Billy the Bull

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Billy the Bull
An initiated Gunaikurnai man who shared some cultural information with A W Howitt and John Bulmer. Bulmer described some doubts or limits to Billy the Bull’s information, which may indicate that Billy was sharing only appropriate cultural knowledge, given Bulmer’s status as an uninitiated man. Whilst Billy the Bull stayed at Lake Tyers he also worked off the station, receiving a work certificate in 1871, under the 1871 Regulation to the 1869 Aborigines Protection Act. Billy and his wife Emma had a number of children, although some died in childhood of diseases such as Whooping cough and pneumonia. Amongst his peers and the non-Aboriginal local Gippsland community Billy the Bull was known as a fearless rider, quick witted and a strong fighter. He attended the 1884 Jeraeil, organised by Howitt. Billy the Bull died in 1910 of heart failure, having suffered Rheumatism also. He was said to be 73 years of age, giving him an approximate birth year of 1837.
References:
‘Billy the Bull: An Aboriginal Identity’, Advocate, 26 March 1910, p. 49, accessed 25 June 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article170031489.
Board for the Protection of the Aborigines, Eighth Report, John Ferres, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1872, p. 30.
Board for the Protection of the Aborigines, Twenty-third Report, Robt. S. Brain, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1887, p. 11.
Board for the Protection of the Aborigines, Seventeenth Report, John Ferres, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1881, p. 9.
Board for the Protection of the Aborigines, Twenty-Fourth Report, Robt. S. Brain, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1888, p. 10.
Board for the Protection of the Aborigines, Twenty-Eighth Report, Robt. S. Brain, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1892, p. 8.
Board for the Protection of the Aborigines, Forty-Sixth Report, J Kemp, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1910, p. 8.

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