Thought you would get a good laugh out of this. They should have done this when they had a team in the NRL. Bit late now. The North Sydney Bears last night lifted the so-called ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Curse of the KalahariÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â as they launched their 2007 season at North Sydney Oval. The Bears Premier League and Jersey Flegg teams were on hand as an indigenous smoking ceremony took place designed to cleanse the ground of a supposed 200 year-old spell. According to local legend, at the time of British invasion of the North Shore, the local tribe, the Kamaraigals, placed a curse on the area incorporating North Sydney Oval in retaliation for the dispossession of their land. North Sydney General Manager Greg Florimo said while the story itself might be apocryphal, the Bears were due for a change in fortune. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢m not sure how accurate the curse theory is but the Bears made it to four preliminary finals in the 1990s without reaching a single Grand Final so itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s possible thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s some bad luck associated with the ground,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â Florimo said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re willing to try just about anything at this pointÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â. Indigenous elder Uncle Max performed the smoking ceremony on the playing surface itself, cleansing the ground and the Bears players who walked through it. They were joined by Souths coach and former Bears legend, Jason Taylor, local Mayor, Genia McCaffery, high profile supporter, NineÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s Sunday Night News host Mike Munro and a number of local sponsors. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Uncle Max even cleansed the home dressing room for us, but we made certain to keep him out of the away teamÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s sheds. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“We want to ensure that from now on, we have the upper hand whenever the Bears run out onto the hallowed turf of North Sydney Oval. Article 2 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“But the ceremony wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t just about bringing good fortune to the Bears. It was also an acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the landÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â. An Aboriginal elder named Uncle Max performed a smoking ceremony at North Sydney Oval to lift a curse imposed by the last of the Cammeraygal tribe in protest against white settlers driving his people from their land. Allen Madden, from the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council, who organised the curse-lifting, said: "A smoking ceremony is an Aboriginal welcome to the country. The white fellas might have been welcomed to this country by others, but not by Aboriginals." Madden said Uncle Max was skilled at smoking ceremonies. "He smoked the Pope at Royal Randwick and he did it for the 2000 Sydney Olympics and at the birthday of the Harbour Bridge." North Sydney's Greg Florimo said the lifting of the curse was overdue. "There were four seasons in the 1990s when we got to the penultimate game but not past it," he said. "If that's not an example of the curse, I don't know what is." Asked what Uncle Max would do with the curse, Madden said, "He'll move it somewhere else." Doubtless, Bears supporters believe Brookvale would be an ideal location.