Monday, December 25, 2017

December 25 On This Day in Australian History


1643 - Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary was swanning past a patch of dirt that took his fancy so, being Christmas Day, he named it Christmas Island.

1798 - George Bass climbed Mt Wellington during the Norfolk's stay at the mouth of the River Derwent, Van Diemens Land.
You party animal, George !

1798 -The Nautilus with Charles Bishop returned to Port Jackson  with 9,000 sealskins.

1825 - Knowing how to chuck a party AND a wobbly "they" were rioting in the streets of Newcastle. William Finnigan was part of the riots and escaped after being taken into custody by Guards. When he tried to hide in a nearby house he was stabbed with a bayonet by soldier.

1826 - British occupation of Western Australia began.
Major Edmund Lockyer and a party of soldiers and convicts in the brig Amity arrive at King George Sound to take possession of the western part of the continent and establish a settlement called Frederickstown on the site of present-day Albany.
The party found 4 Aboriginal men marooned on Michaelmas Island by sealers, one of the men badly injured. Lockyer returned the men to the mainland.

1829 - The first service was held in Perth's first church. The church, built partly of wood, with rushes filling up the sides, in the space of three weeks, was appropriately known as the 'rush church'. It was built on the corner of Hay & Irwin Streets. It lasted for seven years. Eighty people were present for the first service on Christmas Day, 11 of whom communicated, and the offertory amounted to two guineas.

1830 - (Christmas Day in Port Stephens)  A general holiday and Divine service in the forenoon. Extra mutton was service to officers and indented servants and a few extra allowances to the prisoners including half a pint of rum each.

1831 - (Port Stephens) Sunday - Holiday throughout the estate and the usual extra allowances given. Annual public examination at the Carrington School. Cricket game between officers of the Company and indented servants. Band of music by the prisoners.

1840 - Bushrangers Thomas Farrow and William Rowley were captured by Percy Simpson and the mounted police at Dungog - Muswellbrook.

1856 - John Devonald was the first victim to the railway in the northern district of Newcastle. He was driving in from Waratah one day and had just reached the spot where the high level crossing now stands when the train came along. A woman and child in a buggy were trying to cross the line, and were in danger because the horse became frightened. Devonald went to their assistance, but saved them at the cost of his own life. 

1859 - Thomas Austin was a very naughty boy but Santa didn't know that at the time (coz Santa was too full of eggnog) so when the ship Lightning docked in Port Melbourne with his live cargo Tommy wasn't struck down by lightning but successfully transported his imported animals back to his home, Barwon Park in Winchelsea, but some of the buggers escaped and caused the mother of all ecological headaches.
Yes, boys and girls, Tommy wasn't playing with a full deck but with rabbits.

1868 - The police found bushranger Captain Starlight aka Pearson hiding in a cave. He was desperate with hunger and thirst, he was almost naked and he was riddled with bull ant bites. On his capture, Pearson claimed to be 'Rutherford, Thunderbolt's mate' but soon changed his story. He gave his name as Frank Pearson and claimed to be a doctor. Cleary took him back to the Bourke police station. The district doctor there recognised him as 'Arnold', a former inmate of Cockatoo Island prison.

1871 - Hugh Mosman discovered gold at Charters Towers in Queensland. A very Merry Christmas was had by Hugh I suspect !

1873 - Explorer Ernest Giles reported that, after his party had drunk heavily from Aboriginal rock wells on this day, he noted a group of Aboriginal people who shouted abuse at them.

1882 - A tsunami of unknown origin was felt at Tassie with four successive waves with the third being three or four feet high reported at Stanley.

1885 - Prospector Charlie Hall found a huge 28-ounce (nearly 1 kilogram) gold nugget at a site that would eventually be named after him ; Halls Creek.

1892 - At Warangesda Mission (NSW) the temperature was 108°F (42 Celsius)  but the heat was suddenly ended in the evening by a southerly buster so severe that it forced the evening church service to be abandoned.

1896 -  The Summer heat was fatal for a small child at the Warangesda Mission and that evening there was a terrible dust storm “and as the lamp in the church would not burn there was no service.”

1930 - Sidney Myer (who founded that department store Myers) was a damn decent bloke who gave 12,000 poor,destitute people a proper Chrissy dinner at the Exhibition Building.

1952 - Just to remind us what the Isle of Oz climate is really all about....drought was grinding Qld, Westralia and NT under its boot heel.

1957 - The first Aussie Christmas stamps were issued...and who remembers the ones with Santa on his surf board in those board shorts ?!

1975 – Fifteen people were killed in an arson attack at the Savoy Hotel in Kings Cross, New South Wales.The tragedy led to a major overhaul of fire regulations in NSW.

2005 - Melbourne had the coldest Chrissy day on record with a massive peak of 14.5 degrees Celcius (58 F) which I can attest to as The Spouse and I shivered all the way home after our night shift on radio, expecting to see the ice land bridge forming at Flinders Street station and polars bears frolicking about the HQ coffee bar....

2011 - The Sydney Morning Herald reported that travellers are being warned to avoid getting tattoos in Bali, after a West Australian resident was apparently infected with HIV. “All the evidence points to a tattoo received recently in Bali as being the source of an HIV infection”, the West Australian Department of Health says on its website.

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