National Library of Australia - Digital Collections - Audio

  • Ginibi, Ruby Langford, 1934- (interviewee)
  • Ruby Langford Ginibi interviewed by Frank Heimans [sound recording].
  • 2000 3 digital audio tapes (140 min.)
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Transcript (page 1 of 10)
Frank Heimans: This is tape one of an interview with Ruby Langford Ginibi. Dr Ruby Langford Ginibi is an Aboriginal author and lecturer in Aboriginal history, culture and politics. Dr Ruby Langford Ginibi will be speaking with me, Frank Heimans, for the Oral History Project conducted by the National Library of Australia. On behalf of the Director-General of the National Library, I would like to thank you for agreeing to participate in this program, Ruby. Ruby, do you understand that copyright is shared by you and the library?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: Yes.
Frank Heimans: This being so, may we have your permission to make a transcript of this recording should the library decide to make one?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: Yes.
Frank Heimans: We hope you will be able to speak as frankly as possible, knowing that neither the tapes nor any transcripts produced from them will be released without your authority.
Ruby Langford Ginibi: Im known for my frankness.
Frank Heimans: This interview is taking place today, the 2nd of February of the year 2000, at Eagle Vale in Sydney. Ruby, can we begin by you identifying yourself and giving me the name and date of your birth, your full name and date of your birth?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: My name is Ruby Langford Ginibi and I was born at Box Ridge Aboriginal Mission, Coraki, in 1934. Im an Aboriginal elder of the Bundjalung people.
Frank Heimans: Now, the Bundjalung peoples territory extends all the way into Queensland, doesnt it?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: From Grafton on the Clarence all the way up the seacoast, up to Ipswich and the Beaudesert, and down around the other side of the Great Dividing Range and back to Grafton. There was one 17 tribal clan dialects of the Bundjalung nation and today I think theres about nine left. But all the language was interwoven so that each tribal area knew what each one was speaking about.
Frank Heimans: You were born on the 26th of January 1934. Is that a special day for you?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: Not particularly. Aboriginal people call the 26th of January Shame Day. It was a day that we were dispossessed of our land and our dreaming in this country.
Frank Heimans: What was your maiden name, Ruby?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: My maiden name was Anderson - have you ever seen a black Scots woman?
Frank Heimans: I havent yet, no, but you must be the first.
Ruby Langford Ginibi: The name of Anderson, in my research I found out that my grandfather, Sam Anderson, came from a mission and was born at a mission called Purga mission near Boonah in Queensland. With the research I found out that his father was a white Scots man by the name of Henry Samuel Anderson and he was one of the first squatters. He fathered my grandfather and his young brother to my full-blood tribal great-grandmother, named Mary Jane, from Purga mission. Ive got that all documented here.
Frank Heimans: You also have a famous cricketer in the family; can you tell me about him?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: Well, that was grandfather Sam who was one of only two Aboriginal cricketers to ever get Sir Donald Bradman out. The year was 1928 in a game in Lismore. At the time grandfather was 44-years of age when he stumped the Don. He was dismissed off the first ball. The other Aboriginal cricketer was Eddie Gilbert and he was born at Purga mission too. With the research I found out that there was Ron Richards, Harold Blair, the famous tenor, and grandfather Sam and Eddie Gilbert. Four of these astounding Aboriginal achievers born at that same little place, Purga mission.
Frank Heimans: Thats an amazing record, isnt it?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: Its an amazing record and Ive got it all documented here with the research that Ive been doing.
Frank Heimans: Do you have any record of what ...
Ruby Langford Ginibi: And Ive got photographs too.
Frank Heimans: Do you have any record of what Donald Bradman said to your father when he got him out for a duck, or your grandfather?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: He called grandfather a black bastard and grandfather was going to hit him with a bat, but you wont find that in any white history books in this country.
Frank Heimans: Probably not, I dont think so, no.
Ruby Langford Ginibi: No, definitely not. But theres been quite a write-up about Eddie Gilbert in last Saturdays Sydney Morning Herald. Whats the magazine they have in that, is it ...
Frank Heimans: The Good Weekend?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: The Good Weekend, and it was a front-page of Eddie Gilbert. I rang these people because I was so thrilled about seeing this accolade for this famous Aboriginal cricketer and I wanted to tell them all about that, hey, there were only two, you know, and my grandfather was one of them. I went through I dont know how many different editors there and gave them my phone number and nobody had the decency to ring back to find out. It would have been a lovely accolade, you know, for not only grandfather but just showing that Aboriginal people can achieve things in this country, and have.
Frank Heimans: Did you ever see your grandfather play cricket?
Ruby Langford Ginibi: Of course I did. He used to teach me and my other little sisters how to googly bowl when we were kids out on the flat, do you know what I mean. I remember the first time I saw him was when I was on Box Ridge Mission and he rode in on his stock horse called Kangaroo, and, oh, God, to a little kid like me it was way up there, you know, and he hoisted me up there and I wouldnt speak - I was a grumpy and pouty child. When he spun me up onto the horse, Kangaroo, I soon yelled out, Get me down, Poppy, get me down.
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To cite this page: http://nla.gov.au/nla.oh-3966-0000-tr-cd