VIDEO: Boardwalk alive for Coming of the Light
DRUMMER Jack Gela and his fellow Torres Strait Islanders had everything pitch-perfect yesterday... not a note was out of tune.
Jack and other Rockhampton Torres Strait Islanders joined in harmony, song and dance to celebrate the Coming of the Light festival.
The festival celebrates the coming of Christianity to the Torres Strait Islands.
In an intimate social event on the Quay St boardwalk, a crowd of about 50 indigenous and Torres Strait Island people celebrated the highly regarded occasion.
Among those who attended the annual event was North Queensland -based preacher and priest David Gela. He said the event was much more than a celebration of the coming of Christianity.
David said it was also about the coming of missionaries to the Torres Strait Islands, where several colonial citizens had taken up residence in the 19th and 20th centuries and exploited the island through illegal trade endeavours.
The Coming of the Light in essence celebrates the coming of the London Missionary Society mission, led by Rev. Samuel Macfarlane, who arrived on Erub (Darnley Island) on July 1, 1871.
The Torres Strait was named after Luis Vaez de Torres, a Spanish adventurer who visited the area in 1606. The Torres Strait Islands became part of Queensland by an Act of Parliament in 1879.