Remembering the Stolen Generations....Herbie Laughton.

4th Jun 2020

National Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities.

Herbert Patrick Laughton, (7 February 1927 - 2 December 2012) was a country singer from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. He was also a member of the Stolen Generations.

The son of a Russian miner Simon Reif and Arrernte woman Amy Colley, Herbie was taken from his mother as a toddler and sent to the Jay Creek settlement.

Jay Creek settlement,48 kilometres west of Alice Springs was abandoned due to lack of water forcing the people to walk back to the Alice Springs Telegraph Station or “Bungalow”.

The Bungalow (Children's Home), 1913–42

Significant movements and comments

  • (also known as Half-caste Institution, Alice Springs)
  • Government-run home for 'half-caste' children.
  • By 1914: children were being compulsorily moved here.
  • 1928: The Bungalow moved from Alice Springs to Jay Creek.
  • 1932: The Bungalow moved to Old Telegraph Station, Alice Springs.
  • 1933: The Bungalow received 28 boys from Pine Creek Home when it closed.
  • c.1940–41: as part of the move of children from government-run institutions to missions, many children moved from The Bungalow to Croker Island (via Goulburn Island Mission) and Catholic children to Garden Point, Melville Island. Some may have gone via Pine Creek Home.
  • 1942: remaining children evacuated to Church Missionary Society Home for Half-castes, Mulgoa, NSW.
  • 1945–60: site used as a reserve for Aboriginal workers.

Herbie Laughton shared his personal story with CAAMA Radio in 2000.