Meath Gardens commemorates legendary Indigenous Australian Cricketer

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Over 100 people gathered in Meath Gardens to commemorate the death of legendary indigenous Australian Cricketer Bripumyarrimin (also known as King Cole) who was laid to rest 150 years ago in Victoria Park Cemetery which became Meath Gardens.

Bripumyarrimin/King Cole was a member of Aboriginal XI who were the first organised Australian sports team to tour overseas in 1868. King Cole fell ill during the tour and died in June. He was laid to rest in Victoria Park Cemetery which became Meath Gardens.

The event on Wednesday 6th June was a result of the partnership between Friends of Meath Gardens, London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Cricket Australia.

Attendees included the current Australian Indigenous Men’s and Women’s starting XIs, representatives from the English Cricket Board, local residents, and Friends of Meath Gardens. Those who had assisted in research also attended along with local primary school children, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs, and the Australian High Commissioner.

The event began with a remembrance ceremony which was followed by speeches from Aboriginal mentor Peter Cooley, cricketer Tyran Liddiard, and Tunde Morakinyo from Friends of Meath Gardens. A new information board was revealed to provide visitors to Meath Gardens with an understanding of its history. This board is located near to the Eucalyptus tree trunk and plaque which was placed in Meath Gardens during a previous visit in 1988.

Local school children also got the opportunity to meet players from the indigenous teams and take part in a cricket session led by representatives from the English Cricket Board.

The ceremony was a chance to remember and honour Bripumyarrimin as the greatest fear for an Aboriginal person is to die outside their ‘country’ and away from their ancestral spirits. The event was also a chance to share the rich history of Tower Hamlets with local residents and school children.

This is an exciting time for Meath Gardens who are currently on a journey to spread the knowledge of the Gardens and bring new energy into the space. Meath Gardens is a fantastic green space at the heart of Globe Town. The Friends of Meath Gardens was officially set up in 2015 to make this green space more community-friendly​, preserve its heritage,​ and encourage development of wildlife habitats.

Friends of Meath Gardens welcomes new members. Find them on Facebook @friendsofmeathgardens or follow them on Twitter @friendsofmeath1

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