Kayang (Hazel) Brown talks about the foods available growing up

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Kayang (Hazel) Brown: You know, they sort of, when Aboriginal Affairs Department was government, it was moving, moving, all the time moving. And not unless you went on to a farm and you went to stay on a farm and then the farmer got in touch with Aboriginal Affairs Department and the Native Affairs and that they was employing you. And you were allowed to stay there then. But apart from that, you just moved, you know. When we stayed at Needilup if we … if we didn’t have any food, well Dad used to go down to Sparks and he did dingo trapping but mostly he used to snare kangaroos and shoot kangaroos and sold the skin and they’d go and ring up to Pop Hassell and said that we were short of food, we needed flour, tea and  sugar. And then Pop would come on a horse, you know, he’d have to start early and he’d come down, Eddy Hassell, he’d come there sometime. He did bring a pack horse and about 25 of flour and then sugar and tea and then Nestles milk. And sometimes he bring fat in tins, jam and whatever. And of course ginger bread biscuits.

Lenny used to love the Nestles milk. And then different times when we go down, if he needed any help down at the farm he’d ring up and say to our Dad wanted back at the station, see. So we’d go back there and it was heaven going back there, girl, because you went back (chuckles) and then you know sometimes pitch a tent must be in … on the side of the shed there, nice and cleaned up and there was mattress. No worry about bed, just throw a mattress down there. And then you’re going into the storeroom. Oh, you’re looking up, there’s tin fruit, there’s fat and preserved fruit, [unclear – 18:21], there’s dates and there’s dried food and then there’s currents and there’s raisins and there’s Nestles milk and all the goodies, everything all there you know. And so you’d help yourself. And Lenny would go and get his bag and he go fill up what he wanted you know, what he wanted to eat, and then biscuits. And boiled lollies just packed. And they used to have them lollies, I don’t know whether you’ve seen them, they’re black and white striped, you ever seen them?

Denise Cook: No

Kayang (Hazel) Brown: He had a jar full of those. And then … and then there’d be tinned … there’d be tinned fish, there’d be pilchards, there’d herrings in tomato sauce. Had the biggest feed out and then you stay there for two or three days or whatever, a week or whatever, and then when you go back, cart full of stores and all the food going back there. And you go in there, and eggs, eggs and more eggs. Chooks everywhere. And then one day we had theHassell girl there, Mary, he had one girl. He’s … like his first family grew up and he got married to this other woman. And oh, she was lovely little girl but she was a bit shy at first. And she said come down there with me, she said, we’ll catch some jilgies. I’ll catch some jilgies. She trying, she trying to catch ‘em but she used to be too slow. Oh, biggest jilgies out, biggest jilgies out too and no time you’ve got half a bucket of jilgies. A biggest feed of jilgies and then Joe Hassell come back ‘cause he’d been way out at the mustering you know, like they go out? I say from the station up from the … right around, he owned, they owned a property from the front gate there to the back gate way out there, 50 miles right around, you know. And that was a lot of country. And a lot of people working there, lot of Noongars used to work there before. But I don’t know, they sort of drifted away.

From: Kayang (Hazel) Brown, Interview for South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, 18 June 2008

 

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SWALSC followed cultural protocols to obtain permission to use this oral history on the website. It is also protected by copyright law and may only be used for private study, research, criticism or review. If you would like to use it for any commercial purposes, including publication, making copies for sale, or modifying it please contact SWALSC on reception@noongar.org.au or PO Box 585, Cannington, 6987.
Note: In some cases the written transcript has been edited with permission from the person interviewed and may differ slightly from the audio recording.

 

Permission to use this audio recording kindly granted by Kayang (Hazel) Brown

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