The clearing of land can now begin because today, despite the rain, the official Smoking Ceremony took place. Attended by school officials including our new Principal, parents and students, government ministers, the Bishop and an Aboriginal elder, the smoking ceremony was a traditional ritual whereby native plants were burnt and earth overturned to signify a cleansing of the site and a warding off of bad spirits in keeping with Aboriginal culture.
I was not brave enough to attend with my 3 munchkins in tow...3 of them plus rain plus no seating plus a reverent occasion that would go for about an hour just didn't equal a happy outcome in my mind. Thankfully, my photographer Tracy Downes (I can call her that because she is always there with a camera whenever I don't have mine) did brave the weather and not only attended but took some great photos to boot!
Seeing these photos and the small gathering of people at the site as I drove past this morning brought back many memories of the school I used to teach at. It was also built from humble beginnings and grew into a well respected school. The people who started the school had a real vision for it and they lived and breathed it. The teachers who taught there in those early years were some of the best and they too gave everything for the school. I hope that same passion and drive helps to build our little school into something very special. I don't care that we will be starting off in demountables...I just can't wait to be there!
Have you ever attended a smoking ceremony? Do you think they are necessary?