William/Willie Wondunna/Caboonya

Male - 1946

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  • Name William/Willie Wondunna/Caboonya 
    Nickname Turrumun 
    Born Fraser Island, (K'gari), Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Caboonya was his tribal name

      Old Abo. Link Broken
      BRISBANE. Saturday.-Willie Wondunna, the last of the Bithalla tribesmen of Fraser Island, off the Central Queensland coast, has died in Maryborough General Hospital.
      He tracked for the police in every State, and with Tommy King and two other trackers went south to try to capture Ned Kelly.
      It is claimed they were not allowed to do the job in their
      own way and returned to Queensland.
      Willie's probable age has been, the subject of conjecture for many years. Estimates ranged from 90 to 110, but there is no reliable informatio
      (Article - The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954) Saturday 5 October 1946 - Page 3)

      LAST OF
      (By John Sinclair)
      NO doubt many of the old hands will regret to learn of the
      death of that grand old man. Willie Wondunna, who passed away at the General Hospital, Maryborough, on Monday night.
      His passing removes the last full-blooded aborigine from the
      Bithalla Tribe of Fraser Island.
      The aborigines' name for the Island was Gurrie. What age this chap was can only be guessed as he had made his name as a tracker some time before when Tommy King, of Dora Dora sent a message to Fraser Island for Willie Wondunna to come to Maryborough.
      He came to Maryborough with his wife and family. They lived
      on the site of the present Kangaroo oval. Tommy King asked him if he would go with him to hunt the Kelly gang.
      On entering into an agreement to do so, Tommy King gave Willie's wife five sovereigns, and said that Mrs Wondunna and children would be taken care of in Willie's absence. Two other Fraser Island aborigines accompanied them.
      Jack Noble and another aboriginal (I have forgotten
      his name) left for the Kelly country.
      It is now history that Tommy had no faith in the New South
      Wales and the Victorian Police and their methods. He had a method that that was to ? man, and keep on after him until he got got him. It is said that on his return he was given a free hand with Fraser Island aborigines ???
      would get the Kelly's in a fortnight. He was not on
      hand, however.
      It will be recalled the Dora Dora blacks, Bunya and
      Dininbery, two other Fraser Island boys, were taken south
      on an agreement that they would be returned in six months;
      people did not keep their promise hence that tragedy; they ?
      man after they had fallen out with the police and were making their way back home. They came through N.S.W. and Queensland and within sight of their island home, in spite of the fact that the hand of man and the police force
      of two States were against them.
      The old chap Willie Wondunna who has just passed on he
      tracked for all the States in Australia, and it was very interesting to have a map of the State at one's side and listen to his travels throughout Australia He was gifted with wonderful memory. Apart from his reminiscences he also had some corroboree songs which he would sing. One was of Captain Cook sailing up the cast coast of the Island, and how he turned at 'Koo-Woy' (aboriginal name for
      Indian Heads), and sailed ? aboriginal name and was lost to sight. I have repeatedly tried to get those names recorded but no one was interested so now they are lost with
      people: they have all vanished 'gone west', and on going
      left with many of us men ? and an understanding that regardless of class, creed or if there is a chosen people, it is those who can leave this earth a little better than they found it.
      The late Willie. Wondunna will be be buried from the Baptist Church at Torquay, at 3 o'clock this afternoon noon.
      Article - Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett (Advertiser (Qld. : 1860 - 1947)Wednesday 2 October 1946 - Page 4)

      Wondunna, Queensland
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Wondunna is a suburb of Hervey Bay in the Fraser Coast Region, Queensland, Australia
      The suburb was named after Willie Wondunna, an Aboriginal man born on Fraser Island, who was sent to Victoria to track the Kelly Gang in 1880. His alternate tribal name was Caboonya.

    Gender Male 
    Died 30 Sep 1946  General Hospital, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Wondunna
      Last Name Wondunna
      Other Names William (Willy)
      Prefix Mr
      Age 100
      Date of Death 30/09/1946
      Date of Burial 2/10/1946
      Cemetery Polson Cemetery
      Cemetery Address Cnr Rankin and Barker St, Point Vernon QLD 4655
      Burial Type Burial
      Section Polson - Monumental Section F - Baptist & Others
      Plot 37
      Funeral Director C Buffey
      Minister Rev Leggett
      Nick Name Turrumun
      (Fraser Coast Regional Council Cemetery Search)
    Buried 2 Oct 1946  Polson Cemetery, Pt Vernon, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Auastralia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I17947  Hickey, List, Bundesen, Thomsen, Jensen, Jessen
    Last Modified 21 Apr 2022 

    +1. Frederick Wondunna,   b. 11 Feb 1914, Fraser Island/K'gari , Fraser Coast, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Feb 1956, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years)
    Last Modified 20 Apr 2022 
    Family ID F6415  Group Sheet

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