John Harris describes the remarkable contribution of the schoolteacher at Maloga Mission.
Thomas James became the schoolteacher at Maloga. And he believed in Aboriginal people and believed that they were capable of every level of education. And so that’s one of the reasons why they all look back and see that Thomas James gave them real education – that he actually believed in them and cared about them and taught them.
But he remained there for the whole of his life, and so he became “Daddy”, he became a kind of father-figure – perhaps even more than Daniel Matthews had ever been a father-figure. He became a father-figure. And I suppose he was coloured and I think some of them thought he was Aboriginal, like, I mean, he was just one of them. And they look back on him with immense affection.