Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January 17 On This Day in Australian History

1810 - William Bligh arrived at Port Jackson from Hobart in HMS Porpoise.

1839 - NSW minimum price of Crown Land increased from 5 shillings to 12 shillings minimum an acre.

1843 - John Clements Wickham arrived in Brisbane as police magistrate. He was appointed Government Resident on 1st January 1853.

1852 - Sturt Light (Cape Willoughby Lighthouse), SA, first exhibited.

1852 - William Swan Urquhart completed his survey of the town of Ballarat, Victoria.

1859 - The railway line from Footscray to Williamstown Pier (Vic) opened.

1889 - A heatwave hit western New South Wales and pre-empted destructive bushfires.

1895 - Moolooloorun (Aboriginal male, no given surname) was Hanged on gallows constructed at Crescent Lagoon, NT in the presence of other members of his aboriginal community for the murder of an unnamed Chinese man near the Roper River.

1899 - A six foot tidal wave was noted at Charles Point, NT, origins unknown.

1900 - Lolli Kayser Singh was Hanged at Adelaide Gaol for the murder of Sunda Singh at Denial Bay.

1902 - The Richmond Vale Railway Line (NSW) was opened.

1902 - The Stanford Merthyr Branch Railway line (NSW) was opened.

1911 - On this day Melbourne became the first district branch of the Australian Journalists Association ( AJA) to be approved.

1916 - The Linton to Skipton Railway line (Vic) opened.

1922 - Splashing a bit of paint around was profitable for William Beckwith McInnes who took home the very first Archibald Prize for portraiture.

1929 - 800 striking waterside workers rioted, attacking the non-union labour that was brought in to break the strike, with at least one (later) fatality arising from the conflict that of Mounted Constable Evans.

1930 - Australia signed an agreement with Germany regarding the liquidation of German property in Australia.

1941 - The religious group, Jehovah's Witnesses, were banned as a pacifist sect.

1944 - Meat rationing was imposed, allowing the purchase of meat with coupons within a weekly ration per person of up to 680g of high quality meat and 1.8 kg of lower quality meat.

1945 - A fire on the wharves of Fremantle, WA, destroyed many buildings and ships.

1959 - Tasmania's first shark attack in over a century took place at Port Arthur.

1962 - Bushfires surrounding Melbourne caused the loss of 8 lives and extensive property damage.
The media reported that bushfires had spread to the suburbs, coming within 19kms of the Melbourne CBD.

1968 - The rockin', rollin' riding group on the Morning Town Ride, The Seekers, were named Australians of The Year.

1970 – Cyclone Ada hit Central Queensland, killing 14 Passed through the Whitsunday Islands to hit Airlie Beach. Tourist resorts destroyed and 80% of buildings at Airlie Beach damaged. Floods around Bowen and Mackay..

1971 - Tennis star Evonne Goolagong was named Australian of the Year.

1972 – The Aboriginal Tent Embassy was set up in Canberra outside Parliament House.

1978 - The SA Police Commissioner, Harold Salisbury, was dismissed by the South Australian Government. The Premier, Don Dunstan, stated that Mr Salisbury had 'so misled the Government that wrong information was given to Parliament and the people'. This related to 'inaccurate information as to the activities of the [police] Special Branch' supplied to the Government. It was claimed that Special Branch held files on a large number of people not convicted of any offence. An enquiry conducted by Mr Acting Justice White of the South Australian Supreme Court found a relationship between the Special Branch and ASIO and reported that while there were files on persons and organisations 'reasonably suspected of being potential security risks', there were also records relating to matters, persons and organisations 'having no connection whatsoever with genuine security risks'.

1979 - Gordon House was built in 1883 for George Coppin, theatrical entrepreneur, politician and philanthropist George Selth Coppin. Coppin was one of the fathers of Australian theatre. The building was conceived as subsidised accommodation for actors and was modelled on the Chelsea Model Lodging House in London. The courtyards were supposed to allow for maximisation of natural light and air. Renowned Melbourne architect William Pitt designed Gordon House as a three storey brick building with basement and internal courtyards. The symmetrical facade is eclectically derived from Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance sources. Gordon House remained a lodging house until 1976.
It was listed on the Victorian Heritage Register on this date.

1980 - Ansett employee Debbie Wardley becomes Australia's first female commercial pilot.

1985 - The first Sydney Theatre Company production in The Wharf Theatre on this day (now named Wharf 1 Theatre), was Late Arrivals, by Pamela van Amstel, directed by Wayne Harrison in his directorial debut. The play was part of a season of one-act plays called Shorts at the Wharf.

1986 - $1.45 million was exhibited by The Australian National Art Gallery, in the form of 6 Jackson Pollock paintings they'd obviously not picked up at a garage sale.

1988 - The very first episode of Home and Away, one of the longest Oz soapies, debuted on Aussie idiot boxes across the land.

1991 - The Eugowra Branch Railway line (NSW) was closed.

2004 - First freight train reached Darwin on the new Adelaide to Darwin railway.

2007 - In southern Australia firefighters battled to contain a wildfire that razed a number of homes amid soaring temperatures and warnings that the worst was yet to come.

2008 - Australia said it would send a ship to pick up two anti-whaling activists who jumped on a Japanese harpoon vessel from a rubber boat in Antarctic waters, offering a solution to a tense, two-day standoff on the high seas.

2009 - Two dehydrated men from Myanmar were found bobbing in an ice box in the Torres Strait off Australia. They told authorities they had spent 25 days adrift after their fishing boat sank. There was no sign of 18 other crew members.

2011 - The Australian Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Afghanistan, permitting the involuntary repatriation of refused Afghan asylum-seekers from Australia to Afghanistan, including unaccompanied minors.

2014 - Indonesia said that it would increase naval patrols after territorial violations by Australia as it tried to turn back asylum seekers. The Australian government apologised unreservedly to Jakarta after its navy "inadvertently" violated Indonesian waters during border security operations.

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