Evil spirits smoked out
EVIL spirits were banished at the new Mossman Gorge Centre on Thursday.
About 60 people looked on as the “smokers” lit their torches from a ceremonial fire and then walked around and through the building in the cleansing ceremony to rid the place of any evil spirits and to ensure it will be a “happy place” for all those who visit and work there.
Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku president and a leader of the Kuku Yalanji people Roy Gibson welcomed everyone to the new complex and explained how the smoking ceremony worked.
“Our people will perform the smoking ceremony to make this a happy place and then you will all be invited to follow Harold Tayley over to our ancestors’ burial ground,” Mr Gibson said.
“Harold will then speak in our ancestors traditional language and inform them of what is taking place here today and to also let them know that they can keep resting because we will have gotten rid of any bad spirits and they will remain safe and can be happy.”
General manager Greg Erwin, said he was extremely pleased with the completed building.
“Once the centre is up and running we envisage 350,000 visitors annually using the centre and the shuttle buses to go and visit the Mossman Gorge,” he said.
Eco-shuttle buses will ferry people to the Mossman Gorge from 8am until 6pm and will be free for locals.
The centre will employ 50 people, of which 85 per cent will be indigenous, and there will be offices for DERM and the Parks and Wildlife Services. Also on-site is a 20-bed hostel for remote Aboriginal students undergoing training in various jobs and industries and a 40-seat training room.