MULAGA GUDJERIE 2013

DARREN SIWES
MULAGA GUDJERIE

2013

EXHIBITION TEXTS

Once upon a time, in a land far away from here, a few years before the end of the nineteenth century a baby boy was born into the British Royal House of Windsor. Although his name was Edward, his family and friends knew him as David. In 1936, he was crowned King of England, Edward VIII, but he remained on the throne for less than a year before abdicating in order to be with his already married mistress, American divorcée, Wallis Simpson.


However, a decade and a half before this momentous event another less well-known event allegedly took place. Immediately in the wake of World War I the twentieth Prince of Wales toured the Antipodes, as directed by King George V. Visiting New Zealand first, before travelling on to Australia, it was during a short sojourn in Sydney that the young Prince had a dalliance with a very beautiful socialite, Miss Mollee Little.


According to urban myth, which has only grown with passing time, Mollee and the Prince were inseparable during his time in Sydney and it was aboard HMS Renown that a child was sired. After parting ways Miss Little had a son the following year, supposedly the bastard child of the Prince of Wales.


There is a slight problem with this story - little David Anthony, known as Tony, was ostensibly not born until 1923, a year after Mollee had married Roy Chisholm and by which time the Prince of Wales had been gone from these shores for three years. Family connections remained however with the briefly crowned Edward VIII taking the role of Tony’s godfather and both families kept in touch over many years. Gossip continued throughout the decades regarding Tony’s heritage, particularly as his appearance seemed to mirror his supposed biological father, which for many was more than enough to be more fact than fiction:


They had the same easy smile, the same blond hair, same corset-and-cholera good looks. Dead ringers. The prince was also Tony's godfather, which some saw as a euphemism for a less-convenient truth.

Roy appears to have harboured an adventurous streak. Leaving his family behind after losing money on property in NSW, he went prospecting for gold in Queensland for a time, before his luck turned after winning a land ballot in World War II, securing Bond Springs Station north of Alice Springs.


It was here that Tony supposedly fathered at least two children to Aboriginal mothers, a girl, Barbara and a boy, Jimmy. This was a familiar occurrence on the frontier, with hundreds of mixed-race children resulting, many of whom were removed by authorities as part of the insidious policies enacted upon the Stolen Generations. The children of Tony Chisholm are known as Barbara Chisholm and Jimmy Anderson and their stories are readily accessible on the internet, so I do not feel that I write out of turn in naming them. Better to be named and known than to be denied.

In 1987 in Darwin I met Barbara, a stunning Aboriginal woman whose nickname was Barbarella. A friend of my cousin’s, Barbarella’s incongruous blonde hair somehow perfectly suited her beautiful dark-skinned features. We joked that surely she was the most attractive

Toohey, P, ‘A right royal bastard’, The Bulletin, 11 January 2008, further reading http://au.groups.yahoo.com/group/residentmonarchy/message/14

Murdoch, L, ‘Stolen children say time for apologies is past’, The Age, 4 June, 2004. Further reading, see http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/06/03/1086203564156.html

  Ibid as in 1