A Terribly Wild Man
Race, sex, religion, human frailty, noble intentions and grand failures - such were the ingredients in the pioneering life of Rev. Ernest Gribble. Dr Christine Halse knows this life well, having researched and interviewed extensively to uncover the Gribble tale....
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Race, sex, religion, human frailty, noble intentions and grand failures - such were the ingredients in the pioneering life of Rev. Ernest Gribble. Dr Christine Halse knows this life well, having researched and interviewed extensively to uncover the Gribble tale. This is the story of that terribly wild man, hailed as the Anglican church's first successful missionary to the Aborigines, and his descent into disgrace.;The son of a famous missionary whom he was determined to surpass, Ernest Gribble was a driven, quixotic priest who became Australia's most famous - and infamous - humanitarian. His passage through life encompassed extreme authoritarianism, adultery, violent struggles against police and white settlers, the abduction of Aboriginal children (he instigated the Stolen Generations), a police massacre of Aboriginals that put Australia in the international spotlight, a successful campaign for a Royal Commission, vicious battles with the Church of Rome for the possession of black souls, and eventual obscurity.;But beneath the public persona was a more complex, tragic figure. White society relegated Ernest Gribble to the no-man's land inhabited by those who defy the status quo. But his life confronted the collective conscience with the moral dilemmas and tragedy of Australia's black/white history. His is one of the great untold stories in the history of Australian race relations.
Saint or sinner? Turbulent priest or dedicated shepherd? Ernest Gribble's life teemed with trials and contradictions. But who was this 'terribly wild man'? Gribble wanted to be a drover or jackeroo, but he obeyed his dying father and embraced a missionary career with all the fervour of his tormented soul. 'Obsessed with sex', according to his superiors, Gribble zealously policed the behaviour of his Aboriginal charges, ruling his missions with a benevolent rod of iron. Anticipating the Stolen Generations, he abducted Aboriginal children from their parents 'for their own protection'. To his contemporaries, this driven, quixotic man was either a visionary, a madman or a traitor to white society. His single-minded championing of Aboriginal rights made him powerful enemies and his campaign for an investigation into a police massacre of Aboriginals in the 1920s put Australia in the international spotlight. Gribble's tortured private life matched his controversial public career. Once described as the first 'successful' missionary to the Aboriginals, Gribble would die in obscurity, mourned only by those he had spent his life trying to protect. Christine Halse's biography reveals the humanity of this complex, tragic figure-a man whose life echoes the tensions that haunt Australia's past. A Terribly Wild Man is one of the great untold tales of our history.
Christine Halse was born and grew up in Sydney. She studied education at Macquarie University and gained her PhD in race relations at the University of Queensland. She is currently working at the University of Western Sydney, where much of her time is devoted to research and working with post-graduate students. Her research interests include cultural identity formation and relations between cultures and communities. She has published widely in these areas locally, nationally and internationally. An independent researcher for government and non-government organisations and national evaluator of institutions and education programs, Dr Halse is also an Executive member of the Aboriginal Studies Association and the Pacific Circle Consortium and Editor of the journal Pacific Asian Education. She plans to start sky-diving lessons on her 60th birthday. She is married and revelling in life with her daughter. <I A Terribly Wild Man</I is her first book.
- Acknowledgements Ix..introduction Xiii..a Note On Language Xv..1 Mostly Of Tears 1..2 Clasping Their Children Tightly 22..3 Porridge For Every Meal 48..4 Horse-thieves And Harlots 74..5 When Native Fruits Are Ripe 93..6 Dark Deeds In A Sunny Land 112..7 Ghosts Crying In The Dark 127..8 A Complete Outsider 154..9 Punishment Place 170..endnotes 193..sources And A Select Guide To Reading 205..index 209