called into a place called Urunga. We stayed
there for a month’s holiday on the seaside reserve. The
reason was that I’d lived up the South Am when a
child and there were people by the name of Kelly who
had four girls and three sons at that time . . . . names
which I’ll always member for we were all good pals.
The girls were Ida, Muriel, Doreen and Madge and
the boys were Stan, Thomas and Richard.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Kelly grew vegetable, and went
in for poultry. The girls’ job were to look after the
farm and their father would cut sleepers and do bush
Quite a few of us boys used to go to the dances and
who were always very nicely dressed. We all made
good friends. Then we moved away down South.
Stan m y (t heir uncle) UJCd to bring dong the girls
This is how I met Ida, as I knew her, again after all
the years. She was walking across the Urunga
football field with Madge. I asked the caretaker who
the ladies were and when she told me, I couldn’t get
around to where she lived quickly enough. My wife
is English and she was so amazed at Ida’s neat home
which is on the Pacific Highway. We talked about
our childhood days. She asked us to have tea on the
Thursday night, when we found a beautiful table set up.
We had a nice baked fowl dinner with lots of sweets.
I was amazed, so was my wife.
I was told later that Ida cooked at the Bellingen
Hospital for ten years.
I’ve never met prettier girls than they were. I also
met two of her cousins called Sadie and Hilda. They
were on holidays from Nambucca.
So, Folks, now I know that my best dance partner is
happily married to a soldier with three happy children
and a home she can ask any white person into any time."