aborigine.march27th January, 1938 : Sydney was awash in a sea of colour yesterday as the focus of celebrations of Australia’s 150th anniversary, but not everyone was happy. Although a group of Aborigines staging a bush scene took part in the historical pageant, others marked the spectacular occasion with a day of mourning. Thousands of people and 2,200 police packed the streets to watch the parade and a re-enactment of Captain Philip’s landing in 1788. It was a hot day, and at least 6,000 people were treated after collapsing during the morning. A barefoot band of Manly lifesavers also found the going too tough and were forced to abandon the parade. The dissenting note was struck by William Ferguson’s Aborigines’ Progressive Association, which shunned the revelry to highlight the dispossession of the blacks.

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