Monday, April 2, 2018

April 2 On This Day in Australian History

1787 - Treasury entered into negotiations with Moore and he transferred his rights over sixty-one male and seven female convicts to William Richards Jnr. the sole contractor awarded the government tender for fit-out and provisioning of ‘First Fleet’.

1787 - Charter of Justice signed providing the authority for the establishment of the first New South Wales Courts of Criminal and Civil Jurisdiction.

1791 - William Bryant's escape party entered and had a look-see around Port Stephens...but the decor didn't agree with them.

1798  - Frequent Darug raids harass the new Hawkesbury settlers, making it ‘a necessity for firing upon them, by which, it was said, one man was killed’. Armed watchmen posted at Toongabbie to guard the ripening Indian corn (maize) shoot three Aboriginal men. They bring in one man’s head to prove their story.

1826 - Female School of Industry was opened in Sydney to train gals as domestic servants, although, as they are very scarce on the ground these days, surely this highlights a need to revive this institution...? Anyone...?

1840 - There were many who did not like the Aboriginal camps being close to Melbourne, and when there was a gathering of six or seven hundred Kulin, their mia mias (bark huts) were burnt and the camp dismantled.

1844 - The first permanent synagogue in Oz was opened in Sydney.

1845 - The Burdekin River discovered and named Ludwig Leichhardt.

1846 - Superintendent La Trobe, on his third and final attempt to reach Cape Otway, met with seven Gadubanud men and women in the valley of the Aire River before trekking across the open grasslands to his destination.

1846 - Squatter Henry Allan made an unsuccessful attempt at a north–south crossing over the mountains, guided by two Aboriginal women from the Wesleyan mission at Buntingdale. In the northern foothills of the Otway Ranges, on the upper reaches of the Gellibrand River, he found an unoccupied Aboriginal camp. On his return trip through the area, he revisited this site and found a large number of implements that had not been there before.

1852 - A gang of 22 blokes played pirate and raided the barque Nelson that was jiggling on its anchor off Williamstown; these enterprising chaps got away with 8,000 oz of gold, which was never recovered.

1856 - Voting for the most liposuctioned, matchstick thin politician by throwing your hat in the air was overtaken when voting by secret ballot became law in South Oz.

1871 - Victoria held a party to end all parties census and found there'd been a wee spot of procreation happening with the population hitting 731,528; with 207,000 of those bodies living in Melbourne. Pity the public transport and water systems haven't expanded with the population....meow.

1874 - A major strike was held at Moonta Mines in South Australia due to a wage reduction.
For the miners not the share holders.
Of course.

1878 - The Bullock Island Branch Railway Line (NSW) opened.

1879 - Shanks' pony was no longer needed for the people of Sale when their humble home was connected to Melbourne by train.

1879 - Those travelling on the Oakleigh to South Yarra line today - take some balloons and streamers along.
Chuck 'em about....oh, ok, well as you're pressed tightly into the burly bloke's armpit give a muffled birthday cheer for the Sth Yarra to Oakleigh Line which opened on this day.
And, no, handing out free balloons to strangers will just get you labelled as "that crazy person, stay right away, I heard she/he speaks to the dead...or dead pigeons, I forget which".

1884 - The Sunshine to Melton Railway line (Vic) opened, 15.65 miles.

1897 -  East Fremantle was declared a municipality (comprising the old Fremantle suburbs of 'Plympton' and 'Richmond') on this day.

1901 - The rapid development of the cattle industry in the southern and eastern Kimberley together with other developments in the region prompted the State Government to commission the Chief Inspector Surveyor, Frederick Slade Brockman, in March 1901 to complete the mapping of the Kimberley. Brockman's party comprising 8 Europeans and 2 Aboriginal prisoners from Rottnest left Wyndham on this day with 70 horses and provisions for 6 months. Amongst the group was the Government Geologist, Andrew Gibb Maitland and Dr F M House, a naturalist and botanist. The party initially headed south, following the Chamberlain River before turning west and reaching the Walcott Inlet before heading north eventually reaching Napier Broome Bay close to the present town of Kalumburu.

1901 - Eddie Barton and his partners in crime cabinet were blown away with the beauty of Melbourne and decided to base the new Commonwealth Parliament in the Victorian Parliament House.

1905 - The GPO ( General Post Office for those not in the know) flung open its doors, with a flourish that had everyone talking for months, for business in Hobart.

1911 - The Australian Bureau Of Statistics conducted the country’s first national census on this day.
Which did not involve having to turn the website off and on again.

1912 - The Bombala Railway Line (NSW) was opened for business.

1917 - The Gwabegar Railway Line (NSW) was opened.

1917 - Of the 156 Australian graves at Noreuil, ninety–four (60 percent) are of men of the 50th Battalion. Moreover, eighty–two of these are ‘Special Memorials’ indicating that the soldier is ‘believed to be buried’ in this cemetery. All of the South Australians were buried after the action in which they died, on 2 April 1917, but constant German shelling of this area during the two battles of Bullecourt most likely destroyed the original wooden crosses, making subsequent identification impossible.

1928 - A Royal commission was appointed to "look into" (sounds familiar) the control, management, working and financial position of Victorian Railways.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
Start singing with me "Why are we waiting? Always constipating...."

1929 - The Glenelg steam tram line in Adelaide, the only remaining tram line in that state, was closed for it to rebuilt with standard gauge tracks and to be electrified.

1942 - Professor Adolphus Elkin, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Sydney wrote to the Prime Minister about the military authorities’ refusal to accept a number of mixed blood Aboriginal men for military service. He felt that the government should ‘take every opportunity’ to give the Aborigines a chance of helping their country ‘either in the fighting services or in auxiliaries to these services or in factories.’

1942 - The Balaklava Aboriginal Welfare Institution was established at the Balaklava Racecourse by the Commonwealth Government Department of the Interior as a temporary accommodation facility for Aboriginal people evacuated from the Northern Territory after the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese in World War II. The first evacuees, approximately 100 mostly women and children, arrived on this day and the Racecourse buildings and services were offered to house them at short notice. Local Balaklava residents and the Red Cross supplied food, clothing and bedding and members of the local billeting organisation initially supplied the staff.

1954 - Vladimir Petrov defected from the Soviet Union and was granted political asylum in Australia, starting the Petrov Affair.

1957 -  The ‘Vote Yes’ campaign was launched in Hall of Foundation, Sydney. This commenced the campaign for Constitutional change and ended with the 1967 Referendum.

1962 - The Southern Aurora train chugged out of the starting blocks in Sydney on its inaugural sight-seeing trip to Melbourne, becoming the first through-train passenger service between the 2 feuding capitals.

1964 - The good man himself, Rev Ted Noffs, put his money where his mouth was - and put his back into a lot of hard work- when he opened the Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross, Sydney.

1969 - Excitingly Agnes (The Trestled Temptress) Railway Station (Vic) swapped her skirts for singlets when she became Barry Beach Junction, as the whole line was knighted Barry Beach Railway (branch) Line.

1971 -  In Kempsey,NSW a bloke was levitated through his kitchen window by a strange force and an even stranger looking creature (no, Trump wasn't involved).

1972 - The last episode of ABC Radio's long-running "The Argonauts' Club". The legacy of a more innocent time on Austraian radio, the venerable children's program first went to air on 7 January 1941, and was co-hosted for its entire 31-year run by Atholl Fleming, known to generations of Australians by his on-air names "Mac" and "Jason". By 1950 the club had attracted over 50,000 members with 10,000 new members joining each year in the 1950s.

1979 - Australia’s longhaul truck drivers blockaded the nation’s main freight route, The Hume, then through Picton up on Razorback Ridge, demanding that an unjust tax on ordinary truckies be abolished. They stood fast against government and police, for nine days up on Razorback, and won.

1997 - The report The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, which was a joint publication of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), was launched by the Governor-General, Sir William Deane in Darwin.

1999 - The Australian Hall at 150 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, which was the venue for ‘Day of Mourning’ Conference held on 26 January 1938, organised by the Aborigines Progressive Association and the Australian Aborigines League,was listed on the NSW State Heritage Register.  The Day of Mourning was a protest against the European celebrations of their arrival 150 years before, and the meeting is considered a crucial milestone in the development of an Aboriginal political movement.

2001 - Shahraz Kayani, a Pakistani citizen who was granted refugee status in Australia, commited self-immolation outside Parliament House in Canberra to protest the delay in reuniting with his family. At this point, the process had already taken five years and was unlikely to succeed until Mr Kayani could raise $75,000 to pay for the care of his middle daughter who had cerebral palsy. He died within three months of infection caused by his burns.

2005 - A Sea King helicopter involved in providing aid to people still affected by the Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami crashed on the Indonesia island of Nias, killing nine people on board.

2007 - Inaugural launch of National Close The Gap Day - Indigenous Health Campaign.

2007 - The affects of a tsunami that originated in the Solomon Islands were felt in NSW with reports of dangerous rips and currents at Coffs Harbour.

2007 - Victoria’s Health Minister, Bronwyn Pike, ordered officials at the Department of Human Services to refer future allegations of unsafe sex practices by people with HIV to police in the wake of the Michael Neal scandal. Officers of the Department of Human Services were accused of failing to move quickly enough to stop Mr Neal from allegedly spreading the virus intentionally.

2011 - Thousands of people in Sydney rallied against the proposed "carbon tax".

2011 - At Belmore Park a short distance away, another large rally was held in support of the carbon tax.

2012 - Jimmy Little, the great Australian Aboriginal musician, actor and teacher from the Yorta Yorta people died today.

2014 - A study published on this day , "Suicides among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations in Australia: An analysis of the Queensland Suicide Register", found that 'despite its limitations, this study – the first of its kind in Australia – seems to indicate that LGBT people would require targeted approaches in mental and general health services'.

2015 - Chorus boys and tight-waisted young men: an exploration of Melbourne’s camp subculture during the interwar period (1919–1939) The PhD completion seminar by academic Wayne Murdoch at the Harold White Theatre, Level 2, Building 199, University of Melbourne, 757 Swanston Street, with drinks afterwards at University House. Wayne has contributed to many Archives publications and events, from Secret histories of queer Melbourne to our regular history walks.

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