Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January 16 On This Day in Australian History

1793 - Today saw the first free settlers from Europe - as opposed to those first free settlers that arrived in Oz about 60,000 odd years ago - wash up at Port Jackson on the ship Bellona, along with a whole 17 convict women.
And lo; the male convicts did behold them in a radiant light *ahem*..

1796 - The first Aussie theatre was opened and entertained the masses in Bligh Street, Sydney with 2 plays - "The Hotel" and "The Revenge". Somehow I feel the playwrights drew on their surrounds for inspiration...

1805 - Governor King recommended settling the "country about Shoalhaven".

1816 - George Johnston was promised 1500 acres at Illawarra; Andrew Allan promised 700 acres; James Neale granted 60 acres at Illawarra.

1857 - Charles Gavan Duffy was appointed by a Victorian Government select committee to inquire into the federation of the Australian colonies.

1865 - The Geelong Advertiser noted that the fishermen of Port Phillip Bay were made up of "Italians, Dutchmen, French, Chinese, Maori and others" ...the 'others' were not alien life forms but Americans, British, Greek, Swedes, German and Aboriginal fishermen.

1888 - The Main North Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Wondabyne - Gosford and from Tenterfield - Wallangarra.

1889 - Cloncurry in Banana Bender country - that's Queensland to you OS folks - baked a little in the 53.1 degrees C temp of the day.

1890 - The Sydney suburban railway line between St Leonards and Hornsby opened.

1896 - A record heat wave in Broken Hill caused 10 deaths.

1897 - NSW took over the government of Norfolk Island.

1900 - A patrol of combined NSW Lancers and the Australian Horse were ambushed at Slingersfontein, Cape Colony,  during the Boer War.

1909 - In a bid to get away from the searing heat Mawson, Mackay and David did a May Pole dance around the Magnetic South Pole.

1921 - Patrick Short becomes the fifth Police Commissioner to the QLD Police.

1939 - Saw the passing of Miriam Bebe at Farina; born in France as Desiree Ernestine Adrienne Lesire alias Violet Debreuil she came to Oz as a governess and a brothel worker before marrying the famous Afghan cameleer Gool Mahomet in 1907 and then travelling extensively with him and their 6 children between Broken Hill, Western Australia and the outback of South Oz.

1939 - Australia's worst bushfires on record claimed 70 lives in Victoria.

1939 - A heatwave in Adelaide buckled railway tracks and melted wax heads on shop dummies.

1940 - Australia took delivery of fifty Lockheed Hudson Reconnaissance Bombers.

1953 - Australia entered the atomic age with the advertisement for staff to man its planned nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, near Sydney.

1957 - Pastor Doug Nicholls published an article in The Argus newspaper titled "Natives in Victoria Are Suffering, too" in relation to then-recent news items regarding the poor living conditions of Western Australian Aboriginal peoples that had so shocked readers.

 1961 - The RAAF Provost Unit was reorganised and created on this day with Sections in each State except Tasmania, and North and South Sections in Queensland, all reporting to Headquarters in Melbourne. Commanding Officers of the Provost Detachment Units were known as Assistant Provost Marshals.

1962 - Frank Hurley, appointed as the first official AIF photographer in 1917, died.

1965 -  The car ferry Empress Of Australia began operating between Sydney and Hobart.

1967 - Go-Set carried news that Melbourne pop group MPD Ltd had split up; Max Merritt & The Meteors were reported to have been recruiting a new horn player, and The Purple Hearts denied that they were breaking up.

1973 - Rather eccentric journalist, Francis James, was let loose from a Chinese prison three years after being arrested in China. He had been arrested in late 1969 after writing articles claiming that he had visited China's nuclear test site. 

1975 - Cyclone Gloria stayed offshore but caused flooding from Lucinda to Mackay.

1982 - Sydney's First Opera in the Park was held in Sydney's Domain as part of the Festival of Sydney. Joan Sutherland was featured.

1992 - Some unexpected guests dropped by for a cuppa tea at Doongan cattle station in Westralia when 34 male and female teachers and students from Beijing turned up after spending the better part of 10 days strolling from their wrecked boat at Swift Bay.

1993 - Australian troops joined a United Nations peace keeping force in Somalia.

2007 - Large areas of Victoria learned to love Scrabble by torch light when bushfires knocked out transmission lines causing blackouts.

2007 - The NSW Government announced that the number of HIV infections in the state seems to have stabilised, even as cases continued to climb nationally.

2009 - Australia granted asylum to 28 people from Afghanistan and Iran, in the first such move since relaxing tough rules on asylum seekers.

2012 -  The report on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians, Recognising
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution was presented to the PM. 

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