Uncle Tom Kelly will celebrate his 87th birthday with the community on April 2.
Uncle Tom Kelly will celebrate his 87th birthday with the community on April 2.

Say happy birthday to Uncle Tom

UNCLE Tom Kelly’s birthday is just around the corner and you’re all invited to the Community Bush Tucker barbecue on April 2 to celebrate.

The cherished local elder is turning 87 and Bellingen Shire Council in partnership with Guubuny Aboriginal Community Resource Centre and the Dorrigo Local Aboriginal Land Council are joining efforts to make it a memorable day for everyone.

The picnic will take place on Saturday April 2 from 10.30am in Maam Gaduying Park in front of the council’s administration centre.

The mouth-watering menu from local culinary artists Sue Tomkins and Robin Heath includes: Bunya Nut Casserole, Warrigal Greens, Macadamia Pastry Puffs, Lemon Myrtle Cheese Cake, Chocolate Wattle Seed Slice, Kanga Kebabs, Kanga Meatballs with Bush Tomato Sauce, Damper, Quandong Jam, Lemon Myrtle and Mint Cordial.

Uncle Tom Kelly was born at South Arm on the Kalang River. He left school at the age of 12 and worked on a dairy farm for 20 years. In 1946 he moved to Urunga and became a council employee for 39 years. An open-hearted gentle man who loves children, Uncle Tom says he sees everyone as “one”.

“I don’t see the differences in people. I see everyone as ‘one’,” Uncle Tom said.

Uncle Tom’s Bush Tucker barbecue is an opportunity for the community to experience our local Gumbaynggirr culture and to honour Uncle Tom Kelly as the shire’s leading Gumbaynggirr Elder and wish him a happy birthday.

There will be plenty of entertainment including the beautiful voice of Barbara Weaver from Dorrigo and dancers and didgeridoo to get you moving.

If you have gifts of song, dance, music, poetry, art or craft for Uncle Tom, bring them along.

RSVP for catering purposes. Contact Josie Robinson on 6655 7336 or email jrobinson@bellingen.nsw.gov.au



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