Friday, July 31, 2015

July 31 On This Day in OZ History IndigenousHistory , LGBT History

1790 - Newton Fowell, a midshipman on HMS Sirius, wrote to his father from Batavia (now Jakarta):

"    … the Small Pox raged among them { the Eora} with great Fury and carried off a Great Number of them. Every boat that went down the Harbour found them laying Dead on the Beaches and in the Caverns of Rock forsaken by the rest as soon as the Disease is discovered on them."
Two young children, Nanbarry, a Cadigal, and Boorong (at first called Abaroo), from the Burramattagal, were brought into the settlement suffering from smallpox and recovered after treatment. There was no satisfactory explanation of how the smallpox was introduced.

1858 – The first game of Australian rules football was played between Melbourne Grammar School and Scotch College.

1865 - The first railway in Queensland was completed. It ran between Ipswich and Toowoomba.

1894 - The railway line from East Natimuk to Goroke opened.

1900 - Western Australia voted to join the Commonwealth of Australia.

1902 – Ninety-six men and boys were killed in a coal mine at Mount Kembla in New South Wales.
The disaster was the worst peace-time disaster in Australia's history until the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria.

 1914 -  In an election speech at Colac in Victoria, the Opposition Leader Andrew Fisher (ALP) famously declared that ‘should the worst happen, after everything has been done that honour will permit, Australians will stand beside the mother country to help and defend her to our last man and our last shilling’.

1920 - Electric train services commenced from Princes Bridge to North Carlton,  from Clifton Hill to Reservoir, and  from Clifton Hill to Heidelberg.

1940 -  RAAF officers visited Milingimbi to inspect the new airfield, constructed by the mission’s Aboriginal residents Improvements were needed and the mission was again contracted to do this additional work. The Aboriginal workers widened the two airstrips and felled more trees, earning more money for the mission.

1942 - The town of Mossman in far north Queensland was bombed by the Japanese.

1943 -  A decision was made by the Royal Australian Air Force to store 40% of the chemical weapons stocks in a North Eastern Area site (a site in Queensland). Talmoi was subsequently used.

1951 -  Evonne Fay Goolagong Cawley, AO, MBE was born in Griffith, New South Wales; she is a former World No. 1 Australian female tennis player and is a member of the Wiradjuri people.

1956 -  Ernie Dingo was born on  Bullardoo Sheep Station in Western Australia. A Yamitji man, Ernie got his surname from his grandfather who was a dingo trapper.

1956 -The  Branxholme to Casterton passenger service ended.

1965 - The Governor of Victoria, Sir Rohan Delacombe, with Lady Delacombe, opened the Puffing Billy line section from Belgrave and Menzies Creek to Emerald in the Dandenongs.

1970 -  Sydney's historic Her Majesty's Theatre was destroyed by fire.

1972 - The Box Flat mine near Ipswich in Queensland was sealed off to contain a fire, still burning after seventeen miners were killed by a massive underground explosion. The force of the blast was so great that parts of some bodies are found almost 400 metres from where victims were working near the pit entrance.

1975 - Bob Hawke gave an early hint of his political aspirations, when he pledged to give up drinking if he were to become Prime Minister.

1981 -  The Royal Park to Fitzroy railway line closed.

1984 - When Ocean Boulevard was widened the War memorial which had stood near the cement works had to be moved.  Hon. Mr Abbott MP, on 31 July 1984 he also unveiled a plaque, placed near the memorial to commemorate the old Portland cement works. The plaque reads:
"Near this place a syndicate led by William Lewis established a cement works in 1882 which produced the first Portland cement made in Australia. The SA Portland cement company Ltd grew out of this enterprise which eventually became merged in the Adelaide Brighton Cement Company Ltd."

2002 - Judith Fletcher was appointed acting chief executive officer of the Sydney 2002 Gay Games, in the wake of Geoffrey Williams’ resignation.