Wednesday, April 4, 2018

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 Island

1874 - 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 left hand is doing....H.M. Chester, who was the police magistrate on Thursday Island, acted on instructions from Qld Premier Sir Thomas McIlwraith and annexed south-eastern New Guinea for the Crown...only to have Britain repudiate it on 2nd June.

1885 - A Mossman River selector named Sydney Barnard was found dead with multiple spear wounds to his body. The Native Police were again sent out to ‘avenge the murder’.

1887 - Beginning the trend of overseas junkets, Aussie pollies headed over to The Old Dart for the first Colonial Conference, which was held till May 9th.

1918 - First action at Villers-Bretonneux.

1921 - John Lysaught was a clever little dicky bird when he began churning out galvanised sheet steel at Newcastle.

1923 - The Country Women's Association held its first annual conference.

1928 - The Darwin Unions saw cheap (read underpaid) Aboriginal labour as a threat to white workers and so the Sydney Morning Herald today reported how there had been a call to boycott all businesses that employed Aboriginal people including Chinese cafes, pastoralists and mining companies.

1929 - A dam on the Cascade River collapsed, the subsequent torrent killed 14.

1948 - The first meeting organised in Australia for spearfishermen was held near Long Reef Golf Club on a Sunday on this date.

1965 - Don't know what they were doing in South Cottesloe back in 1965 - well, I'm sure I can imagine - but they were reporting orange UFO lights.
Yep, those bikkies are awfully rich....

1966 - The dreaded National Service call up was altered just-ever-so-slightly when the Govt decided to magnanimously include immigrants in the call to armed action on this day ...although they kinda sorta didn't mention it until August 10.

1966 - Not to be outdone by those in Westralia, Ronald Sullivan discovered a UFO landing site near Bealiba, Victoria when his car headlight beams were bent.
Nope, not touching it with a barge pole...

1970 - Albert Abbott won the election to become Mackay's longest serving Mayor losing his position in 1988.

1972 - ABC-TV's Gerald Stone hosted a live, three-hour forum, "The Great Debate on Education", with participants from all state capitals.

 1973 - Prominent art collector, Jim Davidson, gave an interview in which he claimed, “Aboriginal art is doomed and so are the Aboriginal people”.

1975 - Those in Wickham in Westralia were reporting silver baseball shaped UFOs.
Those bikkies sure get around...

1978 - Cyclone Alby killed five people in Western Australia.

1979 - Then Aussie PM Malcolm Fraser announced waaaay back in the dim but-not-so-distant past of 1979 that whaling would end in Aussie waters.

1983 -  Save The Franklin fight was at fever pitch; the Tassie Govt had poo-poohed the Commonwealth Govts attempt to make it cease and desist construction of the damn dam so the Feds took the Taswegian Govt to the High court on this day.

1984 -  New Zealand reported on its first AIDS death.

2005 - The leaders of Australia and Indonesia signed a partnership agreement that they said would lead to new security pact between their countries.

April 4-7, 2006 - Cyclone Hubert didn’t bring much rain to the WA coast, with the largest disruptions made to industry production and shipping.

2007 - The Close The Gap campaign, comprised 40 of Australia’s leading Indigenous and non-Indigenous health organisations, was launched. The campaign aimed for the Federal, State, and Territory Governments to commit to closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

2008 - Wreck hunters released the first photo of the gun turret of the long sought WW2 ship HMAS Sydney.

2011 - The Australian Institute of Criminology's "Fraud against the Commonwealth" report showed Australia is losing almost Aus$600 million a year to social security fraud and crooked public servants as the government announced new measures to tackle the menace.

2014 - Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council declined Wurundjeri Tribe Land and Compensation Cultural Heritage Council Inc's RAP application area and declined part of Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation's RAP application area.

2014 - The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council received an application for RAP status from Bunurong Land and Sea Association Inc

2015 - A lunar eclipse was visible across Australia.

2016 - A New Zealand man detained in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre died. The Department of Immigration issued a statement, saying the man is suspected to have suffered a heart attack. The matter is subject to coronial inquiry.

2016 - Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, confirmed that of the 30,037 asylum seekers who are awaiting assessment of their protection claims in Australia after arriving by boat, 28,290 people are yet to have their cases assessed, while about 1,700 have been forced to leave or have left voluntarily.

2016 - Lemons in the Chicken Wire, a collection of poems which tells the stories of queer and trans Aboriginal people in rural NSW, was launched.

2016 - Story Trail linking Eden's Cocora Beach to Quarantine Bay officially opened with over 200 people present including state and federal politicians, ELALC and BVSC representatives, and the public.
The 1.5km trail is part of the Bundian Way, an ancient Aboriginal ancestral pathway linking Eden’s Twofold Bay to the Snowy Mountains, once used by Aboriginal people as a trading route between whale ceremonies on the coast and moth ceremonies in the alpine heights.

2017 - 37 new recruits started at Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council to assist with spending $2.81Million on Infrastructure projects in Yarrabah for Works 4 Queensland Program.

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