Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 23

1788 - The Guv, Arthur Phillip, eyeballed the site of what was to become Parramatta.

1809 - Isaac Nichols, assistant to the Naval Officer, had all of his philately desires fulfilled when he was appointed Sydney's first postmaster.
The post office was located in Nichols' house.

1813 - Whilst playing a game of Rum Rebellion a group of convicts came up with the mad idea of stealing the schooner Unity from the Derwent River and disappearing off the page of history.
So...they did.

1844 - The Queen's Theatre opened in Melbourne.
And a great many Queens were thankful.

1856 - The Victorian Govt, scared their Parliament House wouldn't be finished on time, ticked off the contractors and told them to accept the 8 hour day demands and "just get those stone masons back to masoning stones or whatever they do to lumps of rock so we can pollies can posture and parade for generations to come!"

1861 - In a report on the Maroochy River dated 23 April 1961, Lieutenant G P Heath RN Marine Surveyor wrote “The timber is at present being cut about 18miles up the river (The Rocks) Cedar, Beech, Flooded Gum, Bunya and Mountain Pine are very plentiful, especially the Beech”.

1865 - St Paul's Anglican Church rebuilding in front of the tower opening ; in 1862 it was decided to rebuild the church to accommodate 800 people. The new building had a tower, a vestry and a gallery was built for the choir. Disaster struck on the 1st April 1864 when a great thunderstorm hit Ballarat and the ground under the church began to subside. During the next week the church was dismantled and most of the material was saved for rebuilding the church. This was accomplished in 12 months. The tower and the elaborate east window were saved.
The land in front of the church was acquired and a new church still slightly bigger but essentially the same design was built in front of the tower.

1873 - William Gosse shot through from Alice Springs on an expedition, during which he tripped over a great monolith he branded as Ayers Rock now correctly known as Uluru.

1873 - The Tichborne Claimant ... In the Queen's Bench the case of the Queen v. Thomas Castro, otherwise Arthur Orton, otherwise Sir Roger Charles Doughty Tichborne, Bart, was begun on this day and did not finish until February the following year.

1874 - Alf Gibson, companion to explorer Ernest Giles, didn't take his companion duties very seriously when he buggered off into the desert, resulting in the naming of the Gibson Desert "after this first white victim to its horrors".

1874 - The Bega Gazette reported on the death of William Poohan, 'The Pioneer Mailman', 'the first to carry the mails overland from Monaro to Twofold Bay, procuring the service of the blacks to mark the trees along his route for his guidance'.

1887 - There was (so rumour has it) a railway track opened on this day attached to these beautiful train station buildings some architect flung into the wilds of Victoria, one for Camperdown and a matching one for Terang.

1900 - As if the First Boer War wasn't enough, the first contingents of the Imperial Bushmen left for the Second Boer War.

1902 - The Advertiser (South Oz) ran an article suggesting a change to decimal currency. It was reported that a Select Committee appointed by the federal House of Representatives was to enquire into, and report on, the subject. It was argued that the British currency was not easily or quickly calculated and it was surmised that great losses were incurred every year by business due to incorrect calculations.

1906 - A motor omnibus service was started today from the Enmore terminus to Wardell Rd. Lewisham (NSW). Unlike the trams which had regular stops they stopped anywhere as required by passengers. The double-deck ‘buses were built by a Newtown firm, Angus and Son. The service was discontinued on 29th May the same year because the condition of the roads meant passengers rarely wanted a second trip.

1918 - Eleven volunteers, who never learnt the lesson of 'never, ever volunteer for anything' , from HMAS Australia took part in a raid that was aimed at closing the Belgium Port of Bruges as a base for German subs.

1931 - Same old bucket of poo, different level....the Govt Bank of NSW ceased operating for one simple fact - it had bugger all dosh left in its coffers after many heavy withdrawals from everyone. It was absorbed into the Commonwealth Savings Bank in December that same year.

1951 - The most well-known Australian action of the Korean War, Kapyong involved the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR). The fighting at Kapyong blunted the Chinese advance on Seoul during the 1951 Spring Offensive and prevented a Communist breakthrough on the United Nations central front. 3RAR was awarded a United States Presidential citation for their part in the battle.

1959 - The Reserve Bank was formed (with a light gluten-free dough and fragrant rose water) to take over the central banking function of the Commonwealth Bank.

1960 - A ceremonial parade was held through Adelaide to mark the occasion of the Grant of Freedom of the City for Entry of the Regiment.
The Regiment is the 10th Infantry Battalion (The Adelaide Rifles) which became a unit in 1860 on the amalgamation of several independent metropolitan rifle companies formed in 1844. The original headquarters were in the vicinity of the old police barracks (behind the Museum) and its parade ground was where the museum now stands.

1961 - The Unknown Pioneers Memorial was unveiled on the riverside at North Quay in Brisbane by The Lord Mayor (Ald. Groom).
The inscription read;
To the glory of God and as a constant tribute to those UNKNOWN PIONEERS who died at Moreton Bay Settlement during the first perilous years of its founding. They no longer rest here: but near this place was the earliest known burial ground of our people in Queensland.
"That the generation to come may know them, even the children."—Psalm 78, v. 6

1962 - The first Australian National Regatta was held at Lake Wendouree from 21 to 23 April.

1971 - Prime Minister William McMahon promised to ‘end racial discrimination in our midst and … deal with Aboriginal Australians with respect, justice, humanity and compassion’.

1976 - The Melbourne Tramcar Preservation Association was originally formed by a group of individuals in late 1974 as the Haddon Tramway Workshops, a registered business under which it was proposed to preserve historic tramcars.
After careful inspection, W3 663 and W4 670 were chosen for preservation, W4 670 being the first to arrive on site on 23 April 1976.

1986 - The Beaufort Hotel complex opened on the Esplanade in Darwin.

1987 - The Mindil Beach Markets opened in Darwin.

1988 - The Atrium Hotel on the Esplanade (in Darwin) was opened by the Chief Minister Steve Hatton MLA.

1989 - Kylie Minogue graced Brit Tv screens for the first time when they were given The Henderson Kids to fall asleep by.

1995 - Australia's first Pay-TV operator, Galaxy, begins servicing a customer base of 5,000 subscribers.

2001 - Australian newspaper 'The Sydney Morning Herald' erroneously reported that the British Flying Saucer Bureau has closed down due to lack of UFO sightings. Chairman and co-founder of the Bureau, Denis P Plunkett, was shocked to read a report on the Bureau's closure. It seems that an informal comment to a local journalist in his native England had been misconstrued. Plunkett had merely stated that the Bureau was suspending lectures over the summer break, and this had been misinterpreted as the Bureau itself closing.

2005 - Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen dropped off the perch aged 94.

2007 - The development of an MOU with the Dubbo Aboriginal Community was endorsed by Western Plains Regional Council (formerly Dubbo City Council), The MOU seeks to achieve common goals to advance reconciliation and to apply the citizenship rights of the Dubbo Aboriginal Community.

2015 - The Nambour Heritage Tram project was approved by the Sunshine Coast Council. with a later $500,000 grant from the Federal Govt, $1,5 million from Sunshine Coast Council and $120,000 from locally raised events, Nambour will be the only place in the world where a two-foot (600mm) gauge, battery-packed, solar-replenished tram will operate.

2016 - A life-size wooden sculpture of Mrs Frances White was unveiled at 151 Main Road, Chewton. Almost 70 years ago a branch saved her from dying when her backyard collapsed beneath her feet.
The artwork is the second in a series by sculptor Richard Yates, intended to preserve Chewton’s history.
Mrs White sits atop a stone fence, near the mine shaft that almost consumed her in June 1948 as she was hanging out the laundry.


  1. Prime Minister William McMahon promised to ‘end racial discrimination in our midst and … deal with Aboriginal Australians with respect, justice, humanity and compassion’. Sigh. A pledge as relevant today as it was then.