Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May 16 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History

1770 - Cap. Jimmy Cook (Sir to his mates) sailed merrily past the Gold Coast on this day.

1806 - James Dabbs was hanged at Sydney for burglary from the home of Rowland Hassall at Parramatta.

1820 - Gosh, Lachlan Macquarie had a harsh working life. I really felt for him when I read his diary entry for today....
"I went down to Sydney this morning after Breakfast to transact Business, returning to Parramatta to Dinner. —
I dispatched the Govt. Brig, Princess Charlotte, for Van Diemen's Land with 70 Female Convicts for the two Settlements."

1822 - First Fleeter James Squire, who is credited with the first successful cultivation of hops in Australia (think James Squire Beer)  popped his clogs at Kissing Point, and was buried in the Devonshire Street Cemetery – Altar Tomb, which today is at the Botany Pioneer Park.

1823 - That Magik Fairy was out and about again in the Illawarra when Mr. John Paul was granted 600 acres.

1836 - James Tobin was hanged at Sydney for the murder of Patrick Fox at Marks' Farm, Illawarra.

1836 - Surveyor-General of New South Wales Major Thomas Livingstone Mitchell parked his posterior at what later became the town of Balranald.

1860 - William Goodson was hanged at Darlinghurst for the murder of his wife Mary Goodson at Kissing Point.

1860 - Explorer John Mackay stumbled upon an area in QLD between the Burdekin and the watershed of the Isaacs River which was dubbed the Mackay District.

1861 - Rt. Hon. Sir John Young, Bt, KCB, GCMG, PC, (later 1st Baron Lisgar) donned the frilly drawers of Governor of NSW.

1863 - Mr. Barnes, of Cootamundra, should have stayed in bed today as bushranger Ben Hall robbed his store then tried to use it as a campfire to keep warm.

1868 - The first Australian cricket team arrived in England for a series of matches.
The team consisted of 13 Aboriginal men from the Western District of Victoria. The Jardwadjali, Gunditjmara and Wotjobaluk men were coached and captained by an ex all-England cricketer, Charles Lawrence. The team played 47 matches against intermediate-level English amateur teams between May and October 1868.
This Sporting Life reported,
"They are the first native Australians to have visited this country on such a novel expedition, but it must not be inferred that they are savages; on the contrary … They are perfectly civilized, having been brought up in the bush to agricultural pursuits … With respect to their prowess as cricketers – that will be conclusively determined by their first public match."
The players were;
Johnny Mullagh – traditional name: Unaarrimin
Bullocky – traditional name: Bullchanach. A wicketkeeper, Bullocky was referred to as "at once the black Bannerman and Blackham of his team".
Sundown – traditional name: Ballrin
Dick-a-Dick – traditional name: Jungunjinanuke
Johnny Cuzens – traditional name: Zellanach
King Cole – traditional name: Bripumyarrimin
Red Cap – traditional name: Brimbunyah
Twopenny – traditional name: Murrumgunarriman
Charley Dumas – traditional name: Pripumuarraman
Jimmy Mosquito – traditional name: Grougarrong, who "could walk upright under a bar and then jump it in a stander".
Tiger – traditional name: Boninbarngeet
Peter – traditional name: Arrahmunijarrimun
Jim Crow – traditional name: Jallachniurrimin

1878 - The town of Quorn, South Oz was proclaimed on this day and named by Governor Jervois after Quorndon in Leicestershire.

1882 - A special train left Adelaide to take visitors to Quorn for the opening of the line from Terowie, for this leg made Quorn the rail junction of the north with lines east to Terowie, west to Port Augusta and north to Government Gums just completed.

1889 - Rev. James Scott recommended a teaching university for Tasmania with a salaried chancellor and proposed school master and C of E clergyman Richard Deodatus Poulett Harris for the position 'as one who has done the state pre-eminent service'.

1890 - The Aborigines Protection Act 1886 (Vic) was published in the Victorian Government Gazette on this day.
This act sought to excise “half castes” from the reserve system, unless over 34, a female half caste married to an Aboriginal, a child of an Aboriginal, or any “half-caste” licensed to live on the reserve.  Those failing to meet these requirements were forbidden to live on the reserve, expected to become self supporting absorbed into the wider community, no longer be a financial burden, and thus assimilated.
Limited support could be given to those struggling outside the reserve system, for up to 7 years. The reserve system was to be limited for a fear of creating poor houses, and entrenched Aboriginal possession of lands. For those remaining under the reserve system, freedom of movement, occupation, and conduct of a personal life such as marriage to a partner of choice, living in community with family were restricted.

1891 - Henry Lawson's poem Freedom on The Wallaby was first published on this date and when later read out in the Qld Parliament there were calls for Lawson to be charged with sedition. *gasp*.

1908 - Down on your luck authors and poets of Oz need fret no more as the Commonwealth Literary Fund was founded as a pension fund but in 1939 Pig Iron Bob Menzies (can't you just feel the lurve?) turned it into a grants scheme for writers and then Gough hand-balled it into the Australia Council in 1973.

1917 - Formation of the Australian War Records section, which then starts collecting for the Australian War Memorial Museum, which later became the Australian War Memorial.

1922 - Australian songbird Florence Mary Austral (actually born Florence Wilson in Richmond, Vic)  made her début at Convent Garden under the auspices of the British National Opera Company.

1929 - Things were a bit crook on the Meekatharra rail line, as reported in The Daily News;
Heavy rains in the Murchison have temporarily dislocated railway traffic on the Meekatharra line.
The Commissioner of Railways (Mr. E. A. Evans) was advised today that the train scheduled to leave Meekatharra for Perth at 10.10 p.m. yesterday would be unable to leave before midday today on
account of floods. It was stated that over a 70-mile stretch this side of Meekatharra the line was submerged, in some parts as deep as '2ft. The line between Meekatharra and Nannine was also covered with debris, so that the passage of a train would be impossible.

1939 - The Royal Commission into the Black Friday bushfires of 1939 presented its final report to Parliament.

1940 - The NSW Coalminers strike for higher wages and shorter hours, which had started on March 11, finished on this day as unions agreed to abide by Arbitration Court award.

1940 - Leonhard Adam, a Jewish anthropologist, lawyer and academic, had escaped Nazi Germany for England when he was incorrectly labelled and interned as an "enemy alien" on this day then sent to Australia as one of the Dunera Boys on board the ship Dunera to the internment camp at Tatura, Vic.

1943 - Dam Busters raid, with the participation of many Aussies and Kiwis, took place at Ruhr Valley in Germany.

1956 – The first post-war British nuclear tests began in Australia, with Operation Mosaic at Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia.

1967 - Liberal MP Edward St John called for a new enquiry into the Voyager disaster in his maiden speech.

1967 - A week before the referendum, Margaret Valadian, a prominent Aboriginal Australian, provided her perspective on life in Australia in a televised broadcast.

1967 - Gough Whitlam, opposition leader at the time, told Australians in a televised broadcast on this day that "if Australia fails to write 'Yes' to the proposal on Aborigines, the rest of the world will believe that we have neither comprehension nor compassion".

1968 - Official visit to Victorian Parliament of the Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty, Haile Salassie I.

1968 -  Fire Support Base Coral attacked for a second time
An attack on the base by a North Vietnamese Army force estimated at three battalions was repelled by APCs and soldiers from 1st battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. Five Australians were killed and 19 wounded. Thirty-four enemy bodies were found.

1981 - The Australian Soccer Team was dealt a savage blow by an over-seas competitor...they went down 0 - 2 to NZ at the SCG.

1983 – NSW Premier Neville Wran stepped aside in response to allegations raised by ABC TV program Four Corners that he attempted to influence the NSW Magistracy.

1998 - The Women’s Library re-opened at 10 Brown Street, Newtown.

2004 - The Murwillumbah Railway Branch Line (NSW) was kicked to the kerb and closed.

2006 - SBS TV screened a same-sex partnerships, civil unions and marriage episode of Insight.

2008 -  In Australia protesting pensioners brought traffic to a stand still in Melbourne when some stripped to demand more money from the government.

2011 - Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald said a development application has been lodged for a Aus$12 million (US$12.7 million) extension to the Stiletto brothel, which proposes doubling its size to 40 working rooms and 21 waiting rooms.

2012 - Australia said it will contribute $100 million annually for three years beginning in 2015 toward the $4 billion a year cost of running the Afghan National Security Forces after they take responsibility for their country's security.

2013 - The Australian Parliament passed legislation which extended the excision policy to the Australian mainland. This means that asylum seekers who arrive by boat anywhere in Australia cannot lodge a valid protection claim except at the discretion of the Minister for Immigration and are at risk of being transferred offshore for processing. Previously, the excision policy applied only to excised offshore places, such as Christmas Island.

2016 - Charges were laid against the former chief executive officer (CEO) of the Garnduwa Amboorny Wirnan Aboriginal Corporation (Garnduwa).
It was alleged that Mr Alan Hugh Bishop dishonestly misused his position as CEO of Garnduwa on 38 occasions to transfer corporation funds into his own personal bank or credit card accounts. From July 2013 to December 2014, Mr Bishop was alleged to have created false records to raise 38 Garnduwa cheques totalling $237,305.48 which he used for his own personal benefit.
Thirty-eight charges have been brought against Mr Bishop under section 265-25(3)(a) of the CATSI Act.

2017 - The Wagga Wagga Aboriginal Languages Bill workshop took Wagga Wagga.


  1. I have to ask. Did the Indigenous Cricket Team triumph? I hope so. I really hope so.

  2. EC - I think they took pity on the Poms.
    From 47 matches they won 14, lost 14 and drew 19.

  3. "James Dabbs was hanged at Sydney for burglary ..."

    This was a shock. Really?

    I'm trying to understand the motives of the half caste rules. Were they trying to prevent non-natives from marrying in and creating a whole new group of people? I had to chuckle at how they seem to give up on women over 34.

    And...2011. Wait. What. Are brothels legal in Australia?

  4. Sandi - they had a thing about hanging.
    The "half-caste" rules were basically a budget measure so the Government didn't have to support people they'd kicked off their own lands, but retained all legal say over their daily lives.
    As to the brothels - we have to get the politicians off the streets, somehow!

  5. Sandi - they had a thing about hanging.
    The "half-caste" rules were basically a budget measure so the Government didn't have to support people they'd kicked off their own lands, but retained all legal say over their daily lives.
    As to the brothels - we have to get the politicians off the streets, somehow!

  6. Was amused what happened in 1863..we visited last winter.
    Don't recall that women stripped in 2008
    Must have been a sight to see.