Friday, February 23, 2018

February 23 On This Day in Australian History

1822 -   Henry Marsh penned a missive to the Colonial  Secretary regaling him with tales of the journey to the south coast.

1849 - Things were so crook in Westralia that a public meeting in Perth voted itself off the island for to become a penal colony to help with the so-ill-if-it-was-a-horse-it-would-have-been-shot economy.

1863 - Lord Raglan mysteriously disappeared after leaving Liverpool for Hobson's Bay.

1872 - The brand-spanking-new goods trains sheds in Melbourne were tarted up for 1,500 guests to do the horizontal limbo tango at a gala ball.

1882 - The first four rail trucks carrying stone from the Mt Difficult quarry in the Grampians reached Stawell en route to Melbourne.
Considerable controversy broke out about the quality of the stone sent to Melbourne. It was found to be inferior to the samples originally supplied, exhibiting “peculiar” defects of an unexpected kind. The Public Works Department ordered work at Parliament House to cease.

1884 & 1994 Tambo Tambo, a Palm Island native, died  on this day in 1884 while working for Barnum and Bailey's Circus.
His remains were found in 1993 and today in 1994 he was given a decent burial on his home soil.

1900 - The Timaru Herald spread the word that a sailmaker in Sydney had popped his clogs due to Bubonic Plague...and kept up the cheefullness with news of a destructive fire in Flinders St, Melbourne.
Cheery, chaps, reeeealy uplifting...

1901 - 7,000 acres were gazetted for an Aboriginal reserve on this day, originally named Barambah it is better known as Cherbourg.
Salvation Army missionary, William J Thompson, was appointed the superintendent. He camped with small numbers of local people on the banks of Barambah Creek.
Little was done to develop the settlement ; Aborigines lived in bark humpies, Superintendent Thompson slept under canvas.

1902 - Mabel was a competitor in the annual Ocean Yacht Race from Hobart, around Bruny Island and back when she sprang a severe leak south of Bruny Island. Filling rapidly, the six crew beached her at Cloudy Bay on the southern end of Bruny Island, and were only just able to crawl along the mast to safety before she went to pieces.

1907 - The Star proudly proclaimed that Chamberlain's Cough Remedy did not contain poison.
So, keep guzzling that little elixir without a care!

1911 - The first passenger flight, sans peanuts, took off today when Melbournian John Hammond (slung his missus in his crate) took his wife up in his Bristol Box Kite aircraft.

1926 - The Taralga Branch Railway Line (NSW) was opened from Roslyn - Taralga.

1931 - The taste bud organza Peach Melba was birthed on this day by Chef Auguste Escoffier to say "ta muchly" to Dame Nellie Melba for slinging a couple of freebie tickets his way.

1942 - Oz PM Curtin drafted a cable to UK PM Churchill venting his spleen.
Done in the best posssssss-ible taste, of course.

1954 - The railway line from Upper Ferntree Gully to Belgrave, a narrow gauge line, was closed.
But don't fret!
Twas widened to Broad Gauge, Electrified! and reopened in all of its spectacular glory 18th Feb, 1962.

1963 - The QEII & Prince Phillip swanned into dock aboard the majestic yacht Britannia.

1965 - Bus driver Ernie Albrecht was flown to Grafton to replace original driver Bill Packenham, who had quit the Freedom Ride in the wake of the violence exhibited towards the students at Moree.

1968 - Torrens Island power station was flung open with gay abandon by He of the Pink Shorts fame, Premier Don Dunstan.
Torrens Island was the fourth major power station to supply the Adelaide metropolitan area following the Grenfell Street power house built in 1901, and Osborne and Port Augusta built by ETSA in the 1920s and 1950s.

1970 - The Indian Pacific Choo-Choo chugged off on it's maiden voyage from Sydney to Perth along its 4,960 km track which cost the piggy bank $210m.

1971 - The first university group of Campus CAMP was established at Sydney Uni.
So very, very Camp!

1972 -  In direct opposition to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy a ministerial statement on Aboriginal Land Rights by Mr Howson reiterated the Government's policy announced by Prime Minister McMahon on Australia Day and claimed that freehold ownership of land was 'alien to Aboriginal thought and custom'.

1972 - The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ralph Hunt, told Parliament the Government was considering the question of ensuring that the area opposite Parliament House was reserved for orderly and peaceful demonstrations, but not one on which people could camp indefinitely (in response to the Aboriginal Tent Embassy's presence).

1974 - Every last postie was left aimless and bewildered with a whole weekend on their hands after Saturday postal deliveries ceased.

1974 - Official post offices ended Saturday opening, too.
It was like they didn't want us to communicate at all!
Thus, carrier pigeons took off again....

1974 - In an interview with the New Zealand Herald Aboriginal Tent Embassy spokesperson, Bob McLeod, demanded Aboriginal control of the Northern Territory with title and mining rights, preservation of all sacred sites, legal and mining rights to areas around capital cities, compensation for Aboriginal lands, an end to the assimilation policy, recognition of minority rights and Aboriginal representation in power structures.

1976 - AC/DC filmed the video for It's A Long Way To The Top (if you wanna Chicko Roll/sausage roll) (If you wanna Rock 'n' Roll) in the middle of Melbourne.

1980 - A Summer Offensive event, Gay Relationships: a Spiritual Symposium was held at Sydney University.

1984 - The northern rivers based Mandala group presented Slipshod Cabaret at the Gay Centre.

1985 - The 8th Gay Mardi Gras Parade was held with the theme being Fighting for our Lives.
In the wake of NSW FINALLY decriminalizing homosexuality the year before the number of events and participants increased dramatically.
Calls from the likes of Rev. Fred Nile to cancel Mardi Gras and replace it with compulsory public lectures about AIDS were THANKFULLY ignored.

1986 - Vito Russo opened the AFI-Gay Mardi Gras Film Festival at the Chauvel Cinema, Paddington

1987 - The University College of the Northern Territory was opened in the remodelled old Darwin Hospital building at Myilly Point.

1987 - First mobile phone call was made in Oz...via a brick.

1989 - They better be gold plated knitting needles....a Japanese buyer forked out an eye-watering record $300,850 smackers for a bale of Aussie wool weighing 100 kgs...
I'm guessing it wasn't made into socks and beanies.

1990 - A report was unleashed upon the public outlining how The State Bank of Victoria had made a loss of $1.345 billion, which was a large-ish sum back in the old days, boys and girls.
Which is why Victoria no longer has a State Bank.

1997 - Queerscreen held its first film festival outside the inner suburbs at Parramatta’s Village Roxy Theatre.

1997 - The Whistle Project met to organise patrols around Hyde Park.
The Whistle Project, while performing regular night-time patrols also distributed thousands of whistles and taught people how to use them to avert violence and call for support when witnessing a threat or being threatened by violence.

1998 - Brisvegas nightlife took on a whole new meaning when generators broke down at 4 different power stations with blackouts hitting Brissy and almost all areas of S-E Qld.

2001 - Cleansing Songs, a programme of music made up of works by lesbian and gay composers was performed at Government House.

2004 - Monica Hingston and Reverend Dorothy McRae-McMahon voiced their support for gay marriage at a Sydney Gay and Lesbian Business Association forum.

2009 - The Epping-Chatswood Railway Line (NSW) was thrown open for business from Epping to Chatswood.

2010 - The Queensland Parliament amended the Constitution of Queensland to include a preamble recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians. The preamble now reads: “The people of Queensland, free and equal citizens of Australia… honour the Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the First Australians, whose lands, winds and waters we all now share; and pay tribute to their unique values, and their ancient and enduring cultures, which deepen and enrich the life of our community…”

2012 - Australia hosts a meeting of the Working Group on Resettlement (WGR) in Melbourne. The meeting brings together 87 leaders of government, NGO and UN refugee resettlement programs to discuss post-arrival settlement support for resettled refugees. It is the first WGR meeting in the Southern Hemisphere and the first WGR meeting to focus exclusively on post-arrival support.

2017 - The Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment (Local Aboriginal Land Councils) Bill was passed in the NSW Parliament.

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