PROUD Gomeroi man and respected Tamworth Aboriginal elder, Uncle Joe Trindall, 87, was farewelled by friends, family and members of the community yesterday.
An estimated 600 people attended the ceremony held on the plains behind North Tamworth Oval
overlooking the Peel River.
Joe’s wife of 66 years, Aunty Pearl, said the location had been chosen by Joe.
“He didn’t want to be boxed in,” she said.
“He wanted to have something that reminded him of the land he loved.
“He was an old bushie and overlooking the river bed, on the grass to him was the perfect place.”
The family said the location was perfect because it was somewhere all the children could run and play while people were paying their respects.
“He would love knowing that the kids were all there running around,” daughter Cathy said.
The service officiated by Tony Slater along the riverside involved a traditional indigenous smoking ceremony and tributes made by family members and friends.
A service held graveside shortly after involved a traditional Gomeroi prayer and a number of songs.
Since Uncle Joe passed away on Tuesday, August 28, friends and family, and many others who knew Joe, have taken great joy in remembering a man who touched so many and advocated for so many more.
Joe’s grandson Ross Waters remembers being in an accident in America and knowing that because his grandfather was coming “everything was going to be alright”.
“He knew everyone,” Ross said.
“When he travelled to America he was walking through the hospital and you could hear him, sure as eggs there was someone he knew and struck up a conversation with.”
Pearl said she had so many fond memories of her husband and their life together.
“I will always remember our wedding day,” she said.
In the end though Ross and Cathy were able to verbalise what many people who knew Joe will
“Most people work their whole life for riches and material things. Joe didn’t. He wanted people to understand humility, to love one another, assert strength and pride in their culture. No one is better than anyone else, you need to fight for your rights, everyone deserves equality.”
Members of the Trindalls and their extended families wished to thank everyone who had offered them sympathy in the days since Joe passed away.
“We are really thankful for the love and support we have received,” Cathy said.
“The support from the staff at the hospital was amazing and the generosity of people, some strangers, has been overwhelming.”