Keith Stewart

Keith Stewart was born in Nowra, in 1929. His father was Edward ‘Teddy’ Stewart, from Wallaga Lake, and mother Muriel Cooley. Edward performed in the Wallaga Lake Gum Leaf Band in Sydney. Edward’s parents, Christy ‘Muckens’ Stewart and Emily Walker, had the last traditional wedding on Wallaga Lake Reserve. Corporal Governor Stewart had two sons Henry and Christy. Henry moved to Victoria, whilst ‘Muckens’ stayed at Wallaga Lake. The point near Wallaga Lake is named after him. Keith’s grandparents on his mother’s side come from Ulladulla and Nelligen.

Keith spent time with his grandparents; Muckens was a sleeper cutter. They lived on the north side of the Clyde River; moving from township to township wherever mills were. Gradually Keith’s parents moved from Wallaga Lake to Sydney to ensure that their children had a good education. Keith attended La Perouse Public School and Daisyville High School.

Keith has been returning to the south coast annually for the past 70 years, visiting extended family on both his mothers and fathers side. Often, his father drove a truck, with all the kids in the back dangling their legs over the edge, down the coast on a Friday night, back to Sydney on a Sunday night. They would stop at places along the way including Cullendulla Creek to visit family camping there. Keith has camped in the Brou Lake and Mummuga Lake area annually for the past 50 years, any time of the year. ‘..We call the whole lot Brou…’. Sometimes Keith stays at Brou for a month at a time.

Excerpt from Stories About the Eurobodalla by Aboriginal People, 2006. Story contributed by Martin Ind from Moruya High School.