As Ming’s story approached its devastating conclusion, Mary’s widowed husband arrived on Ming’s doorstep at Wahroonga, with Mary’s first-born daughter, Mary Hannah, in tow. He asked Ming if she would take her in and look after her, but — as my Gran recalls — Ming felt unable to do so. Whether this was before or just after Jane’s committal, and whatever her reason, we might speculate that Ming felt very guilty about turning her back on Mary’s child. Nevertheless she did so, and another of the ties to her past was severed. In the end, the one and only link with Ming’s past that did endure, despite a hiatus of 20 years, was her connection with Jane. And so it was Jane, and not Mary, who saw out Ming’s waning years, as a direct result of government policy.
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- 1.Coral Edwards, ‘Is the Ward Clean?’, Bill Gammage and Andrew Markus, eds, All that Dirt: Aborigines 1938 (Canberra: History Project Inc., 1982), 8.Google Scholar