Thursday, April 20, 2017

April 20

1793 - At a loss at how to dress that pesky flax?
Fear not!
For the vessel Daedalus has parked itself out front with Lieut. Hanson and the Maori flax dressers on board.

1817  - In an effort to avoid the usual house painting and wallpapering John Oxley went for a jaunt to the west, beyond Bathurst, to trace the Lachlan River.

1822 - George Lang got a little something something in the mail today!
And it wasn't even his birthday!
To George Lang.......
20 April 1822
I am directed by His Excellency Sir Thomas Brisbane to inform you in reply to your letter of the 5th March 1822, that he will make you a grant of one thousand acres of land and will assign you the services of four convict servants who with yourself will be victualled from the King's Stores for six months from the date of your taking possession of your said land
I am , Sir, Your Obedient Servant
F. Goulburn, Colonial Secretary

1830 - George Wyndham kept a diary 1830-1840 whilst in the Hunter Valley, and he recorded place names, exciting events, people.
Todays entry was not one of the exciting variety.
"Gathering cornstalks into heaps"
I did warn you.

1836 - John Batman and his missus and billy lids rocked up in Port Phillip to carve a comfy spot on Batman Hill for themselves (which is now the simply splendid Southern Cross Spencer Street Station yards).

1839 - George Grey's expedition was saved by friendly Aborigines. 
After discovering the Gascoyne River, the longest in Western Australia, Grey's party continued southwards in two whaleboats. The boats were wrecked near today's Geraldton, so they continued the journey on foot. Leaving weaker members of the party behind to be rescued later, Grey took five of his men and set off for Perth. They finished all their provisions in four days, and for the next three days, travelled without food or water. They were sustained briefly by a pool of liquid mud until on this day friendly Aborigines found the party and gave them enough food to regain their strength to continue the journey. 

1864 - Derrimut , a headman or arweet of the Boonwurrung (Bunurong) people from the Melbourne area, passed away on this day at the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum at the age of about 54 years.
He warned the early European settlers in October 1835 of an impending attack by "up-country tribes". The colonists armed themselves, and the attack was averted.
He fought in the late 1850s and early 1860s to protect Boonwurrung rights to live on their land at Mordialloc Reserve. When the reserve was closed in July 1863, his people were forced to unite with the remnants of Woiwurrung and other Victorian Aboriginal communities to settle Coranderrk Mission station, near Healesville.
The Melbourne suburb of Derrimut is named after him.

1875 - Southport, QLD was flogging of its blocks of land for huge, whopping amounts like 5 or 10 pounds.

1880 - The Great Northern tin lode on the Wild River, north Queensland, was tripped over by William Jack and John Newell.

1883 - Upon the Kulwin Railway Line the Koorong Vale to Charlton (Victoria, not the one in UK) section was flung open for the many passengers who enjoyed parking their posteriors on the seats until 1977.

1892 - The Yass Branch Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Yass Junction to Yass Town.

1894 - A meeting of women in Melbourne founded the Women's Suffrage Society.
Next they'll want to stand for parliament...!

1895 - Transcribed From The Richmond Guardian -
Things were finally getting interesting in Council chats when Mr Bennett had a jolly old whinge that when his cattle were caught out alone on the Richamond streets (after dark in fishnets and cheap perfume?) the Council impounded them and charged him the sum of 5 shillings per head to liberate them back into his clutches, no matter how short a moment the bovines had enjoyed the pleasure of the Pound.
One wonders if it ever occured to Mr Bennett he would have been better off investing those many 5 shillings into proper fencing?

1896 - The Carlingford Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Camellia to Carlingford.

1906 - The London Zoo mourned the passing of it's 26 year old wombat.
....and then Camilla roused herself yet again.....

1908 - The rail disaster at Sunshine, Victoria, involved holiday makers returning home from the Easter Long Weekend picnic; 44 lives were lost in a horrific collision between a Ballarat and Bendigo trains at Sunshine station, and over 500 injured.

1915 - The first Aussie Flying Corps, full of young lads, left for Mesopotamia.
This was the first use of Australian aircraft and aircrew in war.
But not the first , nor the last, use of young lives as bloody cannon fodder with which old men play war games.

1916 - The transfer of Australian forces to the Western Front area was not officially announced at first but rumours abounded. A contemporary newspaper account of April 20 noted “late rumours have been circulated to the effect that Australian soldiers are fighting on the Western Front. From letters received locally we learn that some at least of our troops are in France, and are likely to be soon in action. Our troops will soon have the opportunity they have been hungering for, of crossing swords with the detested Hun”.

1920 - Australia, being the party animal that she is, couldn't pass up the offer for another party and took part in the opening ceremony of the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games. Among the Australian competitors were Frank Beaurepaire and Fanny Durack.

1921 - An immense crowd gathered at the shipyards of Poole and Steel at Osborne on the Port River to witness the launching of the Eurimbla by Lady Weigall, wife of the Governor, on this day. The cargo carrier with a capacity of 6000 tons dead weight, was 341 feet long, and was the first large vessel to be built in South Australia. She was commissioned by the Commonwealth Government and was named Eurimbla after a town in New South Wales.
Such was the interest in the launching that special trains ran to Port Adelaide and local schoolchildren were given a half holiday to celebrate the event.

1934 - The first passengers to travel by air from Australia to England departed from Sydney.

1937 - Regular air mail services were established with the United States of America.

1939 - Sir Earle Page was Prime Minister for three weeks in April 1939, following the death of Joseph Lyons and pending the United Australia Party’s election of Robert Menzies as its new leader. On April 19, the House of Representatives met to express condolences for Lyons. On April 20, the House met again. At the end of proceedings, Page rose to move the adjournment motion. He then made a speech excoriating Menzies, who had just been elected leader of the United Australia Party. Page questioned his judgment and loyalty and his lack of war service.
Ahh, Pig Iron Bob.

1941 - ANZAC Corps withdrew to Thermopylae Line, Greece.

1947 - The Egyptian-registered SS Misr docked in Melbourne with its multicultural human cargo: 624 men, women and children from 26 different countries, plucked from ports in the Mediterranean, Middle East and East Africa.

1949 - The Superintendent of the Gorge Mission, at Mossman Gorge (QLD) started ‘a daily school’.

1954 - Mrs Petrov saw the light and hopped back off the plane to seek political asylum with her hubby in Darwin.

1961 - Native Welfare Conference developed a statement on the policy of Assimilation which the Hon Paul Hasluck MP presented to the House of Representatives on this day: “all aborigines and part-aborigines are expected eventually to attain the same manner of living as other Australians and to live as members of a single Australian community enjoying the same rights and privileges, accepting the same responsibilities, observing the same customs and influenced by the same beliefs, hopes and loyalties as other Australians.”

1965 - Budget Rent A Car was born, on the corner of La Trobe and Elizabeth Sts, Melbourne, the going rate was 6 shillings per mile.

1965 - Aussie winemaker Tom Angove created the first cask wine with a patent issued to the company on this day.

1966 - Bob Dylan & The Band performed at the Melbourne Festival Hall.

1971 - The inaugural meeting of the New South Wales Master track & field athletics club was held on this day.

1977 - The beaches of NSW & QLD were lathered, rinsed and repeated a few times today following a tsunami that originated in the Solomon Islands.

1982 -  Duran Duran played Festival Hall, Brisbane, during their RIO Tour.

1985 - Brisbane's Performing Arts Centre opened.

1986 Believing in public transport, The Queenslander train began zipping along between Brisbane and Cairns.

1998 - Federal Court Justice Merkel handed down a 120-page decision in Shaw and Another v Wolf and Others. A key element in that judgment establishing the status of Aboriginality was the declaration that to be Aboriginal one must, among other things, be descended from the inhabitants of Australia at the time immediately before European settlement.

2003 - An Australian navy vessel boarded a North Korean ship off Sydney and charged it with involvement in a $48 million heroin shipment to Victoria.

2008 - At 3pm there was a memorial service at Sunshine Railway Station to mark the 100th anniversary of the horrific crash between the two holiday trains and the unveiling of a plaque to remember those lives lost.

2009 - Prime Minister Rudd uttered the words recession and inevitable in the same breath during a speech in Adelaide, South Australia.

2010 - Australia’s PM Kevin Rudd said he had reached agreement with all but one of Australia's states on major health reforms which he hopes will spearhead his 2010 re-election campaign.

2011 - ALGA (Australian Lesbian Gay Archives) launched the much anticipated book Secret Histories of Queer Melbourne. The book is based on the popular Melbourne walks held during the annual Midsumma Festival. The Slap author Christos Tsiolkas launched the book at Melbourne University.

2013 - Black Sabbath began their first tour of Australia/New Zealand in 40 years.

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