Saturday, January 13, 2018

January 13 On This Day in Australian History

We have been favoured with the following extract of a letter from Newcastle.... ‘Six men have recently taken to the bush; indeed every settler is complaining of men absenting themselves without effect. Here on Sunday evening five prisoners and one soldier (the latter being on duty at the wharf) took the Commandant’s gig and proceeded to sea with the intention of taking the Government cutter Mars but were prevented (the night coming on with hazy weather) and made prisoner at Reid’s Mistake.

1827 - ChristChurch at Newcastle was in a bit of a state....the church was falling to bits, the churchyard, for want of a fence had been made a thoroughfare and pigs were permitted to root amongst the graves.
The repairs were commenced at long last on this day.

1834 - Ten convicts being transferred from Macquarie Harbour Penal Station on Sarah Island, Tas, seized the brig Frederick and sailed to Chile in it where they lived freely for two years. Four of the convicts were later recaptured and returned to Australia, where they escaped the death sentence for piracy through a legal technicality; as it was never officially launched it wasn't an official ship, and as it was taken from a harbour and not at sea it didn't meet the requirements for piracy.

1834 - Bryant Kyne was Hanged at Sydney for the murder of James Gavarin (Gevan, Gavan, Gavanagh, Govarin) at the Balmain residence of the solicitor-general, John Plunkett.

1851 - Charles FitzRoy got the short straw and became 'Governor-General of all Her Maj's Aussie Possessions'...the title now known as Guv-General.

1853 -  Today the South Australian Register published an article titled Journal of A Trip To Kangaroo Island, in which the author mentions Van Dieman Aboriginals living on Kangaroo Island.

1854 - Fire and timber buildings really didn't bode well for prime real estate when sparky flames burnt down 3 stores and 5 houses in Elizabeth Street in Melbourne.

1859 - The Railway line from Geelong to Williamstown (Vic) was extended to Melbourne at Spencer Street Railway Station.

1864 - G.E. Dalrymple had an empty dance card so he led an expedition by sea from Bowen to establish the port of Caldwell, Qld.

1874 - Robert Goswell was Hanged at Perth Gaol for the murder of Mary Anne Lloyd at Stapelford, Beverley.

1878 - One of Australia's first telephones was tested between La Perouse and Sydney, NSW. Similar experiments were conducted in Melbourne around that time by the proprietors of McLean Brothers and Rigg.

1879 - The ill-fated Glenelg-Marino steam-powered railway opened today in Crow-Eater country (South Oz) but it was not to last was plagued with sand drifts , 2 fatal accidents, poor patronage and time was called on it in April 1880.

1880 - The Toolamba to Tatura Railway line (Vic) opened.

1880 - Brisvegas readers were treated to the first Brisbane issue of Daily Observer newspaper.

1880 - The railway line from Mangalore to Shepparton (Vic) was  opened.

1892 - The Leongatha to Port Albert Railway line (Vic) opened.

1896 - Charles Henry Strange was Hanged at Melbourne Gaol for the murder of Fred Dowse at Lakes Entrance.

1896 - During the horrific heatwave various places reported on this day - 
Quirindi N.S.W.  49°C
Bulli N.S.W.  46°C                  “This has been, the hottest day known“.
Kiama N.S.W.  47°C              " A Scorcher Everywhere. Death and Distress.“
Parramatta N.S.W.  44°C       “Fruit Broiled on the Trees.” “Birds and Animals Drop Dead.”

1900 - During the Boer War in Prieska, South Africa New South Welshmen were attacked at by Boers.

1913 - Which bank? The Commonwealth Bank set up agencies in post offices throughout Australia...the ones they can't shut down in small rural towns.

1919 - Extensive bushfires in the Otway Ranges (Vic) destroyed property and claim three lives.

1919 - The first official meeting of the Executive Committee of the Lord Mayor's Armenian Relief Fund was held on this day; its purpose was to form 'a Committee to raise Funds for the relief of the suffering' Armenian, Hellene and Assyrian genocide survivors. From the outset, the Fund's work was concentrated on the survivors scattered around Syria and Greece.
1939 - Today was dubbed Black Friday  owing to the ferocious bushfires that raged across the state of Victoria ; Melbourne's temp reached 45.6 Celsius, towns were destroyed, others badly damaged, 71 lives were lost and ash fell as far away as New Zealand.
What is largely forgotten is the heatwave, that triggered the many bushfires of Black Friday, claimed 438 lives in Victoria.
The recommendations from the Royal Commission into these fires set down guidelines that are still in force today.

1940 - Today saw the final issue of Sydney Morning Herald evening edition, for country readers.

1957 - A small ceremony was held to officially open the new Australian Antarctic station. Naming the station Davis, Law said that the title honoured Captain John King Davis, a famous Antarctic navigator and captain, living in Melbourne, and a member of the ANARE Planning Committee until his death in 1967.

1962 - The banks in every state, except Victoria, opened for the very final time on a Saturday...until recently when they've found it to be beneficial to the coffers to ply their trade on a Saturday once more.

1964 - Cyclone Audrey brought floodwaters to South-West Queensland and New South Wales.

1969 - Cannons from the HMS Endeavour were fished up from Endeavour Reef, off Cooktown in north Queensland. The cannons were jettisoned from the Endeavour to lighten the ship after she ran aground on the reef on 10 June 1770 when Jimmy Cook should have zigged when he zagged.

1974 - Conductor Sir Bernard Heinze was named Australian Of The Year.

1984 - The Kunama Railway Branch line (NSW) was closed.

1985 - The Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council (NSW) was granted an Aboriginal land claim over Lot 355 aka The Farm on this day.

1990 - The Glenlee Colliery Branch railway line (NSW) was opened.

1992 - Cyclone Betsy passed seaward of Fraser Island and caused beach erosion.

1995 - Max Harris, poet, critic, bookseller and publisher, founder of The Angry Penguins, passed into the great beyond aged 73.

1998 - : On appeal, a Federal court upheld the Australian armed forces’ right to expel soldiers with HIV, saying it is justified because of the inherent risk of bloodshed, and infection, during military duty. The case followed a complaint from a soldier who was expelled a month after he enlisted in November 1993 after a routine test showed he was infected with HIV.

1999 - Land around Old Parliament House was gazetted under the Trespass and Commonwealth Land Ordinance 1932 which allows for the removal of trespassers. The media reports that the Government planned to use the Ordinance to remove the Aboriginal Tent Embassy were denied by the Government. The National Capital Authority stated implementation of the Ordinance was to remove unauthorised motor vehicles from the gazetted area.

2003 - The Bali Memorial Garden was officially opened , within the Victorian Parliamentary Gardens, in memory of those who died in the 2002 Bali bombings.

2004 – The Spirit of Tasmania III made its inaugural trip from Sydney to Devonport. It ceased in 2006.

2004 - Molly Kelly or Molly Craig, whose childhood events inspired the movie Rabbit-Proof Fence, passed away on this day. Following the policy of attempting to assimilate mixed-race Aboriginals into white society by removing mixed-race children from Aboriginal families Kelly was taken, with her sister and cousin, in 1931. Knowing that her home was along the fence built to barricade rabbits from farmland that ran the length of Australia, she took the two younger girls and fled the settlement, arriving home nine weeks later.

2007 -  It was reported that thousands of birds had dropped dead over the past 3 weeks in Western Australia.

2008 - Two young adventurers completed a 62-day paddle of more than 2,000 miles to become the first people to travel from Australia to New Zealand by kayak.

2009 - Nancy Bird-Walton (93), Australian aviation pioneer, died from natural causes. She was the first woman in Australia to operate a commercial aircraft. Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, the first man to fly across the mid-Pacific, taught Watson how to fly in 1933, when she was just 17 years old. Two years later, she obtained a commercial pilot's license and began taking paying passengers for joyrides around the country.

2011 - Australia's 3rd-largest city Brisbane resembled a "war zone" with whole suburbs under water and infrastructure smashed as the worst flood in decades hit 30,000 properties. The Brisbane River peaked at 4.5 meters. The flooding in Queensland left 28 people dead.

2012 - WIN Television commenced broadcasting of GEM, GO!, One, and Eleven in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA).

2014 - Australian officials said one man died a day earlier and four other people were missing after a fast-moving wildfire destroyed at least 49 homes in Perth. Firefighters continued to fight the blaze.

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