Memory weekend at Haasts Bluff

by Monika Klein

As the full moon rose, so did the smoke wafting from campfires on the evening before Easter Sunday. Several hundred people had gathered from the communities of Mt Liebig, Haast’s Bluff, Kiwirrkurra and Papunya with their families to celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

Family groups had set up camp close to a special place, just out from Haast’s Bluff marked with a cairn. It’s the place where the Hermannsburg evangelists and missionaries preached God’s word for the very first time to the people living in the Pintupi-Luritja area.

It began again at dawn, the ladies singing a cappella as campers climbed out of their swags greeting one another with ‘He is Risen!’Children and young people sang action songs together in their own languages, and then the singing of hymns continued until midnight, lulling the many campers off to sleep. It began again at dawn, the ladies singing a cappella as campers climbed out of their swags greeting one another with ‘He is Risen!’

Easter morning was a time of joy and celebration as ten young people were confirmed and twelve infants were welcomed into God’s family through baptism. Each and every confirmee and baby were individually blessed and their families were beaming with pride and happiness.

A group of pastors presided over the Easter Sunday celebrations. The congregation of over three hundred Indigenous people shifted with the shade of the trees, or found relief from the heat in vehicles corralled around the tent where the PA and microphones brought the good news to God’s people; all in the same place the first evangelists once shared the same message many years before.