Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 17 Today in Aussie History

Mike Walsh did the unthinkable today in 1967 - he opened the telephone lines at 2SM to on-air radio allowing listeners to vent their spleens legally for the first talkback radio in Oz.
Annnnd.....we've all pretty much gone downhill since then.

Today in 1944 saw the RAAF's first Chinese-Australian airman, Warrant Officer Wong See, appointed to Pilot Officer.

 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."

Twas Hump Day (Wednesday) in 1861 when poor Charley Gray earned himself a most ignoble distinction - that of being the first bloke to pop his clogs on the Burke and Wills Expedition following both a dreadful bout of dysentery and a beating from Burke when he found Charley stealing food.

Things were more than a bit crook with the Colony in 1790 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.

21 years ago (1993) Nicky Winmar did The Most Awesome thing when he responded to racial abuse being hurled at himself and other Aboriginal football players - he lifted up his footy guernsey, pointed to his skin and proclaimed,
"I'm Black! And proud to be Black!"
The fact he played for St Kilda and not South Melbourne is almost forgivable.