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Our Great Southern Land

Updated: 2018-04-20T08:00:05.769+10:00


April 20 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


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 1822Sir,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 landI am , Sir, Your Obedient ServantF. Goulburn, Colonial Secretary1830 - 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.OMG!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.[...]

Sketches In Australia By George Whitelaw, 1857-1864


I was sort of watching an old episode of Antiques Roadshow ("watching" = noise in the background while I researched Oz history) when I heard the above title mentioned.
Now, poor George was a consumptive bloke ( he was quickly fading away from TB) so he had a little time to fill in.
The sketches in his book aren't fabulously long-lost works of art BUT they are observations of people and Aboriginal people in and around the small settlement of Melbourne; rudimentary ink drawings show mia-mias (huts) and Aboriginal figures with notes on the back of the sketch detailing how they lived.
He also sketched figures waltzing off to the goldfields, showing the various classes by their dress, with the usual accoutrements of digging in their hot little hands.
In short,  rare wonderful glimpses of history.
After the value was given by the Antiques Roadshow expert, with comments that it would garner high interest in the Aussie market, the owner stated he wouldn't be selling.
Now, doing my sums that episode was from 2009 (I told you it was an oldie) so I had a quick Gurgle to see if the sketchbook ever made its way to The Fair Isle of Oz - and, yes, it did!
Mossgreen Auctions in Armadale, Vic, auctioned it last May; how much or who bought it I have not the foggiest, I can only hope it or a facsimile eventually finds its way into the National Library or into print for schools or some such.

You can read a lengthy description by the auction house of George's sketch book  HERE

You can read the transcript of the AR ep HERE.

April 19 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1623 - After kidnapping an Aboriginal bloke the previous day it wasn't surprising that the Dutch sailors of the Pera were then greeted by over 200 angry and hostile Aboriginals in North QLD.1770 - Lieut Zachary Hicks eyeballed the point of land which now bears his name as Point Hicks (Cape Everard).1805 - Aboriginal people defending their land managed to kill several colonists which resulted in a Government Order today to Captain William Bligh to send soldiers to protect the settlers.1818 – Phillip Parker King discovers Port Essington , later one of the first British settlements in what is now the Northern Territory.1831 - The Sydney Gazette reported that: - Elizabeth Smith, an importation by the Earl of Liverpool, who made her first appearance ashore on Friday last was charged with insolence to her mistress. It appeared that the prisoner was assigned direct from the ship, to the service of a gentleman in Sydney, to whose house she was sent on the day she landed. In the afternoon obtained permission of her mistress to go out, on some business of her own, for a limited time, which she exceeded, and on being reprimanded on her return home, told her mistress she was " a-good-for nothing hussy," and that she (Elizabeth) " knew by the cut of her jib" that the service would not answer her. The bench sentenced her to the third class in the Factory for three months. Elizabeth Smith had been assigned to William Foster in Sydney on arrival.1836 - Governor Bourke visited Newcastle on the Ceres. He inspected the site for the New Military Barracks and other buildings which were to be erected at Newcastle, proceeded overland to Brisbane Water and returned to Sydney.1856 - Stoke up your boiler, Aunty Maud, the first steam railway from Adelaide to Port Adelaide started chuffing along.1876 - Those erstwhile Fenian convicts all gallivanting aboard the whaling ship Catalpa were called to hove to by the armed guards aboard the Georgette after they'd fired a shot across her bow; the master of the Catalpa claimed they were in international waters, inquiring would the Water Police Superintendent J. F. Stone like to trigger An Incident?As Britain had just then lost a 3 million pound case in similar circumstances Stone decided his wage didn't quite stretch far enough to cover his backside so he let the Catalpa go sailing off into the sunset with the escaped political prisoners.1877 - The Main Western Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Blayney to Orange.1900 - Tired of twiddling their thumbs after the Sunday roast the Victorian pollies dreamt up a Royal Commission on local government laws.From 1911 until 1916 today was proclaimed to be Discovery Day to celebrate the day on which Jimmy Cook tripped over some great lump of dirt now known as the coast of Oz; after 1916 teachers were encouraged to use ANZAC Day as a day to include patriotic pride in the European 'discovery' and exploration of our Fair Isle which no doubt resulted in the entwining of pioneer history with the ANZAC legend.1931 - United Australia PartyJoseph Lyons formed the United Australia Party. It was a merger of the Nationalist Party and other groups, after Lyons left the Labor Party.1940 - The Australian Labor Party formed.1941 - Lady Muriel Barclay-Harvey, wife of the Governor, unveiled the Pioneer Women's Memorial Statue in the Garden of Remembrance just below Government House. The inscription on the pedestal of the statue reads:"This Garden of Remembrance and the Flying Doctor Base at Alice Springs were established in the Centenary Year of 1936 by the women of South Australia as a tribute to the pioneer women of the State. "1945 - Crash of a US Navy DC3 "Blue Goose" at Gooseberry Hill, Kalamunda, near Perth (WA).1958 - Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies opened the Lucas Heights Nuclear Facility near Sydney.1963 - Three weeks annual leave was granted to the majority of Australian workers.1966 - Bob Dylan & The Band performed at the Melbourne Festival Hall.1966 - Sydney: The first Australian conscripts flew out for Vi[...]



It's coming up to Dad's 7th anniversary of shedding his husk and flitting off into the aether.
I'm a tad teary.
Having a few G & T's to toast the old bugger, wishing I'd asked some more direct questions about his fathers Aboriginal mother, ignoring his firm "do not pass go, do not collect $200 " tone of voice which always ALWAYS slammed that door closed on further queries.
Still missing his humour, knowing he'd have loved Think Tank quiz show, he'd be hankering for the new Doctor Who series, he'd be looking forward to the new Miss Phryne Fisher Murder Mystery movies and books, watching The Drum and arguing with the idiots or telling Shaun Micallef how brilliant he is, each week.



Sorry I don't chatter much these days on here, or on Facebook lately, but I've been madly crocheting rugs and ponchos and beanies (oh, my!) for remote Indigenous communities.
The temps drop below freezing in the desert areas and many of our Elders need warm clothing, blankets, the usual Winter basics to survive.
I won't go into detail about the shockingly over-priced "shops" in some towns but there are Indigenous communities who have started up their own op shops, domestic abuse refuges, fabric making/printing workshops, children's libraries, etc, with a little help from peeps around Oz donating items.
No, I won't share any postage details on here as some ultra-right wing arseholes send abusive crap through the post and we won't be encouraging any of those twat-waffling scum.
One thing that has pissed me off this week - and last week - was the police targetting Dylan Voller at the Commonwealth Games.
They managed to seriously injure a female Elder, also, during a peaceful protest.
Police in Victoria are under the spotlight, too, for some really questionable tactics.
Fellas, do yourselves some favours and boot the bastards out of the force, they are giving the rest of you cops a bad name.
There are some decent police, I've engaged with them in the past, but the mongrels who think the uniform gives them carte blanche to savage people in any situation need to be treated like any person breaking the law.
Well, I'm off now, like a bucket of prawns in the noonday sun, to continue crocheting winter woollies.
By the by, Victoria Parliament Library - PLEASE update your "On this day" site; shit tonnes happened in the Colony of Vic, find it !
Also, NSW, QLD, WA, SA, NT & Tassie parliaments?
Create an On This Day searchable database on your parliament websites, ffs.
Hello to the City of Melbourne person who pops over for a regular read!

April 18 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1623 - Dutch sailors from the ship Pera, with instructions to kidnap "full-grown persons, or better still,. . . boys and girls, to the end that the latter may be brought up here and be turned to useful purpose in the said quarters when occasion shall serve " , landed in North Queensland where a large number of Aborigines approached them with no sign of fear, handling the muskets and showing interest in iron and beads. The Dutch took this opportunity and 'seized one of the blacks by a string which hewore round his neck, and carried him off to the pinnace'.1831 - Australia’s oldest newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, was launched.1834 - Hobart had it's knickers in a right Royal twist when Messrs. Attorney and Solicitor General Stephen and M'Dowall avowed that they have prepared an Act of Council limiting the number, and restricting the qualifications of juries here.1843 - The Southern Australian newspaper was bemoaning the fact that "...The simplicity of their wants, and of their lives, is another great barrier : their whole attention seems devoted to the providing of food, and other animal enjoyments : their motto literally is, eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die ; and any principle beyond that, they, and their fathers, have not known or regarded...."qualifications of juries.1864 - Sharpen those fish knives and flush out the fish kettles, ladies, the HMAS Victoria parked its bow in Hobart, having on board 100,000 salmon and 3,000 trout googie eggs bound for Tassie's first fish hatchery.1872 - Oh you great sodding bastards.To think ... we've been deprived of the chance to catch a train from the oh-so-gorgeously titled Schoolhouse Lane train station, which happened to open on this day as the terminus of the North East Railway line from Essendon.May your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny door down.1875 - Fire destroyed the photographic studio of Townsend Duryea. His entire collection of 50,000 negatives was destroyed - a tragic loss for him and for South Australia.1882 - Tenders for the construction of the Port Milang Railway lines (SA) were called on this day and Walke and Swann were successful in obtaining the joint contract for a price of £143,678.1890 - The West Melbourne Cable Tram Line (VIC) began trundling about the streets via Spencer St and Flemington Rd, with the powerhouse located at the south-west corner of Queensberry Street and Abbotsford Street.1902 - One-time hubby of the aforementioned Dame Daisy Bates, Breaker Harry Morant, had been court martialed in secret (against regulations) and shot in February, but despite the court transcripts conveniently going missing a summary of the trumped up nonsense appeared in the London Times today.1925 - The Richmond Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Richmond to Nepean Sand and Gravel.1934 - Recommendation for commutation of death sentence on Nemarluk.1938 - The very first race held at the Mount Panorama Circuit was the 1938 Australian Grand Prix.1939 - Pig Iron Bob Menzies was voted in as leader of the United Australia Party today and was sworn in (and undoubtedly sworn at) as Prime Minister 8 days later.1941 - Tempe (or Pinios) Gorge, Greece ; The 2/2nd and 2/3rd Battalions, AIF, and New Zealand's 21st Battalion stemmed a German advance in a rearguard action that enabled the main Allied force in Greece to establish a new defensive line across the Thermopylae peninsula.1942 - General Thomas Blamey appointed to command Allied land forces in the South-West Pacific Area.1949 - The Newlyn Football Netball Club Recreation Reserve (VIC) was officially opened on this day.1951 - Dame Daisy Bates, controversial Irish-born journo who spent time with the Aboriginal people and who may or may not have been entirely truthful about their lives, dropped off the perch today in a nursing home.1964 - The keys to both Brough and Grossman Houses (NSW) were handed over to the Hunter Regional Trust to become Victorian Period House[...]

April 17 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1770 - Captain Cook landed at Botany Bay.And there went the neighbourhood.1790 - Things were more than a bit crook with the Colony when the ship Sirius slipped down the plug hole near Norfolk Island in March taking most of the food with her; this led to two major things...that Lieut-Gov King swanned off to Britain which left a nasty bully in charge of Norfolk Island who proclaimed martial law for 4 months, and that Gov Phillip dispatched the ONLY remaining ship HMAS Supply to Batavia on this day for emergency food stores.1801 - The ship Ocean arrived at Sydney from whaling off the south coast.1813 - The Sydney Gazette on this day described an excursion from the Beecroft area made by 12 explorers, assisted by three friendly local Aboriginal guides to Lake Wollumboola and crossing the Lake Wollumboola entry to the sea.1816 - . Appin massacre. New South Wales Governor Macquarie sent parties against the Gundungurra and Dharawal people on their lands along the Cataract River, a tributary of the Nepean River (south of Sydney), in reprisal for violent conflicts with white settlers (in which several died) in the adjoining Nepean and Cowpastures districts, during a time of drought.The punitive expedition split in two at Bent's Basin, with one group moving south-west against the Gundungurra, and the other moving south-east against the Dharawal. This latter group came upon Cataract Gorge, where the soldiers used their horses to force men, women and children to fall from the cliffs of the gorge, to their deaths below. On April 17, around 1 am soldiers arrived at a camp of Dharawal people at Appin. Captain Willis from the party of soldiers wrote: "The fires were burning but deserted. A few of my men heard a child cry ....The dogs gave the alarm and the natives fled over the cliffs. It was moonlight. I regret to say some (were) shot and others met their fate by rushing in despair over the precipice. Fourteen dead bodies were counted in different directions."The massacre is remembered in April each year, when Winga Myamly Reconciliation Group and the local Aboriginal community meet to remember the loss of lives.1819 - Maria Lock was one classy, clever chickybabe; she was born the daughter of Yarramundi the 'Chief of the Richmond Tribes', sister to Colbee, wife of Bennelong's son, the first sanctioned Aboriginal lady to marry a convict, probably the first Aboriginal gal to be assigned the same convict and she became a landowner in her own right.But today, in 1819, the Sydney Gazette reported her talents in the schoolroom when the 14 year old Maria took the major first prize in the school anniversary exams having beaten over 100 'European' kids,"Prizes were prepared for distribution among such children as should be found to excel in the early rudiments of education, moral and religious and it is not less strange than pleasing to remark, in answer to an erroneous opinion which had long prevailed with many, namely, that the Aborigines of this country were insusceptible of any mental improvement which could adapt them to the purposes of civilized association, that a black girl of 14 years of age … bore away the chief prize."1835 - Richard Cunningham, brother to Allan Cunningham, was killed by Aborigines whilst exploring with Major Mitchell.Cunningham wandered off from where the party had camped in order to collect botanical specimens, becoming lost in the bush. Mitchell spent nearly a fortnight searching for him until deciding to finally continue with the expedition. After mounted police searched for Cunningham some time after Mitchell returned, it was discovered that Aborigines had tended to the botanist who, suffering from exposure at the time, had become delirious. Thinking he was possessed by evil spirits, the Aborigines killed him.1840 – John Ridley, the English-born inventor and agriculturalist, arrives in South Australia.1840 - Aborigines protested to the Aboriginal Pr[...]

April 16 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1788 - Governor Phillip and his party were having a stickybeak about the Fair Isle of Oz when they became the first known Europeans to see Aboriginal rock carvings at Manly Cove.1816 - The horrific Massacre at Appin (NSW) began on this day when word came through to the soldiers charged with "rounding up the hostile natives" that a group of Dharawal people were camped near Broughton's farm at Appin. Investigating at 1am (17th April) the soldiers heard children crying at the camp before the dogs roused the sleeping Aboriginals who leapt to their deaths over the cliffs while others were shot by soldiers.1819 - Thomas Ray ,  John Jones and Thomas Smith were hanged at Sydney for highway robbery.1827 - While it is not possible to give the exact number of each tribe of blacks in the (Gosford) district, says a letter of April 16 1827, there are five tribes viz., the Mial or Broken Bay tribe, the Tuggerah Beach tribe, the Wyong tribe, and the Narara and Erina tribes. The three first as well as I am able to judge consist of about fifteen each and the two last of about ten each, being in all about sixty five men, women and children.1831 - Government Order published, prohibiting the importation of preserved heads of New Zealanders.News I'm sure gladdened the hearts of Kiwis.1834 - Joseph Greenwood was hanged at Hobart for cutting and maiming, with intent to kill, Constable Terry.1838 - William Bean, farm servant aged 27, tried in Kent. Dark brown hair, brown eyes; blind in left eye. Absconded from W. Cox.You can stop looking, Bean was found and returned to the loving ? care of his boss.1849 - The steamer ship "Thistle" sprung a leak near Spectacle Island.The irony of the name prickles even at this distance.1867 - Denis Murphy was hanged at Ballarat for the murder of Patrick O'Meara at Bullarook.1868 - Again in QLD there was undoubtedly cream sponges, shortbread bikkies and the obligatory Iced Vo-Vo passed about with gay abandon when the railway line from Dalby to Ipswitch was done and dusted today.1873 - The naval chap turned policeman turned explorer Colonel Peter Egerton Warburton suffered from Itchy this was not Rampaging Footrot but merely the urge to go trotting about the vast continent called Oz he didn't bother with any over-the-counter creams.Instead he set off for a stroll from Central Australia today to have a Captain Cook for an overland route between here and being Alice Springs and there being Perth.1876 - Remember them thar Fenians who were plotting and planning the escape of their compatriots from the drear Fremantle Gaol back in 1876?   Well, they'd parallel parked their ship the Catalpa between Rottnest and Garden Islands on this day - being Easter Sunday way back when - and successfully effected the escape of the political prisoners on Easter Monday (17th April) and probably had a proper knees up on board to celebrate.1876 - A letter from a miner dated "Upper Palmer River April 16, 1876", describes his camp at a place known locally as "Blackfellows creek". He explained, leaving very little doubt as to its appearance, that: "…To my enquiry as to why it was so named, the answer is that not long since 'the niggers got a dressing there' – whatever that may mean; possibly a bright coloured shirt apiece, for decency's sake. There have been, certainly, 'dressings' of another sort dealt out in this part of the country to the blacks,…. Be that as it may, however, the Golgotha on which we are at present camped would well repay a visit from any number of phrenological students in search of a skull, or of anatomical professors in want of a 'subject.'"1880 - Them thar kids were gonna git themselves some learnin' when the NSW Govt introduced compulsory schooling for 6-14 year olds.1883 - The Administrator of the WA colony and the Attorney General cooeed members of the Legislative Council to  [...]

April 15 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1788 - Arthur Phillip, who'd had a decent night's snooze, led a bush walk to Manly and eyeballed the Blue Mountains.1790 - Arthur Phillip wasn't feeling too well (probably a lack of rest at night) and so he penned a missive to Lord Sydney asking for permission to return to England.1793 - Tuki Tahua and Ngahuruhuru were kidnapped by the British and arrived in Sydney on this day.1794 - Armed watchmen guarding the crop of maize at Toongabbie shot three Darug Aboriginal men and beheaded one to prove their tale; on this day Judge Advocate Richard Atkins scribed in his diary how,‘The head of one is brought in and the Lt. Govr [Major Francis Grose] has preserved it, as a present for Dr. Hunter.’*vomit*1800 - Phillip Gidley King rocked up, as fresh as a daisy, to take over as Guv from Hunter.Among the great unwashed on board were naturalist and explorer George Caley, engineer and explorer Francis Louis Barrallier and 50 convicts.1804 - The Sydney Gazette employed sharp, on the ball reporters - who obviously got their 8 hours dreaming - who mentioned a new gambling game called "Chuck Farthing" which later became known as Two Up.1822 - An Illawarra Aboriginal woman was fired at, and set upon by dogs, whilst in the act of appropriating corn from a local settler near Lake Illawarra. Whilst a number of convicts were initially involved in the attack, one Seth Hawker later returned to the scene, shot the woman in the stomach, and again set the dogs upon her. As a result she died in the field, unattended. Hawker was subsequently tried in Sydney for wilful murder, and acquitted by the Judge Advocate, with the women’s act of theft clearly identified as culpable and Hawker commended for ‘endeavouring to protect that property that was confided to his care’.*vomit*1823 - Allan Cunningham departed Bathurst to find an easier overland stock route to the Liverpool Plains.1828 -  The persecution of Tasmania’s Aboriginal population intensified on this day, with a government proclamation banning them from all settled areas. The Lieutenant Governor Sir George Arthur said the order was designed to reduce the incidence of violence between the Aborigines and the white settlers, which had led to death, injury and dispossession on both sides.1833 - Governor Burke visited Newcastle having made the voyage from Sydney on the Steamer Sophia Jane where an address was presented to him by some of the leading citizens of the Newcastle district.1834 - Dr. John Lhotsky, the Polish born naturalist, explored parts of the Bega region in 1834 visiting unsettled country before any European system of settlement or roads had been established that decreed how traffic should go from and to. In a letter to the Sydney Gazette on this day he referred to a mysterious Pass: ‘The discovery of Pass Britannia will before long become of a great importance to the colony, this being the place where a road connecting Twofold Bay with the Murrumbidgee and the SW parts of the colony may be executed.’1838 - William Watts took one look at the Yarra River and the thought sprung to his mind,"Eh, by gum, now there's a body of water so thick with muck a person could walk on it,"But he got a tad wet when he tried it so he launched the first punt.(I said "Punt"..."PUNT"...for goodness sake.  The.Letter.Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...clean your ears out!).Anyway Billy boy set sail in the first PUNT on the Yarra River.1841 - James Broomfield and Josiah Hodgkins were not the Messiahs, they were Very Naughty Boys cos today they a'bushrangin did go.After bailing up Henry Atkins Bonney in his own home and nicking his 35 pounds these likely lads made their way to a house at Norfolk Plains and, feeling a tad peckish, baked themselves some damper from scratch.At least they didn't expect the home owner to cook for them.1847 - The colony of North Australia was revo[...]

April 14 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1829 - E. Hayes, editor of The Australian, was fined and gaoled for six months for libelling Governor Ralph Darling.1842 - The Bunya tree was declared off limits to white man due to its importance to the indigenous people. However, this was largely ignored and in 1860 revoked by the first Government of Queensland.1846 - The Aboriginal leader of the Awabakal clan, Biraban, who assisted the Rev Threlkeld compile the first grammar of an Aboriginal language in Australia, passed to the stars on this day near Newcastle. It is thought he is buried in the Aboriginal burial grounds located under or near the Newcastle School of Arts.1847 - James Malcolm was hanged at the site of the crime, the Burswood Estate (Victoria Park, Perth), for highway robbery and murder of Clark Gordon.1852 - Thomas Wilmore was hanged at Goulburn Gaol for the murder of Phillip Alger in the Wellington District.1858 – Francis Thomas Gregory lead an exploration in the Murchison-Gascoyne-Lyons region of Western Australia.1860 - George Robertson, who many rudely only refer to by his surname these days, was pupped. Who is George Robertson? Just the other book publishing and book selling half of Angus & Robertson, who brought to the masses the brilliant Australian poets and writers we keep breeding in these sunny climes.1866 - James Crookwell, Bushranger, was hanged at Darlinghurst for the murder of Constable William Raymond in the Bargo Brush.1870 - Gulgong became a glittering, shining beacon to miners when GOLD! was found there.1871 - James Fanning was hanged for the rape of 13 yo Mary Dawes on 24 November 1870 on the Albany Road. The first private execution and the last execution for rape in the (Perth) colony.1871 - After serving six months in Beechworth Gaol for assaulting a hawker, Ned Kelly appeared in court soon after for stealing a horse. When it was shown Ned had been in gaol at the time the horse had disappeared, the charge was amended and he was instead convicted of 'receiving a stolen horse', for which he was given a three-year hard labour gaol sentence which he served in Pentridge Gaol. The borrower was his friend Isiah"Wild" Wright, who inexplicably received a sentence of only 18 months.1874 - Copper miners at Wallaroo and Moonta, SA, returned to work after striking over wage rates and conditions.1875 - Jackey Clayson was an Aboriginal man hanged at Rockhampton Gaol for a rape at Palmerville.1876 - The Scallan's Hill to Stawell Railway Line (VIC) opened, a whole one long galloping mile.1877 - Henri L'Estrange, adorned in a dark coloured tunic topped of with a red cap and turban, waltzed across a tightrope strung across Willoughby Bay, Sydney.1879 - Henri L'Estrange, having taken to the wide blue yonder from Victoria Barracks in Melbourne, performed the first emergency parachute descent of a hot air balloon in Oz when the patches holding his balloon together came adrift and plonked him down with nary an injury behind Government House.1883 - In the newspaper the Queensland Figaro one contributor remarked that he could tell of, and produce people who know of, hundreds of instances where white savages have raped young (Aboriginal) maidens and older gins and boasted of their deeds vain-gloriously.1885 - That collection of homes and businesses in Orbost was declared a Town!1885 - The position of Government Resident was first gazetted in the Queensland Government Gazette. Based on Thursday Island this position replaced the Police Magistrate and entailed administrative control over Torres Strait Islanders.1885 - Charles Watson was hanged at Darlinghurst for the murder of William Matthews at Wyadra, near Hillston.1890 - Stow away the dinghy Uncle Cedric, the Queen's Bridge was opened in Melbourne.1892 - Prohibition of bringing cheap labour from the Solomon Islands to Queensland was lifted.1894 -&nb[...]

April 13 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1814 - Angelo (Giuseppe) LeRose was hanged for the assault and robbery of Samuel Larkin on Parramatta Road, Iron Cove.1814 -Francis Barry and Richard Dowling were hanged for stealing three oxen that were the property of the crown.1823 - James Smith was hanged at Hobart for sheep-stealing.1829 – Melbourne's first post office opened.1831 - Capt Collet Barker arrived at Gulf St. Vincent in Isabella. Barker climbed Mt. Lofty, saw the site of Port Adelaide (19th April), but Barker was killed at Lake Alexandrina 11 days later.1836 - Gov Richard Bourke sent opposing petitions to the Colonial Office from ' exclusives' and 'emancipists'.1839 - The good folk at Albury were no doubt popping their corks in celebration at the news their bush blocks were gazetted as a village.1840 - The Kulin Nation, a collection of 5 tribes, complained to Aboriginal Protector William Thomas about the dispossession from their land, and that they were excluded from the Melbourne area where they had met for many generations for political and ceremonial reasons. Thomas told them they annoyed the white colonists, to which it was pointed out that the Woiworong had protected the European settlers from attack by the Wathaurong.“no good white man, take away country, no good bush, all white man sit down”, “Big one hungry Black fellow by & by – no Kangaroo – White man take away Black fellows’ Country”1841 – The first photograph was taken in Australia by a visiting naval captain, Captain Augustin Lucas.Not a selfie.Or his lunch.Twas a view of Bridge Street, Sydney.Which has since been misplaced.Like most of our history.1841 - Get to the milliners, gals!The first races held at Flemington were on this day.No, I have not the foggiest who won or the odds involved....but I'll bet my last dollar that Eddie MacGuire was calling the Fashions on the Field even then.1853 - Regulations were published (in the Govt Gazette) under which a public competition was to be conducted in order to discover designs for Legislative Council chambers and a Government House.1855 – The University of Melbourne was established by act of the Parliament of Victoria.1869 - Vida Goldstein, tireless Aussie feminist and reformer, was found in the carrot patch.1887 - The first Intercontinental Medical Conference was held in Adelaide.1892 – Singer Gladys Moncrieff was born in Bundaberg, Queensland.1893 - The E.S & A Bank (English, Scottish and Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi Counting House) shut up shop for *ahem* "reconstruction" during the savage 1890's depression caused by a huge boom where people could build castles in the air with money on the Never-Never....Yep, almost exactly like today.1895 - An article in the Observer reported on the disappearance of many of Adelaide's early landmarks. Shops along King William Street, including the two-storey building on the Beehive Corner, 'familiar to Adelaideans for half a century', were being demolished to make way for new buildings.1898 - Thomas Joseph Byrnes became Queensland Premier.1910 - The Commonwealth Government took over state debts.1922 - Pioneer aviators Ross Smith and Lieutenant J.M. Bennett were killed on a test flight in England.1927 - The first public overseas radio service, known as the Beam Service, begin operation between Australia and England.1932 - Winthrop Hall at the University of Western Australia was officially opened by the Chancellor in the presence of a distinguished gathering.1937 -  Site selected for RAAF Base in Darwin.1937 - Darwin's first power station built on Lindsey Street and 24-hour service was provided.1943 - Australian treasurer Joseph Benedict (Ben) Chifley announces a freeze on all prices until further notice.1954 - On the eve of the last Parliamentary sitting day before the 1954 election campaign, Prime Min[...]

April 12 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1790 - One Thomas Halford aka Orford , a black convict charged with stealing some potatoes from a marine officer’s garden. As Orford explained to the court, he had lost his own meagre ration and was so hungry that when he saw the potatoes he could not help himself. He was found guilty of stealing 3 pounds of potatoes valued at one shilling & six pence.  He was sentenced to 2,000 lashes.1816 - During the punitive expedition to the Appin and Airds districts (in retaliation of an earlier murder of Europeans by Indigenous people) a number of Aborigines came forward unarmed, but the names of two, Yallaman and Battagalie, were found to be on the wanted list of so-called "hostile natives" supplied to Captain Wallis by Gov Macquarie. Settlers named Kennedy and Hume quickly reassured Captain Wallis that Yallaman and Battagalie were harmless and innocent. Hume even lied, claiming he had seen the Governor erase their names from the "wanted" list.1816 - Victorian Premier of the future, poet, writer and convicted seditious pot-stirrer, Charles Duffy, was pupped.1826 - Can't get a good housemaid, ladies?Fear Not!The Female School of Industry has just this day opened in Sydney to train girls in the Domestic Arts!Order yours today!But Wait!There's More!Order 2 or more maids and we'll throw in a free set of steak knives!Yes, steak knives!Even though there's nothing to eat with the steak knives they can be used to hack your way through the wood for the stove, to carve a new window above your non-existent hand basin or perhaps try cutting yourself a new pair of boots out of hubby's old saddle.So, hurry on down to the Female School of Industry where we have sentenced imported our very own operators to take your call!1827 - In retaliation to an earlier killing of 2 Europeans by Aboriginals "...several persons assisted by a small party of soldiers made immediate pursuit.” “…in the affray not less than 30 of the blacks were shot dead; and that such was the powerful strength of the tribe, that the assistance of the Military was called to the spot where the skirmish took place, in the rear of Mr David Murray’s farm, at the Elizabeth River.” Another settler later recorded the incident in his memoirs: “Having seen their fires in a gully near the River Macquarie, some score of armed men, Constables, Soldiers and Civilians, and Prisoners (convicts) or assigned Servants, who fell in with the Natives when they was going to their Breakfast. They fired volley after volley in among the Blackfellows, they reported killing some two score…..”1835 – The convict transport George III sank in D’Entrecasteaux Channel, 139 male convicts drowned.1841 - The Supreme Court of Melbourne flung open its doors and paraded a plethora of wigged and gowned chappies down the decades.1844 - Election of office bearers of first Illawarra Agricultural and Horticultural Society.1847 - Famed artist S.T Gill climbed down a ladder and captured the copper miners hard at work in the Burra mines of South Oz when he completed 'Neales's Stopes, Burra Burra Mine, April 12th 1847'.1850 - Kanyin was hanged at Redcliffe for the murder of Yadupwert at York - the first public execution in WA for inter se murder.1851 – Between 7 and 12 April, four ounces of gold were won at what would become the township of Ophir, New South Wales – the first payable gold to be won in New South Wales and in Australia.1893 - The Canterbury Railway Loop closed (VIC).1893 - The Fairfield Park to Riversdale Railway Line (VIC) closed. Fairfield Park-Deepdene reopened for spoil trains during construction of Flinders St - Collingwood line during 19001895 - The townsite of Moora was gazetted;The name Moora is believed to have been an adaptation of an Aboriginal name for a well about 3/4 of [...]

April 11 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1806 - Declaration of war against Spain was received by the ship William Pitt.1838 - The Broken River Massacre or Faithfull Massacre occurred today as a group of 18 stockmen were searching out new pasturelands near Wangaratta when they were attacked by 20 Aboriginal people as a reprisal for an earlier killing of several Aboriginals at Ovens; at least one Aboriginal and 8 Europeans died in this attack, with further reprisals taking place in the following months and years.1856 - During a public chat session in Melbourne Dr Thomas Embling coined the phrase "Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest" which was later incorporated into most industries (and the world didn't fall apart).1862 - The North Geelong to Ballarat Railway Line (VIC) was opened.1896 - Today saw the closing of the registration process to vote for the chickybabes in South Oz (including NT) and, although married sheilas were encouraged to list their marital status as their occupation, many bold hussies actually listed their paid occupations such as teachers, nurses, hotel keepers !1897 - The Main Western Railway Line (NSW) was closed from Jct (Dargans Deviation) to Clarence (1st), opened from ct (Dargans Deviation) - Newnes Junction, Newnes Junction - Newnes Junction (1st), Newnes Junction (1st) - Clarence (1st).1904 - A Victorian Royal Commission into the butter industry was established, coz we all know it's a rich, slippery, deliciously addictive substance that Needs Looking Into.1914 - GJ Coles opened a "Nothing over a shilling" store in Collingwood (and the world didn't fall apart).1916 - The Campsie to Flemington Goods Railway Line (NSW) was opened.1917 - First battle of Bullecourt, Western Front.1921 - Bert Hinkler broke his aviation record from Sydney to Bundaberg then taxied the plane down the street to his mothers gate (and the world didn't fall apart).1924 - The Red Cliffs to Werrimul Railway Line (VIC) was opened.1934 – Charles Ulm successfully delivers the first airmail from Australia to New Zealand.1943 - Australia (II) received a report of a Japanese landing on the south east shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Although subsequent investigations proved negative, it appeared likely that the Japanese were either establishing fuel caches for submarines or aircraft or both, or landing small parties of men as commandos or coast watchers.1948 - Adelaide was ripped apart by a tremendous gale that saw roofs and trees ripped up, massive damage all over the shop and a mere 72 mm of cloud juice falling. The coastline was hardest hit with large pieces of the Glenelg and Brighton jetties swept away to sea, leaving one man stranded at the end of the Glenelg jetty who had to wait til for calmer waters the next day to be rescued.Boats and ships were wrecked with the huge survey vessel HMAS Barcoo dragged from its anchorage and shoved ashore near Glenelg.1951 - General MacArthur dismissed from command in Korea for the perception in Washington that he was too intemperate and likely to escalate the war.1970 - HMAS Vendetta returns to Sydney; HMAS Vendetta was the only one of three Australian Daring class destroyers to serve on the gunline in Vietnamese waters. The ship served one tour.1972 - The Melbourne Herald newspaper reported on  the historic meeting between 3 world-renown poets on a rainy beach, huddled together under a rusting iron shelter on Yirrkala Mission on the Gove Peninsula in NT ...beat poet Allen Ginsberg, modern Russian  poet Andrey  Voznesensky and talented artist and Yolngu man Wandjuk Marika.1977 - Today saw rock musician Alice Cooper placed under house arrest in his hotel room immediately after his record-breaking Sydney concert for allegedly owing a promoter $59,000 for a tour the prev[...]

April 10 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1803 - St. John's Church, Parramatta was established.  It became the church of Samuel Marsden, the "Flogging Parson".1811 Get your skateboard out, the Parramatta - Sydney Road was open for business after 21 convicts, with their bare hands and hand tools, had carved it out.1816 - Punitive forays against Aborigines at Grose, Nepean and Hawkesbury Rivers by a detachment under Captain Shaw and Captain Wallis of the 46th regiment.1829 - Surveyor Knapp was instructed to select veterans grants at Dapto.1837 - The Gov of NSW, Sir Richard Bourke, having swanned about BearBrass or Batmania as it was known declared today that the official name for the capital of the Port Phillip Colony shall be Melbourne (brown nosing to the then-PM of England William Lamb Viscount Melbourne) and that other place shall be Williams Town, named after the English King, William IV.Think I'd prefer to be known as a Batmaniac myself...1839 - Establishment of Port Lincoln ; The Port Lincoln Herald reported that the Special Survey of 15 000 acres of land adjoining Boston Bay at Port Lincoln, undertaken in February by Messrs Smith and Hawson, had already resulted in nearly 300 people settling in the area.1847 The Maitland Mercury reported on this day about the BIG melon John Bell Squire managed to grow on his farm at Cockfighter's Creek, Warkworth (NSW) that measured 4 feet around its girth and weighed 66lbs (30 kilos).1851 - The Anti-Transportation folks in NSW had got themselves into a right state about preventing further convicts from trotting Down Under so today in 1851 The NSW Association for Preventing the Renewal of Transportation emailed good Queen Victoria a petition to show they meant business.1861 - George Dalrymple, Commissioner of Crown Lands, led an overland party to settle Port Denison (Bowen) which was funded by the Queensland Government that was hoping for more revenue by opening up areas for pastoral endevours. Dalrymple’s party travelled overland, while another bunch of party animals led by Captain Henry Sinclair travelled by boat. They met at Port Denison on this day and proclaimed the town of Bowen.1862 - Sir Henry Barkley was in a party mood today when he officially opened the railway line from Geelong to Ballarat - so he joined the 500 guests and members of the Victorian Parliament in a grand banquet.1885 - The Morwell to Boolarra Railway Line (VIC) opened.1902 - During a debate in the Parliament it was stated that The Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 denied the voting rights of ‘Aboriginal natives of Australia … unless so entitled under Section 41 of the Constitution’. Garran advised that ‘half-castes’ were not disqualified from voting ‘but that all people in whom the aboriginal blood preponderates are disqualified’.1908 - The Port Waratah Branch Railway Line (NSW) was opened.1916 - The Bairnsdale to Orbost Railway Line (VIC) opened.1916 - William Williams, a 27 year old Aboriginal man, walked nearly 300 kilometres from his home near the NSW town of Hillston, to Forbes, to enlist on this day.1919 - The Shelley to Beetomba Railway Line (VIC) opened.1934 - Electric train services commenced from Port Melbourne to Port Melbourne Pier (VIC).1941 – The Siege of Tobruk began, for most of the siege, Tobruk was defended by the Australian 9th Division under General Sir Leslie Morshead.1950 - Professor Mick Dodson, a member of the Yawuru peoples,was born on this day in Katherine, NT.1953 - The Everton to Beechworth rail passenger (mixed) service ended (VIC).1964 - The Abermain Railway Branch Line (NSW) was closed.1965 - The Rutherford Racecourse Branch Line (NSW) was closed.1967 - Today saw the very first Aussie national nightly current affairs show debut on t[...]

April 9 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1770 - Jimmy Cook was out for a post-lunch Sunday sail in 1770 (as you do to help with the digestion of the Sunday roast ..and to avoid the mother-in-law) when he happened upon a nice little bay that pleased him down to his cotton socks; so he named it Botany Bay.1816 - Governor Macquarie ordered the military to apprehend all Aborigines in the southern districts because of their hostility in the previous two years and their recent attacks on settlers. The orders made no distinction between groups of friendly and aggressive Aborigines. Macquarie noted that he had “ordered three Separate Military Detachments to march into the Interior and remote parts of the Colony, for the purpose of Punishing the Hostile Natives, by clearing the Country of them entirely …”He further recorded that he had “directed as many Natives as possible be made Prisoners” and that any resisters were to be killed and their bodies hung from trees “in order to strike the greatest terror in the Survivors”.Charles Throsby of Glenfield was concerned that fear and ignorance on behalf of the Europeans would result in indiscriminate killings. He wrote to the Sydney Gazette in defence of a local Aboriginal man thought to be involved in an attack, stating that any violence perpetrated was in retaliation ‘for the barbarity practised by our own countrymen’.1819 - Timothy Buckley was hanged for the murder of William Cosgrove while David Brown and Timothy Ford were hanged at Sydney for aiding and abetting the murder of William Cosgrove.1839 - The Sisters of Charity were the first religious women seen in Australia. The religious profession of Sister Xavier Williams at Parramatta on this day was a “first” and made a great sensation among Catholics and others. Other young women asked to join the Sisters.1865 - As mentioned in yesterdays post Mad Dog Morgan was sent to his maker today during a shoot out with police at Peechelba Station near Wangaratta.1871 - The lump of rusting iron breakwater off Half Moon Bay, Victoria, formerly known as HMVS Cerberus entered Pt Phillip Bay for the first time.1883 - First public land sales in Caloundra took place. Some of the purchasers at that sale were Edmund Lander, James Campbell, G. Campbell, John D. Campbell, A. McCallum, Captain J. Swain, Robert Cribb and others. Very few of these blocks were built on by these original owners. James C. Moffat, a chemist from Brisbane established a cottage on the headland which now bears his name – Moffat Headland.1885 - Opening of First Section of South Coast Railway Line (QLD) to Loganlea.1896 - Today saw the beginnings of the Aussie love affair with a sponge cake dunked in melted chocolate and rolled madly in coconut....yes, Lord Lamington himself became Governor of Queensland today after whom the cakes are named although rumour claims he grew tired of them, calling them "those bloody poofy woolly biscuits".Then again, this from a bloke who shot and killed a koala when a guest of nature conservationists...!1896 - Back to those first modern Olympics and our very own Teddy Flack, him wot bred bovines in Berwick, shone once again when he blitzed the Men's 800 metres.1900 - A Royal Commission on religious instruction in State schools was established.Exorcisms were recommended during Monday assemblies.1902 - Federal Franchise Act defines who can vote.Aborigines were excluded.1902 - Hawthorn Football Club was formed from the spirits of the dead.1902 - Carlton appointed Jack Worrall as first ever VFL coach.Still hasn't worked.1904 - The Mittagong to Joadja Railway Line (NSW) was opened.1909 - Twinkle toes himself, Sir Robert Helpmann, was dropped off by the tutu-clad Bunyip of Mount Gambie[...]

April 8 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1658 - Abraham Leeman van Santwits was the first officer and navigator of Waeckend Boey and he and 13 sailors were marooned on an island off the coast while trying to find survivors of the Gilt Dragon. They ate seabirds and seals to survive and dug a small well from which surprisingly they obtained reasonably fresh water to drink. Leeman urged his men to make repairs to the boat including a make shift sail of seal skins. Today in 1658 they began their voyage home to Batavia.1800 - Today saw the first recorded public performance of a Shakespearean play in Australia.The popular historical drama Henry IV Part 1 was performed at the “Theatre Sydney” according to a playbill advertising the event which is held in the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.Margaret and David gave it 4 stars.1802 - Matthew Flinders - that well-trained servant of the famous cat Trim - was pottering about the coast when he happened upon a French explorer chappie by the name of Nicholas Baudin today; being the polite, well-mannered souls that they were they sat and shared a coupla scones, a pot of tea, and various charts, maps and where-you-can-find-fresh-water knowledge as those explorer peeps are wont to do.Matthew must have enjoyed the conversation greatly for he dubbed the spot Encounter Bay.1814 - William Shelley scribed some fan-mail, dated Parramatta, 8 April 1814, to Governor Macquarie, about the civilisation of the natives, their relations with European women and a plan for an institution segregating boys and girls and educating them.1816 - Wave your little wooden leg with gay abandon!The patients were transferred from the old hospital to the new General Hospital in Sydney on this day.1817 - Mary Reibey had a spare sitting room gathering dust in her house at Macquarie Place so a gaggle of Sydney merchants, with a nod and a wink from Gov Macquarie himself, started the Bank of NSW from her parlour. It changed its moniker to Westpac in 1982.1822 - Charles Throsby wrote to Alexander Berry re the Shoalhaven cedar venture, the bearer of the letter being a native named Broughton who had been born at Shoalhaven.1826 - Tired of reading tram timetables by torchlight, the first street lamp in Oz sprung to life in Macquarie Place, Sydney.1829 - Charles White was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Thomas Murphy at Luskintyre.1840 - THE HATEFUL LASHThe Colonial Times, published at Hobart Town, has put forth a lengthy and sensible article under this head, which the talented editor has followed up by two others on the same subject. It is a production worthy the consideration of the public, and an honor alike to the head and heart of its author. The humane feelings of a true Englishman recoils at the inhuman practice of binding a man to the stake like a bullock intended for slaughter and subject him to the infliction of the lash like a dog. Shame on our countrymen who first invented such an odious and appalling kind of torture. The article in question, we are happy to find, has had its desired effect; namely, that of making an impression on the mind and heart of Mr. Price, and Police Magistrate at Hobart Town, on its baneful and disgraceful tendency, inasmuch as to have induced him to alter his mode of punishment from that of flogging to solitary confinement, the roads, and the treadmill. Times are altered in these colonies. In days gone by, when the population consisted merely of prisoners of the Crown, and the civil and military officers - when men, with hearts like men, such as now inhabit considerable portions of the soil were afraid to approach these dreaded shores; when all kinds of cruelties were practised upon those degraded and miserable wre[...]

April 7 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1780 Jorgen Jorgensen, he who would become King of Iceland and claim the throne of Denmark but, in the end, would die homeless and penniless on the streets of Hobart as a convict, was pupped on this day.1790 - Supply’s trawling nets were deployed; ‘about four hundred- weight of fish being brought up, it was issued’ to the English.1805 - After 3 weeks the spear was extracted from the Cow Pastures (Camden) leader Cogy. Despite his wound, Cogy was well enough to take part in a punishment trial at the Hawkesbury River.1815 – Bathurst, New South Wales was founded following its discovery by George Evans. 1819 - The NSW Govt-built schooner (that's a ship not a beer glass) Prince Regent, intended as a gift for the King of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) was launched with spectacular gusto today; having taken over 3 years to build it was a bit of a let down when Lord Bathurst sent a text from the Colonial Office to Macquarie suggesting the ship would make a fully sick boat for Lieut. King in which to gallivant about the continent.But King wanted a roolly fully wicked ship so he flashed the cash and bought himself another boat so the Prince Regent toddled about doing donkey work until she was finally sailed off into the sunset towards Hawaii and taken possession of by King Liholiho on May 1st 1822.1835 - Major Thomas Mitchell set out on his second expedition, determined to discredit the discoveries made by Sturt.1841 – Edward John Eyre became the first European to cross the Nullarbor Plain, arrived in Western Australia.1851 - William Tom and John Lister were a tad bored so they went out, played in the creek at Ophir and dug up some GOLD!Edward Hargraves did not, I repeat, did NOT discover the gold.He was just a very greedy boy.1881 - George Adams knew the worth of 2 flies crawling up a wall and so he held the first Tattersall's Sweep on the Sydney Cup neddy race. This was the first of Tattersall's lotteries, run from the Tattersall's pub in Sydney.1887 - The Main North Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Hornsby - Jct (Start Boronia No 5 deviation) to Jct (Start Boronia No 5 deviation) - Jct (End Boronia No 5 deviation) to Jct (End Boronia No 5 deviation) - Hawkesbury River.1891 - Brilliant cartoonist who lampooned Hitler and created Colonel Blimp, Sir David Low, was born in New Zealand. His cartoons were published when he was only 15 and The Bulletin invited him onto their staff, in Australia, when he was 18.1893 - Today saw the ever-so-ungainly collapse of the Commercial Bank of Oz when the cocks came home to roost after the silly 'Land Boomers' had done their dough, done other peoples' dough and some had done the 10 feet dash at the end of a rope after the huge land speculation chicanery came undone, plunging the whole of Oz into a great economic depression.1896 - Australia won its first Olympic Gold Medal when Teddy Flack, who bred Fresian cows in Berwick, won the Men's 1500 metres at the 1896 Summer Olympics.1900 - The new Adelaide Art Gallery was opened by the Governor, Lord Tennyson, on 7 April 1900.1902 - The Prospect Quarry Branch Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Jct (Toongabbie) - Prospect Quarry.1924 - Feeling a little warm under the collar was entirely understandable as the longest recorded period of record temperatures over the century mark - that's 37.8C in the new money - in Marble Bar,WA came to an end after roasting the population since Oct 30th 1923.1939 - Think 2013 was the first and only time Oz has sailed under 3 different Prime Ministers inside a single year? Think again.Waaay back in the Dark Ages of 1939 Joseph Lyons popped his clogs on this day when he suffered a [...]

April 6 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1806 - Report on Aborigines massacred at Twofold Bay. The report tells of weeks of tension ending in a confrontation between 11 sealers from the stranded whaler George and a tribal group which resulted in the death of nine Aboriginals. The report is silent on the cause of the tension however sealers were notorious for their treatment of Aboriginal people in Tasmania and the abduction of Aboriginal and Maori women1816 - The Principal Superintendent of Convicts William Hutchinson announced on 6th April that 'a quantity of female prisoners' had arrived on the Alexander and those colonists desirous of a housekeeper should apply to his Office.1822 - Francis Murphy hanged at Sydney for burglary from the house of Nicholas Devine (former Superintendent of Convicts) at what is now Erskineville.1822 - William Harris hanged at Sydney for robbery of James Cribb on the Parramatta Road.1832 - Thomas Brennan  was shot by military firing squad at Dawes Battery, Sydney. A private soldier of His Majesty's 39th Regiment of Foot, Brennan had fired at his sergeant with the intent of killing him. 1831 - Charles Cowper was appointed clerk to the commissioners for managing the affairs of the church and School Estates.1844 – John Gavin was the first European settler to be legally executed in Western Australia. He was executed for murder at the age of fifteen.1853 - Charlie La Trobe was not a happy charlie (nor a well boy) but on this day the Colonial Office finally accepted his resignation as Gov. of Victoria.1860 - John McDouall Stuart was trudging along during a sunny amble when he happened across a sandstone monolith today ; near to the South Oz and NT border he named the monolith Chambers Pillar to honour the wealthy pastoralist who'd bankrolled his strolls about the Fair Isle of Oz.1864 - Anthony Fernando, one of the earliest Aboriginal activists, was born. He picketed, protested and traveled widely around the world on behalf of all aborigines.1885 - The railway line to the Williamstown Racecourse (first site) (Vic) was opened.1892 - The railway line from Lancefield to Kilmore (Vic) opened.1895 - The Premier of Queensland was enjoying a hearty banquet at the North Gregory Hotel in Winton, QLD today when Sir Herbert Ramsay began to warble an unknown song; Waltzing Matilda had made its debut.1896 - Today saw the NEW! Olympics begin in Athens, Greece and it turned out to be Gold! Gold! Gol....BRONZE!  Oz had just the one bloke representing at the Games, Edwin Flack, and he "only" managed to snaffle 2 gold medals in the 800 meters and 1500 meters athletics races, failed to place in the marathon (he collapsed while in the lead with only 3 kms to go) and singles tennis but finished with a bronze in the mixed team doubles tennis.1830 - Today the rot set in ....when William Hamilton became the first full-time fully PAID bank manager.See?You've only encouraged the buggers to hang around and breed...1910 - Adelaide City Council was celebrating the completion of the City Refuse Destructor today.The forward thinking of this Incinerator was amazingly decades ahead of its time (or, if you were a Roman, slightly behind)....the hot gases produced by the burning were sent through 2 water tube boilers which generated enough power for not only all the buildings and a plant on the site but excess power that was flogged off to the Adelaide Electric Supply Company until the incinerator was switched off in 1954.1932 - Captain Francis de Groot was not the Messiah, he was just a very naughty boy who got a slap on the wrist in the shape of a fine when he fronted court for having miffed Premier[...]

April 5 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History


1790 - HMS Supply returned from Norfolk Island with devastating news – HMS Sirius was lost and with her all hope a China rescue. At Sydney the supply position was so critical that same evening Phillip called a Governor-in-Council meeting.1790 - Sydney: Phillip called ‘all the officers of the settlement, civil and military’ to Government House in Bridge Street where:‘His Excellency laid before every one present the Situation of the Colony….[and] pointed out the Great Necessity there was for an immediate Reduction of the Present Rations. Every persons opinion was asked respecting how Robbing Gardens cd. be prevented & what was the best made [sic] ye. cd. be adopted for procuring fish to make a saving of the Salt provisions.1790 - Gov Phillip thought some of the convicts were getting a little too well padded for Survivor-style fun on the Isle of Oz so he invented The Biggest Convict and cut rations even further.1816 -  As wider conflict broke out, Cogie (Gogy) again took refuge at Charles Throsby’s farm at Glenfield, near Liverpool, or goes fishing with his friend William Charles Wentworth, son of Surgeon D’Arcy Wentworth. Charles Throsby letter to D'Arcy Wentworth re proposed reprisals against attacks on white settlers by Aborigines.1818 - The Batavia anchored in Sydney Cove . Lieut. Elgee of the 34th. Regt. commanded the Guard of Soldiers on board, consisting of detachments the 34th. 46th. & 48th. Regiments.1824 - The first Attorney General (Sax Bannister, Esq.) arrived in the ‘Hibernia’, with the new Charter of Justice.1824 - Arrival in Sydney on board the Hibernia of first Colonial Treasurer William Balcombe.1827 - Appointment of John Thomas Campbell as Acting collector of customs N.S.W.1830 - Stephen Smith and John Hawes were hanged at Sydney for the axe-murder of fellow convict William Davis at Moreton Bay.1831 - The Earl of Liverpool arrived in Port Jackson on Tuesday with 88 female prisoners. She had the distinction of being the first brig to ever bring prisoners to the colony.1833 - The Freemans Journal reported on this day that 56 free settlers, wives and children of convicts in New South Wales, were embarked from the Penitentiary house in Cork on to the Caroline at Cove and on the following morning 120 female convicts from the same establishment were conveyed on the Waterloo steamer to the Caroline. Their appearance and conduct was said to be highly creditable.1841 - Powder your wig along with your nose, the first Supreme Court had its first get together in Melbourne.1841 - Michael Bradley was hanged at Newcastle for the murder of Catherine Harrison near Morpeth.1842 - Thomas Horner was hanged at Newcastle for the murder of his overseer James Stone near Shannon Vale. Stone was the former wrestler known as "Little Elephant".1844 - John Woolley - George Churchward - William Thomas - George Bristol - John Walker were hanged at Hobart for robbery.1853 - A public dinner, presided over by George Elder, was given for George Tinline. Tinline was deemed to be the saviour of South Australia when the colony was in deep financial trouble due to the exodus of many men to the Victorian goldfields, and the heavy withdrawal of specie from the colony.1856 - A solar eclipse took place today during which a Bindal man stated it was caused by his son covering over the sun to frighten another Bindal man.The Bindal people (from near Townsville) believe that the shooting star is an important symbol; that where the star came from or the direction in which it was travelling indicated that there was a danger.1865 - John S[...]

April 4 On This Day in Australian History


1789 - Smallpox (or it is suspected now it was chickenpox) decimated the Aboriginal population of Port Jackson, Botany Bay and Broken Bay. The disease spread inland and along the coast.1801 - Governor King ordered Aboriginal people gathering around Parramatta, Georges River and Prospect Hill "to be driven back from the settler's habitation by firing at them".1817 - Macquarie was able to report to Earl Bathurst “that all hostility on both sides has since ceased.” He commented therein on the success of the military campaign, though omitted its more barbaric and brutal elements, including the massacre at Appin on 17 April 1816 of a tribe comprising 15 men, women and children, carried out by soldiers under cover of darkness. No accounts survive by Aboriginal people of their view of the campaign, and none was sought by the English at the time.1820 - The foundation stone is laid for what later became the magnificent Queen Victoria Building in Sydney.1821 - Today saw the Gov. and Mrs Macquarie having a delightful sail on the good ship Midas about the Southern Settlements to have a Captain Cook at how things were going.1821 - Sir John Jamieson, Merchant Browne, William Cox, James Smith, Robert Cowper, James Jenkins, et al, obtained permission to cut cedar at Illawarra.1834 - Hope you've been saving those pennies for the first land sales in Albany, Westralia.1844 - The cutter America was wrecked in the Torres Strait with the sole survivor, 16 yr old Scottish Barbara Thompson wife of the captain, adopted by the local Aboriginal People until she was found by the survey party from HMS Rattlesnake in 1849.1846 - The first payable gold discovery in South Australia, gives rise to the first Australian gold mine, five years before the official discovery of gold in Australia at Bathurst.1848 - As they farewelled the 7 horses, 20 mules and 50 bullocks from Roma, QLD - who were accompanied by Ludwig Leichhardt and 6 other blokes - no one realised the mothership/Yowie/bunyip/rogue black panther/ was waiting for them somewhere in the vast Aussie outback, and that they'd never be seen again.1865 - Maitland Brown was a bloke on a mission - to find the missing (believed dead) explorers Panter, Harding and Goldwyer in the Kimberley. Today in 1865 he was holding an Aboriginal law-man, Karimba, as a prisoner and guide, but Karimba began leading Brown's search party in the wrong direction whilst trying to set up an ambush.1866 - W.O. Hodgkinson commenced publication of the newspaper the "Mackay Mercury".1874 - ‘The Abandonment of Gilberton’, was reported in The Queenslander.In 1874, the missionary Reverend E. Fuller travelled to Cardwell with the ambition of establishing a mission for Aboriginal people on Hinchinbrook Island. Before his arrival, Native Police had decimated the Aboriginal population of the Island. After three weeks searching, Rev. Fuller was unable to the find a single Aboriginal person living on Hinchinbrook Island1874 - The Native Police were sent to explore the country inland from Trinity Bay to find another road to the Palmer River. They followed the Bloomfield River upstream but were unable to penetrate the thick scrub. The Native Police officer reported that they had found the Aborigines ‘exceedingly daring and threatening’ and ‘had to disperse them on 3 or 4 occasions’.1875 - The railway line from Beaufort to Ararat (VIC) opened.1876 - The Main Western Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Kelso to Bathurst.1883 - And this is what happens, kids, when the right hand doesn't know what the lef[...]

April 3 On This Day in Australian History


1794 -  After a cross-Pacific voyage to North America, Gnung-a Gnung-a returned to Port Jackson in the storeship Daedalus. While in Hawaii, King Kamehameha unsuccessfully offered to buy him.1805 - The Lady Nelson and Estramina left Sydney for Jervis Bay.1816 - Benjamin Davis was accused of assisting runaways by giving them supplies in return for kangaroo skins1819 - John Briggs and Thomas Crane were punished for their attempt at cutting out a boat {cutting out operation—a boarding attack by small boats, preferably at night and against an unsuspecting and anchored target.}.1819 - Notice was given of removal of cattle from W. Wentworth's property at Illawarra.1828 - John Batman's first known confrontation with the Aborigines occurred on this day, after his shepherd was chased off by a local tribe (Tas).1838 - When Joseph Hawdon and Charles Bonney arrived in Adelaide on the 3 April 1838 they were greeted with some jubilation by the settlers as there had been a shortage of meat for some time and the herd of cattle they had brought was a welcome sight.1848 - Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt was last eyeballed on the Darling Downs...if you happen to find him, can you send him home for his dinner,please?1866 - ‘Frightful Immorality at the Industrial Schools’, was reported by the Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth) describing horrific sexual and physical abuse of the students by staff members with little or no action taken to remove the abusers.1881 - It was BIG...REALLY big. The powers that be conducted a census across the far-flung 6 colonies of Or-stray-lia as part of the first simultaneous census of the British Empire and found the rabbits were being given a run for their money with a human population of 2,250,194.1882 - Better wrap up the toaster....Alfred Deakin, he who would become the 2nd Aussie Pm, got hitched to Elizabeth Browne much to her parents disapproval. I think he's proven himself by now.1882 - The Hawthorn to Camberwell Railway line (Vic) opened.1884 - There was great excitement in Sunbury on this day, when the goods train from Melbourne exploded. The train left the Melbourne terminus at 2am, and made it as far as Sunbury when the boiler of the engine burst with a terrific explosion, killing the fireman instantaneously and the driver shortly after.1885 - Tamai was the largest and most significant engagement in which the 770-man New South Wales contingent to the Sudan were involved. In comparison with the British units involved in the battle, Australian involvement was minimal.1889 - United Kingdom: Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; Lord Watson, Lord Fitzgerald, Lord Hobhouse, Lord MacNaghton, Sir William Grove, Cooper V Stuart [1889] 14 AC ruled; ‘it [New South Wales] was peacefully annexed to the British Dominion’.1897 - The Richmond Guardian reported that the East Richmond Church Harvest Festival was rockin' 'em in the aisles with the organist Miss Terrill.1911 - The Mackay Standard Newspaper was published as a daily from today.1912 - The Kiwi dredge Manchester sailed off into the sunset with her crew, Sydney-bound...only to vanish, never to be sighted by human eyes ever again.1925 - May Holman thought she'd teach the blokes how it was done by winning the by-election for the seat of Forrest, in Westralia becoming the first labor sheila to sit in an Aussie parliament.1936 - At 7:30AM, and in relatively calm conditions, Nairana, under command of Captain McIntyre, was approaching Port Phillip heads with a full load of cargo, while most of [...]

April 2 On This Day in Australian History


1787 - Treasury entered into negotiations with Moore and he transferred his rights over sixty-one male and seven female convicts to William Richards Jnr. the sole contractor awarded the government tender for fit-out and provisioning of ‘First Fleet’.1787 - Charter of Justice signed providing the authority for the establishment of the first New South Wales Courts of Criminal and Civil Jurisdiction.1791 - William Bryant's escape party entered and had a look-see around Port Stephens...but the decor didn't agree with them.1798  - Frequent Darug raids harass the new Hawkesbury settlers, making it ‘a necessity for firing upon them, by which, it was said, one man was killed’. Armed watchmen posted at Toongabbie to guard the ripening Indian corn (maize) shoot three Aboriginal men. They bring in one man’s head to prove their story.1826 - Female School of Industry was opened in Sydney to train gals as domestic servants, although, as they are very scarce on the ground these days, surely this highlights a need to revive this institution...? Anyone...?1840 - There were many who did not like the Aboriginal camps being close to Melbourne, and when there was a gathering of six or seven hundred Kulin, their mia mias (bark huts) were burnt and the camp dismantled.1844 - The first permanent synagogue in Oz was opened in Sydney.1845 - The Burdekin River discovered and named Ludwig Leichhardt.1846 - Superintendent La Trobe, on his third and final attempt to reach Cape Otway, met with seven Gadubanud men and women in the valley of the Aire River before trekking across the open grasslands to his destination.1846 - Squatter Henry Allan made an unsuccessful attempt at a north–south crossing over the mountains, guided by two Aboriginal women from the Wesleyan mission at Buntingdale. In the northern foothills of the Otway Ranges, on the upper reaches of the Gellibrand River, he found an unoccupied Aboriginal camp. On his return trip through the area, he revisited this site and found a large number of implements that had not been there before.1852 - A gang of 22 blokes played pirate and raided the barque Nelson that was jiggling on its anchor off Williamstown; these enterprising chaps got away with 8,000 oz of gold, which was never recovered.1856 - Voting for the most liposuctioned, matchstick thin politician by throwing your hat in the air was overtaken when voting by secret ballot became law in South Oz.1871 - Victoria held a party to end all parties census and found there'd been a wee spot of procreation happening with the population hitting 731,528; with 207,000 of those bodies living in Melbourne. Pity the public transport and water systems haven't expanded with the population....meow.1874 - A major strike was held at Moonta Mines in South Australia due to a wage reduction.For the miners not the share holders.Of course.1878 - The Bullock Island Branch Railway Line (NSW) opened.1879 - Shanks' pony was no longer needed for the people of Sale when their humble home was connected to Melbourne by train.1879 - Those travelling on the Oakleigh to South Yarra line today - take some balloons and streamers along.Chuck 'em about....oh, ok, well as you're pressed tightly into the burly bloke's armpit give a muffled birthday cheer for the Sth Yarra to Oakleigh Line which opened on this day.And, no, handing out free balloons to strangers will just get you labelled as "that crazy person, stay right away, I heard she/he speaks to the dead...or dead pigeons, I forget which".1[...]

Historical Tour of Bealiba


April 1 On This Day in Australian History


1788 - Some time during this month dingoes gave up their date with Tom Cruise for a roast lamb dinner of 1 ewe and 5 lambs at Farm Cove.1790 - Things were crook when daily tucker rations were reduced even further at Sydney.1794 - He who had his finger in every spot of unrest and his nose in everyone's business, MacArthur was given a pressie of another 10 acres at Parramatta.1796 - To control the sale of grog Governor Hunter issued the first 10 licences to pubs...and no, it wasn't an April Fools' Day joke!1817 - Further repressive measures follow the Cataract River slaughter. Macquarie forbids armed Aborigines to appear within one mile of any settlement carrying warlike weapons including ‘Spears, Clubs, or Waddies’. No more than six Aborigines may ‘lurk or loiter’ near any farm and assemblies for ritual battles are ‘wholly abolished’.  He outlaws 10 Aboriginal men ‘well known to be the principal and most violent instigators of the Late Murders’. They are Murrah, Myles, Wallah (alias Warren), Carbone Jack (alias Kurringy), Narrang Jack, Bunduck, Kongate, Woottan, Rachel and Yallaman. A reward of £10 is offered for anyone bringing any of them in, dead or alive.1840 - The Fighting Waterholes Massacre . A hunting party of employees from nearby Kononwootong Station massacred a party of 60 + Aboriginal elders, women and children. The bones of those who were killed were buried in the embankment wall of the creek, but were uncovered one hundred years later in major floods. The remains of those who were massacred have since been reburied.It was the second massacre inflicted on the Konongwootong gundidj clan by the Whyte brothers in their first two months of occupation of Konongwootong station.1843 - The more things change, the more they stay the same...The Bank of Australia failed miserably.1846 - The executive Council in Sydney voted Port Phillip District off the island to be separated from NSW.1857 - The brig Sea Bell was wrecked off Fraser Island and the only survivors were a woman and 2 kids who had to holiday there for 2 years before they were rescued.1876 - Captain John Mason, of Belfast in Victoria was getting his knickers in a twist having eyeballed the Mahogany Ship at Warrnambool and not finding it since so he penned a letter to the Argus newspaper.1877 - Standing on Thursday Island some smarty poo bum thought it would enhance the tourist value by turning it into a coaling station for steamers so they humped the Qld settlement of Somerset off to the holiday isle.1885 - Oh to pop back in time to have the coal dust and smoke smell in my hair! Steam trains began running their little wheels off between Adelaide and Victor Harbour.1886 - Fairy tale of the day, boys and girls, is how once upon a time, starting today, people could travel by train from Melton to Pawan station!1897 - Jandamarra, the aboriginal warrior who stole a number of guns and led his followers in attacks against European settlers, was killed.1897 - The Mungindi Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Narrabri South Junction to Moree.1897 - The Walgett Branch Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Narrabri West Junction to Narrabri North Junction.1908 - The Wanganui Herald pronounced that the South Oz Premier, Mr Price, had apparently seen the light and sang the praises of chickybabes who both voted and who were gracing parliament with their presence1921 - After gaining a reputation for military prowess in WW[...]

March 31 On This Day in Australian History


March 31 is the International Transgender Day of Visibility.1792 - At Sydney eighty-seven deaths were recorded; ‘most [new arrivals] so thoroughly exhausted that they expired without a groan’.1809 - Tricking those sly dogs of the NSW Corps, Bligh arrived at Hobart and shifted into the renovators delight Government cottage with his daughter.1813 - Richard Berry was Hanged for cattle stealing.1813 - John Mahony was Hanged for cattle stealing (brother of Thomas Mahony who was hanged on 24 March 1813 for a separate offence).1818 -  Daniel Deakin (Daykin) supplies a boat to Bidgee Bidgee, chief of Kissing Point (Ryde) and is paid £13.0.0 from the Police Fund.1829 - Fort Dundas, on Melville Island, didn't live up to its promises as a 5 star resort so everyone upped sticks and hot footed it to the next fashionable place to be seen, Raffles Bay, NT.1831 - Surprise, the first Aussie-built steamship, was launched with much aplomb and high spirits , of both kinds, in Sydney.1839 - Bet there were a few celebrations all round that night too...Joseph Forbes aka Timor Joe, was rescued from Timorlaut Island where he'd not been voted off the island held captive for 14 years.1863 - South Australians grew to love their woolly backs to the point that by this date there were almost 3.5 million Sunday roasts gambolling about the Adelaide Hills.1868 - Bernard Cunningham was Hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the murder of John Fairweather, near Keilor.1868 - Joseph Whelan was Hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the murder of farmer Tom Branley at Rokewood.1869 - Michael Flannigan (or Flannagan) was Hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the murder of Sgt Thomas Hull at Hamilton.1871 - Young Griffo, the Lightweight Boxing Champion of The World, was born.1883 - Robert Kinnear became the first Indigenous runner to win the famed Stawell Gift.1885 - The Grey River Argus reported  that the West Island (aka Australia) had received warning from Singapore that The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!1887 - The Enrolled Pensioner Force in Westralia was abolished and a new unit called the Enrolled Guard was formed from among its members. It was placed under the command of Captain M.S. Smith, the Superintendent of Police and the final parade of the Enrolled Guard was held on this day.1897 - Jumna Khan was Hanged at Fremantle Prison for the murder of William Griffiths in High Street, Fremantle.1906 - In 1906 the Grey River Argus trumpeted the news of a huge fire that took out several Sydney warehouses, threatening the entire block, gutting the Berlin Piano Company.1909 - Victoria finally woke up to itself the treasure trove it had in the form of women and proclaimed the Act giving them the right to vote in state elections. Goodness, next you know they'll let a woman be PM of a country somewhere...1921 - The Aussie Air Force was formed, with the "Royal" being added further down in the year on August 13th.1928 - First Aussie Grand Prix was held at Phillip Island.I'd say send it back there but the Fairy Penguins have moved on from their ocker bogan days...1930 - Lectures, and not of the nagging wife kind, begin at the illustrious Canberra Uni.1931 - The Temora to Roto Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Hillston to Roto South, from Roto South Junction to Roto East Junction and from Roto South Junction to Roto West Junction.1937 - Contract for central spire of St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, was sig[...]