Ronald 'Cheeky' McIntosh remembered during memorial luncheon at Moree's Miyay Birray

It drew the attention of national and international media at the time, but the shooting death of Ronald 'Cheeky' McIntosh in Moree is not often spoken about these days.

However, two brothers who were heavily involved in the events that occurred on that tragic night 38 years ago, say it's time to remember in an attempt to heal.

"We've got to move on but we've got to remember the past before you move on," Lloyd Munro, who was one of a number of Aboriginal men involved in the race-related clash that ended with the fatal shooting of 21-year-old Cheeky McIntosh, said during a memorial luncheon last week.

Members of Moree's Aboriginal community gathered at Miyay Birray Youth Service, just metres from where Cheeky was shot in Endeavour Lane, to remember the young man on the 38th anniversary of his funeral, on November 11.

Cheeky was shot and killed on November 5, 1982.


"It was a significant event in our lives," Lloyd's older brother, Lyall Munro Jnr said while recounting what happened that night.

According to Lyall, Cheeky's death was the culmination of a decade of race-related tensions.

Pub fights between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people were a common occurrence at the time.

"Two years before we had a major incident at the PO Hotel that resulted in five police being sent to hospital with broken arms and legs," Lyall explained.

"I was sent out of town. But I was invited back for the Boomerangs [Rugby League Club] presentation."

Lyall said that the night of November 5, 1982 began with celebrations at the Victoria Hotel.

A group of drinkers were told to move on from the Vic, with many of them ending up in the Ned Kelly Bar at the Imperial Hotel.

It was there that a brawl broke out between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal drinkers.

Lyall said the Aboriginal men were outnumbered in the bar, and eventually they, with others who'd tried to get into the bar after hearing about the drama, were chased through the streets of Moree to Endeavour Lane.

According to a report in The Canberra Times, on January 25, 1983, the group of white men were armed with sticks and bars when they chased the Aboriginal men to Endeavour Lane.

A Canberra Times article, dated January 25, 1983.

A Canberra Times article, dated January 25, 1983.

When the group of Aboriginal men reached Endeavour Lane, they decided to stop running and fight, according to Lyall.

"Dad came to convince us to leave, but the mob had already made a decision," he said.

"We decided, 'we're not running anymore'. And we defended ourselves.

"Before long, shots rang out ... Cheeky died instantly."

In the ensuing court case it was revealed that "no less than 18 shots" were fired (according to a report in The Canberra Times, dated November 25, 1983).

Two others, Warren Tighe and Stephanie Duke, were also shot and injured during the attack that night. However, Lyall said it was lucky more people weren't injured.

A Canberra Times article, dated January 21, 1983.

A Canberra Times article, dated January 21, 1983.

"There was a special interest from above that night," he said.

"We didn't have much to defend ourselves.

"It's hard to fathom something like that has happened in a little town like Moree.

"It was a pretty frightening experience."

Three people were arrested following the shooting, and on November 24, 1983 - just over a year since the shooting - two were found guilty of the manslaughter of Ronald McIntosh and the malicious wounding of Warren Tighe.

Warren John Ledingham and Stephen Gregory Delamothe were both sentenced to 14 years in jail.

A Canberra Times article, dated November 25, 1983.

A Canberra Times article, dated November 25, 1983.

Ten years later, in 1993, Miyay Birray Youth Service opened its doors in Endeavour Lane, not far from where Cheeky was shot.

Miyay Birray's building is named in Cheeky's honour and it was there that a memorial luncheon was held for Cheeky last Wednesday, November 11.

Miyay Birray CEO Darrel Smith said it's important that Cheeky's death is remembered not only by the youth service but the entire Moree community.

"It is a significant time in Moree's history; a very sad time," he said.

"But Moree needs to remember what happened that night."