Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 5 On this day in Australian History



1805 Survivors of the Fly shipwreck were attacked by Aborigines at Jervis Bay.

1850 Pentridge Gaol, in Melbourne, warmly welcomed its first prisoners and made them feel right at home.

1854 19-year-old schoolmaster Samuel Lazarus wrote in his diary on the attack on the Eureka Stockade “Among the victims of last night’s unpardonable recklessness were a woman and her infant – the same ball which murdered the Mother (for that is the term for it) passed through the child as it lay sleeping in her arms.”
Another young woman “had a miraculous escape. Hearing the reports of musketing and the dread whiz of bullets around her, she ran out of her tent to seek shelter – she had just got outside when a ball whistled immediately before her eyes, passing through both sides of her bonnet.”


1865 The Bank of Adelaide was incorporated by an Act of Parliament under a Deed of Settlement , with an authorized capital of £250,000 in 50,000 £5 shares. 

1874 Town of Palmerston gazetted, the name changed to Darwin in 1911.


1891 The earliest known publication date of the song “Click Go the Shears”.

1892 The "Wild Australia Show" opened at Brisbane’s Her Majesty’s Opera House and no effort was spared to create a spectacular entertainment. As the curtain rose ‘a typical wild Australian scene’ unfolded, with gunyahs and a stuffed kangaroo and emu set against a panoramic backdrop of Mount Bellenden-Ker painted by the noted scenic artist Carl Frederick Vennemark.  This time, with such a diverse troupe, the performances were more varied, ranging from Kaurareg dances from Prince of Wales Island to Wakaya corroborees from the upper Georgina basin, though at times the whole troupe performed together, joining in pan-tribal synthesised performances of singing and dancing. After a week the show moved to the Breakfast Creek Sportsgrounds and later to the Exhibition Grounds, where the corroborees and boomerang and spear throwing could be seen to better effect and more tableaux and ‘pyrotechnic effects’ (possibly using electric light) were added.
Meston and Purcell rounded up 27 people for their troupe (21 men, five women and a child). Among the first to be enlisted were Wakaya people from the central-east of the Northern Territory, taken from around Glenormiston Station on the Georgina River while visiting over the Queensland border. They were particularly prized by Meston and Purcell as members of a tribe noted for practising the sub-incision of males known at the time as ‘Sturt’s terrible rite’, a practice that fascinated city audiences. Other people were taken from a range of language groups in the McKinlay, Cloncurry, Croydon and Gilbert districts of the north-west, including one Kalkadoon man, a group from the Selwyn-Argylla Ranges who were characterised by Meston and Purcell as fierce cannibals. As well, five people were taken from Prince of Wales Island in the far north, including a so-called king and queen and their child; these were said by Meston to be a link between Australian Aborigines and Papuans of New Guinea. They were in fact Kaurareg people who identified as an Aboriginal group. Only one of the troupe was taken from southern Queensland; this was Yamurra, said by the press to be ‘Meston’s favourite’, one of the Kabi Kabi people from the Mary River. Besides rounding up people, Meston and Purcell allegedly collected about 3,000 artefacts, many from the far west and including examples that were said to be previously unknown to whites. It was intended to sell these as they travelled overseas to cover costs.

1904 The Northcote Railway (Vic) loop opened which allowed a direct connection from Merri to Rushall.

1909 George Taylor had his head in the clouds when he flew his glider along Narrabeen Beach in Sydney; the first to fly a heavier-than-air contraption.
But his missus, Florence, soon brought him down to earth when she had her turn and became the first Aussie sheila to fly.

1911 W.E Hart was away with the birds...right after he qualified as the first Aussie pilot.

1924 Founding Director of *Woolworths Mr H.P Christmas thought Santa was on his way when he officially opened the very first Woolworth's Stupendous Bargain Basement Store in Sydney's Imperial Arcade.
* This was an Aussie-created cash and carry style store, not the American Woolworths.


1939 First official RAAF operation of the Second World War.A Sunderland aircraft of No. 10 Squadron RAAF, flew on the first official RAAF operation of the Second World War. This was the beginning of six years of war for 10 Squadron, which flew as part of RAF Coastal Command continuously against U-boats in the battle of the Atlantic.


1940 The wooden steamer Narani was requisitioned for naval service on this day.

1941 HMAS YARRA and HMS FLAMINGO, (sloops), were heavily attacked by German bombers between Mersa Matruh and Tobruk. FLAMINGO was hit in the engine room and was taken in tow by YARRA. The ships arrived safely in Tobruk.

HMS REPULSE, (battle-cruiser), screened by HMAS VAMPIRE and HMSTENEDOS, (destroyers), sailed from Singapore for Darwin.
The ships were recalled when Japanese convoys were sighted steaming for Malaya.

1942 Three days after the sinking of Australian minesweeper ship HMAS Armidale twenty two men were spotted and eventually rescued, taken aboard the HMAS Kalgoorlie.That same day, a second boat, still floating in the water, broke away from the raft and headed towards Darwin.

1942 The Defence Committee agreed to the establishment of the Experiential and Research Committee of the Chemical Defence Board with the functions of directing and coordinating chemical warfare trials and research in Australia

1950 Evacuation of Chinnampo, Korea HMA Ships Bataan and Warramunga took part in evacuating Chinnampo, which involved operating in the very shallow waters of the Taedong River estuary at night.

1952 The very final Launceston tram tootled off from the Town Hall to Sandy Bay for the final time.

1952 Douglas Annand, Australia’s leading graphic designer is arrested in the public toilets near Chatswood Park for soliciting an officer of the NSW Police Force for an immoral purpose.
Oooo, ah, lovey !
Although he was found guilty no conviction was recorded and he succeeded in having it overturned on appeal.

1958 Construction of Stage I of the Sydney Opera House began.

1962 Today marked the beginning of Australia Square, Sydney. In the midst of a torrential summer rain storm, Lord Mayor of Sydney, Alderman Harry Frederick Jensen joined Dick Dusseldorp, Harry Seidler, and a number of business officials, including people from AMP, Qantas Airways and the Bank of New South Wales to place a time capsule in the ground of Australia Square.
The items inside include: an early picture of the site as an open meadow, a picture of AMP’s first building; a collection of current (at the time) coins presented by the Bank of New South Wales and Qantas flight timetables for the day. Also, a Lend Lease brochure on Australia Square; 16-year-old Cynthia Kaye’s prize-winning essay, ‘Life in Sydney in 1962’, and the Lord Mayor himself added a letter addressed to the Lord Mayor of Sydney in 2062.

1972 Prime Minister Gough Whitlam established his first cabinet, consisting of himself and Lance Barnard.

1972 Conscription ended, draft resisters were released from jail and pending prosecutions for draft resistance were dropped.


1974 The Whitlam Labor government was again beset by political controversy beset the Labor over the appointment of Juni Morosi to the staff of federal Treasurer Dr Jim Cairns. The controversy stemed from revelations that Ms Morosi and her husband David Ditchburn are former directors of two failed travel companies, and that Mr Ditchburn employed the wife of federal Attorney General Lionel Murphy.

1975 The Palm Island children’s dormitories were officially closed on this day.

1977 The Aboriginal Child Placement Agency became a registered Co-operative Limited renamed the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, the first one of its kind in Australia, operating out of 11 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

1978 The Department of Industrial Relations and the Department of Employment and Youth Affairs were established.

1979 The Witch of Kings Cross, Rosaleen Norton, passed into Summerland.

1985 The Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia handed down its report.

1989 Trevor Kaine became Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory.

1998 The Bombala Railway line (NSW) was opened.

1998 The last electric train ran to Warragul (Vic).

2002 The Australian Cabinet approved continuation of the ADF and civilian monitor support to the PMG until 30 June 2003.

2004 Adelaide Gay Hate Murders - Robert Woodland was last seen alive at the beat at Veale Gardens, in Adelaide, at 1am having left a Gouger St nightclub. His body was discovered 4 days later.


2007 PM Kevin Rudd spoke at the state funeral for Bernie Banton (61), who died from an asbestos-related disease he contracted while working for building products company James Hardie. Banton's dogged campaign ultimately led to the establishment of a 4 billion dollar (3.5 billion US) compensation fund for victims of Hardie's asbestos products.

2008 Australia's driest state was forced to purchase water for the first time to ensure adequate supplies in the midst of a drought. Karlene Maywald, state water security minister, said South Australia has purchased 61 billion gallons (231 gigaliters) of water so that Adelaide, the state capital, will have enough water for 2009 even if the drought continues.

2009 Australia welcomed a 90 billion dollar (82 billion US) deal to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to a Japanese power company in what is believed to be the country's biggest export sales contract.

2010  Floodwaters rose throughout New South Wales; they caused thousands to evacuate the Australian town of Wagga Wagga.

2013 The Federal Court of Australia made a determination of native title by consent of all parties in relation to the land and waters of the determination area; consent determination was granted at Pidinga Lake (South Oz)  – Native Title rights for Far West Coast native title claimants have been recognised in a Federal Court hearing on 5 December, held at Lake Pidinga north of Yalata community.

2013 Australia and Indonesia announced that they would set up a hotline as part of efforts to repair relations following media reports last month that Canberra had spied on top Indonesian officials.
2014 The Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) bill passed both Houses. It resulted in significant changes to the Migration Act.

2016 In a rare win for an Aboriginal community, the Federal Court finds police were racist during the 2004 riots on Palm Island. Justice Mortimer found police had contravened the Racial Discrimination Act in their treatment of Aboriginal witnesses, submitting inaccurate information to the coroner, and failing to “communicate effectively” with the community to defuse tensions. Senior Sergeant Hurley should have not remained on the island or on duty.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

I cheered when I read the court findings about the Palm Island riots. Too little too late? I hope not.
And that LPG sale has come back to bite the government hasn't it?

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