Tribute to warrior, leader, movie star

Lindsay William Sandy

  • Yugambeh People, Mununjali Tribe
  • Born: December 22, 1929
  • Died: November 9, 2015

LINDSAY William Sandy was born on the banks of the Richmond River at Wiangaree to Norman Sandy and Margaret Yarrie from the Yugambeh people.

He was the third youngest of 10 children and the last survivor. Named, Lindsay William, he was known as Billy, then Uncle Bill and later, Pa, to his grandchildren.

Billy started school at Stony Gully, having to catch the railmotor, as Aboriginal children were not allowed to attend the local school.

Eventually, some of the people in the community signed a petition protesting about the Sandy children not being allowed at the local school so the rule was relaxed.

This resulted in Billy and his younger siblings attending the Wiangaree Public School.

In his early years he worked on the farms surrounding his home as a labourer, and later was employed as a timber-getter in the Kyogle State Forest.

He moved to Brisbane in his late 20s, and worked at Franki Pile Construction, from where he was transferred to Cairns and Townsville. He returned to Brisbane and worked on the roads with Brisbane City Council.

He would regularly visit Beaudesert to meet up with some of his relations. It was there that he met Nancy Mary Culham, known as Mary, a Mununjali young lady.

On weekends, he would pack the car with Mary, her younger sister Lucy, cousins plus nephews and nieces, and go for a drive. The outing always finished with him treating everyone to a King Ice-Cream, (a wafer sandwich filled with an ice-cream slice.) Uncle Bill is remembered for his fun-loving and generous nature.

Mary and Billy were married in 1971, at the Joyful News Church, Fortitude Valley. They had a happy marriage and raised Linda, their only daughter, and a son, Wayne, who died in infancy.

While working for Brisbane City Council Billy was "spotted" by a filmmaker and was offered a role in the movie The Fringe Dwellers.

More roles came his way including an appearance in Crocodile Dundee 2.

He loved working in the movies and was most impressed with Paul Hogan, who he said was a "real gentleman".

Billy had a beautiful character. He was a good man, who believed that he could mix his Christian beliefs with his politics. He was willing to make a stand and stood up for what was right and true.

He is survived by his wife, Aunty Mary, his grandchildren, Cameron Lindsay Witoko and Nathaniel Leonard Witoko, and his great grandchild, Cameron Lindsay Witoko, Wayne Coolwell and his family, Nancy Coolwell and her family, Cynthia Sandy and her family.

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