Page 7, 28th June 1963

28th June 1963
Page 7
Page 7, 28th June 1963 — Aborigines build to honour ' bishop with 150 wives ' A BORIGINES
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Aborigines build to honour ' bishop with 150 wives ' A BORIGINES

on Melville Ills Island, off the north-west coast of Australia's Northern Territory, have erected a monument to the late Bishop Francis Gsell, M.S.C., of Darwin, who served them for nearly 50 years.

Bishop (]sell was famous as "The bishop with 150 wives", a title given him because of his practice of "buying" young native girls who, by tribal law, became at birth the "wives" of old men of the tribe. He reared the girls at the mission, and many of them later married aboriginal boys of their own age and choice.

The monument is erected at Pans Village, on Melville Island, where the young Fr. Gsell landed while seeking a site for a mission station. It consists of a concrete cairn surrounded by gardens.




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