Sunday, April 8, 2018

April 8 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1658 - Abraham Leeman van Santwits was the first officer and navigator of Waeckend Boey and he and 13 sailors were marooned on an island off the coast while trying to find survivors of the Gilt Dragon. They ate seabirds and seals to survive and dug a small well from which surprisingly they obtained reasonably fresh water to drink. Leeman urged his men to make repairs to the boat including a make shift sail of seal skins. Today in 1658 they began their voyage home to Batavia.

1800 - Today saw the first recorded public performance of a Shakespearean play in Australia.
The popular historical drama Henry IV Part 1 was performed at the “Theatre Sydney” according to a playbill advertising the event which is held in the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.
Margaret and David gave it 4 stars.

1802 - Matthew Flinders - that well-trained servant of the famous cat Trim - was pottering about the coast when he happened upon a French explorer chappie by the name of Nicholas Baudin today; being the polite, well-mannered souls that they were they sat and shared a coupla scones, a pot of tea, and various charts, maps and where-you-can-find-fresh-water knowledge as those explorer peeps are wont to do.
Matthew must have enjoyed the conversation greatly for he dubbed the spot Encounter Bay.

1814 - William Shelley scribed some fan-mail, dated Parramatta, 8 April 1814, to Governor Macquarie, about the civilisation of the natives, their relations with European women and a plan for an institution segregating boys and girls and educating them.

1816 - Wave your little wooden leg with gay abandon!
The patients were transferred from the old hospital to the new General Hospital in Sydney on this day.

1817 - Mary Reibey had a spare sitting room gathering dust in her house at Macquarie Place so a gaggle of Sydney merchants, with a nod and a wink from Gov Macquarie himself, started the Bank of NSW from her parlour. It changed its moniker to Westpac in 1982.

1822 - Charles Throsby wrote to Alexander Berry re the Shoalhaven cedar venture, the bearer of the letter being a native named Broughton who had been born at Shoalhaven.

1826 - Tired of reading tram timetables by torchlight, the first street lamp in Oz sprung to life in Macquarie Place, Sydney.

1829 - Charles White was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Thomas Murphy at Luskintyre.

The Colonial Times, published at Hobart Town, has put forth a lengthy and sensible article under this head, which the talented editor has followed up by two others on the same subject. It is a production worthy the consideration of the public, and an honor alike to the head and heart of its author. The humane feelings of a true Englishman recoils at the inhuman practice of binding a man to the stake like a bullock intended for slaughter and subject him to the infliction of the lash like a dog. Shame on our countrymen who first invented such an odious and appalling kind of torture. The article in question, we are happy to find, has had its desired effect; namely, that of making an impression on the mind and heart of Mr. Price, and Police Magistrate at Hobart Town, on its baneful and disgraceful tendency, inasmuch as to have induced him to alter his mode of punishment from that of flogging to solitary confinement, the roads, and the treadmill. Times are altered in these colonies. In days gone by, when the population consisted merely of prisoners of the Crown, and the civil and military officers - when men, with hearts like men, such as now inhabit considerable portions of the soil were afraid to approach these dreaded shores; when all kinds of cruelties were practised upon those degraded and miserable wretches who had offended against their country's laws, and where the lash might then be inflicted thick and threefold, without any commiserating Christian to stop or expose such wantonness; and when the people's safeguard - the Press - was yet unknown in the territory; then, indeed, might these poor creatures suffer their flesh to be town off their bones, without the humane intervention of men such as Governor Bourke, and others like him, to whose humanity the world is indebted for its abolition and arrest in an extensive degree.

1853 - Paddy, an Indigenous man, was hanged at Bathurst for the rape of Catherine Schmidt at Oakey Creek in the Mudgee district.

1853 - Patrick McCarthy, alias John Grady, was hanged at Bathurst for the murder of Henry Williamson at Bookimbla.

1854 - The Victorian Legislative Council actually agreed on something, and with someone, when Robert Hoddle came up with the idea to plonk the new Parliament House on the corner of Spring and Bourke Sts.

1865 - The Felons Apprehension Act was passed with the porridge in NSW, which allowed bushrangers to be proclaimed outlaws and shot on sight.

1865 - Mad Dog Morgan aka John Fuller aka John Smith aka the bushranger with a slight homicidal bent, one Daniel Morgan, was doing his worst at Peechelba Station near Wangaratta today; he lorded it about by ordering the whole household into the dining room ( just to watch him stuff himself) and demanded that Mrs MacPherson play the piano whilst he et.
The crafty nursemaid got Mad Dog Morgan's permission to attend to a crying babe but instead scurried out through a window to raise the alarm at a neighbours...police did their usual thing and Mad Dog Morgan - along with his murdering ways - was finished the next day.

1867 - Opening of Welsh Presbyterian Church in Welsh and English in Sebastopol, Ballarat. Boom year for all Sebastopol alluvial mines.

1873 - William McCrow was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol for the murder of Margaret Ward at Woolloomooloo.

1873 - John Scource was hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol for the murder of Elizabeth Lee on Sydney Harbour.

1881 - 217 of the original 340 emigrants of farming families from Veneto in Northern Italy, who had been conned into buying land and homes in the non-existent  paradise of La Nouvelle France (on New Ireland in the Bismarck Archipelago to the north-east of Papua New Guinea) arrived in Sydney, destitute and in poor health. The voyage from Italy had been so bad that 100 had died at sea, with many starving to death. The unseaworthy vessel limped into Noumea where the English Consul contacted Sir Henry Parkes who sent the steamer 'James Patterson' to rescue them. These survivors founded the settlement now called New Italy. They were capable colonists and thrived on the barren land. Building homes, digging wells, growing diverse crops and fruit trees, raising cattle and sheep, cutting railway sleepers and producing wine, cheese and salami. By 1888 the thriving community had a school, post office, church and two wine shops, a lucrative silk production called Sericulture and even a bicycle shop.

1892 - Over 200 Yass Citizens gazed on as the newly built rail bridge was fully load tested by driving not one but two locomotives onto it; passing with flying colours Yass finally had a railway line and station from which they could sally forth into the wide blue yonder!

1900 - Australian chickybabe Marie Byles was born....who was she, you may ask!  Solicitor, feminist, explorer, the first woman to be admitted as a solicitor in NSW (1924), author of By Cargo Boat and Mountain about her expeditions around the world, Marie campaigned for social justice, being significant in introducing and promoting Buddhism in NSW  she wrote The Lotus and the Spinning Wheel.
When she dropped off the perch she bequeathed her home to the National Trust of Australia NSW to preserve the native bushland and surrounding reserves.

1901 - Jimmie (Aboriginal male, no given surname) was hanged on gallows constructed at Shaw's Creek, Victoria River, NT for the murder of John Larsen at Daly River.

1903 - First meeting of the Mackay Town Council after Mackay was gazetted as a town.

1903 - Electrification arrived for the Bendigo Trams and ultimately there were four routes radiating from Charing Cross, the center of town; east along Mitchell Street; south to Golden Square; and north along Pall Mall and McCrae Street (today's surviving route) to Lake Weerona, later reaching the Gasworks and North Bendigo; and west along the already-built tramway to Eaglehawk.

1907 - Wireless communication from ship to ship was used for the brand spanking first time in Aussie waters when the German mail steamer Breman  told HMS Encounter of her ETA in Sydney.
And ordered fries with that.

1909 - A Royal Commission on the acquisition of certain estates by Sir Thomas Bent as a Minister of the Crown was established.
Tsk tsk tsk !

1914 - Ahead of the very first airmail flight in Oz He What Drove The Plane Maurice Guillaux arrived in Sydney on board the RMS Orontes, with his Blériot XI packed in a large wooden crate in the hold. Guillaux was an experienced aerobatic pilot, with a number of aviation records and prizes to his name.

1918 - The Stockinbingal to Parkes and Troy Junction to Merrygoen Railway Lines (NSW) were opened.

1918 - The Repatriation Dept was born; once soldiers were demobbed all efforts at their rehab and return to civilian life was the responsibility of the still over-worked, under-funded and under-valued Repat Dept.

1925 - A joint British-Australian Govt initiative (in other words they were all on the sauce together when they thought it up) was pupped to give Brits cheap loans to hump their bluey from the Old Dart to the sunny climes of Oz.

1927 - Beam wireless service commenced between Australia (Ballan transmit, Rockbank receiving), Great Britain and Ireland on April 8. The two way radio powered by a pedaloperated generator was invented by Alfred Traeger and quickly became the central tool of Royal Flying Doctor Service and distance education in the Australian outback. (John Flynn Place, Cloncurry).

1930 - The Brisbane Town Hall was crowned with a bottle of champers and blessed all who sail in her.

1933 - Westralia held a knees up that became a bun fight when it voted, by referendum, itself off the island of Or-stray-lia and wanted to become another country all on its lonesome. Sadly, the British House of Commons rejected this, saying they had to phone a friend and have the whole country vote it out of the Boot Camp. Thus, to this day, we are subjected to the West Coast Eagles...if only WA was allowed to secede!

1963 - The Dynon bogie exchange centre opened in Melbourne, Vic.
It's a train thing.

1964 - The Moonie-Brisbane Pipeline was thrown open for business today in 1964, inaugurating the production of Australia's first commercial oil field.

1974 - A decade later in 1974 saw Prime Minister Gough Whitlam telling us all that we would now warble Advance Or-stray-ya Fair instead of the old standard God Save The Queen.

1980 - Patrick Brookes was chosen as Mr Leather Australia at Stranded nightclub. He represented Australia at the International Leather Contest in Chicago.

1982 - John Cain (Jnr) became the first Labor Premier of Victoria since his father John Cain (Snr) in 1955.

1990 - The new Pride Club at 58a Flinders Street held a “warming” for the community.

1991 - Red paint was splashed on the doors and front steps of St Andrews Cathedral, St Marys Cathedral, Parliament House, Downing Centre Courts, Channel 10 and the Church Mission Society. The perpetrators claimed their targets were responsible for “homohatred, discrimination and violence against gay men and lesbians”.

1995 - The Gay and Lesbian Road Show began a tour of rural NSW from Lismore to resource local organisations and hold public forums.

1996 - Fire destroyed Kew Cottages home for disabled in Melbourne, killing nine people.

1998 - Charles Darwin National Park was officially declared by the Hon Tim Baldwin MLA.

2005 - The Wiggles, 4 Australian performers, topped BRW Magazine's list of Australia's 50 richest performers in 2004 with an estimated gross income of $34.5 million, up from $10.7 million in the previous year.

2008 - An Australian man was sentenced to nearly three years in jail for shining a laser pointer at a police helicopter and temporarily blinding the pilot.

2009 - A fishing vessel carrying 45 boatpeople, believed to be from Iraq, landed on Australia’s remote Christmas Island, island, a day after the opposition party said a softer stance on refugees had prompted a "surge" in illegal immigrants.

2011 - Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan officially rejected a proposed merger of the Australian and Singapore stock exchanges, branding it a takeover by the city-state that offered no benefits.

2012 - A tanker traveling from Australia to Singapore found some 120 asylum seekers, all believed to be men from Afghanistan and Iran, on a sinking boat in Indonesian waters and rescued them.

2013 - Australia and China agreed to make their currencies directly exchangeable in a deal that advances internationalization of the yuan and reduces costs for companies. PM Julia Gilliard said the Australian dollar will become only the third major currency to have direct convertibility with the yuan, after the US dollar and Japanese yen.

2015 - The Hon. Natalie Hutchins, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, called for applications from Victorian Traditional Owners to become members of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council.

2015 - Luritja artist Harold Thomas who designed the Aboriginal flag condemned the use of the iconic red black and yellow in the racist Reclaim Australia rallies, saying to use it as a “banner for anger” is “idiotic”.
Hundreds of anti-Islam protestors, including former One Nation politician Pauline Hanson, mobilised in 16 cities to “Reclaim Australia”, a national movement against Islamic extremism, halal certification and Sharia law, with banners including both the Australian and Aboriginal flags.

2015 - Broome marathon runner Adrian Dodson-Shaw became the first Indigenous Australian to complete one of the world's most gruelling sporting challenges, the North Pole Marathon.

2016 - The Aboriginal Health Council of WA said the Federal Government’s new plan to provide better care for people with chronic illnesses amounted to trialing the Aboriginal Medical Service model in non-Aboriginal communities.

2016 - Dr Rosalie Triolo was presented with her FAHS Merit Award.The award was presented by Ms Catherine Andrews, who made a passionate speech in praise of Rosalie’s work in teacher education and
curriculum development.  The citation in part reads: ‘Dr Triolo has lectured on methods of history teaching at Monash University for over twenty years, gaining a number of awards for teaching during that time from university and state professional teaching bodies. She has been on the Board of the
History Teachers’ Association of Victoria (HTAV) for fifteen years, including three years as HTAV President. Dr Rosalie Triolo has made a highly significant contribution to history advocacy, history curriculum and teacher training at the national level."

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