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June 7, 2004

Wingham Chronicle (Australia)

Wingham choral group Wingsong has used the power of song to protest Greater Taree City Council's decision not to fly the Aboriginal flag at its council chambers. The peaceful demonstration occurred on Thursday afternoon when the Aboriginal flag was lowered after being flown during Reconcilliation Week. With Reconcilliation Week overshadowed by Council's decision not to support a notice of motion by Cr Mave Richardson to fly the flag at the chambers, Wingsong decided to use the power of song in a gesture of reconciliation.

"We decided to sing to support the aboriginal community in their campaign for reconciliation - to give them strength and to show that there's support from the white community and what better way to do that than by song. "Song has always united people - it's a powerful way of healing and giving people strength," said Janeece Irving a member of Wingsong.

At around 4pm the group accompanied by some female aboriginal singers started singing. They chose various religious songs including Amazing Grace and an Aboriginal lullaby. The group sang for half an hour until at 4.30 the Abroginal flag was removed. By this time a crowd of over 30 people had gathered and according to Janeece the scene was charged with tears and emotion. As the flag came down the choir stopped singing and local Aboriginal man, Jeremy Saunders began playing the didgeridoo.

Posted by acapnews at June 7, 2004 9:09 PM

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