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The Coming of the Light is celebrated by Torres Strait Islanders on 1 July each year. This date marks the arrival of members of the London Missionary Society, to the Torres Strait Islands, in 1871. The missionaries landed at Erub and introduced Christianity to the region.

Dabad, a warrior clan Elder on Erub defied tribal law and welcomed the London Missionary Society clergy and teachers to the Islands. The acceptance of the missionaries and Christianity into the Torres Strait Islands is often credited with ending conflict between different island groups, however, Christian principles were already somewhat compatible with Torres Strait Islander traditions and customs.

Traditional activities during the Coming of the Light festivities include: a re-enactment of the missionaries landing on Erub; church services and hymn singing; feasting; and traditional dance.

More information

Please visit the National NAIDOC website for more information.

Customer enquiries relating to the region’s Traditional Custodians, council’s Reconciliation Action Plan or other First Nations projects supported by council, can be emailed to the First Nations Partnerships team.