Friday, April 28, 2017

April 28

1795 Charles Sturt was hatched, an Aussie explorer who did something important like proving all the westward flowing creeks all ended up in the Murray River. Or something.

1816 - In retaliation to attacks upon farms, Macquarie sends out three detachments of the 46th Regiment to 'chasten these hostile tribes, and to inflict terrible and exemplary punishments on them...'.
Captain Wallis’s detachment marched 12 miles along the Wingecarribee River; Colebee, acting as guide, reports that the hostile Aborigines were two days ahead.

1919 The interestingly titled Nayook to Noojee section of the Warragul train line was opened (no, Nanook of the North was not involved in the naming process , nor was Mork from Ork).

1923 Tired of using their broomsticks to cross the harbour Them Wot Was In Power got the first shovel work officially started on the Great Coathanger of know....two words, 3 syllables....
Thank you Skippy, it was indeed the Giant Earthworm (yes, I know that's 4 syllables but the 'roo needs encouragement after escaping the baking dish for Sunday roast).
You may visit the Giant Earthworm down Gippsland way near Poowong....

1928 Melbourne's Comedy Theatre opened it's doors just for laughs, on the corner of Lonsdale and Exhibition Streets, the site of the former Olympic Theatre from 1855.

1949 – At the 43rd session of the International Olympic Committee, held in Rome, Italy, Melbourne was announced as the host of the 1956 Summer Olympics, defeating bids from Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, and Detroit.

1963 The wreck of the Dutch ship Vergulde Draeck, lost in 1656, was found by divers approx. 95 km north of Perth. So you can stop looking now.

1976 On this day the first asylum seekers arrived by boat in Darwin Harbour; a 17 metre long fishing boat with a WHOLE 5 Vietnamese on board sought refuge from communist rule.
Not "illegal" boat people, not "illegal" asylum seekers.
Because it's far from "illegal" to request refuge or asylum status.

1976 - Auntie Mollie Dyer was a proud Yorta Yorta woman who was a fierce fighter for Aboriginal rights; on this day she spoke at the First National Adoption Conference, one of the first platforms offered to Aboriginal people to speak about their concerns over the high rates of adoptions of Aboriginal children, about issues around cultural identity, confusion and genealogical bewilderment of the Stolen Generations and the need to show caution when placing Aboriginal children in white foster families.

1985 – Thirty-three members, including Senator Jo Vallentine , resigned from the Nuclear Disarmament Party at the national conference held in Melbourne, claiming the party had been taken over by members of the Socialist Workers Party.

1987 Dick Smith became the first human to get himself to the North Pole in a solo helicopter flight.
Cause we all know Santa uses reindeer.
And Red Bull.

1989 - The Northern Territory University, formed on 1 January by the amalgamation of the Darwin Institute of Technology and the University College of the Northern Territory, was officially opened.

1994 An event that had exciting repercussions all over the world(no, not really but I'm dragging the Poms along for a misery ride with me anyway) was back in the day when the then State Premier Jeff Kennett Jeffed the whole State of Victoria but gave us the free City Circle Tram Service.

1996 - In an horrific event 35 people were killed and 23 wounded at Port Arthur, Tasmania.

2006 - A VLocity railcar collided with truck at the Ercildoune level crossing near Trawalla while running an Ararat to Melbourne service resulting in 2 passengers deaths and 40 injured.

2007 - In a partial victory for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community the British Natural History Museum agreed to hand back 4 of the 17 Aboriginal remains it held.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April 27

1804 – Explorer Matthew Flinders clambered up Arthurs Seat, on the Mornington Peninsula in present-day Victoria.

1805 - Gov King parceled up some troops and posted them off to the Hawkesbury region to deal with the European settlers who'd been done a (fatally) nasty mischief by the Aboriginals.

1867 - John and Thomas Clarke were not "poor, misunderstood lads who didn't bond with their mother/father/teacher, were toilet trained too early/late, never had a pony/bicycle/scooter/spray can/flick knife of their very own" they really were very naughty boys.
They were so naughty in fact they were arrested, on this day, for bushranging and poking 4 Special Constables with pistols and lead bullets.

1886 - Twas the year the Otago Witness solemnly announced that the steam ship Cl!trus was launched at Yarrow for the Australian-Indian trade.
*ahem* Keep it clean!

1888 - Proving that the number 8 was not such a lucky digit the SS Ellengowan sank in Darwin Harbour.

1895 - Gossip from the Richmond Guardian -
The Swan Street train station and bridge were a damn eye-sore way back then.
Phew, it's not just me, then!

1896 - The Father of Federation, Sir Henry Parkes, popped his clogs and therefore failed to party like it was 1899 nor did he actually see us Federated in 1901.

1898 - The Sanitarium Health Food Agency was registered in Oz on this date.
But 2 teaspoons of sugar and just enough milk to cover makes it seems as fresh as a daisy...

1904 - Chris Watson didn't have much of a hobby to keep him occupied so he agreed to become the first Labour PM, and also the 3rd, of Oz.

1912 - The first issue of The Football Record (Aussie Rules Football magazine) was released today.

1912 - VFL players first wore guernsey numbers in all matches.
Before this they were told apart by the different carnations footballers wore behind their left ears.

1927 - Melbourne saw the official opening of the Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy by HRH Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon aka Duchess of York aka The Queen Mum.
And, yea, Melbournians were moved to thankfulness upon their knees for now their girlfriends could finally learn how to burn water.

1941 - Members of the 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion were among 2500 Allied soldiers in the ship Costa Rica that was sunk by German aircraft off Greece. They were all rescued by the British navy.

1942 - Darwin was bombed by Japanese aircraft.

1962 - After this day brains in Ballarat began turning to sludge with the advent of Ballarat's television station BTV6 .

1965 - Police raided The Austral Bookshop in Melbourne and snaffled up all the copies of The Trial of Lady Chatterley, an account of the British legal proceedings that exonerated author of Lady Chatterley's Lover, D.H. Lawrence, of charges of obscenity.

1966 - The Potts Hill Branch Railway Line (NSW) was kicked to the kerb and closed.

1968 - The first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet opened in Australia in Guildford, in Sydney's western suburbs.

1971 - Relics were dragged up from the 1629 wreck of the Batavia off the coast of Westralia.
Yes, yes, it's not actually archaeology but treasure hunting.

1971 - Justice Blackburn of the Northern Territory Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge by the Yirrikala people of the Gove Peninsula. The landmark two-year case was an attempt to block a massive bauxite mining project on land appropriated from tribal reserves by the Commonwealth government on behalf of the giant Nabalco company.

1973 - ABC female script assistants sashayed out on strike over wages and conditions. The stoppage was the first strike action by ABC staff in the Commission's 40-year history.

1977 - Robyn Davidson packed up her troubles in her old kit bag and set off from Alice Springs with 4 camels to trek to the West Coast.

1978 - At the National Press Club performer Barry Humphries uttered a few little gems regarding the political driven Melbourne architecture ;
"Australian cities are always doing ludicrous things to themselves in order to make themselves internationally interesting. Melbourne as you know wrecked itself in the 1950s preparing itself for Olympic visitors. All the cast-iron verandas were torn down because it was felt that Latvian shot-putters might think it was a country town."

1990 - ACT UP Sydney held a “Die-In” demonstration outside the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee’s Sydney office in Kent Street, to protest at the lack of treatment access.

1997 - The Gwabegar Railway Line (NSW) was shut for business between Kandos and Rylstone.

2001 - Poor old Aussie Post had to beat back the rabid hoards who were gullible enough to believe legislation was about to be passed like a breakfast prune to allow Aussie Post to charge 5 cents for every email sent.

2014 – Three former Country Liberal MPs joined the Palmer United Party, becoming the party's first representatives in the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April 26

1788 - An exploring party led by Phillip sighted and named the Blue Mountains.

1802 - Matthew Flinders examined Port Phillip....and graciously gave it a passing credit mark of 74%.

1867 - Police held a surprise ambush party on the bushrangers the Clarke brothers. For some reason they weren't smiling.

1890 - Transcribed from the Richmond Guardian-
Things were a bit rough when a resident of Neptune St had to approach the council for a light in the street owing to two instances of garotting after dark.
Sweeny Todd aint got nothing on the residents of Richmond!

1890 - In polar opposites of dangerous garotting suburbs Banjo Paterson's The Man from Snowy River was first published in The Bulletin.
This proved far more popular past-time of the two.
Go figure!

1924 – An explosion on the SS Singapore, berthed in Port Adelaide, South Australia, kills 13 people.

1939 - Robert "it won't hurt to sell pig iron to the Japanese" Menzies became 12th PM of Oz.

1944 - Alexishafen occupied Alexishafen, New Guinea, was occupied by Australian troops.

1953 - Warring sides join in cease fire talks to bring an end to the fighting in Korea.

1966 - Proving that voting only encourages the politicians even more, Harold "I'll just have a quick dip in the sea" Holt became 17th PM of Oz.

1970 – Queen Elizabeth II opened the National Carillon in Canberra, a gift of the British government commemorating the establishment of the national capital.

1987 - In an interview that had pollies everywhere polishing their desks with vigour and women silently taking notes Jan Murray spilled the beans on 60 Minutes that she'd done the nasty with hubby John Brown on his Federal Parliament desk.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 25

1789 - Following their departure from Tahiti, 1st Lieutenant Fletcher Christian and crew members threw a massive tanty - and a mutiny -  on HMS Bounty.

1815 - Lt-Gov Davey thought the bushrangers were having far too good a time so he proclaimed martial law throughout Tassie.

1829 – Captain Charles Fremantle fronted up off the coast of the present-day state of Western Australia, aboard HMS Challenger, with the intention of  completing his petite point needle work but settled for establishing the Swan River Colony, instead.

1854 - It was reported on this day that,
"Some minor patches of paying ground are now being turned over to the north of the Black Hill (near Ballarat, VIC); this hill may well be called a golden centre, as to one standing on it summit, "leads," are observable diverging in all directions"

1856 - The blokes who could tell time established the 8 hour Labour League in Melbourne.

1857 - Playing musical chairs William Pritchard Weston succeeded Thomas George Gregson as Premier of Tas; Dr William Clark Haines replaced John O'Shanassy as Premier of Vic.

1862 - The Woodend to Kyneton section of railway line (VIC) opened.

1876 - The University of Adelaide opened.

1885 - The Wilcannia courthouse was the scene of a very unlikely legal argument over the issue of cruelty to animals. It wasn't the case but the people involved which make the scene so memorable. One of the police magistrates was Edward Bulwer Lytton Dickens, the son of Charles Dickens, and one of the prosecution witnesses was Frederick James Anthony Trollope, the son of the novelist Anthony Trollope. An unusual meeting of the sons of two of the great literary figures of the day.

1887 - The pearling fleet at Cape Jaubert near Broome, WA, was decimated by a cyclone.

1892 - The Mount Dundas to Zeehan Railway Line in Tasmania opened.

1896 - Women had something to say and they let their votes speak for themselves when they were allowed to cast a ballot in the South Oz Legislative Assembly election.

1898 - The Willoughby tram service (NSW) was officially opened as an extension of the North Sydney network that had operated since 1886. 

1901 - Australian troops returned to Australia from the Boxer rebellion in China.

1911 - A.M. Longmore became the first Australian to receive an international aviation certificate.

1911 - Herbert Barclay was asked to investigate and report on a stock route from Newcastle Waters westwards to Victoria River, NT, and the Barclay Expedition Northern Territory Survey & Exploration Party left Alice Springs today.

1914 - Saturday 25 April 1914 was a particularly bad day for tram accidents in Carlton. In the morning, Walter England, a clerk at the Carlton Court, fell from a moving tram on the corner of Lygon and Drummond streets, and was dragged some distance along the road. Mr. England suffered injuries to his ribs and hip and was admitted to the Melbourne Hospital for treatment. That afternoon, a more serious accident took place near the corner of Grattan and Lygon Streets. John Griffiths, a 26 year old tutor at the University High School, was crossing the road behind a north-bound tram when he was struck by another tram travelling towards the city. Mr. Griffiths was pinned beneath the dummy of the tram, which had to be lifted off the rails before he could be extricated. He was taken to the Melbourne Hospital, suffering from a compound fracture of the leg, extensive abrasions, and shock.

1915 - Soldiers were landed at the wrong beach and struggled to wade ashore at what is now known as Anzac Cove.

1916 - The first anniversary of the Gallipoli landings was widely observed in Australia. The first Anzac Day was observed with large crowds attending church and public ceremonies. Aussie and New Zealand servicemen in Egypt and London also commemorated the day.

1919 - Anzac Day first commemorated with returned soldiers across Australia marching in parades.
The parade through Sydney was cancelled as a result of the influenza epidemic, but a public commemorative service was held in the Domain. Participants were required to wear masks and stand three feet apart.

1920 - The 25th day of April was declared a national holiday although it was not observed in every state until 1927, partly because of opposition from businesses who were fearful of its effect on profits.

1925 - The Australian War Memorial was founded in Canberra.

1930 - First Dawn Service held in Australia by Rev Arthur White, himself a WW1 veteran, at Albany, Westralia. This was where the first convoy of Anzac's sailed away and was, for many, their last glimpse of Australia.
Rev White laid a wreath on the water and, as it floated away, he said,
"As the sun rises and goeth down, we will remember them".

1931 - The National Soldiers' Memorial to South Australian sailors and soldiers who fell in the Great War 1914-1918, located on the corner of North Terrace and Kintore Avenue, Adelaide, was unveiled. 

1934 - The ANZAC Hill Memorial in Alice Springs was officially unveiled.The Reverend Harry Griffiths of the Australian Inland Mission suggested a memorial be erected on the crown of the hill and he was responsible for the design. The ashes of Reverend Griffiths and his wife are interred in the memorial.

1935 - While a recently caught shark was on show at the Coogee Aquarium it coughed up a man's arm, later identified as belonging to a former boxer, James Smith, who was, it turned out, missing.

1948 - British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines Ltd launches an air service between Australia and the US and Canada using Douglas DC-4 aircraft.

1975 – The Australian embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam, was closed and staff evacuated prior to the Fall of Saigon.

1986 - The 11th (and final) National Conference of Lesbians and Gay Men was held at the NSW University.

1990 - 75 years after the landing at Gallipoli Aussie WW1 veterans returned to pay their respects to those who didn't return.

1997 - The Gwabegar Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Kandos to Rylstone.

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.