Yirrganydji elder, Billy Jagar (1870-1930), was given two King-plates to recognise his leadership. The first one was presented to him by the Queensland government in 1898 and proclaimed him 'King of Barron'. The second plate was presented by the Protector of Aborigines on Empire Day, 24 May 1906.
Jagar died in a fringe camp in Cairns in 1930 and the King-plates disappeared. During WWII the 1898 plate was acquired by US Staff-Sergeant Douglas Cuprak while he was stationed in Fiji. Cuprak took it home to North Dakota and hung it on a wall in his living room.
Cuprak's daughters, Margaret and Laura were curious about the origins of the plate and on Reconciliation Day, May 2005 they returned it to Cairns. The plate was presented to Jagar's great-granddaughter, Jeanette Singleton.
In 2007 a headstone for Jagar was placed at Martyn Street Cemetery.
For more information click here