Sunday, May 13, 2018

May 13 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1756 - The Dutch were having a bit of a Captain Cook around the place, with one ship, the Rijder , having hung about Wednesday Island for a bit waiting to catch up with the ship, Buijs, but which then put out to sea on this day.

1787 – The First Fleet choofed off from Portsmouth, England, for New South Wales, with the intention of establishing the first European settlement in Australia.

1789 - John Caesar aka Black Caesar, a convict who obviously didn't like the table service, did a runner into the bush with arms and ammunition.

1811 - Thomas Clough was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Thomas Cooney. After being executed his body was handed over to surgeons for dissection and anatomisation.

1819 - Margaret Catchpole, the infamous female convict who had a few well chronicled adventures, passed into the great beyond.

1837 -   Joseph Bradbury, John Newman, Soloman Wakefield, John Hewitt and David Williams admitted to Newcastle gaol from Merton. To be sent for trial before the Supreme court for robbery.

1837 - Judge Sir John William Jeffcot held the first criminal sessions in the province of South Oz.

1839 - In letters to General Secretaries of the Wesleyan Methodist Mission Society Joseph Orton stressed that Aborigines around Geelong had been reduced to “pilfering – starving – obtrusive mendicants”, “a tax upon the [European] inhabitants”.

1845 - The Portland Bay Examiner fishwrapper ceased to exist after a whopping 4 months.

1855 - The immigrant ship Nashwauk, only 18 months old, and carrying some 300 Irish girls, crashed ashore south of the mouth of the Onkaparinga at about 3 a.m. The passengers were able to be taken off the stricken ship and were cared for by local people. The following morning the steamer Melbourne and Government schooner Yatala were sent from Port Adelaide to pick up the stranded passengers. However, some of the immigrants were reluctant to board ship again and were taken to Adelaide in bullock wagons.

1857 - St Kilda Junction to St. Kilda Railway Line (Vic) opened.

1861 – John Tebbutt, of Windsor, New South Wales, tripped over what would become known as the "Great Comet of 1861".

1867 - The first South Sea Islanders arrived aboard the ship "Prima Donna". 70 arrived to start work as indentured labourers on plantations around Mackay.

1870 - Ohhhh the humanity....the Port Adelaide Footy Club was founded in South Oz.

1872 - Alberto Zelman first conducted opera in Melbourne at the Princess Theatre for the performance of Lucia di Lammermoor in the Cagli-Lyster Italian opera season.

1873 -  Customs Officers fired upon Kaiadilt people fishing at Sweers Island.The officers kidnapped a young Aboriginal boy during the incident.

1885 - A public meeting held today led to the establishment of Lady Musgrave Lodge as a hostel and training place for immigrants and other 'friendless' girls.
The Lady Musgrave Lodge Committee was the initiative of a group of Brisbane women who felt that there was a need to provide a good home for working women and girls in Brisbane. The committee raised and administered funding to support the lodge where respectable young women could 'take rest or board while waiting a new situation.' Primarily designed to be a first port of call for young emigrant women arriving in the colony, it was also a place to stay for local working women and girls between jobs. It was named for its first patron, Queensland Governor's wife, Lady Lucinda Musgrave.

1901 - Charles Beckman was hanged at Boggo Road Gaol for the murder of Alfred Anderson at Bowen.

1901 - Royal visit to Ballarat by Prince George & Princess May aka the Duke and Duchess of York (whom later took the monikers of King George V and Queen Mary) by special train from Spencer St Station to Geelong, then on to Ballarat.

1901 - The Soldiers Statue Foundation Stone was laid at Sturt St, Ballarat by Prince George and Princess May, before a flying visit to Ballarat East to see the magnificent fir trees the Prince and his late brother the Duke of Clarence (Prince Albert Victor) had planted as mere saplings 20 years earlier.

1902 - An Interstate Royal Commission on the River Murray, representing the States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia was established.

1912 - Two McKeen cars went into service, one each on the Ballarat-Maryborough and Hamilton-Warrnambool railway lines (Vic).
More info on these handsome imports HERE.

1921 - The first sixty-one women justices of the peace in NSW were appointed on this day.

1932 - Premier of NSW (and Henry Lawson's brother-in-law) Jack Lang was kicked to the kerb and dismissed by the Governor Sir Philip Game.

1957 - The Kew Junction to Kew Railway Line (Vic) was kicked to the kerb.

1957 - The Hawthorn to Kew Junction Railway Line (Vic) was similarly dispensed with.

1957 - In the Northern Territory nearly all Aboriginal people were named in a Register of Aboriginal Wards published in the Northern Territory Government Gazette, no. 1913, on this day. It recorded place of residence, tribal and language groups and dates of births and deaths. A copy is now held by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Darwin.

1957 - The Aboriginals Ordinance (as amended by the No 2 Ordinance) was repealed by the Welfare
Ordinance in the NT. The Administrator declared some 15,000 people (both adults and children) to be wards under 14 of the 1953 Ordinance on 13 May 1957. This included a blanket gazettal of wardship of all Aborigines of full descent. The 1953 Ordinance proceeded on the assumption that Aboriginal people of mixed descent had been assimilated, although they could be the subject of individual declarations.

1962 – Paul McDermott, the comedian, performer, and television host, was pupped in Adelaide.

1965 – Following the 1965 state election, Bob Askin was sworn in as Premier of New South Wales, leading for the first time a coalition of the Liberal Party and the Country Party.

1967 - The Easybeats returned to Australian from the UK for a triumphant national tour. The group later remembered this tour as the highpoint of their career.

1968 - The Battle of Coral & Balmoral, Vietnam War.
The Battle for Fire Support Base (FSB) Coral begins with an enemy attack that overran 1 RAR Mortar Platoon and captured one of 102 Field Battery’s gun pits. The base was cleared with the help of helicopter gunships. After a second attack on May 15, Australian casualties around Coral stand at 15 killed and 56 wounded while enemy losses were estimated to exceed 100 dead.

1983 - The NSW Gay Rights Lobby, concerned about the explicit association of AIDS with gays, picketed the Red Cross Blood Bank with slogans such as “ban the bigots, not the blood”. This became a public relations disaster as homosexuals were accused of being willing to put others at risk by continuing to donate blood.

1984 - The many friends of Bobby Goldsmith, Gay Rights activist,  rallied round to care for him and organised a fundraising event, held under the auspices of the Gay Counselling Service on Mother’s Day at a gay venue, the Midnight Shift, Oxford Street, Sydney, on this day. $6,035 was raised some of which was used to buy a commode, a video player to enable him to watch opera, and a support mattress to enable him to remain at home rather than in hospital.

1986 - A Brisvegas lady by the name of Eileen Chappel took out the Aussie record for cucumbers when hers topped the scales at 22kgs.

1994 - Reforms passed the lower house of NSW Parliament outlawing HIV/AIDS related vilification.

2002 - That wonderful Aussie actress, Ruth Cracknell, exited stage left for the last time.

2005 - East Timor finished talks in Sydney, Australia, that managed to overcome 2 main sticking points on their maritime border and revenue from the Greater Sunrise gasfield. They agreed to defer the boundary issue for 50 years along.

2007 - PM John Howard said the Australian government has banned the country's cricket team from touring Zimbabwe in September because he does not want to support the regime of a "grubby dictator."

2008 -  The Rudd Government abolished Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs). Immigration Minister Chris Evans stated “the Temporary Protection visa was one of the worst aspects of the Howard government’s punitive treatment of refugees, many of whom had suffered enormously before fleeing to Australia. There is clear evidence that the TPV arrangements did nothing to prevent unauthorised boat arrivals.”

2008 - Two major Australian banks agreed to a proposed merger which would create the nation's biggest financial services group worth around 66 billion dollars (62 billion US). St George, the country's fifth-largest bank, said it had agreed to an 18.6 billion dollar offer from Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia's third-largest bank by market capitalization.

2012 -  A resident of Old South Head Road, Sydney, Don Ritchie, who successfully intervened in at least 160 suicide attempts at The Gap, died aged 86.

2015 - Bob Randall (81), Aborigine teacher and campaigner, died. He was a victim of the Australian policy (1910-1970) to place half-castes in institutions to civilize and Christianize them.

2015 - Boxing Australia welcomed the decision by the Australian Olympic Committee to recognise the nation’s first people in its Constitution.

2017 - A  Yarning Circle on the history of Brisbane’s Boundary Streets was held at The Gap.


  1. Sadly Oz is again recognising a grubby pussing grabbing dictator's regime.
    Don Ritchie (and his largely unrecognised and unlauded wife) did some amazing work.

  2. Oh, yes, that particular orange idiot is revolting.
    Ahh, Mrs Ritchie is sadly not mentioned anywhere :(

  3. Oh, yes, that particular orange idiot is revolting.
    Ahh, Mrs Ritchie is sadly not mentioned anywhere :(