No, they don’t have some weird calendar transformation in Australia. We simply spent Sunday, the day of the week, visiting Thursday Island or TI as it is known locally. It is located in the Torres Strait north of Australia and has an area of about 1.4 square miles. It was originally occupied by the Torres Strait Islanders which together with the Aboriginals comprise the two indigenous peoples of Australia. They are still a large part of the population of about 3500 people on TI.
Our visit began with a welcome by one of the leaders of the Torres Strait Islander community. He spent some time discussing an indigenous people’s protection act in Australia which he said dictated where they could live and what aspects of their culture they could continue to observe. In his view this act was doing nothing to protect them. He then went on to say they did not want to assign blame for past problems, but wanted to live together in harmony and as equals to all other Australians. It sounded like a speech that could have been given by the leader of any Native American tribe in the US. The device he is holding is their traditional weapon and a symbol of their culture.The hat on this statue is traditional to the Torres Island Strait people and is part of their flag.The women are performing a traditional dance in traditional dress accompanied by guitar and drum.We were told not to go in the water because of crocodiles there. These children didn’t seem to get the notice.We got to the Anglican Church right before the start of the service. Other than a few people from our ship in the rear, the attendees all seemed to be Torres Strait Islanders. By contrast, everyone outside in the parks seemed to be of European descent. People headed to the church where very friendly toward us. Despite the fact that it appeared the economy could use a cash infusion from the cruise ship, most stores and cultural centers observed the Sunday holiday.There was also a Catholic Church and some Protestant churches in town. Did I mention that the ocean was a beautiful blue for as far as the eye could see? No?I should have!
We have two sea days before reaching Darwin.