Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 31 On This Day in Australian History

1814 - People started taking Holey Dollars and Dumps in exchange for goods and services. No, it's not some strange fetish but Spanish silver dollars with the centre cut out (Holey Dollar worth nine shillings) and the Dump was the centre, worth 1 shilling.

1815 - Governor Macquarie decided to settle ‘friendly’ Aborigines on land they can farm. He erected huts at Georges Head (Mosman ), for Boongaree (Bungaree) and his Broken Bay clan to ‘Settle and Cultivate’.
Macquarie presented Bungaree with a crescent-shaped metal gorget or breastplate naming him ‘Chief of the Broken Bay Tribe’. The Aboriginal ‘settlers’ received clothing, seeds, farming implements and a fishing boat called the Bongaree. 

1838 - George Augustus Robinson was appointed Chief Protector of Aborigines, with his headquarters in Port Phillip.

1860 - John Vigors was Hanged at Oatlands for Shooting with Intent at Ellerslie.

1862 - The Victorian Royal Commission passed in its report on the circumstances that lead to the sufferings and deaths of Burke and Wills. 
In 25 words or less - poor planning, poor communication and bugger all water?

1879 - Chilagorah was arrested and found guilty for the murder of Pintagorah on this day at Cossack (Westralia).

1880 - That wonderful publication that became respected, well-read, popular and launched the careers of many of the famous (and infamous) writers, poets, artists and novelists, The Bulletin, made its grand entrance into polite - and not so polite - society today.

1884 - The first meeting of representatives of trade and labour societies, at which the Trades and Labor Council was formed, was held in the Bristol Tavern in Crow Eater Country (that's South Oz to the likes of you & I ).

1884 -The Queensland town of Bowen was completely destroyed by a cyclone.

1888 - The Centennial International Exhibition opened in Melbourne.

1905 - The West Australian newspaper published the first Royal Commission on Atrocities Against Aboriginal Prisoners.
Which makes for harrowing reading.
Full Report HERE

1917 - Having a spot of water lying about in pools, as the 1914-1915 drought had done a bunk,The Murray River Commission began operating. That's one drop for you and gazillion gallons for me, one drop for you and....

1930 - Francis Chichester arrived in Sydney after completing a flight from London in a Gypsy Moth.

1932 - Rogans Hill Branch Railway Line (NSW) was closed from Westmead Junction to Castle Hill and from Castle Hill to Rogans Hill.

1932 - The  Timeball service ceased at Semaphore (South Oz) as it was superseded by wireless telegraphy.

1938 -  A deputation of about 20 people met with the Prime Minister, Joseph Lyons, his wife Enid as well as the Minister for the Interior, John McEwen, (whose Department held responsibility for Aborigines in the Northern Territory), to present a proposed national policy for Aboriginals which included 10 points.
Among the deputation were John Patten, William Ferguson, Mrs D. Anderson, Helen Grosvenor, Pearl Gibbs and her mother, and Tom Foster.
They called for Commonwealth control of all Aboriginal matters, with a separate Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs; an administration advised by a Board of six, at least three of whom were to be Aboriginals nominated by the Aborigines Progressive Association; and full citizen status for all Aboriginals and civil equality with white Australians, including equality in education, labour laws, workers compensation, pensions, land ownership and wages.

1939 - William Cooper believed a permanent Aboriginies' Day should be established. On this date he wrote to the National Missionary Council of Australia (NMCA), asking for its help in promoting a permanent Aborigines' Day.

1945 - Ten people died when an aging Australian National Airways (ANA) Stinson Model A aircraft crashed due to structural failure near Mia Mia, Vic.

1950 - A Coles Variety Store opened at 31 Semaphore Road, Semaphore (SA).

1968 - The Powers That Be closed the Ballarat Racecourse platform, on the Waubra line, for good.
Because they were spoil-sports.
And penny-pinchers.
And drank their bath water.

1968 - Nauru finally got the monkey off its back ( or Canberrans, if you insist on correct terminology) when it declared its independence on this day.
Which, for some odd reason, makes it Nauru Independence Day.

1972 - The Australian newspaper published an article in which it was reported (supposedly for the first time)  that some Aboriginal people in Alice Springs had nowhere to go and were sleeping in dry creek beds.
Only 46 years and not much has changed.

1991 - Perth, that over-grown country town capital of Westralia (and we wouldn't have it any other way!) sizzled ever-so-gently in the Summery heat wave of 45.8 degrees C.
Nope, no conversion to Farenheit, there's a bit of homework for you!

1997 - More than 300 people attended a public meeting called by the Redfern Aboriginal Housing Coalition to discuss opposition to the ongoing relocation of residents and demolition of houses in Eveleigh Street, Redfern.

2003 - The Coogee Madonna began appearing on a sea-side fencepost.
Hundreds of Christians believed they were seeing Mother Mary appear on a Coogee cliff top on sunny afternoons.

2003 – Six people died in the Waterfall train disaster.

 2008 - Bruce Trevorrow, the first of the Stolen Generation to receive compensation,  was awarded a further $250,000 in interest for the time taken for the case to succeed.

2008 - A Native Title Mining Agreement for Production was signed with Iluka Resources by the Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation.

2011 - It was announced that Indigenous Rangers from the only Aboriginal-managed Botanic Gardens in Australia, Booderee National Park, south of Sydney, were helping their Papua New Guinean counterparts take part in the joint training program  to manage the Kokoda Track and to learn about promoting the responsible management of the legendary trail.

2012 - The NSW Aboriginal Land Council called on the federal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda to conduct an independent investigation into the actions of police on January 26.
It followed the release of fresh footage of the incident outside the Lobby restaurant in Canberra, which showed Australian Federal Police dealing inappropriately with protestors, including inciting and committing violence.

2013 -  Australia’s government received confirmation that the Shonan Maru No. 2, a support vessel for the Japanese whaling fleet, had entered Australia's exclusive economic zone near Macquarie Island in the Antarctic Ocean. The Australian embassy in Tokyo protested to the Japanese government.

2014 -  In Australia a government agency approved a plan to dump sediment within the area of the Great Barrier Marine Park in an expansion project of the Abbot Point coal port in northern Queensland.

2017 - It was announced that Yarra Council was working with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to develop a Stolen Generations Marker in Fitzroy as a tribute to the struggles of the Stolen Generations and their families.

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