Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17

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 Protector William Thomas about dispossession, saying “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”.

1845 - Sydney’s Customs House opened on 17 April 1845 and was home to the Australian Customs Service for 145 years.

1861 - Charles Gray, of Burke and Wills's expedition, dropped off the perch.

1866 - First Aussie protective tariff bill passed through Victorian Parliament like a hot knife through butter.

1868 - Cooneana” Homestead was built by Samuel Pearson Welsby shortly after he purchased the property on this day for £160 .
The restoration of this historic homestead is an ongoing project of the Ipswich Historical Society.

1871 - The Main North Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Aberdeen to Scone.

1876 -  Six Fenian prisoners were sprung from the Fremantle Prison and on this day Easter Monday and Perth Regatta Day, Breslin and Desmond drove the six prisoners at a furious pace in horse-traps 20 miles south of Fremantle to Rockingham pier where Anthony was waiting for them with one of the Catalpa’s whale boats.

1884 - The inaugural meeting of the new Grand Lodge was held in the Adelaide Town Hall. Bro. S.J. Way, Chief Justice, was then duly obligated, invested and installed as Most Worshipful Grand Master of Free and Accepted Masons of South Australia. He went on to rule the Grand Lodge of South Australia for a total of over thirty years of selfless service, being elected and Installed as Grand Master 26 times.

1891 - John Hancock was elected to the lower house seat of Collingwood, becoming the first Member of Parliament in Victoria to represent the Labor cause. His success as a Labor candidate encouraged the formation of the Progressive Political League.

1903 - The Brisbane Courier announced that tenders were now open at the office of the Railway Commissioner for the erection of railway station buildings at Tallebudgera and Mudgeeraba on the Nerang Railway Line (QLD).

1915 - 5th Reinforcements departed Melbourne onboard the Hororata

1917 - Pack your cow in your back pocket and come along for a chat - it was the first council meeting of the Aussie Farmers Federal Organisation.

1917 - Second battle of Gaza.

1917 - Having nothing better to do the boys' club in parliament decided to hold a Royal Commission on the working, as a business undertaking, of the Victorian Railways.

1929 - Qantas brought two new DH61 aircraft into service to inaugurate the 710km Charleville-Brisbane service, the first direct link to the coast.

1935 - Australian airline Qantas operated its first overseas passenger flight from Brisbane to Singapore was operated in a journey which took four days.

1943 - The company Colonial Sugar Refinery (CSR) was incorporated on this day and continued its operations of Asbestos Mining and Milling at Wittenoom and Colonial Gorges until 30th December 1966.

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

1944 - Tsk tsk tsk. All the Sydney daily newspapers -including the Telegraph which was halted at police gunpoint-, the Melbourne Herald and the Adelaide News were suppressed by the censor for defying censorship regulations. Censorship regs were finally relaxed May 19th after a High Court injunction.

1948 - The first Rugby League match in WA was played on this day at Perth Esplanade between Fremantle Districts and Perth Districts.

1957 - The first Council of The Arab Horse Society of Australia was elected at the meeting on this day during Sydney Royal Show.

1967 - Mike Walsh did the unthinkable today - 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.

1969 - The Zonta Club of Adelaide was chartered on this day.

1970 - The Waubra Junction to Ballarat Racecourse Railway Line (VIC) closed.

1977 - The Bullcreek Leeming Junior Football Club (WA) played their first game today at Gairlock Oval against Applecross.

1983 - Corpus Christi College was officially opened as a co-educational Catholic College for secondary students by the Archbishop of Perth, Sir Lancelot Goody, and the Commonwealth Minister for Finance, Mr John Dawkins.

1984 - STW (Channel 9) became the first station in Perth to broadcast 24 hours a day.

1987 - Rage music program made its debut on ABC TV.

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.

1996 - Twelve bells that hang alongside the large Murphy Bell in the Cathedral Church of St Francis Xavier (Adelaide) were blessed on this day.

2002 - The Westeralia Parliament Amendment (Lesbian and Gay Law Reform) Bill 2001 was granted Royal Assent.
The purpose of this Bill is to amend The Criminal Code and repeal the Law Reform (Decriminalisation of Sodomy) Act 1989, and to amend other related acts, in order to provide for the reform of the law relating to same sex relationships, access to artificial fertilisation procedures and for related purposes.

2003 – The Woomera Immigration Reception and Processing Centre (pictured), near Woomera, South Australia, is closed, with detainees transferred to the Baxter Immigration Reception and Processing Centre, near Port Augusta.

2005 - Ownership of a replica of Captain Cook's famous ship Endeavour was transferred to the Australian Government.

2005 – The Bali Nine, a group of nine people later convicted of attempting to smuggle heroin from Indonesia into Australia, are arrested in Indonesia.

2011 - The Gladstone Airport Terminal Building was extensively refurbished and extended to the east with the addition of 2,200 square metres, at a cost of $10m. The extension provided for a large departures lounge with space for airline club lounges, back of house area for amenities and checked baggage screening and a basement baggage make-up area.

2014 - Aboriginal Peak Organisation (APO) NT submitted their written evidence to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs on the Inquiry into the harmful use of alcohol in Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities. The APO NT submission made 16 recommendations to the committee.

2015 - The South Australian and Northern Territory Governments entered into an agreement that will establish a partnership to work on issues affecting both jurisdictions. 

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