Monday, March 19, 2018

March 19 On This Day in Australian History

1790 - HMS (His Majesty's Ship) Sirius was popping over to Norfolk Island with a bite to eat when it had a nasty mischief on a reef and went belly up.

1803 - Laurence Dempsey was Hanged for feloniously entering the house of Thomas Neal of Richmond Hill.

1836 - Marvellous, wonderful and simply splendid David Scott Mitchell was pupped today. Mitchell spent most of his life and a small fortune collecting Australiana, which he donated to the NSW State Library on his death. Old Four Hours was the nickname the hansom cab drivers gave him due to his habit of spending 4 hours every Monday searching through second hand book shops.

1839 - Land prices plummeted and the locals upped sticks and decamped... settlement began at Port Lincoln.

1839 - Honey bees were landed upon Kiwi soil for the first time.

1840 - Thomas Whitton was Hanged at Sydney for the murder of John Hawker and arson at Oak Park, Crookwell. Whitton had earlier murdered John Kennedy Hume, brother of the explorer Hamilton Hume.

1849 - George Waters Ward was Hanged at Maitland for the murder of Richard Connolly (or King) at Muswellbrook.

1852 - Adelaide was rolling in it after the first gold escort rocked into town from the Mount Alexander goldfields with over 5,000 oz of the glittery stuff.

1856 - The very first secret ballot in the whole wide world happened in Victoria because the pollies had Secret Mens Business to deal with.

1856 - The Victorian Railways Department was created as part of and by the Victorian Government...and no, they weren't crocheting sardine cans with shoe-horns, why do you ask?

1858 - The Newcastle Branch Railway Line (NSW) was thrown open for the shunting business of train travel.

1858 - Edward Cardana (alias John Nelson alias Michael Ferrara) was Hanged for the murder of John Armstrong at Long Gully.

1866 - At the ripe old age of 20 years John Dunn danced his way into the great wide beyond at the end of a rope for taking up bushranging with Ben Hall as a career move.

1866 - James Jones was Hanged at Ballarat for the murder of Dr Julius Saenger, committed at Scarsdale.

1894 - Ernest Knox was Hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the murder of Isaac Crawcour whilst in the act of burglary at Williamstown.

1904 - The inaugural Henley-on-Yarra boating race was held in Melbourne, what-oh, to be won by the august Ballarat team.

1907 - At Bonnievale in Westralia miner Modesto Vareschetti was trapped in a flooded mine for 9 days. He was eventually rescued by Frank Hughes who had repeatedly brought him food in a diving suit.

1913 - The recently departed original singing cowboy Smokey Dawson was born today. A friend of Ned Kelly's family and a resident of St Vincent's Boys' Home in Sth Melbourne, Herbert Henry (nee Brown) Dawson lived a remarkable life.

1923 - The North Coast Railway Line (NSW) was available for all steamy locomotives to begin trundling along its tracks.

1932 - Big Jack Lang finally got his own way and officially opened the Coat Hanger aka Sydney Harbour Bridge after Francis de Groot had cantered over it on his trusty charger and slashed the fancy red ribbon with his handy-dandy sword.

1951 - Parliament dissolved 
The Governor-General granted a double dissolution of both houses of parliament. He held that the Senate’s action in referring the Commonwealth Bank Bill to committee was a ‘failure to pass’ the Bill. This was only the second double dissolution of the parliament, the first being in 1914.

1964 - The Meringur to Morkalla Railway line (Vic) closed and for which I am STILL not speaking to that fool!

1969 -  Some newbie Sydney band called Sherbet debuted at the New 2UW Spectacular at Brookvale Oval.

1976 - The Aboriginal Embassy was re-established by the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee (NACC) in the home of retired army colonel, Mr John Moloney, 26 Mugga Way, Red Hill, ACT, to protest Coalition Government cutbacks to Aboriginal organisations and the threat to abolish the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee (NACC).

1979 - Crawford Productions began filming on the short-lived aircraft soapie Skyways. Starring former helicopter pilot from Skippy Tony Bonner with Tina Bursil, Gaynor Martin( now Mrs Glen Wheatley), a rather young Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, Skyways failed in takeoff.

1979 - Melbourne: The Full Bench of the Arbitration Commission grants maternity leave for all women in private industry in a test case by the ACTU

1985 - The ABC’s Four Corners program screened a full hour report on AIDS.

1988 - Openly gay, former Young Labor President, Paul O’Grady was elected to the Legislative Council.

2013 - As part of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) and its 35th anniversary celebrations, the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives  pulled the slide projector out from under the bed and invited some of its special friends to share some of their most precious queer historical pics at  MQFF Festival Lounge (Beer Deluxe), Federation Square, Melbourne.

2015 - Thousands of people rallied in cities and towns around Australia protesting against the planned closure of around 150 remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

March 18 On This Day in Australian History

1804 - Jervis Bay Aborigines visited Sydney.

1816 - Macquarie advises Lord Bathurst in London: ‘It is my Intention, as soon as I shall have Ascertained What Tribes Committed the late Murders and Depredations, to send a strong Detachment of Troops to drive them to a Distance from the Settlements of the White Men.’

1820 - Macquarie scribbled in his journal on this day;
"I returned early this morning to Parramatta, accompanied by Commodore Vassilieff, and Lieut. Aveenoff in my own Carriage, and by Capt. Schessmareff, Lieut. Hall, and Lieut. Ignatieff, of the Russian Squadron. — After Breakfast I walked all over the Town of Parramatta with these Gentlemen. — Colonel Erskine came up from Sydney to dine with us, and Lieut. King R. Navy also made one of our Dinner Party. — Capt. Piper kindly lent me his Carriage for 3 of the Russian Officers."

1825 - Helping Or-stray-lia feel more like Old Blighty the Sydney Turf Club was hatched.

1833 - Joseph Coleman was Hanged at Old Banks, Paterson Plains for the attempted murder of Edward Cory.

1834 - In England, six English agricultural laborers , the so-called “Tolpuddle Martyrs” ,were sentenced to seven years of banishment to Australia’s New South Wales penal colony for their trade union activities.

1840 - Talk about bringing down the house...the Royal Hotel and theatre were destroyed by fire but, fear not! Tales continue to be woven on the same spot in the guise of Dymock's book store in George St, Sydney.

1844 - St Patricks Church, Church Hill, designed by JF Hilly and built by Andrew Ross & Co, was ready for use. The parish priest was John McEncroe, an Irishman, which further cemented the church in the Irish community.

1850 - A red Letter day in some people's diaries - the birth of James Toohey in Melb, founder of Toohey's Brewery.

1863 - Alexander Ross, Bushranger. Hanged at Darlinghurst for highway robbery and the attempted murder of Harry Stephens at Caloola, near Blayney.

1863 - Charles Ross, Bushranger. Hanged at Darlinghurst for highway robbery and the attempted murder of Harry Stephens at Caloola, near Blayney.

1867 - William Henry Scott was Hanged at Darlinghurst for the murder of Anne Ramsden (Scott) in Sussex St.

1877 - Constable Thomas Collins, Victoria Police, was on patrol in the Wangaratta area when he fell from his horse. He received internal injuries and died on the 23rd March 1877, at the Wangaratta Hospital.

1878 - The famous Queen Victoria Market was flung open for business in Melbourne; from whence one can acquire fresh fruit, vegies, meat, seafood and cheap souvenirs whilst walking all over the 9,000 dead bodies still interred down below.

1887 - Excitement squirrel gripped the public when the Heyfield to Maffra (Vic) railway line was flung open.

1888 - Due to the not-so-sweet aromas wafting about Smell-bourne the Royal Commission to enquire into Melbourne's Sanitary Conditions was established.
Although....must have been difficult to enquire into something that didn't exist!

1889 - William Harrison was Hanged at Bendigo for the murder of 'Corky Jack' Duggan at Elmore.

1892 - Duck, they were at it again!
Extending the rail network, that is, when they opened the Rokeby to Neerim South section of the Noojee Railway line (Vic).

1892 - Tomahawk was hanged at Mount Dockerell, the site of the crime, for the murder of William Miller.

1892 - Dicky was hanged at Mount Dockerell, the site of the crime, for the murder of William Miller.

1892 - Chinaman (Jerringo) was hanged at Mount Dockerell, the site of the crime, for the murder of William Miller.

1910 - He of the smoke and mirrors, Harry Houdini, piloted the first controlled aircraft flight at Diggers Rest, Vic.

1923 - John Campbell Miles, having nothing better to do that day, discovered lead and silver at Mt Isa, Qld.

1940 The (con artists) Govt started (flogging) selling War Savings Certificates.

1942 - Whilst flitting from one train to the next (due to differences in rail gauges) at Terowie in South Oz on his way to Adelaide Gen. Douglas MacArthur made his infamous speech of "I came out of Bataan and I shall return,".
Thankfully he didn't.

1944 - The War Cabinet agreed to raising the wage of Torres Strait Islander servicemen to 66% of what the white servicemen were paid, backpaying the increase to 1st July 1943 but only on the proviso that the wages were still paid to the Director of Native Affairs.

1954 - Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived for their first visit to South Australia on this day.

1957 - Food on the run became popular when Meals on Wheels was introduced in Sydney.

1974 - Grundy's high-school soapie Class Of '74 premiered on Channel 7, with theme music by Brian Cadd.

1985 - Neighbours premiered on Channel 7, the channel who in a moment of complete silliness axed the soapie after only 6 months and has wept buckets of tears ever since while watching its popularity climb on another channel.
( Whoever made that decision is probably still cleaning public dunnys).

2007 - More than 200,000 pairs of feet walked across the poor old used and abused Sydney Harbour Bridge to "celebrate" her 75th birthday.
You sick people! 

2011 - Dr. Peter Michell of Macquarie University announced he had located the exact spot of Bennelong's grave in a private garden in Putney.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

March 17 On This Day in Australian History

1808 Bishop Barker - the bloke not the beer glass - was pupped today. Fred Barker became the Anglican Bishop of Sydney and, in typical Aussie fashion, his tea-totalling ways were completely respected in the naming of the biggest glass of beer in the late 1800's.

1809 Bligh picked up his bat and ball and sailed, not for England as he'd promised those wiley NSW Corps, but for Hobart.

1826 Bushranger Matthew Brady, another naughty lad, was captured by John Batman near crystal ball tells me it'll all end in tears.

1843 Partying in style in Sydney during St Paddy's Day celebrations 2 Montgolfier balloons showed off gave an exhibition to wow the crowds.

1853 St Kilda road, Melbourne was the setting for many an armed hold up during the Victorian gold rush and today saw the last major robbery attempt...apart from the robbery real estate agents have been getting away with ever since.

1856 - The foundation stone of St Francis Xavier's Cathedral, Adelaide, was laid on this day.

1870 – John Ross discovered and named the Alice Springs while exploring the route for the Australian Overland Telegraph Line.

1908 A.W. Canning, a forward thinking type of bloke, set out to equip a stock route between Halls Creek and Wiluna in Westralia. It is now known as The Canning Stock Route, perhaps named after the chap who sunk 52 wells by the time he finished in December 1909.

1910 Beating Harry Houdini by 1 day but being over-looked in the magician's smoke and mirrors, Fred Custance flew the first powered flight in a Bleriot monoplane in South Oz.

1942 Gen Douglas MacArthur rocked up to Oz and set up shop in Melbourne.
Ahh, the hardships people must endure in war time...

1943 General Douglas MacArthur more than slightly miffed the Aussies when he claimed that before he graced Aussie soil with his presence the govt was ready to hand the northern part of Australia to the Japanese.

1943 The Brisbane Courier Mail newspaper ran the article in which the Trade and Customs Minister announced in the Senate that unless more barley was grown the Aussie beer output of 7,200,000 gallons per month would have to be cut.
What, no green ale?!

1962 Today saw the grand opening/airing of CBN 8 Orange (CBN = Country Broadcasting New South Wales) a TV station that is now affiliated with Prime7.
Where they, no doubt, had a few sherberts in the green hue.

1967 And they most probably raised a glass or 3 at the official opening of the Honeysuckle Creek Space Tracking Station in Canberra on this day; this was the famous antenna that received, then relayed to the whole world, the TV images of Neil Armstrong taking a Sunday stroll on the Moon.

1969 Roma no aroma! Brisbanites were the sensible ones to be the first to use piped natural gas, piped in from Roma.

1984 Geoffrey Blainey, who had championed the study of Aboriginal history, and who had dared suggest that the Indigenous way of life compared favourably with that in some parts of Europe, lit the fuse to what has become known as "The History Wars" when he passed remarks upon the then-Hawke Govt favouring a high rate of Asian immigration during a time of high unemployment.Some saw his remarks as racist and the fall-out was dramatic; he and his family were threatened, his tutorials were loudly interrupted by protestors to the point that all further lectures were cancelled for that year.
Not a day to relish an Irish shandy.

Friday, March 16, 2018

March 16 On This Day in Australian History

National Close the Gap Day
An annual event to raise awareness of the health experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Evidence indicates that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a life expectancy approximately 10 years less than other Australians. The day aims to promote health equality within a generation.

1774 - Cat lovers, unite and celebrate with some fermented catnip!
Or purchase a Catshead apple tree from Rippon Lea to mark the occasion!
Matthew Flinders, explorer, navigator, author and faithful servant to his cat Trim, was pupped on this day in Lincolnshire.

1787 - The (rabble was rousing) First Fleet was gathering at Mother Bank off the Isle of Wight.

1791 - The first bush blocks land grants were made to free men ie those without either type of ball and chain.

1826 - saw the establishment of the Australian Subscription Library, which morphed into  the Sydney Free Public Library which in turn became the State Library of NSW.
Go and celebrate at a library today!
Or at least return those overdue books.

1836 - Down in Tassie a wooden tramway was completed where convicts hauled the trucks between Port Arthur and Norfolk Bay.
Lucky buggers, think of the stunning views they could have enjoyed!

1839 - William Hamilton a Presbyterian Minister appointed by the Presbytery of NSW wrote,
" The Aboriginal natives are not very numerous yet a few are found everywhere. I believe they have very much decreased since the settlers with their convict servants came among them and they are likely to decrease, not that they are now frequently killed by the whites in these parts which have been for some years settled but because they have few children or at least few that are seen growing up."

1841 - Edward Davis, who was not the Messiah but just another naughty bushranger handing out his booty to the poor, was "hanged by the neck until he was dead". Yep, that'll do it!

1914 – Fourteen people died in a train accident at Exeter, New South Wales.

1928 - The Stony Crossing Railway Line was opened for its whole 63 kms from Murrabit (Vic) to Stony Crossing (NSW).

1932 - The first flashing light signal for road traffic crossing railway tracks was installed at Mentone in Moorabin Road.

1940 - Girls, steady yourselves!
Jockey Y fronts went on sale in NZ stores.

1949 -  A patronising paternalistic pat on the head to Aboriginals who'd served in the armed forces and allow them to FINALLY have the right to vote in their own country.

1949 - The 'esteemed' ASIO was established.
Ho, hum.

1961 - Monash University went into business of knocking knowledge into craniums when it opened its doors.

1963 - The 1963 petition was preceded by correspondence that recorded the community's concern for their land. Narritjin Maymuru, Wandjuk Marika, Mawalan Marika, Jurriny and Munggarawuy Yunupingu wrote to Superintendent Rev. Wells collectively stating that all balanda were 'to keep out of Melville Bay, Cape Arnhem, Caledon Bay and Bremer Island' and that 'Notices will be placed at all those places proclaiming the areas as belonging to Aboriginal people'

1982 - 600 – 800 demonstrated against the Unsworth Bill outside Parliament House.

1982 - The Homosexual Law Reform Coalition NSW holds a public meeting at Paddington Town Hall to protest against the failure of law reform.

1983 - Constable Bourke, Victoria Police, died whilst on duty.

1984 - The Quarantine Station at Sydney Harbour was closed as an operational maritime quarantine facility.

1988 - Constable Zucchetti, NSW Police, died whilst on duty.

1988 - Constable Burns , NSW Police, died whilst on duty.

1999 - The Leichhardt Women’s Community Health Centre hosted Getting Pregnant, Lesbian Style.

1999 - was officially launched on this day.
And a bloody good site it is, too.
You Kiwis should be damn proud of it.

2000 - Bill Gray, a.k.a. Land Turnip, a fixture at almost all of Sydney’s drag community fund raisers, died from a heart attack, aged 36.

2005 - Abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
 Parliament passed the ATSIC Amendment Bill, repealing provisions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 1989 (Commonwealth) and thereby abolishing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and its structures from 30 June 2005

2008 - Today was the 14th straight day for Adelaide residents to sizzle like a sausage in temps over 35 degrees.

2008 - HMAS Sydney and German cruiser Kormoran were finally found off the West Oz coast.

2011 - Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation released the video FMG’s Great Native Title Swindle showing Fortescue Metals Group head Andrew Forrest addressing a remote Pilbara community meeting. The video showed how powerless and unsupported Aboriginal people are when negotiating with a multibillion-dollar corporation. The video caused big waves in the media.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

March 15 On This Day in Australian History

1806 - Sealers from the ship George massacred Aborigines at Twofold Bay.

1806 - Things were crook in Tallarook... and everywhere else after the Hawkesbury River ran a banker and washed away houses, stock and crops which left the colony to face a savage diet reduction starvation.

1821 - At the Native Institution, Parramatta, Michael Yarringuy, a ‘native constable’ at Richmond, wed Polly, while Robert Naringguy [Bobby Nurragingy], son of Nurragingy or Creek Jemmy, married Betty Fulton. Both girls are from the Native Institution, now at Black Town.

1824 - Dig up those tins of pennies under the patio, Aunty Maud...The Bank of Van Diemen's Land opened its doors for business in Hobart.

1848 - Ohhh no need to throw away the injured and dying now that the Melbourne Hospital was open.

1870 - After Captain Charles Sturt swanned through the area with the help of local Wiradjuri guides a mere 41 years later Wagga Wagga was incorporated as a municipality.

1877 - The first cricket Test was fought between Oz and England at the MCG with the home grown colonial lads showing the visitors how it was done with a win of 45 runs.

1887 - A group of blokes (who obviously didn't get out much) got all hot and bothered over some other blokes sheep shearing machine thingie.
Yeah, men and their sheep....

1901 - The Australian Historical Society had its first knees up.
Was later dubbed Royal Australian Historical Society.
But the cream teas never lived up to that first meeting.

1901  - The (Hysterical) Historical Society of NSW held its first meeting.

1909 - The Toronto Branch Railway Line (NSW) was closed.

1924 - The squadron of British warships, which had been visiting Adelaide for four days, sailed for Melbourne. The two battleships, Hood and Repulse, and five light cruisers, Delhi, Dauntless, Dragon, Danae and Dunedin, were on a ten-month world tour. The two huge battleships had to anchor off Glenelg, but the cruisers were berthed at Outer Harbour and open for inspection.

1927 - Today the Register, a South Oz newspaper, related the tale of how the nickname "Crow Eater" came to be dubbed onto those from the state of South Australia.
" The following is the most feasible explanation, and is, I believe, the correct one:— In 1851 my father and uncle travelled overland to the Bendigo diggings. On their arrival they were accosted with the words, 'some crow-eaters.' It appeared that a short time before they arrived, a party of South Australians had arrived in a very hard-up state, being   without food and looking very much knocked up. While crossing the 90-mile desert they ran out of tucker, and were forced to shoot crows for food, as nothing better could be obtained. On relating their experiences, they were dubbed the 'crow-eaters.' The term was afterwards applied to every new arrival from the central State".

1929 - Oh, now, isn't that pleasant?
The Regent Theatre in Melbourne was opened.

1934 - The Western Mail trumpeted of the recapture of the notorious warrior Nermarluk who had escaped Fanny Bay Gaol whilst awaiting trial for the murders of a Japanese boat crew; he had evaded recapture for several years having survived three bullet wounds and a fall from a high cliff. He led a group of 100 warriors when carrying out raids on livestock, other Aboriginal groups and resistance to occupation of tribal lands.

1940 - First two women from the Voluntary Aid Detachments organisation enlist in the AIF Most Voluntary Aids transferred after August 1942 into the new Australian Army Women's Medical Service. Over 200 Voluntary Aids served in the Middle East and Ceylon during the Second World War.

1950 - Rosaleen Norton, The Witch of Kings Cross, graced the cover of People magazine in Sydney...only because, I'm sure, they couldn't fit that cricket match on just the front cover

1957 - Jessie Street wrote a letter (not with a thumbnail dipped in tar) regarding the Aborigines (sic) and a possible referendum.
See? Listen to women, we're always right.

1981 - The Lilydale to Yarra Glen railway line (Vic) was closed.

1981 - The Yarra Glen to Healsville Railway line (Vic) was closed.

1987 - The Tumbarumba Branch Railway Line (NSW) was closed.

1989 – Plans for the controversial Wesley Vale pulp mill were scrapped following protests over the environmental impact of the mill.

2003 - Cricket legend and all-round nice bloke who can't sing for peanuts, Brett Lee took a One Day International hat trick at Kingsmead in Durban.

2006 - QEII beamed down from the mothership (don't you just love how inconspicuously she manages that?) and happened to be passing the MCG when she noticed the 18th Commonwealth Games needed an official to open them, so she kindly obliged.