I met Andrew in 1979 at the Yuendumu Sports Weekend. …

Comment on Eagle and Crow: Andrew Spencer Japaljarri by Chris Loorham.

I met Andrew in 1979 at the Yuendumu Sports Weekend. He was the announcer. I had not long arrived in Alice Springs to work for Aboriginal Legal Aid. My initial and abiding impression was of a man who always included his family, his wife, his children, his parents, the extended Spencer family and often spoke of them. Andrew was my main teacher in the ancient wisdom of the Warlpiri nation, of which he was immensely proud.

In 1985 I returned with my family at a time when we all needed some support. It was Andrew and his first wife Bertha who came up to the legal aid house in Yuendumu before court with open arms and a big smile to care for our baby son. At the end of my days work Bertha would return Dan before the long drive back to Alice Springs. This was the routine for most of the year.

After a few months the stories started to come back to me. “Jungula was dancing for old Jungari today….he gave him his music sticks.” The Spencer family at Yuendumu were Dan Sultan’s first audience and the hearth around their camp fire his first stage. What a loving appreciative audience they would have been for a 2 year old boy!

You will always live in our hearts my brother.

Chris Loorham (Jampajimpa)

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