Tribal battle ground to golf course

The name Bega originally came from the tribal word ‘biggah’, the word for ‘meeting place’.

The Tarraganda golf course in Bega was a majestic tribal battle ground prior to European settlement. They said that many different tribes on the far south coast came to this amphitheatre for intertribal wars, gatherings, ceremonies, and the trading and sharing of resources and materials. Explorer Alfred William Howitt met Old Mundy in the last known use of the place. Old Mundy spoke to Mr Howitt about the different associations about the tribes along the far south coast in terms of the lore, class systems (moieties) and creation stories. Sacred trees inhabited the golf course and surrounding area, in the past and to this day.

Approximately twenty-three years ago, my older cousin and brother were about four or five years old. We all lived at Murrays Flats road. My brother and my cousin were walking along the road with no shirts on, heading towards the golf course from Murrays Flats. My aunty and her partner were driving along that same road and spotted the two boys. They noticed the boys had big sticks with them. My aunty and her partner pulled up beside the two boys and ask them:

What are you two doing, were are you two going?

They both replied and said:

We’re going up to the golf course.

My aunty then replied and said:

Who said you two can go up there?

They both replied and said:

An old “blackfulla” told us to.

Story contributed by Marcus Mundy. Published in 2013.