Final farewell for NT’s much-loved musician
RAIN clouds loomed following a scorching late morning as crowds congregated outside Air Frontier’s hangar to say a final farewell to one of Australia’s most prominent musicians.
A sombre public ceremony marked Dr G Yunupingu’s final moments on mainland Australia, before he was flown back to his final resting place on Elcho Island following his death in July this year.
Dr G Yunupingu’s family was there to lead the traditional ceremony.
His uncle, Charlie Yunupingu, said the occasion marked an important day for the Yolngu people, as Dr G Yunupingu took his first steps on his journey back to his ancestors.
“It is a very special day for us today,” he said.
“He took Aboriginal and indigenous people and taught them how to live and survive.”
Charlie’s brother and another one of Dr G Yunupingu’s uncles, Johnny Yunupingu, said they were all feeling a lot of sadness.
“It is feeling so sad, such sorrow, our nephew was a very important man,” he said.
“Love was his main input, the love he showed everybody.”
Dr G Yunupingu’s grandmother, Mawuyul Yandhalawuy AM, who also taught him at the Galiwunki school, said that when the plane arrived at the airport on Elcho Island, there would be people waiting covered in ochre to take him along the final stretch home.
Ms Yandhalawuy said that she would treasure Dr G Yunupingu’s songs and his voice.
“He was the best singer, better than anyone I ever heard, and he sang with his heart, his mind and his soul,” she said.
Following the arrival of Dr G Yunupingu at Galiwinku, there will be a week-long public ceremony commencing today on Elcho Island.
Family and friends of Dr G Yunupingu gather at Darwin airport to send the acclaimed musician on his last journey back to Elcho Island