BIOGRAPHY: John Curtin, 14th Prime Minister – Australia mourned his death

AUST + USA: CURTIN COOPERATED WITH GENERAL MACARTHUR. AUSTRALIA NOW USED THE AMERICAN OPERATIONS IN THE PACIFIC.

“Peaceful passing in sleep after lengthy illness,” The Canberra Times said.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

A statement issued by the Acting Prime Minister, Frank Forde, stated, “The life of the Prime Minister, Mr John Curtin, came to an end peacefully and without pain, in his sleep, at 4am today. Mrs Curtin was at his bedside.”

Flight-Sergeant John Curtin, his son, was at the Lodge when the end came. Mrs J.W. Cole, their daughter, who was ill in Perth, was told of the news by telephone.

Politician John Joseph Ambrose Curtin, was born at Creswick, Victoria, of Irish Catholic immigrant parents on January 8, 1885. He left school in Melbourne at 13 and continued his education by voracious reading. In 1903 to 1911, he held a succession of unskilled jobs before becoming an estimates clerk.

Curtin’s early commitment to socialism was fostered by close association with radical Victorian MLA Frank Anstey and the international syndicalist Tom Mann. He was active in the Political Labor Council, the ALP and the Victorian Socialist Party, of which, from 1910 to 1911, he was the secretary.

Curtin wrote prolifically for left-wing papers and polished his oratory skills at public forums. He worked for the Sawmillers (later Timber Workers) Union and the Australian Workers Union. Despite his increasing dependence on alcohol, became an organiser for the union movement’s anti-conscription campaign.

RECOGNISED WAR SIGNS

A committed pacifist, he was briefly jailed and fined for sedition. Curtin moved to Perth as editor of the AWU’s Westralian Worker, from 1917 to 1928, which he built into a nationally respected Labor paper.

He had become a convert to parliamentary democracy and was elected to federal parliament at his fourth attempt, becoming MHR for Fremantle from 1928 to 1931, until the fall of the Scullin Government. He gained renown for his passionate, eloquent and well-informed speeches.

He regained the seat in 1934 and held it through three elections until his death as prime minister in 1945.

Curtin, on pledging to abstain from alcohol, was chosen as leader of the opposition im 1935, and set about reuniting an ALP shattered by defections and the schism caused by NSW Premier Jack Lang. Curtin recognised the inevitability of war and urged the preparation of Australia’s defences and modernisation of its air force; this angering Labor isolationists and pacifists.

In October, 1941, he became prime minister and minister for defence coordination after the unstable Menzies-Fadden Government lost its parliamentary majority.

WARTIME LEADERSHIP

As the Japanese army moved south through the Pacific, Curtin realise that Australia was dispensable to Britain and controversially announced: “I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinships with the United Kingdom.”

He cooperated fully with General MacArthur in allowing Australia’s use as a base for American operations in the Pacific.

He infuriated Churchill by recalling Australian troops from the Middle East to defend Australia; to which end he also gradually extended the scope of conscription, contrary to his lifelong beliefs and despite bitter opposition from within the ALP.

He fulfilled several of his stringent recruitment measures and he maintained a commitment to the ALP’s socialist agenda: he introduced unemployment and sickness benefits and PAYE taxation. And, as well, he fully supported Treasurer Ben Chifley’s proposed monetary reforms and inaugurated the visionary post-war reconstruction program.

However, the constant strain of wartime leadership undermined his health. A heath attack in November 1944 weakened him. On July 5, 1945, he died, only weeks before the war ended.

<< Biography: Monash Australia International University, Reef Reference Publishing, Victorian.

Modern Labor: John Curtin and Elsie, his wife … death was not far away. The Facts: Time Magazine features “Curtin from Down Under” in its April 24, 1944 issue.


YOU’VE GOT ME! THE CAPTURE OF NED KELLY IN THE FILM VERSION OF THE NED KELLY GANG IN THE 1920s. KELLY STILL WEARS THE BODICE OF THE STEEL ARMOUR; THE HELMET IS BY HIS SIDE.

AUSTRALIAN CHRONICLE NEWPAPER: PART 1. NED KELLY’S GANG BROKEN AT LAST

BUSHRANGERS … A wild career said police. Brave or brutal?

A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Melbourne, November 11th, 1880 – The infamous outlaw, Ned Kelly, was hanged at Melbourne today. His last words were, “Such is life.”

Kelly was captured by police at Glenrowan on Monday, June 24th, after a fierce battle in which many shots were exchanged.

After being 16 months in hiding, some of Kelly’s gang went to the hut of former friend, Aaron Sherritt, and shot him dead because they believed he had entered the pay of the police.

The murderers rode 40 miles (80 km) to join Kelly and a confederate, Steve Hart, in taking possession of Glenrowan township where about 30 people, women and children among them, were imprisoned in the hotel owned by Mrs Ann Jones.

BURNT DOWN

The outlaws then forced fettlers to remove sleepers from a nearby railway line to wreck a train transporting police to Glenrowan. The loss of the train was averted by prompt action on the part of Tom Curnow, a schoolteacher.

When police arrived and rushed the hotel, Kelly was wearing armour weighing 90 lb, comprising headpiece, breastplate, backplate and apron. Despite this protection he was shot down after a fierce gun battle, and arrested.

Mrs Jones’s hotel was burnt during the fray.

The Kelly Gang, as it became known, comprised of youths who had criminal records from an early age. Kelly, the leader, was arrested for assault when 14, and gaoled for a similar offence a year later.

THEY WENT INTO HIDING.

Both Ned Kelly and his brother Dan were wanted for wounding a policeman on April 15th, 1878. They “went bush” and a reward of 100 pound each was offered for their arrest.

Perhaps their most spectacular holdup was at Jerilderie, New South Wales.

On Saturday night, February 8th, they locked up two policemen and donned police garb. On Monday morning they robbed the Jerilderie branch of the Bank of New South Wales of 2141 pounds. They detained about 60 people in Jerilderie’s Royal Hotel.

Following the exploit a reward of two thousand pounds each was offered for the capture of the gang members. It was then that they went into hiding.

Ned Kelly as well as his associates made frequent allegations of police brutality. The average decent citizen does not question the bravery of the men in uniform who ended the wild career of the reckless and brutal outlaws.

<< Australian Chronicle Newspaper, 1871-1880; by Frank Morris and Frank S. Greenop; Antipodean Publishers Pty Ltd, Artarmon, Australia.

BUSHRANGERS: Part 2 – When Thunderbolt met his match! Coming in May.

Such is life: Sketch shows Ned Kelly nearing his end. Ned Kelly: I’m the head of the Kelly Gang!


CHISEL-CHINNED MODELS: THEY POINT VACANTLY OR CLUTCH TELEPHONES AT IMPROBABLE ANGLES.

COVERS 1995: DJ -- THE NEW MAGAZINE FOR DAVID JONES

“Hello and welcome to an Australian ‘first’” said Chris Tideman, Chief Executive.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

“This is first time a sophisticated, quality magazine has been published in Australia exclusively for a department store,” said Chris Tideman in the magazine’s ‘Welcome to DJ. “Your favourite store is as creative and innovative as ever.”

When you turn the pages of this magazine you find that it will hold its own against any other women’s journal. “Service has been our hallmark since we opened our first store in 1838,” Tideman said.

A lot was happening to David Jones when the magazine was produced. It’s been in retailing for 157 years. “We now have 32 stores and you loyalty continues to be the driving force behind our success … the first of a series of new stores have opened in Cairns … and there will more in coming months.”

NEW ESSENTIALS

Tideman continues: “Our new store at Tuggerah, on the NSW Central Coast, opens in October; and in November we start trading at our relocated store Westfield Parramatta. Our first suburban store in Melbourne will open at Glen Waverley early next year … then at Queensland: Robina next year and at Carindale in 1997.”

DJ, “the first fabulous issue” is 116 thick with full-colour throughout, they are 24 pages of “red hot” fashion split up with pages of café-style homewares, Spring beauty’s new essentials, Tanzania travel safari, wine and an interview with Mike Carlton, etc.

Carlton says: “John Lennon once said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Fashion is what happens to me when I’m wearing other clothes.” Said Mike:

On his dinner jacket:

“I like white dinner jackets … if they were good enough for Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, they’re good enough for me.”

TANNED, CHISEL-CHINNED

Ties and things:

“I sally forth to buy ties in sober regimental stripes on the day that menswear departments are proudly unveiling their new shipment of lairy splodges.”

Fashion gear:

“My pet fashion hate is the casual gear covered in fake sports insignia. No sailor would be caught dead in it.”

Models:

“Models themselves are such dweebs. Tanned, chisel-chinned, clear of eye, they point vacantly into the near distance or clutch telephones at improbable angles.”

Said Tideman: “Successful retailing demands constant sensitivity to customer needs … (and) we have 13,000 dedicated people on the team, working hard … making sure that there is no other store like David Jones.”

<< DJ – the first issue of David Jones Spring/Summer magazine, 1995.

Up Front: DJ, first “fabulous” issue.


CHATTER!  PART 3. OUTBACK INTERLUDE BY LEX DIXON, JR

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 21 April 17

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