Monday, February 12, 2018

February 12 On This Day in Australian History

1793 - John Macarthur ,being the brown nosed toadie that he was, was rewarded with a land grant of 100 acres near Parramatta that he dubbed Elizabeth Farm after his long-suffering hard-working wife who was the real energy behind the sheep breeding program.

1798 – Having finished his homework early, Matthew Flinders explored the Furneaux Islands in Bass Strait.

1814 - The Governor was all up in a tizz when he released an order from Government House announcing the most bodacious discovery of rich grasslands to the west. The announcement celebrated the fertile pasturelands, well-watered by numerous streams. The order also detailed the land grants awarded to Evans, the two free men who accompanied him, and the original explorers, Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, who were too busy celebrating to return this reporters calls.

1826 - The Meth's were looking to drum up business with the opening of their first church in Tassie.

1851 - Kicking over the ground while leaving the missus to mind the store Edward Hargraves found a whole 5 specks of the glittery gold stuff at Summer Hill Creek.

1868 - Victorian Parliament created (yet another committee to look into it) the Dept of Hansard when they (pinched) recruited 3 staff from the Argus Newspaper.

1884 - The railway line from Mitiamo to Pyramid Hill (Vic) was opened.

1893 - Dickey was a steamship that was blown ashore in heavy north-easterly weather on Caloundra Head, Queensland. All passengers and crew were saved from Dickey. Dickeys hulk was visible for many years, lasting nearly a hundred years on the beach.

1900 - Pink Hill, held by Victorian, South Australian and British troops was attacked by a superior Boer force resulting in the deaths of seven Australians and the wounding of 22 others.

1901 - Premier of Victoria, Sir George Turner, retired (to his beach front condo on the Gold Coast) from politics after 86 days.

1901 -  Resident Magistrate of Daru Bingham Hely died of malaria whilst on leave at Thursday Is.

1901 - Alexander Peacock took up the reins and became Premier of Victoria.

1908 - The Bullock Island Branch railway line (NSW) was closed from Albert Street - Bullock Island.

1939 - Turua was a fishing vessel that was blown ashore and wrecked at Prion Bay, far south coast Tasmania. The crew were all saved. The remains of her engine still  mark the spot where she came to grief, now called Turua Beach. 

1942 - Australian Army Command ordered the evacuation of the nursing sisters from the three Australian hospital units at Singapore, they all left on board the British Merchant Ship “SS Vyner Brooke”. The ship was carrying the 65 sisters of the three Australian hospital units and  250 other evacuees. These included many wounded British soldiers, British civilian government staff and their families and some Dutch nationals. The Vyner Brook was attacked and sunk by Japanese bombers on the 14th February 1942 very close to the southern coast of Sumatra.

1943 - The Robinvale - Lette Railway Line (NSW) was closed from Robinvale - Koorakee.

1948 - A bloke was taken by a shark off Stockton Beach, Newcastle, whilst swimming.

1958 - Getting learning into heads was on the agenda when the Parap School, NT, was opened.

1959 - The Rex Theatre in Rundle Street, Adelaide,  closed its doors for the last time.

1959 - Our Siggy was dropped off by the Yowies. Aussie actress, Sigrid Thornton, who has done more for corsets and laced bodices than a goth's marketing campaign could possibly hope for, was born in Canberra.

1968 -  Prime Minister Gorton indicated that Australia would not increase its commitment to Vietnam.

1964 - Sir Arthur Upfield, author of the "Bony" detective novels, died aged 73.

1965 - The Rolling Stones performed two shows at Centennial Hall, Adelaide.

1965 - The Student Action for Aborigines (SAFA)  from the Uni of Sydney took a bus and toured through regional towns such as Walgett, Gulargambone, Kempsey, Bowraville and Moree where they recorded acts of racism to show wider Australia the experience of Aboriginal Australians.
Thus was born the Freedom Rides.

1972 - A chap got off lightly after an encounter with a shark at Elliot's Cove, Tassie.

1977 - Streatham was partially destroyed by a bushfire which was one of many that spread rapidly across Western Victoria that day. The fire left five men dead and a further seven people suffering heart attacks while defending their properties and the town. The Church, post office, community hall, shops and eighty-one homes were all destroyed in the blaze. Other fires were reported at Lismore, Tatyoon, Pura Pura, Penshurst and at Cressy. 

1986 - The Mortlock Library of South Australiana was officially opened by the Governor, Sir Donald Dunstan, on this day.

1990 - Carmen Lawrence became the Premier of Westralia and the first *gasp* female Premier in Aussie history. Next thing you know they'll be letting a female be PM too...

1997 - The two 70m chimneys, landmarks of the Darwin skyline and the last remaining evidence of the original Stokes Hill Power Station, were demolished.

2008 - East Timor declared a state of emergency. Australian troops and a warship arrived to boost security after rebel attacks on the country's two top leaders left the president in "extremely serious" condition with gunshot wounds.

2008 - For the first time ever Australian Aboriginal leaders were invited to offer a "Welcome To Country" ceremony at the opening of Federal Parliament.

2013 - The Fistball Federation of Australia (FiFA) was incorporated in Victoria; it is similar to volleyball in that players try to hit a ball over a net.

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