Beagle Bay

beagle bay church, pearl, history, banana well,During the heydays of the Beagle Bay Mission, the Community was developed and established by Trappist Monks around the 1890’s, on Nyul-Nyul country. The Indigenous people were taken from their traditional areas and different parts of the Kimberley and put into Beagle Bay Mission. They were taught an education, a trade or training, for some form of employment and opportunities beyond the mission.

They were trained as cheap labour force for the Europeans. The girls were trained as house servants and the boys as tradesmen and station hands. The government & missionaries’ policy had a huge devastating impact on the Kimberley Aboriginal women’s lives due to the Aboriginal Act in 1905 that enforced the removal and transfers of half-caste children from their mother’s to the mission and state institutions.

Children whose father’s were Asian were considered to be half caste and referred to as coloured. Most half caste children were transferred to Beagle Bay Mission prior to 1907. They all became part of the “stolen generation”. They lost their languages, culture and spirituality when taken and baptised in the Catholic Religion.

Catholic songs and prayers were translated and taught in the Nyul- Nyul language. The original church was built in 1918, and the founding Charles and Ozies family members were a part of re building the church in later years. It features a pearl altar and is major a tourist attraction.