Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24

1802 - Nicholas Baudin's expedition's survey vessel, Le Naturaliste (Emmanuel Hamelin), rocked up to Port Jackson.

1804 - The first cemetery, St. David's, was established in Tassie...obviously they had a need for one, for some reason...

1815 - Michael Howe was a bit more than a naughty lad, as he and his gang of bushrangers raided the town of New Norfolk in Tassie, leaving 2 settlers past breathing.

1826 - Mr. Dawson states that he derived great assistance from Natives in the First Settlement (formation of) at Port Stephens.

1831 - Setting a tradition Aussies hold dear to their hearts, Rev. John McKaeg held the first Baptist church service in Sydney in..... a pub, The Rose and Crown Inn.
Gives new meaning to "wetting the baby's head" !

1840 - John Clark, Innkeeper at the Goulburn River, on the line of the Sydney Road; said his was the only inn for 70 miles in one direction and 90 in the other. This would make his inn the first out of Melbourne (70 miles).

1843 - George Wilson was hanged at Newcastle for the malicious wounding of Francis Bigge at the Peel River.

1843 - Thomas Forrester ("Long Tom") was hanged at Newcastle for aiding and abetting the malicious wounding of Francis Bigge at the Peel River.

1844 - Alexander Reid was hanged at Oatlands for shooting and wounding Constable Murray.

1844 - Thomas Marshall was hanged At Oatlands for the murder of Ben Smith.

1846 - The Maranoa River in QLD discovered explorer Major Mitchell.
Maranoa River is named after an Aboriginal word meaning "human hand".

1851 - Rev. John Dunmore Lang was sent to The Big House (gaol) and fined £100 for the libel of Thomas Icely in Lang's Press in February.

1855 - Bendigo ,then known as the Sandhurst Municipality, was incorporated.

1858 - The first newspaper in Kiama (NSW) district, the Kiama Examiner was published.

1860 - HMCS Victoria (the ship not the state) sailed from Hobart (that's in Tassie) to NZ (that's over the ditch) with Brit troops (from overseas or some say outer space) to fight in the war at Taranaki (that's on the North Island) between the Maoris and the colonists.

1869 - Northern Territory expedition ship Moonia, with SA Surveyor-General George Woodroffe Goyder on board, landed in Port Darwin, ready to commence surveying the town site...maybe or maybe not for the Olympic Trampoline Centre and Barista College.

1871 - The Municipality of Broughton Vale and the Municipality of Gerringong were declared, breaking up the original Council 11 years after it was created. Kiama and Jamberoo wards remaining as Kiama Municipality. Mr M. E. Robson was the first Mayor of Gerringong and Mr G. E Chittick was the last mayor of Gerringong. Mr Chittick became the Mayor of the amalgamated Kiama Council in 1954.

1873 - Baptists of Brisbane and Ipswich adopted resolutions in favour of a purely national system of education.

1877 - Larks a lordy!
The madness of those pollies, ey Abbott?
There they were opening yet another railway line; this time from Ararat to Dunkeld.
Imagine! The hoi polloi could actually travel and get places and rely on the transport...

1884 - Following an investigation to the Chinese camps in Southern New South Wales which revealed widespread opium addiction, Quong Tart presented a petition to the colonial secretary requesting the ban of opium imports.

1888 - Carlton's first tram fatality occurred on this day when a nine year old boy was caught underneath a dummy car in Lygon Street. The boy, who lived with his parents in Union Place, Carlton, died soon after arrival at Melbourne Hospital.
1899 - The Victorian Royal Commission looking into refrigerated stores and a wine depot began....'cause every politician knows you can't start a new century without properly chilled wine, now can you?

1899 - The Scottish barque Loch Sloy was wrecked offshore of Kangaroo Island, South Australia, killing 31 people.

1911 - The public in Sydney were given a proper treat when Vaucluse House and gardens were declared to be a public park.

1912 - Even more generosity probably knocked Joe Blow over with a feather when it was announced the NSW Govt granted 43 acres for the construction of a zoological gardens that was later dubbed Taronga Park Zoo.

1914 - The Country Party was formed with a light dabble of paint, a spritz of lavender water, a knot or 3 of macrame and a little air plant fridge magnet to make all the politics palatable.

1914 - The extension of the High Street tram line from Tooronga Road to Glen Iris (VIC) was officially opened.

1918 - On the Western Front the second battle of Villers-Bretonneux took place .found the Aussies and Brits had driven the Germans out but with a high cost in casualties to the tune of 1,469. Lt Sadlier, from Camberwell, was awarded the VC for his efforts in this day's events.

1919 - Percival Budd was hanged at Adelaide Gaol for the murder of Harold Jacques at Crystal Brook.

1922 - NZ held the first Poppy Day.

1922 - Colin Campbell Ross was oops! wrongly hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the Gun Alley Murder.
The evidence was re-examined using modern forensic techniques, strongly indicating that Ross was innocent. An appeal for mercy was made to Victoria's Chief Justice in 2006, and on 27 May 2008 the Governor of Victoria pardoned Ross, in what is believed to be an Australian legal first.

1930 - A mass meeting of unemployed was cobbled together in Melbourne for the Anti-Starvation Crusade.
Cos they sorta had a thing against starvation.

1933 – The Second Collier Ministry was sworn in after the Labor Party won the 1933 Western Australian state election, with Philip Collier becoming Premier of Western Australia for a second time.

1937 - Axedale & District Golf Club was formed at Drakes Hall on April 5 1937. Weekly working bees commenced for the twenty two men and fourteen lady members on this day.

1937 - The West Australian reported the following on this day: To urge his [a male ‘half-caste’s] marriage with a white woman will raise a storm of opposition that would be most undesirable and do much to defeat the end sought; and in the individual case it would head straight for tragedy owing to the attitude of their white neighbours. There is only one hope for him, and that is to marry him off to a quadroon (that is a quarter-caste) or to an octoroon (that is a one-eighth caste). In that way we are eliminating colour as surely, though not quite so quickly, as if the mating were to a full white. (Medical Correspondent, 1937)

1949 - Wirth's Olympia (over Prince's Bridge, Melbourne) Presents
For the First Time in Melbourne 
The Australian Aborigines’ League Presents 
an All Aboriginal Pageant Featuring the Famous
Excitement rises to a frenzied climax, as bending, stamping, leaping, tramping , twisting , turning, swaying in rhythmical vigorous movement, the dancers act and play their story. The tribal warriors dance and act the Corroboree—the women beat time with boomerangs and slapping their sides. Boys play the didjeridoo or bamboo trumpet, and all join in the chanting and wild laughter. 

Something quite Novel Unique and Fascinating 

In addition to the Corroboree, an All Aboriginal Programme will include: 


1950 - A month long tram drivers' strike in Melbourne ended.
And the connies rejoiced with shaking their change bags like castanets.

1956 - Trying to out-do tram services Trans Australian Airlines commences helicopter services. Australian National Airways introduces a similar service 6 weeks later.

1960 - The Victorian Football Association played the first senior Sunday match at Brunswick when Coburg defeated the VFA Magpies.

1964 - Melbourne woman Judy Hanrahan became the first female teller appointed by the Bank of NSW since WWII.

1971 - Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, tomorrow I'll miss you....yes folks, Johnny Young's Young Talent Time made its debut on the idiot box.

1972 - WA appointed Australia's first ombudsman.

1975 - Victoria abolished capital punishment by hanging.

1976 - The ABC's FM stations go farnarkling along the in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

1980 - The town of Palmerston was gazetted; it was being called Darwin East.

1986 - Paul Hogan, Budgie Smuggler extraordinaire, hit the big time when his flick, Crocodile Dundee, was let loose in Aussie cinemas, raking in $1 million per month until Christmas of that year.

1990 - The Liberal Party and the National Party formed a coalition in Victoria, led by Liberal Leader Alan Brown and National Party Leader Pat McNamara.

1998 - The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum was opened.

1998 - The NSW Police responded to claims after receiving a letter of enquiry from the Anti-Discrimination Board, about anti-gay discrimination suffered by two former NSW Police Service employees.

2007 - : The AMA president, Dr Chris Cain, says the image of HIV detainee Stuart McDonald should be released in the interests of the public. The call comes as the South Australian Liberal Opposition calls for the wives, girlfriends and partners involved in the HIV scandal to be financially compensated if they have contracted the virus.

2007 - A University of Sydney survey finds that many Australian men who are involved in heterosexual relationships and having sex with other men say they would commit suicide before admitting their secret. Researcher Jeff Hudson suggested that instead of hurting their wives, damaging their marriage or ending up with nothing, they would rather kill themselves and possibly put their partners at risk of HIV/STIs.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 23

1788 - The Guv, Arthur Phillip, eyeballed the site of what was to become Parramatta.

1809 - Isaac Nichols, assistant to the Naval Officer, had all of his philately desires fulfilled when he was appointed Sydney's first postmaster.
The post office was located in Nichols' house.

1813 - Whilst playing a game of Rum Rebellion a group of convicts came up with the mad idea of stealing the schooner Unity from the Derwent River and disappearing off the page of history.
So...they did.

1844 - The Queen's Theatre opened in Melbourne.
And a great many Queens were thankful.

1856 - The Victorian Govt, scared their Parliament House wouldn't be finished on time, ticked off the contractors and told them to accept the 8 hour day demands and "just get those stone masons back to masoning stones or whatever they do to lumps of rock so we can pollies can posture and parade for generations to come!"

1861 - In a report on the Maroochy River dated 23 April 1961, Lieutenant G P Heath RN Marine Surveyor wrote “The timber is at present being cut about 18miles up the river (The Rocks) Cedar, Beech, Flooded Gum, Bunya and Mountain Pine are very plentiful, especially the Beech”.

1865 - St Paul's Anglican Church rebuilding in front of the tower opening ; in 1862 it was decided to rebuild the church to accommodate 800 people. The new building had a tower, a vestry and a gallery was built for the choir. Disaster struck on the 1st April 1864 when a great thunderstorm hit Ballarat and the ground under the church began to subside. During the next week the church was dismantled and most of the material was saved for rebuilding the church. This was accomplished in 12 months. The tower and the elaborate east window were saved.
The land in front of the church was acquired and a new church still slightly bigger but essentially the same design was built in front of the tower.

1873 - William Gosse shot through from Alice Springs on an expedition, during which he tripped over a great monolith he branded as Ayers Rock now correctly known as Uluru.

1873 - The Tichborne Claimant ... In the Queen's Bench the case of the Queen v. Thomas Castro, otherwise Arthur Orton, otherwise Sir Roger Charles Doughty Tichborne, Bart, was begun on this day and did not finish until February the following year.

1874 - Alf Gibson, companion to explorer Ernest Giles, didn't take his companion duties very seriously when he buggered off into the desert, resulting in the naming of the Gibson Desert "after this first white victim to its horrors".

1874 - The Bega Gazette reported on the death of William Poohan, 'The Pioneer Mailman', 'the first to carry the mails overland from Monaro to Twofold Bay, procuring the service of the blacks to mark the trees along his route for his guidance'.

1887 - There was (so rumour has it) a railway track opened on this day attached to these beautiful train station buildings some architect flung into the wilds of Victoria, one for Camperdown and a matching one for Terang.

1900 - As if the First Boer War wasn't enough, the first contingents of the Imperial Bushmen left for the Second Boer War.

1902 - The Advertiser (South Oz) ran an article suggesting a change to decimal currency. It was reported that a Select Committee appointed by the federal House of Representatives was to enquire into, and report on, the subject. It was argued that the British currency was not easily or quickly calculated and it was surmised that great losses were incurred every year by business due to incorrect calculations.

1906 - A motor omnibus service was started today from the Enmore terminus to Wardell Rd. Lewisham (NSW). Unlike the trams which had regular stops they stopped anywhere as required by passengers. The double-deck ‘buses were built by a Newtown firm, Angus and Son. The service was discontinued on 29th May the same year because the condition of the roads meant passengers rarely wanted a second trip.

1918 - Eleven volunteers, who never learnt the lesson of 'never, ever volunteer for anything' , from HMAS Australia took part in a raid that was aimed at closing the Belgium Port of Bruges as a base for German subs.

1931 - Same old bucket of poo, different level....the Govt Bank of NSW ceased operating for one simple fact - it had bugger all dosh left in its coffers after many heavy withdrawals from everyone. It was absorbed into the Commonwealth Savings Bank in December that same year.

1951 - The most well-known Australian action of the Korean War, Kapyong involved the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR). The fighting at Kapyong blunted the Chinese advance on Seoul during the 1951 Spring Offensive and prevented a Communist breakthrough on the United Nations central front. 3RAR was awarded a United States Presidential citation for their part in the battle.

1959 - The Reserve Bank was formed (with a light gluten-free dough and fragrant rose water) to take over the central banking function of the Commonwealth Bank.

1960 - A ceremonial parade was held through Adelaide to mark the occasion of the Grant of Freedom of the City for Entry of the Regiment.
The Regiment is the 10th Infantry Battalion (The Adelaide Rifles) which became a unit in 1860 on the amalgamation of several independent metropolitan rifle companies formed in 1844. The original headquarters were in the vicinity of the old police barracks (behind the Museum) and its parade ground was where the museum now stands.

1961 - The Unknown Pioneers Memorial was unveiled on the riverside at North Quay in Brisbane by The Lord Mayor (Ald. Groom).
The inscription read;
To the glory of God and as a constant tribute to those UNKNOWN PIONEERS who died at Moreton Bay Settlement during the first perilous years of its founding. They no longer rest here: but near this place was the earliest known burial ground of our people in Queensland.
"That the generation to come may know them, even the children."—Psalm 78, v. 6

1962 - The first Australian National Regatta was held at Lake Wendouree from 21 to 23 April.

1971 - Prime Minister William McMahon promised to ‘end racial discrimination in our midst and … deal with Aboriginal Australians with respect, justice, humanity and compassion’.

1976 - The Melbourne Tramcar Preservation Association was originally formed by a group of individuals in late 1974 as the Haddon Tramway Workshops, a registered business under which it was proposed to preserve historic tramcars.
After careful inspection, W3 663 and W4 670 were chosen for preservation, W4 670 being the first to arrive on site on 23 April 1976.

1986 - The Beaufort Hotel complex opened on the Esplanade in Darwin.

1987 - The Mindil Beach Markets opened in Darwin.

1988 - The Atrium Hotel on the Esplanade (in Darwin) was opened by the Chief Minister Steve Hatton MLA.

1989 - Kylie Minogue graced Brit Tv screens for the first time when they were given The Henderson Kids to fall asleep by.

1995 - Australia's first Pay-TV operator, Galaxy, begins servicing a customer base of 5,000 subscribers.

2001 - Australian newspaper 'The Sydney Morning Herald' erroneously reported that the British Flying Saucer Bureau has closed down due to lack of UFO sightings. Chairman and co-founder of the Bureau, Denis P Plunkett, was shocked to read a report on the Bureau's closure. It seems that an informal comment to a local journalist in his native England had been misconstrued. Plunkett had merely stated that the Bureau was suspending lectures over the summer break, and this had been misinterpreted as the Bureau itself closing.

2005 - Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen dropped off the perch aged 94.

2007 - The development of an MOU with the Dubbo Aboriginal Community was endorsed by Western Plains Regional Council (formerly Dubbo City Council), The MOU seeks to achieve common goals to advance reconciliation and to apply the citizenship rights of the Dubbo Aboriginal Community.

2015 - The Nambour Heritage Tram project was approved by the Sunshine Coast Council. with a later $500,000 grant from the Federal Govt, $1,5 million from Sunshine Coast Council and $120,000 from locally raised events, Nambour will be the only place in the world where a two-foot (600mm) gauge, battery-packed, solar-replenished tram will operate.

2016 - A life-size wooden sculpture of Mrs Frances White was unveiled at 151 Main Road, Chewton. Almost 70 years ago a branch saved her from dying when her backyard collapsed beneath her feet.
The artwork is the second in a series by sculptor Richard Yates, intended to preserve Chewton’s history.
Mrs White sits atop a stone fence, near the mine shaft that almost consumed her in June 1948 as she was hanging out the laundry.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 22

1770- Cook made his first recorded direct observation of Aboriginal Australians, writing in his journal that they "were so near the Shore as to distinguish several people upon the Sea beach they appear'd to be of a very dark or black Colour but whether this was the real colour of their skins or the clothes they might have on I know not."
Should have gone to Specsavers.

1788 - Governor Arthur Phillip set out to explore Sydney Harbour.

1803 - Two vessels, HMS Calcutta and the chartered transport Ocean, sailed from England under David Collins. On board the vessels were fifty marines, civil and military establishments, about 300 convicts, some of their wives and children, and 48 free settlers - one of whom was Rev. Robert Knopwood. Two of the children aboard the Calcutta are John Pascoe Fawkner, aged 11 years, and his sister, Elizabeth. Their mother accompanied her husband who was one of the convicts. They arrived at Sullivan Bay, on Port Phillip near present day Sorrento, on 7th October 1803.

1804 - Soldiers from Sullivan Cove refused to perform guard duties at Risdon Cove, as they fear a convict uprising.
Sooky la-las.

1806 - The Colonial schooner "Governor King" (the ship not Him What Ruled The Colony) was wrecked on Oyster Bank, Newcastle.

1813 - The Hawkesbury Packet sailed from Shoalhaven with 5000 ft of cedar.

1815 - It was reported that one of a party searching for lost cedar-getters was at a place called "Bolye", thirty-five miles south of Port Jackson.

1846 - News from Port Phillip was full of woe - the land was too dry (imagine that!), drapers' assistants had shortened their working hours, butchers refused to sell meat on Sundays (the nerve!), pubs and licences were on the rise (some things never change!), Melbourne rents were skyrocketing (again, nothing new!) and those down Western Port way were being loud and rowdy about their post offices....

1857 - Responsible Government in South Australia was officially launched when the first session of Parliament was opened on this day.

1860 - John McDouall Stuart reached the centre of the continent where he threw about the monikers and nom de plumes like wedding confetti and named Central Mt. Sturt, later called Central Mount Stuart.

1862 - An encounter between Stuart and local Aboriginal people was reported in the press when,
".....April 22nd a black fellow came tot he station at Mt Margaret stating that he was sent by old man Jamie , the king of the tribe, to tell Mr Jarvis that :
' the wild blacks had taken flour, that the white fella with all about nanto (horse) had been loose 'im, and no flour set down now.'

A Good Plain COOK (a single man) who would also be willing to make himself generally useful for a time.
He must produce good testimonials as to SOBRIETY and TRUSTWORTHINESS.
N.B.—A bushman preferred.
Apply to " William,"Hon. Superintendent, at the Clubhouse,
Whitmore-square, between 10 and-12 a.m.
Adelaide, April 22, 1870.

1872 - The Main Western Railway Line (NSW) was thrown open for business from Rydal to Locksley.

1874 - There was a general election held in Victoria....because someone, somewhere wanted to be important!
Dunno.....and don't care.
Teapot is hot, might have another cuppa....

1882 - The railway line from Cope Cope to Donald (VIC) opened, a mere 8 and 9 glorious railway station stops along the line from Dunolly.Cope Cope train station was on the Mildura railway line, just a bit before the Donald Freezing Company Siding (which was just a smidgeon before Donald itself) but after the Swanwater station which came just after Sutherland train station ...which was just a tad after St Arnaud (which is still where it was put...I think).
When trains shunted people along the rails and actually stopped at railway stations, that is.

1887 - A cyclone hit near Broome, Western Australia, killing 140.

1902 - The branch railway line to Crookwell (NSW) opened from Goulburn North Junction to Crookwell.

1915 - The Australian ship Success, billed as a convict museum, docked in SF, Ca., for the Panama–Pacific International Exposition. While there a short film made by the Keystone Film Company called “Mabel and Fatty Viewing the World's Fair at San Francisco."

1941 - Evacuation of Greece began.

1951 - The Government of Robert Gordon Menzies was thrown back into the Thunderdome in a General Election, but with a reduced majority.

1960 - Severe flooding of the Derwent River damaged parts of Hobart.

1965 - The 2SM Sound Spectacular was held at the Sydney Stadium. The first prize in this "battle of the bands" comprised £100 pounds cash, a support spot on the upcoming Dave Clark Five tour, a record contract and a (possible) deal with Brian Epstein's NEMS organisation. Almost 60 local bands competed in the show, attended by 9000 fans. The Missing Links performed as special guests during the judging, and the eventual winners were The Showmen.

1966 - Bob Dylan & The Band performed at the Palais Royal, Adelaide.

1968 - Construction was started on Melbourne's infamous West Gate Bridge.

1970 - The Prime Minister announced that 8 RAR will not be replaced at the end of the year, that some support elements will be withdrawn from South Vietnam and that the AATTV will be increased by about 120 soldiers.

1972 - Sylvia Cook and John Fairfax obviously enjoyed water sports as they rowed across the Pacific Ocean and parked their boat on Aussie soil.

1977 - "Synthetics" - A Gay Lib Party. Paddo Town Hall. Featuring Saddington Diamonds. $3

1983 – Diplomat Valery Ivanov, the head of the Soviet embassy in Canberra, is expelled from Australia after allegedly trying to involve Australian Labor Party official David Combe in espionage.

1987 - Simon Townsend's popular TV show Wonder World, that launched the careers of Jono Coleman and Catriona Rowntree, to name just 2, filmed its final episode today. Woodrow the bloodhound had nothing to say on the subject.

1995 - Today is an unknowingly significant day in NBL history.
Glen Saville left rural Victoria to become one of the all-time greats, with 563 NBL games played over 19 seasons.
Simon Dwight began his career as the League’s only player to block over 1,000 shots.
Steve Woodberry started his career on the Gold Coast and was crowned NBL MVP with the Bullets four years later.
And, 26-year old named Joey Wright made his debut with the Geelong Supercats.

An "extreme crisis" in allied health services has been blamed for "preventable" foot and lower limb amputations in the Alice Springs hospital, as well as "deformity and suffering" by disabled children in the town.In a scathing report by two Queensland consultants, the running of these functions by Territory Health Services (THS) is described as "unmanaged or undermanaged", "organisationally dysfunctional", afflicted by massive and expensive staff turn-over and offering grossly inadequate professional development opportunities.The Alice News has obtained a copy of the confidential 39-page interim report into "allied health therapy services and associated social works services in Central Australia" by Dr Rosalie Boyce, of the University of Queensland, and Michael Bishop, of the Toowoomba Health Services.The report was commissioned by the NT Government's THS.

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21

1810 - When convicts and free settlers had a free moment they held the first recorded horse race in Oz, in Parramatta.

1830 - The NSW Bushranging Act allows the arrest of anyone suspected of being a bushranger. We could apply this to any politician today, so.....Bail Up!

1856 - Stone masons downed tools and stopped work on the Victorian Legislative Assembly (Oh goodness! Wherever will they change out of their wigs and garters?!) when their stone mason artist brothers, slogging their backs out on the Melbourne Uni, joined in the fun and marched on Parliament House. This was the world's first 8 hours day procession.

1856 - While South Australia had a horse-drawn railway operating at the mouth of the Murray River in 1854, the first line carrying steam powered trains opened on 21 April 1856 between Adelaide and Port Adelaide. It was built by the colonial government to the then Australian ‘standard’ gauge of 1600 mm.

1861 - Burke, Wills and Grey stumbled into Coopers Creek only to find they'd missed the depot party and then made the really bad decision to make for the appropriately named Mt Hopeless.

1864 - The foundation stone of the Launceston Town Hall was laid on April 21 1864, exactly a week after Hobarts.

1883 - G.E Morrison made his entrance into Melbourne after a casual stroll of more than 3,000 kms from Normanton in the Gulf of Carpentaria in 123 days.
Because he could.

1887 - The Wedderburn Junction to Wedderburn Railway Line (VIC) opened.

1887 - The Robbie Burns Statue was unveiled at Ballarat before a crowd of 15,000.
The statue of Burns and his dog, which cost one thousand pounds at the time of its commission in 1884, is believed to be the first statue constructed to honour a poet anywhere in Australia.

1897 - The (Warwick) - Hendon - Allora - Goomburra Railway Line (QLD) was opened for those deliciously gorgeous steam trains.
The little branch opened for business, the principal contractors, A. Overend and Company, having completed the section for the princely sum of £5,256 ($10,512). The first mixed train trundled down the light track to make the first of many connections with the main line. The contract for the construction of the Allora Station House, platform and Goods Shed was awarded to J. Garget.

1903 - By 1903, all was in readiness for the introduction of electric trams to Bendigo, and although the lines did not extend to Kangaroo Flat and White Hills as planned, the tramway was officially opened on this day.

1917 - The foundation of the Imperial War Graves Commission, later named the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, was established today.

1918 - The Red Baron aka Manfred von Richthofen, the infamous skilled German fighter pilot, was brought down and killed by Australian ground troops. It shows the great respect his foes held for the Red Baron that British and Australian soldiers buried him with full military honours and sent a plane over German lines to drop a message notifying them of Richthofen's death.

1921 - First Rotary Club was banged together in Melbourne.

1922 - The hard working CWA, which is far more than just tea and scones, was created in Sydney as an initiative of the Stock and Station Journal.

1923 - The Argus (VIC) reported that New Electric Tramway For City. Horse teams played an important part in the preliminary clearing of the track for the new electric tramway that connected Collins street, by way of William street, with Dawson street, West Brunswick.

1925 - Royal Commission respecting the Bendigo sewerage authority established.
Cos one should always respect sewerage....

1937 - Royal Commission on certain matters relating to the State coal mine, Wonthaggi established.

1937 - The first ever conference of Commonwealth and State Aboriginal authorities had as its major resolution, under the general heading, ‘Destiny of the Race’,declared,
"That this conference believes that the destiny of the natives of aboriginal origin, but not of the full blood, lies in their ultimate absorption by the people of the Commonwealth, and it therefore recommends that all efforts be directed to that end."

1949 - Messrs G F Sinclair, A F Andrews and E R Ellen the London Transport Executive had been commissioned to advise on street transport in Sydney and Newcastle, and their report to the Premier on this day recommended the gradual but total replacement of trams by buses.

1953 - Vic Premier John Brumby was pupped.

1960 - Crow Eater Premier Tom Playford announced plans for a huge water storage dam on the River Murray, 37 miles upstream from Renmark, to be known as Chowilla. The dam was to have an earth bank 3.3 miles long and 41 feet high, with a 1000 foot concrete section built in a channel excavated across a bend in the river. The concrete section would incorporate a shipping lock and 18 flood gates each 41 feet high and 40 feet wide. The lake formed would be 60 miles long, with an average width of 7 miles, and in all would cover 400 square miles - 195 in New South Wales, 160 in Victoria and 45 in South Australia. The estimated cost of the project was approximately £9 million ($18 million). Later estimates suggested that the water would cover 530 square miles at a depth of up to 55 feet.
The Dam That Never Was.

1970 - WA wheat farmer L.G Casely declared his property as independent from the Oz Commonwealth, calling his patch of dirt Hutt River Province and himself Prince Leonard.

1976 - The Great Bookie Robbery happened, with bandits nicking off with somewhere in the region of $2 - $6 million of bookmakers dosh from the Victoria Club, in Melbourne.

1979 - Idiots saw to the demolition of the historic Bellevue Hotel in Brisbane. The locals vented their spleen over the destruction for months afterwards, with comedian Phyllis Diller adding her tuppence worth to the hooha...not that anyone was listening to the masses by that time.

1983 - The Mindil Beach Federal Hotel Casino was officially opened by the Hon Paul Everingham the Chief Minister of Darwin.

1987 - With the closure of the Willsmere Psychiatric Hospital at Kew (VIC) the first of the psychiatric patients from the old Willsmere hospital were admitted to Heatherton Hospital on this day.

1997 - The plight of gay kids in our schools was hammered home and the community stepped up.
School student Christopher Tsakalos returned to new high school in the Penrith region following a decision in his favour by the Supreme Court.

1998 - The Duke of Edinburgh commenced a five-day visit to Darwin.

2005 - An Adelaide University researcher says aerators placed in the Torrens River in recent years to control algal blooms are making the problem worse.

2006 - Leaked documents suggest the rate of illegal land clearing in New South Wales is the highest in the country.

2007 - Mining boom drains water sector of much-needed skills; A leading water expert says there is a serious skills shortage across all areas of water management in Australia.

2008 - Resources Minister Martin Ferguson announced that Australia had extended control of its continental shelf by nearly 1 million square miles under an agreement with the UN.
2009 - The Federal Government had promised to open a hostel for young Indigenous people near Halls Creek, in the WA Kimberley, by the end of the year.

2010 - Businesses in the Goldfields city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder were concerned about the economic impact of this week's earthquake.

2011 - The Federal Government defended the decision to open an immigration detention centre at Pontville near Hobart, despite growing local opposition.

2012 - In Australia 2 Aboriginal teenagers were shot by police in central Sydney after mounting a crowded footpath in a stolen car and hitting a bystander.

2012 - Indonesian authorities questioned more than 70 mostly Afghan asylum seekers bound for Australia after their boat was hit by a powerful wave, forcing them to swim to shore. There were between 83 and 100 people on the boat. Police made no connection between this case and another reported on April 14.

2013 - Canberrans marked Australia Heritage Week at Crinigan's Hut in Amaroo, the former home of a 19th Century convict and his family.

2014 - Australia's once-thriving rabbit meat industry shrunk as high production costs sent the price of meat through the roof.

2015 - A Brisbane Muslim couple who were racially abused on a Sydney train last week say they intended to press charges against the abuser.

2016 - A tooth belonging to a five-million-year-old giant killer sperm whale, which was never thought to have existed in Australia, was unveiled at the Melbourne Museum.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April 20

1793 - At a loss at how to dress that pesky flax?
Fear not!
For the vessel Daedalus has parked itself out front with Lieut. Hanson and the Maori flax dressers on board.

1817  - In an effort to avoid the usual house painting and wallpapering John Oxley went for a jaunt to the west, beyond Bathurst, to trace the Lachlan River.

1822 - George Lang got a little something something in the mail today!
And it wasn't even his birthday!
To George Lang.......
20 April 1822
I am directed by His Excellency Sir Thomas Brisbane to inform you in reply to your letter of the 5th March 1822, that he will make you a grant of one thousand acres of land and will assign you the services of four convict servants who with yourself will be victualled from the King's Stores for six months from the date of your taking possession of your said land
I am , Sir, Your Obedient Servant
F. Goulburn, Colonial Secretary

1830 - George Wyndham kept a diary 1830-1840 whilst in the Hunter Valley, and he recorded place names, exciting events, people.
Todays entry was not one of the exciting variety.
"Gathering cornstalks into heaps"
I did warn you.

1836 - John Batman and his missus and billy lids rocked up in Port Phillip to carve a comfy spot on Batman Hill for themselves (which is now the simply splendid Southern Cross Spencer Street Station yards).

1839 - George Grey's expedition was saved by friendly Aborigines. 
After discovering the Gascoyne River, the longest in Western Australia, Grey's party continued southwards in two whaleboats. The boats were wrecked near today's Geraldton, so they continued the journey on foot. Leaving weaker members of the party behind to be rescued later, Grey took five of his men and set off for Perth. They finished all their provisions in four days, and for the next three days, travelled without food or water. They were sustained briefly by a pool of liquid mud until on this day friendly Aborigines found the party and gave them enough food to regain their strength to continue the journey. 

1864 - Derrimut , a headman or arweet of the Boonwurrung (Bunurong) people from the Melbourne area, passed away on this day at the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum at the age of about 54 years.
He warned the early European settlers in October 1835 of an impending attack by "up-country tribes". The colonists armed themselves, and the attack was averted.
He fought in the late 1850s and early 1860s to protect Boonwurrung rights to live on their land at Mordialloc Reserve. When the reserve was closed in July 1863, his people were forced to unite with the remnants of Woiwurrung and other Victorian Aboriginal communities to settle Coranderrk Mission station, near Healesville.
The Melbourne suburb of Derrimut is named after him.

1875 - Southport, QLD was flogging of its blocks of land for huge, whopping amounts like 5 or 10 pounds.

1880 - The Great Northern tin lode on the Wild River, north Queensland, was tripped over by William Jack and John Newell.

1883 - Upon the Kulwin Railway Line the Koorong Vale to Charlton (Victoria, not the one in UK) section was flung open for the many passengers who enjoyed parking their posteriors on the seats until 1977.

1892 - The Yass Branch Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Yass Junction to Yass Town.

1894 - A meeting of women in Melbourne founded the Women's Suffrage Society.
Next they'll want to stand for parliament...!

1895 - Transcribed From The Richmond Guardian -
Things were finally getting interesting in Council chats when Mr Bennett had a jolly old whinge that when his cattle were caught out alone on the Richamond streets (after dark in fishnets and cheap perfume?) the Council impounded them and charged him the sum of 5 shillings per head to liberate them back into his clutches, no matter how short a moment the bovines had enjoyed the pleasure of the Pound.
One wonders if it ever occured to Mr Bennett he would have been better off investing those many 5 shillings into proper fencing?

1896 - The Carlingford Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Camellia to Carlingford.

1906 - The London Zoo mourned the passing of it's 26 year old wombat.
....and then Camilla roused herself yet again.....

1908 - The rail disaster at Sunshine, Victoria, involved holiday makers returning home from the Easter Long Weekend picnic; 44 lives were lost in a horrific collision between a Ballarat and Bendigo trains at Sunshine station, and over 500 injured.

1915 - The first Aussie Flying Corps, full of young lads, left for Mesopotamia.
This was the first use of Australian aircraft and aircrew in war.
But not the first , nor the last, use of young lives as bloody cannon fodder with which old men play war games.

1916 - The transfer of Australian forces to the Western Front area was not officially announced at first but rumours abounded. A contemporary newspaper account of April 20 noted “late rumours have been circulated to the effect that Australian soldiers are fighting on the Western Front. From letters received locally we learn that some at least of our troops are in France, and are likely to be soon in action. Our troops will soon have the opportunity they have been hungering for, of crossing swords with the detested Hun”.

1920 - Australia, being the party animal that she is, couldn't pass up the offer for another party and took part in the opening ceremony of the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games. Among the Australian competitors were Frank Beaurepaire and Fanny Durack.

1921 - An immense crowd gathered at the shipyards of Poole and Steel at Osborne on the Port River to witness the launching of the Eurimbla by Lady Weigall, wife of the Governor, on this day. The cargo carrier with a capacity of 6000 tons dead weight, was 341 feet long, and was the first large vessel to be built in South Australia. She was commissioned by the Commonwealth Government and was named Eurimbla after a town in New South Wales.
Such was the interest in the launching that special trains ran to Port Adelaide and local schoolchildren were given a half holiday to celebrate the event.

1934 - The first passengers to travel by air from Australia to England departed from Sydney.

1937 - Regular air mail services were established with the United States of America.

1939 - Sir Earle Page was Prime Minister for three weeks in April 1939, following the death of Joseph Lyons and pending the United Australia Party’s election of Robert Menzies as its new leader. On April 19, the House of Representatives met to express condolences for Lyons. On April 20, the House met again. At the end of proceedings, Page rose to move the adjournment motion. He then made a speech excoriating Menzies, who had just been elected leader of the United Australia Party. Page questioned his judgment and loyalty and his lack of war service.
Ahh, Pig Iron Bob.

1941 - ANZAC Corps withdrew to Thermopylae Line, Greece.

1947 - The Egyptian-registered SS Misr docked in Melbourne with its multicultural human cargo: 624 men, women and children from 26 different countries, plucked from ports in the Mediterranean, Middle East and East Africa.

1949 - The Superintendent of the Gorge Mission, at Mossman Gorge (QLD) started ‘a daily school’.

1954 - Mrs Petrov saw the light and hopped back off the plane to seek political asylum with her hubby in Darwin.

1961 - Native Welfare Conference developed a statement on the policy of Assimilation which the Hon Paul Hasluck MP presented to the House of Representatives on this day: “all aborigines and part-aborigines are expected eventually to attain the same manner of living as other Australians and to live as members of a single Australian community enjoying the same rights and privileges, accepting the same responsibilities, observing the same customs and influenced by the same beliefs, hopes and loyalties as other Australians.”

1965 - Budget Rent A Car was born, on the corner of La Trobe and Elizabeth Sts, Melbourne, the going rate was 6 shillings per mile.

1965 - Aussie winemaker Tom Angove created the first cask wine with a patent issued to the company on this day.

1966 - Bob Dylan & The Band performed at the Melbourne Festival Hall.

1971 - The inaugural meeting of the New South Wales Master track & field athletics club was held on this day.

1977 - The beaches of NSW & QLD were lathered, rinsed and repeated a few times today following a tsunami that originated in the Solomon Islands.

1982 -  Duran Duran played Festival Hall, Brisbane, during their RIO Tour.

1985 - Brisbane's Performing Arts Centre opened.

1986 Believing in public transport, The Queenslander train began zipping along between Brisbane and Cairns.

1998 - Federal Court Justice Merkel handed down a 120-page decision in Shaw and Another v Wolf and Others. A key element in that judgment establishing the status of Aboriginality was the declaration that to be Aboriginal one must, among other things, be descended from the inhabitants of Australia at the time immediately before European settlement.

2003 - An Australian navy vessel boarded a North Korean ship off Sydney and charged it with involvement in a $48 million heroin shipment to Victoria.

2008 - At 3pm there was a memorial service at Sunshine Railway Station to mark the 100th anniversary of the horrific crash between the two holiday trains and the unveiling of a plaque to remember those lives lost.

2009 - Prime Minister Rudd uttered the words recession and inevitable in the same breath during a speech in Adelaide, South Australia.

2010 - Australia’s PM Kevin Rudd said he had reached agreement with all but one of Australia's states on major health reforms which he hopes will spearhead his 2010 re-election campaign.

2011 - ALGA (Australian Lesbian Gay Archives) launched the much anticipated book Secret Histories of Queer Melbourne. The book is based on the popular Melbourne walks held during the annual Midsumma Festival. The Slap author Christos Tsiolkas launched the book at Melbourne University.

2013 - Black Sabbath began their first tour of Australia/New Zealand in 40 years.