Tuesday, February 13, 2018

February 13 On This Day in Australian History

1790 - Less than three months after Bennelong's capture, on 13 February 1790, Phillip passed on the names and locations of eight coastal clans in a dispatch to Lord Sydney at the Home Office in London. Bennelong
also told Phillip that ‘one-half of those who inhabit this part of the country’ had died from smallpox.

1829 - Father Therry married John Hart and Mary Brooker at Five Islands, Illawarra.

1832 - Drumming the 3 R's into their heads, Kings School at Parramatta opened for business.

1837 - Two days after his arrival in Adelaide, John Barton Hack wrote in his diary:
"The thermometer is about 104 degrees in the shade and it is such a warm welcome we are rather overcome by it."

1858 - The Eli  Lafont was a  French barque having a rather rough time of it when she became stranded between two rocks near Black Head, Western Port. She was tootling from Hong Kong to Melbourne with a cargo of tea valued at about £30,000 but after an inspection by marine surveyors, the vessel was condemned, stores were removed, and the wreck abandoned.

1861 -  The 4-man Burke party began their 700-mile return to Cooper’s Creek under constant rain.

1866 - The Infamous Parliamentary Mace that went on an extended tour of a brothel was first used in the Legislative Assembly.

1869 - This day was proclaimed a day of humiliation and prayer in NSW as people offered prayers for an end to the prolonged drought.

1888 - The Blayney - Demondrille Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Blayney - Cowra.

1896 – The Brisbane River ferry Pearl capsized, killing 28. Foundered after collided with SS Lucinda in the Brisbane River this being one of the worst disasters in Queensland maritime history, and the worst to date.  The Pearl was operating as a ferry as the Victoria Bridge was under repair after floods. The ferry struck the anchor chain of the Lucinda, and sank within a minute.

1898 - The ship Amy was wrecked somewhere off Thirroul, NSW on this day. Police found wreckage scattered over a wide area of beach and a lifeboat lying on the sand. Apparently when she struck, the crew lowered a man on a plank to try and take a line ashore, but the current was too strong. They then took to the rigging, but when she broke up all eight men were lost.

1907 – The Northern Territory was transferred to the Commonwealth by South Australia.

1911 - New Guinea was a ship who ran ashore during a fog at Disaster Bay, half a mile from the Green Cape lighthouse. The ship slipped back into deep water and eventually became a total loss. The Sydney Court of Marine Inquiry decided that the master had erred in following the coast too close in, and sailing at full speed when fog had reduced visibility. She now lies between the wrecks of City of Sydney and Ly- ee-Moon. There was no loss of life of the crew.

1925 - That ever correctly spoken gentleman, Stuart Wagstaff, was presented to the world in Wiltshire, England before he realised he actually belonged in The Land of Oz.

1931 - The effects of a tsunami which originated in NZ were felt along the coastlines of NSW.

1930 - The first Protector of Aboriginals to be based in Mount Isa was appointed on this day.

1933 - Don't blink !
Robert Richards popped on the Premiers tiara in South Oz for a dizzying 64 days.

1938 – Sydney ferry the Rodney with 150 passengers capsized in Sydney Harbour while farwelling US Navy cruiser USS Louisville, killing 19.

1939 - The Agnew was an iron steam dredge/ self-propelled hopper-barge,  the first and only iron vessel built in Tasmania. She ran aground in fog just east of the Mersey Heads, Tasmania on this day and was eventually dismantled where she lay.

1954 - Someone thought a train line in Antarctica was a good idea and Mawson Station was established but strangely no tracks were laid.
(tongue now removed from cheek).
1962 - Trains buffs rejoice!
The driver and the guard on the Tait trains could finally send little love messages signals to each other via a bell communication system.

1965 - The Freedom Ride bus arrived in Wellington, NSW.
"Houses of tin, mud floors, very overcrowded, kids had eye diseases, had to cart water (very unhealthy) from river… Jim S and a few others came across some discrimination in a pub. An aboriginal was allowed in only because he was with us. The publican said he only prevented aborigines from coming in "if they were disorderly"… Left Wellington and arrived in Dubbo about 6.30 pm. Had tea, went for a swim, then to the Dubbo hotel. We noticed a sign above the doorway of the halfway hotel - "Aborigines not allowed in the Lounge without the Licensee's permission".”
Ann Curthoys' diary from the Freedom Rides

1971 - It was announced that Aboriginal people hoped to set up 13 settlements throughout Victoria in an effort to claim land, the first having been established in Sherbrooke Forest near Belgrave and the second to be at Framlingham Reserve, near Warranambool.

1974 - It was announced that the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee (NACC) had backed down in its dispute with the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and agreed that the body would stick to that of an advisory role - for the moment.

1978 – The Sydney Hilton bombing occurred during a meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government.

2008 - Today marks the 10th Anniversary since Australians watched a live broadcast of their government apologizing for policies that degraded its indigenous people. PM Rudd said Australians had reached a time in their history when they must face up to their past to be able to cope with the future. Aborigines numbered about 450,000 in Australia's population of 21 million.

2008 - The Frankston VFL footy club lost its iconic grandstand to a fire. There were 25 CFA members in eight fire trucks who used cherry pickers to help douse the fire.

2009 - Australian authorities charged a man with lighting one of the wildfires that killed at least 189 people, and whisked him into protective custody to guard him from public fury.

2013 - The Australian Parliament passed with bi-partisan support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill 2012 which recognises the unique and special place of Aboriginal people and sets out a review process to progress the route to a referendum.

2015 - Aboriginal activist Aunty Faith Bandler died, aged 96. She was a tireless social activist, best known for her 10-year campaign leading the landmark 1967 referendum that ensured Aboriginal Australians were counted as full citizens.

2017 - A last minute attempt to save an historic tree, estimated to be approx. 700 years old,  from being felled was announced today with the application to the Aboriginal Heritage Register as it was believed to possibly be a birthing tree.

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