Saturday, February 17, 2018

February 17 On This Day in Australian History

Today is the Fornacalia in Ancient Rome; the festival of ovens, bread and the oven goddess, Fornax, who taught us how to bake that yummy goodness that is bread.

1788 -  Rev. Johnson celebrated the first Communion in the colony. The service was held in Lieutenant Ralph Clark's tent, borrowed for the occasion. The event was recorded by Clark in his journal.
'I will keep this Table also as long as I live for it is the first Table that ever the Lords Supper was eat of in this country'

1788 - Lord Howe Island was innocently sitting in the ocean, soaking up the sun when Lieutenant Henry Ball (wonder what his mates called him? Ballsy Hal? Hank le Billiard? Crystal Ball Gypsy Harry?) tripped over it whilst commanding the ship HMAS Supply en route to that popular holiday resort Norfolk Island and promptly named it after some bloke.

1802 - Matthew Flinders was a busy chap, flinging names for all the features willy nilly on this day.
Pt Whidbey / Whidbey Isles were named after a friend of Flinders, the Master-Attendant at Sheerness, England.

1802 - French Explorer Nicholas Baudin was an equally busy bloke tossing titles all over the shop on this day.

1802 - Fortescue Bay was named Dolomieu Bay by Baudin after Deodat Guy Silvain Tancrede Gratet de Dolomieu (1750-1801), French mineralogist.

1802 - Cape Hauy was named after René Just Haüy (1743-1822). French mineralogist, born at St. Just, in the department of Oise, educated at the colleges of Navarre and Lemoine, became a teacher at the latter and turned to natural history. He founded the science of crystallography.

1802 - Waterfall Bay was named Monge Bay by Baudin, 17.2.1802, after Gaspar Comte de Peluse Monge (1746-1818), French mathematician.

1802 - Forestier Peninsula named after Henry Verdean Forestier (1755-1806), French Minister for the Navy and administration.

1802 - Cape Surville was named after Louis Charles de Hautefort, Marquis de Surville (1658-1721), French Admiral.

1802 - Greenly Island was named by Flinders after Elizabeth Greenly of Titley Court, the lady to whom Sir Isaac Coffin was engaged. They were married in 1811 and Sir Isaac Coffin assumed the name and arms of Greenly as his wife didn't like the idea of being known as Lady Coffin.

1802 - Avoid Bay was thus dubbed by Flinders from its being exposed to the dangerous southern winds and there are rocks and breakers on each side of the entrance."

1803 - Cape Wilberforce was titled by Matthew Flinders on this day who named it after the Reformer, William Wilberforce.

1803 - The Bromby Islands were named by explorer Flinders on this day after Rev John Bromby of Hull who officiated in the marriage of Flinders to Anne Chappell.

1803 - Matthew Flinders met up with some Malay Praus (ships) from Macassar  near Cape Arnhem and discovered that there were 60 ships trading with the Aboriginal people as they fished for trepang and that this was a very long established practice.

1805 - Thomas Brown, a free settler, was sent to the Parramatta gaol for striking an Aborigine.

1815 - Thomas Hassall reported that the ‘Cundorah’ (Gundungurra) had attacked Macarthur’s farm at Camden.

1816 - The Sydney Gazette shared on its front page that the first Ceylonese family banished to Australia had arrived on board HM Kangaroo.

1826 - Despatch was a Colonial Government schooner that was built at Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania, She made her debut when she arrived at Hobart on her maiden voyage on this day.
Sadly she sailed from Hobart for Maria Island with stores in March 1826, but was never seen or heard from again. Presumed lost in a gale off Cape Pillar.

1826 - James Eales was Hanged at Hobart for sheep-stealing and robbery.

1826 - William Eales was Hanged at Hobart for sheep-stealing and robbery.

1834 - When the vessel 'Ceylon' was wrecked at Newcastle on this day Peter Fredericks provided accommodation for the survivors at The Australian Inn.

1844 - Employees of the Australian Agricultural Company James Hyde, Charles Clerk, John Hussey and William Cokeler were having a proper knees up when they were oh-so-rudely charged with drunkeness and disorderly conduct!

1846 -  The free Aborigines on Flinders Island in Bass Strait wrote a petition addressed to Queen Victoria concerning the mistreatment of indigenous people.

1854 - The ship Inellan was moored with two anchors and special riding tackle at Port Fairy but she parted both her anchors and was driven ashore in one of the worst storms in history, to become a complete wreck on this day.

1865 - Henry Mullineaux busted the law when he hopped on board the Confederate Cruiser ship the CSS Shenandoah while it was docked for repairs in Williamstown and made his mark against many others to become Oz & NZ veterans of the American Civil War.

1865 - The Confederate ship CSS Shenandoah sailed merrily out from Port Phillip Bay with fresh supplies and 42 newly recruited crew.

1873 - There was Russian-phobia running amok in both Oz and NZ, but the editor of the Daily Southern Cross newspaper used his imagination to cook a hoax about the supposed Russian invasion of Auckland from the ship Kaskowiski (cask of whisky) who nabbed the gold and the Mayor.

1876 - Severe gales at Townsville.

1881 - The Taranaki Herald was being very diplomatic when it quietly announced that the Aussies had been knocked over after a pitiful 154 runs (and not a Ponting in sight!).

1882 - The very first Test cricket match was played at Sydney Cricket Ground. Blind umpires optional.

1885 - The Lune was a Swedish barque who was carelessly misplaced (aka lost) on this day at Cliffy Island off the Gippsland coast during a voyage from Newcastle to Melbourne. After rounding Cape Howe, gales, heavy seas and fog met the ship and in the early hours of the morning she struck a reef on the eastern side of the island. The crew launched two boats and about an hour later the vessel slid off the reef into deep water and sank. The men landed at the lighthouse station on the island at dawn, where four days later SS De Bay picked them up and took them to Melbourne.

1885 - Author of a somewhat dubious tome about Aboriginal people Daisy Bates was a little absent-minded today when she got legally hitched to John Bates, a drover.
I say absent-minded as she seems to have forgotten that she was already married to Breaker Morant.
S'ok, she had another brain fart 4 months later and got married for a 3rd time.

1888 - The Eastminster left Maryborough for Sydney after ignoring a warning from the pilot, and heading out to sea in a rising gale. She was not seen again.

1888 - A cyclone hit east of Mackay, with ships and houses damaged.

1893 - A cyclone hit Bundaberg; floods from Rockhampton to Grafton, NSW. Mary River bridge in Maryborough was washed away with 120 houses. A cyclone induced tornado hit Sandgate.

1900 - Paardeburg, Orange Free State, South Africa; A major action of the Boer War in which men of the New South Wales Mounted Rifles were involved that resulted in the surrender of 4,000 Boers under General Piet Cronje.

1905 - Orizaba was a hefty steamship who was sadly wrecked on Five Fathom Bank near Garden Island on her way to Fremantle on this day due to visibility having been obscured by bushfire haze. Although she quickly developed a heavy list to port all passengers were landed safely, then about 900 tons of the 2,500 tons of cargo was recovered. Despite being battered constantly by a heavy swell, parts of the wreck remained visible for more than two years before breaking up and disappearing. She is one of the largest ships to have been wrecked in Australian waters.

1911 - HV McKay, owner of the Sunshine Harvester Works, responded to the Agricultural Implement Makers’ Union (AIMU) call to strike by locking workers out of the factory. Nine other agricultural implement manufacturers joined McKay in a lockout.

1916 - A train derailment at Campania, Tas, left four dead.

1917 - New Cabinet
WM Hughes formed a new ministry and retained the prime ministership despite his expulsion from the Labor Party. Ten days earlier he had formed the Nationalist Party, merging other expelled Labor members and some former Liberals.

1919 - The Cadia Mine Branch  Railway Line (NSW) opened from Spring Hill - Cadia Mine.

1931 - Two of Adelaide's leading newspapers,The Advertiser and The Register, amalgamated. This was brought about partly through the increased duty on newsprint, and the effects of the Depression which reduced advertising revenue.

1935 - For some reason daily air services between Sydney and Canberra hustled forth today.

1936 - Reg Ansett birthed Ansett Airways when he zoomed off into the air with a service between Melbourne and Hamilton on this day.

1958 - Flood waters inundated Mackay. The small community at Foulden was wiped out. Three people drowned at Cremorne.

1958 - The Kermandie was having a pretty crappy day. She left Stanley for Melbourne with a cargo of grain, but shortly afterwards hit rocks off North Point, Circular Head, north-west Tasmania, in heavy weather in September 1957. The rudder was torn off and the vessel was run ashore near Western Plains; tractors were able to get alongside to recover most of the cargo but the ship herself was unable to be salvaged. Her final indignity occurred on this day when her hull was burnt where it lay.

1958 - At a meeting in Adelaide, activists from all mainland states formed a national pressure group: the Federal Council for Aboriginal Advancement (FCAA). Its goal was the achievement of 'equal citizens' rights' for Aboriginal Australians. The first two goals of this new body were:

1. Repeal of all legislation, federal and state, which discriminated against the Aborigines.
2. Amendment to the Commonwealth Constitution to give the Commonwealth government power to legislate for Aborigines as with all other citizens.

1966 - The Rolling Stones got all the gals in a lather when they filmed a "Bandstand" TV special in Sydney.

1971 - Cyclone Dora crossed the coast north of Brisbane at Redcliffe resulting in widespread structural damage with some flooding.

1973 - Plying their magical mystery o'er the ladies once more The Rolling Stones played three shows at Kooyong Tennis Centre, Melbourne, supported by Madder Lake.

1979 - The Warwick Farm Racecourse Branch Railway Line (NSW) opened from Warwick Farm Junction - Warwick Farm DE.

1987 - The Coffs Harbour Aboriginal Family Community Care Centre Inc. was incorporated on this day.

1988 - It is sad railway news to report that on this day some idiot halfwit twat dropkick ignorant fool closed the Linton to Skipton railway line.

1990 - Today saw the Oh So Fabulously Wonderful Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras flouncing its frilly bits in all of her technicolour glory.
Featuring the first ever Mardi Gras Fair Day held in Glebe’s Jubilee Park it attracted 1,000 people and featured the first Dog Show plus touch football, mud wrestling and a meet-and-greet with the Dykes on Bikes.

2002 -  Alisa Camplin won gold in the women's aerial skiing contest.

2003 – Hundreds of thousands of protestors joined millions more in other cities around the world in protesting the Iraq War. These were the biggest street protests seen since the Vietnam War.

2011 - Cyclone Carlos brought rain and high winds to Darwin.

2014 - Peaceful protests by asylum seekers detained in the Manus Island facility turned into a violent riot. Security guards and police stormed the facility attacking asylum seekers, including people who had not been involved in the protests. One asylum seeker, Reza Berati, was beaten to death and over 60 others were injured, some of them seriously.


  1. Um, Jayne ... dunno whether it worth a mention.
    April 25th 2018 - Soldier Settler's Re-union.
    Parndana, Kangaroo Island. South Australia.

  2. erk, was brought up there, Kangaroo Island - 1950-1957 .. Much history relating to the founding of South Australia