Remembering Uncle Peter Mansfield-Cameron
Peter Mansfield-Cameron was a Tangani/Ramindjeri Korn (Man), not big in stature but with a big presence, who believed in caring, sharing, & getting the job done.
Always passionate about Pre-Settlement Culture which he called the Truth, Post Settlement Culture he described as generic.
Peter had a saying which he thought was very applicable to our current way of life.
"There is only one race on this planet, the Human Race, so lets respect each others differences and Wirritjin",
which is a Ramindjeri word, devised after Sealers & Whalers came to their country and means working together for good (Aboriginals & White People)
Peter would have been very surprised (but inwardly pleased) regarding this acknowledgement as his thoughts would have been that he was just getting jobs done when the opportunity was there.
Kau Kau: Thank You (with blessings)
Nunki Miwa: With Good Feelings
Peter, Meryl & Rav
How it all started
The Genesis for this idea all started when Uncle Peter Cameron received a phone call from Street Artist Hego. Hego was calling to get permission to use the image of his ancestor, Private Alfred Cameron Junior for his street mural project. When Hego found out Uncle Peter was Private Alfred Cameron Junior’s nephew, Hego, and his friend, film maker Tim Anasti decided then and there they had the making of a brilliant documentary.
From there Hego and Tim met with, and filmed, Uncle Peter and Aunty Meryl down at Private Alfred Cameron’s ancestral home. Private Alfred’s larger than life image was used for the Coloured Diggers March in Redfern, and Hego also put up a Mural of Alfred and other indigenous Anzac’s on a building in Meningie (in the Coorong region of South Australia) which Tim chronicled for his Black Anzac Documentary.
For many years this building was used as part of the Annual Anzac Day Memorial service, until the Mural of these Coloured Diggers finally disintegrated to the point when it was no longer visible.
Uncle Peter and Aunty Meryl did not want the memory of these Original Anzac’s to be forgotten again, and neither did the rest of the local community, so in consultation with the Meningie RSL (who Uncle Peter and Aunty Meryl had a close relationship with the Meningie RSL). Aunty Meryl did some research on this matter on how to make a more permanent Mural that would last for decades instead of years. After a lot of research she discovered that the type of graphics printed for most commercial trucks was designed to withstand fading, dirt, weather, and washing.
The President of the Meningie RSL, Bob Lewis, and his vice president Ian Qualman loved the idea of resurrecting the Mural permanently so much, that they authorised for it to be installed at the Anzac Day memorial park, and also insisted on paying for it out of the Meningie RSL coffers.
Uncle Peter had also built 2 rock walls at the Anzac Day memorial park, one wall was to honour the nurses who saved so many lives, the other wall was to commemorate, the horse, mules, dogs, and land army logistics, the 3rd decorative wall Uncle Peter built was for the signage for the Meningie RSL Hall.
The Memorial Unveiling
This memorial was unveiled on Anzac day 2021 to the biggest ever community turnout the Meningie RSL had ever had for any Anzac Day Service. It was a huge success not just for the local tribes of the Coorong region, but also for the wider community who were finally made aware of the sacrifices their local first nations people made fighting for Australia.
The Community of the Coorong will never forget the work Hego, Tim Anasti, Uncle Peter, Aunty Meryl, Bob Lewis, and Ian Qualman have done to honour what was an important and forgotten part of First Nations and Australian history.
The Wirritjin Committee behind this website would also like to use this page as a way to honour the memory of the late Uncle Peter Cameron and thank Aunty Meryl Cameron and their son Ravell for helping keep the memory of Uncle Peter and Uncle Alfred alive.