Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 23 Today in Aussie History

Alick Wickham, the Bloke with the Stroke, a Solomon Islander who invented the Australian Crawl swimming stroke, today in 1918 set the World High Diving Record (that still stands today) when he swan dived from the cliffs into the Yarra River from a height of 62.4 mts (205' 9" in the old money).

Today in 1913 Dr. Daniel Mannix frocked up to the shores of Oz from Ireland to act as Coadjutor the then-Melbourne Archbishop Carr; Dr. Mannix became Archbishop in 1917 ("...Happy and glorious ,
Long to reign over us ...".

On this day in 1896 the sheilas of South Oz got to flex their electionary muscles when they cast their votes for the very first time.

Today in 1827 Governor Darling  posted off a few notes on a forest of paper to Under Secretary Hay dealing with several matters in The Fair Isle of Oz, one being the rumoured murder of an Aboriginal in police custody...
"The circumstance of the Native shot at Wallis's Plains... has occasioned infinite trouble , without the possibility of coining satisfactorily at the facts. The case is briefly this. A Native, who was supposed to have been concerned in the murder of a Stockman, was seized and delivered over to the Mounted Police at Wallis's Plains under Lieut. Lowe of the 40th Regt. It was rumoured that the man had been taken out and shot in cold blood. Orders were immediately sent to the Magistrates to investigate the matter. The report of their proceedings was unsatisfactory; and they were reprimanded by my directions for not having taken the necessary steps to ascertain the facts referred to them. Conceiving it would be unavailing to employ them further in this matter, the Chairman of the Quarter Sessions was directed to proceed to Wallis's Plains and pursue the enquiry. He was wrecked on the Coast, and obliged to return to Sydney. The Acting Attorney General was then sent to Wallis's Plains; but the indisposition of everyone to give information on the subject rendered his journey, after a detention of some time, totally abortive. The matter is still in his hands; and he is endeavouring to find one or two individuals, whose testimony he understands would be important; but I strongly suspect they will be kept out of the way, the inhabitants of every class being at least indifferent to the fate of the Natives, and unwilling that any one, that has been actuated by the same feelings, should be made answerable for his conduct. I have only to add on this subject that Lieut. Lowe is detained in Sydney (his Regiment being at Van Diemen's Land), awaiting the result of the investigation, and that the subject has been repeatedly brought before the Executive 'Council, the Chief Justice being present, who in fact recommended the course which has been pursued. "

Best you weren't onboard the SS Yongala with the 122 passengers as it was lost under the ravages of a cyclone on this day in 1911 off the coast of Townsville.

Today in 1896, a mere three years after being declared a town, the first train steamed into the newly completed Coolgardie Railway Station.

The Red Flag Riots of 1919 kicked off today in Bris-Vegas with ex-pat Russians demanding the repeal of the War Precautions Act that saw them stuck in Oz without being natualised or getting gainful employment, nor were they allowed to return to their homeland.