Uncle Roy and Aunty June Barker, who passed away within weeks of each other in Lightning Ridge.
LALC LAND: The NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Network would be aware that only a few weeks ago, Aunty June Barker of Lightning Ridge passed away. Tragically, her loving husband Uncle Roy also passed away only 12 days later, also in Lightning Ridge.
Aunty June was a much-loved and respected Elder.
Chairman Stephen Ryan extended his condolences to the extended Barker clan on the passing of Aunty June last week.
“The Land Rights network has been dealt a cruel blow with the passing of Aunty June,” he said.
“She was dedicated to the fight for land rights and a respected keeper of culture and knowledge along with her dear husband Uncle Roy.
“My heart goes out to the extended Barker family who’ve lost a true fighter. Aunty June, you’ve left us, but will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace.”
It was only two weeks later that Chairman Ryan released another network message informing the network of the passing of Muruwari Elder and Aunty June’s dedicated husband, Uncle Roy Barker.
“The passing of Uncle Roy, as sad as it is, also brings a sense of relief to many people too,” Chairman Ryan said.
“I know just how much Uncle Roy adored his lovely wife June, and in leaving us over the weekend, we can only hope they are re-united again, joined at the hip, they way they’ve always been. Uncle Roy will be remembered as a trusted keeper and teacher of important Aboriginal knowledge. His teachings will continue to be especially important for our booris (kids).
“Roy’s knowledge of traditional Aboriginal tools, weaponry, artefacts and his general expertise in Aboriginal history was simply unsurpassed.”
Uncle Roy and Aunty June were icons out west, especially around the Lightning Ridge area, where they settled back in the mid 60s. They’ll be greatly missed by the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community alike.
“To Uncle Roy and Aunty June… you’re time on this earth may have ended, but rest assured, your collective legacy will live on in your people for generations to come.”
Aunty June was laid to rest on Saturday June 30, and Uncle Roy on Saturday July 14 at Lightning Ridge.
• You can view Aunty June Barker’s Legend of Land Rights tribute video at http://tracker.org.au/2012/06/rest-in-peace-aunty-june-barker/ and Uncle Roy’s tribute video at http://tracker.org.au/2012/07/legend-of-land-rights-uncle-roy-barker/