Should the Aboriginal flag fly at Kissing Point beach?

CIty of Ryde Councillor Roy Maggio at Kissing Point.

THE Aboriginal flag should be flown at the spot where colonial era indigenous leader Bennelong is said to have died, City of Ryde Councillor Roy Maggio said on Friday.

No one knows how Bennelong died but there is a legend he was killed in a fight on January 3, 1813 and was buried a few hundred metres away in the orchard of the brewer James Squire.

On March 20, 2011 Dr Peter Mitchell of Macquarie University used ground breaking search equipment to locate the actual grave site in the garden of a private house in present-day Putney.

There is a plaque at the end of Watson Street in Putney, about 60m from where Bennelong’s grave is thought to be located at the corner with Hordern Street.

Councillor Maggio hopes to follow the English tradition of recognising the site where a historical figure died and said an Aboriginal flag would be an appropriate memorial.

“It would also recognise that we are on Aboriginal land and would further recognise the strong link between Bennelong’s people and this site,” he said.

But there may be a problem.

“I understand Mayor Jerome Laxale wants the support of the residents who live there,” he said.

“Personally I can’t see how an Aboriginal flag can obscure anyone’s water view and I don’t how any Australian can be anything but proud of the Aboriginal flag.”

Bennelong was an Aborigine who befriended the first colonists, lived for a while as Governor Phillip’s guest and visited England where he became the toast of society.

Bennelong’s people mourned his death with a traditional payback battle on the Parramatta River at Kissing Point which was witnessed by a passenger on the schooner Henrietta who reported it in a letter to the Caledonian Mercury in Scotland.