Grand Years with Frank Morris

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 10 records of 163

GHOST SHIPS: Part 2. The Mary Celeste and other derelicts

GHOST SHIP: SUPER TANKER PRESTIGE, FULLY LADEN FROM BAHAMAIN, WHICH SANK OFF THE COAST OF SPAIN IN 2002. THE TANKER WAS SNAPPED IN TWO. AS LONG AS THEIR BULKHEADS HOLD, STEEL SHIPS ARE KNOWN TO HAVE BECOME DRIFTING DERELICTS. PAINTING: BY ALAN LUCAS.

Resolven was found some time later by a boarding party from HMS Mallard.

ALAN LUCAS

Almost on par with Mary Celeste, in the annals of mystery ships, was the brig Resolven. In 1884, she was sailing out to load fish from the Grand Bank schooners when her people completely disappeared.

She was later found and boarded by a party from HMS Mallard who noted that the port and starboard lights were still alight, the galley fire was still burning, and in the cabin was a bag of gold ready to pay the fishermen for their catches.

There was nothing wrong with Resolven; yet the fate of her missing people was never solved.

In 1881, an even stranger mystery derelict was that of the American sailing vessel Ellen Austin. That year, she was found abandoned in perfect order by a passing schooner whose skipper and crew felt confident of receiving a fair salvage settlement once they got her into port.

To this end they put a salvage crew aboard to sail her to the nearest American port, and en route both vessels encountered a moderate storm that separated them. Incredibly, when they met again, the crew of the prize ship had completely disappeared for no logical reason.

DISMASTED AND LEAKING BADLY

As to how two separate crews on the same ship could so completely disappear in such a short time, it was a double-whammy mystery never solved.

There was a no mystery attached to the schooner W.L. White for she was very willingly abandoned in a blizzard in Delaware Bay in 1888 after her crew hoisted her ensign upside down to signal distress. Abandoned, she then become famous for her long distance drift along a course later carefully plotted by the US Hydrographic Department.

The schooner drifted over 5000 miles in eleven months, which is about 15 miles a day. In which time no fewer that forty ships reported her before she finally went ashore in the Hebrides, northern Scotland.

Drifting 5000 miles in eleven months might be something of a record. Another vessel took nineteen months for the same distance. In 1895, the schooner Alma Cummings crew were taken off by a steamer after being dismasted and found to be leaking badly.

No-one would believe she could have floated for nineteen months, but that’s exactly what she did. During that time she was a nightmare for every navigator who knew of her but had no idea where she might be encountered.

It was especially worrying during the long night hours; this fact inspiring a passing steamer’s crew to go aboard and burn her. This they did. But then she became an even more dangerous obstacle because instead of sinking she floated just below the surface.

<< Ghost Ships – the Mary Celeste and other derelicts by Alan Lucas; Afloat Magazine, August, 2017.

Next fortnight: Final part. Alan Lucas touches on two more derelicts in our wide, wide ocean.

Illustrations: Hard life. The barque Edward L. Maybury is seen drifting in the North Atlantic long after being abandoned. Did not go down. The barque Manicia abandoned in the North Sea in the late 1800s. She was found heeling to starboard, obviously in a sinking state. But she didn’t sink. She became a shipping hazard for a long time.


YOUR GATSBY CAR: WELL, YOUR GATSBY IS READY TO GO.

NOW, YOU DRIVE A GATSBY!

FRANK MORRIS

“I feel like a drive in the Gatsby,” he said. “I don’t think you should; you are just getting over the stroke?” said I.

“It a not a whopping big car. It only recently brand new. It’s a Gatsby mobility scooter. “And you know what,” he said, “Gatsby is an impressive model. The high standards of workmanship, to say the least, puts this mobility scooter on a very high plane.

“It’s a touring scooter and elegantly mobile. It was an excellent choice,” he said. Jay Gatsby would have been ahead of the crowd.

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE IT

The name Gatsby lives up to its individuality. “We are combining style with advanced technology and that adds a new dimension to the advanced world of mobility scooters,” said a spokesman.

If you love to go travelling, and be seen in style, there only one way to go – it’s a Gatsby.

“There nothing like it,” said the spokesman. And it comes in either red or black.”

<< Scooters Australia; 1300 622 633; www.scootersAus.com.au

Illustration: All the mod cons. The Gatsby is equipped with the modern touch. It has a stand-out dial base and pump-up tyres. Just two of the many features.


GOLD, GOLD, GOLD: BETTY CUTHBERT AND HER GOLD MEDALS.

FAMOUS CELEBRITY: FINAL. HOW BETTY CUTHBERT WAS DISCOVERED!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

There is such a similarity in the careers of Betty Cuthbert and Marjorie Jackson. Such a comparison is unavoidable but it is hardly fair to come to a formal judgement until the careers of each is finished. Marjorie has retired and Betty Cuthbert would appear to have several years ahead of her.

Cuthbert has no nerves once she goes to her mark for the start. It isn’t a hard-boiled nervelessness, or familiarity with strain of top level competition; it is merely that she refuses to believe the fate of the world hangs on the result? Cuthbert runs without the tension that affects so many women sprinters.

ESSENTIALLY FEMININE

Her high knee lift and what a few overseas critics describe as “an exaggerated ugly style” are merely an indication of the looseness of limb that relaxation allows.

In the usual press interviews after her victory when microphones were thrust at her and cameras thrust in her face her composure and modesty were remarkable.

No one gained more gold medals than she did. No gold medallist was younger, and none was prettier nor more essentially feminine. And none more fully deserved the adulation of the crowd.

<< Olympic Saga. The Track and Field story, Melbourne, 1956; Keith Donald and Don Selth; Futurian Press, Sydney. First Edition, 1957.

Illustration: Extra close. Betty Cuthbert and her sister, Maria.


PEOPLE ARE OBESE: ARE YOU ONE OF THEM?

FOUR RISKS TO WORRY ABOUT – A SHORT LIST OF DEATH AND DANGER

Most health threats come as a big surprise. In the olden days, the skull and crossbones would adhere itself in obvious way! But not today; it’s left up to statistics.

FRANK MORRIS

Risk – it’s a dangerous word. It’s a word which seems to have everybody’s measure. So, what will cause your death? And what are your approximate chances? Statistics always seems to make death probable.

“We’re all told that death is certain. But even with something that ought to be as clear-cut as dying, it turns out that numbers (statistics) are an unreliable guide at best,” said Dr Holt.

“What are your odds of dying from any single cause? You can look them up in the chart below. But these statistics are no better than the data behind them. And sometimes that data is not strong, or is sketchy.

“The statistics are probably wrong. (This is) because the relationship between statistics and any individual is always shaky.

“People are different and researchers use statistics primarily to overcome this inconvenient fact,” said Dr Holt.

Here is Dr Holt’s batch of true life-and-death dangers.

OBESITY - More the one-quarter of Australian adults are obese and at increased risk for early disability and premature death. A low-carb diet and a reasonable exercise program, along with an understanding doctor, are your best allies.

MRSA - At the moment they tell us that bacteria are here to stay. Wash your hands, use antibiotics as prescribed, and consider avoiding meat and dairy from livestock fed antibiotic-laced food. This stands for methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA), an organism known as a skin infection. MRSA is a deadly infection. One source has calculated the infection has hospitalised over 80,000 people; 11,000 have died.

DEMENTIA - The odds are one in three that you’ll lose your mental faculties. It’s not a good way to go. Your best defences: Lifelong learning. Avoid alcohol abuse and head trauma, control your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

DISTRACTED DRIVING - If you’ve been paying attention on the roads lately, you’ve probably noticed a lot of other drivers who aren’t. Drive defensively (or you to could be involved.)

Dr Holt maintains that one of the “difficult aspects of finding a killer has to do with random chance and how it plays into the well-known human tendency to find patterns where none exist.” For instance, he comes up with the rough odds that an asteroid will annihilate you are a 1 in 500,000 chance.

There are cluster of asteroids winging their way towards Mother Earth at this moment and one wonders what the outcome will be.

<< Adapted from Risk by Dr T.E. Holt; Australian Men’s Health; February, 2014.

Illustration: Oooops! Distracted driving is a danger to all people that drive – even the passengers.


COFFEE-BREAK CROSSWORDS – No. 2.  SOLUTIONS NEXT WEEK

SOLUTION – NO 1

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 17 November 17

The Festivals are coming – especially the Jacaranda festivals!

GLORIOUS COLOUR: JACARANDA AVENUE, GRAFTON, FORMS A CANOPY OF MAUVE

In Australia, including the Grafton District, NSW, of course, everybody has admired the Jacaranda’s 82 years as part of the Grafton festival. In fact, Jacarandas were planted in the 1800s. Hence, the brilliant canopy of a mauve backdrop of the festival city.

FRANK MORRIS

There is a long-standing tradition in many Australian towns and cities of celebrating the local harvest or a blossom-time of flowers with organised festivals.

The various festivals usually have exhibitions, street displays, processions and social and sporting events which attract thousands of tourists from all over Australia. And, of course, the crowning of a “festival queen” is also an integral part of the festivities.

Eighty-two years ago, the first Grafton Jacaranda Festivals was held on October 30, 1935.

“Grafton has that awesome looking Clarence River bisecting the city,” wrote a colleague. “Thousands of Jacarandas and other trees lining its streets and filling its national parks.

“Scores of lovely historic homes, public buildings and numerous old pubs. The ‘capital’ of the Clarence Valley has a beauty and charm that’s worth stopping to sample.”

The event has not only become one of national renown but it is today recognised as Australia’s foremost floral festival.*

CANOPY OF MAUVE

Needless to say, the city is gearing up to celebrate this historic event in grand style. In the early 1800s, Jacarandsa were planted in the Grafton district. In the 1900s, a citizen names Volkers, in the cause of civic pride, planted an avenue of jacaranda trees which is now referred to as Jacaranda Avenue.

“As these trees grew to their full height – up to 15 metres – they embowered the avenue in the spring time with a canopy of mauve and carpeted the roadway with blossoms,” said a spokesperson for the Council.

“At festival time the jacarandas contrast with the colour and greenery of flame, white cedar, fig, pine and flowering gum trees.”

The festival was inaugurated by Mr E.H.Chataway, and it received “whole-hearted support from the community,” said the spokesperson.

A CHART OF NSW’S FESTIVALS AND WHERE ARE THEY FROM

Dahlia, Mittagong; Lasiendra, Wauchope; Orchid’s, Ballina; Wattle Time, Cootamundra; Tuplip, Bowral; Apple Blossom, Batlow; Spring Flowers, Katoomba/Leura; Cherry Blossom, Young; and the Rhododendron, Blackheath.

Picture: Original. The actual Jacaranda plant, in Grafton in the early 1800s, is a shading device on a hot day.


ALL THE NEWS!

BEN SANDILANDS, THE AVIATION JOURNALIST, WHO “OOZING PROFESSIONALISM”, DIED OF CANCER LAST MONTH. SANDILANDS ALWAYS ASKED THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. IN 1973, HE WAS CORRESPONDENT FOR THE ABC; AND FOLLOWING YEAR HE WAS REPORTING FOR ABC FROM LONDON. IN 1979, HE COVERED THE AIR NEW ZEALAND MT EREBUS CRASH. SANDILANDS CAREER LATER ON TOOK HIM TO THE BULLETIN, THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW, THE GUARDIAN, TRAVEL WEEK AND AIRCRAFT. HE WAS 74.


WHEN I LAST LOOKED: IS YOUR MEDICINE CUPBOARD BARE OF THOSE PRESCRIPTIONS THAT ARE OUT OF DATE.

DANGER BEWARE: BAD MEDICINE – THE CUPBOARD IS BARE!

The best way to keep out of trouble is don’t take any risks.

FRANK MORRIS

No matter how careful you are around the home or in the garden trying to avoid having an accident, it also pays to be aware of the risks of taking unprescribed medicines or out of date medicine. There are potentially more dangers lurking in the medicine cupboard that you realise.

The best way to keep out of trouble is don’t take any risks.

If you’re unsure about a medicine, your doctor or pharmacist will tell you exactly want you ought to know. To keep you on the right track, here’s some good advice from Department of Health Services:

DON’T take out of date medicines. Always check  the expiry date on the label. These medicines may have no effect; or an entirely unexpected consequence could come later.

FOLLOW the instructions. If you’re confused about the dosage stop there! Ask your doctor or chemist how to take your medicine and what precautions, if any, you need to take.

ALWAYS complete the entire course of the medicine prescribed.

WEBSTER PAK IS THE GO

ASK about possible side effects. Most reactions are not serious. If you do have a serious problem with a medicine, head for your doctor immediately.

BE CAREFUL if you’re taking other medicine. There may not be any danger, but one medicine may cancel out the positive effects of another medication.

DON’T take prescription medicines that are not prescribed for you. And don’t share your medication with somebody else. A definite no-no. Different medicines, say the expert, may affect people in different ways. Only your doctor can give you a medicine which will benefit your symptoms.

DON’T always expect antibiotics for viral infections. Your doctor may not prescribe an antibiotic if you have a common cold or flu. The best prescription may be resting, drinking plenty of fluids and keeping warm. Warning: if you are prescribed an antibiotic, make sure your know how to take it, what the likely side effects may be, and when to stop or review the medicine.

Dina Bowman, a heath consultant and author of The Care Book, said a Webster Pak (or similar device) is popular at the local chemist.

Webster Pak “is a multiple dosage blister package which is filled with your tablets, labelled and sealed by the pharmacist.

To take the tablets you push them out through the foil. You don’t have to worry about making a mistake. Good for people who suffer from arthritis.”

Picture: Modern. Men and ladies – they want their medicine organised!


COFFEE-BREAK CROSSWORD – No. 1                                                                  SOLUTION NEXT WEEK

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 10 November 17

THE GREAT WAR: The spirit of the Anzacs – How Albert Jacka managed to seal it

BRAVE SOLDIER: LANCE CORPORAL ALBERT JACKA WAS A STEADY AND ENDURING FIGURE WHO WON THE FIRST VICTORIA CROSS FOR CONSPICUOUS BRAVERY IN WW1.

He rose quickly through the ranks.

JOHN MCNAMEE, Editor of Go55s

Lance Corporal Albert Jacka, had only four men left with him in the small section of bloodied trench at Courtney’s Post above the beaches of Gallipoli. He was 21.

It was May 19, 1915, and his 14th AIF Battalion had only been in Gallipoli for three weeks. The Turks had launched a fierce counter-attack and threatened to over-run Jacka’s hard-fought position. As the heavy fire burst overhead, suddenly a group of seven Turkish soldiers rushed the trench and a fierce fight began.

Four Diggers were killed or badly wounded.

The only survivor, Lance Cpl Jacka, took advantage of a diversion created by bomb throwers at one end of the Turkish position to counterattack the seven enemy single-handedly, killing the whole party: five by rifle fire and two with the bayonet.

For this conspicuous act of bravery he was awarded the first Victoria Cross of the First World War.

The young ANZAC, from the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda, soon became a national hero and his photo was used on recruiting posters and his exploits were well chronicled in local newspapers. He was widely described as “the symbol of the spirit of the Anzacs.”

RETURNED OF A HERO

He rose quickly through the ranks. And after Gallipoli when 14th Battalion was shipped to France in 1916, he had been promoted to captain.

His later acts of courage soon earned him more fame. He was awarded the Military Cross at Pozieres in what famous Australian war historian Charles Bean described as “the most dramatic and effective act of individual audacity in the history of the AIF.

In the bitter fighting at Pozieres, Captain Jacka recaptured a section of heavily defended trench, freed a group of recently captured Australians, and forced the surrender of 50 Germans.

Despite several serious injuries Captain Jacka survived the war and returned to a hero’s welcome along the streets of St Kilda in September 1919. He later became Mayor of St Kilda. Captain Albert Jacka died of kidney disease in 1931.

Captain Jacka and his awe-inspiring story was one of many featured in the recent Spirit of ANZACS exhibition. It ended in Sydney on April 27. The exhibition was on the road for two years. More than 350,000 people went through the gates. This month – Grand Years will publish a run-down of some other myriad exhibitions at the show.

<< First appeared Go55s newspaper by John Mcnamee. Web: www.go55s.com.au

Illustrations: Follow me. Jacka and his men steal the enemy’s thunder. A patient. Albert Jacka in hospitals overseas.


VALE: TONY MADIGAN, BOXER, DEAD – HE HAD A FEARSOME REPUTATION

Tony Madigan, the former Australian amateur boxer, who twice fought Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay at the time), died last weekend. He was aged 87. He attended Waverley College where he learned to box and play Union. But it was boxing where he excelled. Winner of two Empire Games gold medals as a light-heavyweight in Cardiff in 1958 and Perth in 1962, and an Olympic Bronze medal in the division in Rome in 1960. Many of the spectators thought he had won, but in his semi-final in Rome Madigan dropped his hotly disputed point’s decision to the eventual Gold Medallist called Cassius Clay.


WALER: BILL THE BASTARD WAS ONE OF THE WALERS WHO WENT TO THE GREAT WAR. HE KNEW EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK. BILL WAS A LUCKY, THOUGH. HE FOUND A RIDER WHOM HE TRUSTED:  MAJOR MICHAEL SHANAHAN OF THE LIGHT HORSE.

THE GREAT WAR: THE STORY OF A HORSE THAT WAS ONE IN A MILLION

FRANK MORRIS

This is the story of a lifetime. It concerns a horse. The bravest horse you’ll ever know and he was called Bill. He was ear-marked with a name for which he became famous: Bill the Bastard. The name stuck with him forever.

To make matters worse, horses like Bill, were often called mongrels; and it’s easy to see why. Bill the Bastard was a solid horse, weighing 730-kilograms; and he was a chestnut, standing about 16 hands high. He stood his ground.

Bill was built for power.

There was no other horse who could match him for performance and character.

Like 136,000-odd Walers, he was sent from Australia to the Great War; he was, alas, a strange horse indeed.

At the corral where he was housed, Bill had a serious problem. No one could ride him. A riderless nag, said one trooper. He tried and failed. Some troopers thought that Bill has a gleeful smile when a trooper ‘bit’ the dust.

“Bill the Bastard”, they would yell. Bill lived up to his name.

Until one day, Bill had discovered a mate. He was a rather tall looking figure and his name Major Michael Shanahan, of the Australia’s Light Horse. Bill had the intelligence to know if anybody could ride it be him.

The Major strode around the corral, taking a careful look at the chestnut. The chestnut stared back him.

BILL EDGED CLOSER

The corral medical orderly came over to the Major and shook his hand.

“That’s Bill the Bastard you’re looking at,” said the orderly. “Nothing usual except no one can ride him. That’s why we had a bet on him. You guessed it. Old Bill let go, hammer and tongs.”

The upshot, however, was that Bill sent many a-trooper sky high. It seemed to take ages for them to fall to earth. Now, not a single trooper would have a go.

Bill the Bastard edged closer to the Major. This was the first time Bill had looked into eye of Major Shanahan. The Major sensed this was a horse who had caught the glint in his eye. Bill had a deep-seated feeling about the Major.

He was gentle when he touched Bill. It made him shiver. The medical orderly watched closely. He then said: “Bill’s made a damned good packhorse. He never complains. When Bill in a mood it’s best to steer clear!”

The Major patted Bill. “You’re a real mate, aren’t you Bill.”

BILL, A TRUE ANZAC

The Major, unlike an executioner or victor, more simply a friend, stroked his face. He had an uneasy feeling as he looked at Bill. The Major was destined to this ride horse: he a determined Major and it a quarrelsome mount.

It’s a crazy name to give a horse, but it’s honest. Bill the Bastard. The Major dug dig deep into the book of prayer.

He was satisfied.

These two misfits, Bill and the Major, would join up and fight together.

They depended on each for their survival. And when men and horses were falling all around them, Bill’s own superior demigod qualities saved The Major and a section of his men from death. Bill had an unbreakable will, it was said.

He became known far and wide by members of the Desert Mounted Corps. He had become a legend. He had become a true Anzac.

Major Michael Shanahan died on October 12, 1964, at the age 94. Bill the Bastard was buried in Gallipoli.
There’s much more to this horse than you would realise.

<< Repeated from Grand Years 3 years ago.

Illustrations: Hospital-bound. The Major in a wheelchair. Five on a horse. Bill the Bastard carried the men back to base without a scratch.                                                                             


THE CHARGE: EVERYONE OF THE 800 MEN KNEW WHAT THEY HAD TO DO FOR VICTORY.

THE GREAT WAR: GUTS AND GLORY – REMEMBERING THE BATTLE OF BEERSHEBA 100 YEARS AGO!

FRANK MORRIS

The 800 light horsemen, 6 kilometres south-east of Beersheba, were preparing to turn the tide of war. The Battle of Beersheba was going to be a legend of the light horsemen who were playing a pivotal role in Britain’s Palestinian campaign against the German and Ottoman empires.

In 1917, the light horsemen knew the “importance of the coming action and that success must be achieved before darkness gave safety to the enemy.”

The official historian had “speculated that Brigadier William Grant must have felt that if strong, fast horses urged on by great-hearted men, ably led and careless of their lives counted for anything then surely they must triumph.”

A MASS OF HORSES

The horse soldiers moved off at 4.30pm. They knew that surprise and speed were their main weapons. Soon the horseman broke into a gallop. They topped the rise of the ridge and hundreds of mounted men set their horses at Beersheba.

The Turks opened fire but their target was still 5 kilometres away. “As they neared the enemy positions, British gunners covered their exposed flanks.” Suddenly, a mass of horses jump over the Turkish soldiers in the front trenches as they took aim and a number were hit.

The rest is history.

Never in their lives did the Australian countrymen ever ride in a race like this. They all rode for victory and for Australia. The Turk had been severely destroyed by the ruthlessness of the attack.

“Within an hour from the start of that wild ride the Australians were in command of Beersheba,” said Henry Gullet, in the Official History of the War, 1914-1918.

The role of the Indigenous soldier has been overlooked in the past in the Battle for Beersheba. “They were brilliant horsemen and they played a remarkable part,” said a spokesman for the Australian Light Horse Association.

<< Australians in Britain: Two World Wars, 2003, Department of Veterans Affairs; Frank Morris.

Illustration: The horsemen. After the battle, the 4 horsemen took time out for their horses and themselves.

WE’LL SHOW YOU: THE MEMORIAL OF THIS GREAT HORSE IS IN ANZAC SQUARE, BRISBANE.

THE GREAT WAR: READERS CAN VISIT THE FAMOUS WAR MEMORIALS

This is the first time this was done as a feature – the line-up of the famous war memorials. We’ll travel to every State of Australia and select what are considered are the best sites. Remember, WW1 ended in November 11, l918, and this is a splendid way of ending four-and half-years of heartaches and misery.


MATE, THERE’S A WAR ON HERE …

How people live? Milestones from 1900. The “black” plague raged in 1900 and claimed almost 500 lives. To combat the disease, tonnes of garbage were cleared away and thousands of rats slaughtered.

1901 – White Australia spiralled to 3,773,801. And on January 1, Australia became a federation. The East of Hopetoun took office as the first Governor-General; and Edmund Barton the first Prime Minister. On March 30, the first federal elections were held. Two months later, May, the first Federal Parliament was opened.

SHOOT STRAIGHT!

1902 – In February, the execution of “Breaker” Morant met with cries of anguish and protest in Australia. As soon as the rifleman raised their guns, Morant was heard to screech out: “Shoot straight, you bastards” The Boer War ended on My 31. About one in 32 soldiers did not return home. On June 12, Australian women won the right to vote.

1903 – The first crematorium in Australia was opened in Adelaide.

1904 – The famous singer Nellie Melba, who won the hearts and souls of many fans, let them know that her voice was available on record. The Australian public were outraged by Norman Lindsay’s drawing Pollice Verso.

Illustration: The truth at last. “Breaker” Morant let it be known what happened and paid for it dearly.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 03 November 17

SPECIAL: The orphan girls that sailed from Ireland to Australia

ORPHAN GIRL: ONE OF THE YOUNG LADIES CHOSEN TO MAKE THE TRIP TO WESTERN AUSTRALIA MADE A CHART OF HER FEELINGS ON THIS LONG, LONG TRIP.

They travelled over-land to Dublin … and sailed to Plymouth.

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

After the first successful deployment of the good ship Travencore, another list of passengers was drawn up and the Palestine later set sail from Plymouth on November 26, 1852.

Among the girls chosen to make that fateful journey to Australia was Mary Dooley. Mary and three other girls replaced several girls deemed medically unfit to make the long journey to Australia. The girls that set sail on the Palestine were:

Pat O’Brien, Biddy O’Brien, Mick O’Brien, Catho O’Brien, Mary O’Brien, Catho Cunningham, Mary Geraghty, Mary Flanagan, Mary Flynn, Ms Staunton, Mary Taylor, Ms Egan, Biddy Fitzgerald, Ellen Hansberry, Mary Kilroy, Biddy Tully, Mary Cunningham, Biddy Bodkin, Mary Butler, Mary Neary …

Mary Flynn, Biddy Concannon, Henry Noone, Ms Nilfagle, Cathie Hughes, Georgia Ne, Marie Lorre, Maria Egan, Celia Coldman, Catho Glynn, Mary Cathe, Mary Mannion, Mary Dooley, Esther Tully, Ms Carberry, Mary Carberry, Eliza Trasta, Catho Coleman, and Ms Atkins.

DESCENDANTS OF RELATIVES

They travelled over-land to Dublin and from there sailed to Plymouth, England, prior to their departure for Australia.

The orphan girls arrived in Western Australia on April 28, 1853, after five long and probably terrifying months at sea.

The aim of the project is two-fold: Firstly, to trace the Orphan Girls’ present day descendants, if any, in Australia. Secondly, to research any possible descendants of relatives in Country Galway. Our aim, therefore, is to collate all the descendants and to reconnect them with their ancestors here in the community.

Anyone wishing to contact the coordinators of this project or make comment can do so through Facebook at: -https://www.facebook.com/Mountbellew-Workhouse-Cemetery-Restoration-814745548596059/


YOU BEAUT!: PERCEPTION OF HEALTHIER FOOD BEING SERVED IN SANDWICH SHOPS IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS. BUT FISH ‘N CHIP ARE DEFINETELY NOT OUT.

BITS & PIECES: FISH AND CHIP SHOPS ADRIFT FROM HEALTHIER MARKETS

Fish and chips are OUT and good wholesome sandwiches are IN!

The perception of rising health has encouraged healthier eating habits that are negatively affecting fast food operators that have struggled to project a healthy image to consumers. In this case, fish and chip shops are the ones to watch out for.

In Australia, consumer awareness has led to healthier eating habits over the past 5 years. The growing popularity of healthy food has influenced the performance and product make-up of the fast food industry.

FISH & CHIP SHOPS DRIFTING

The more traditional types of fast food – burgers, pizza and fish and chips – have declined as a share of industry revenue; while sandwiches, salads and juices are conducive to good food and have increased their share of the revenue.

The lesson to come out of this: Overall, fast food industries who offer good wholesome sandwiches are promoting the rising statistics of good health.

<< Information from IBIS/WORLD. Rewritten by Frank Morris.

Illustration: No go. Tasty fish and chips is one meal which is not conducive to healthy food.


VALE: AUSTRALIAN ACTOR JUDITH MCGRATH DIES AGED 70

Actor Judith McGrath won the plaudits of the public at large for her role as “Po Face” in the television drama Prisoner. McGrath, born in Brisbane, appeared in 253 episodes, between 1979 and 1984, of the show. Her part as the prison officer Collen Powell was voted as one of the “most loved” in the drama. She earned the nickname of “Po Face” because of her dry wit. McGrath also appeared in Neighbours, A Country Practice, Winner and Losers and All Saints.  – FM. SMALL SCREEN SUCCESS – FEATURING JUDITH MCGRATH – LAST ITEM.


WHAT A LAUGH: WAIT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS?

BITS & PIECES: CHIMPS MAY BE STRUCK DOWN WITH ALZHEIMER’S, TOO!

Holy Tarzan! And now, it’s the chimps.

The human being may not be alone in its struggle against Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Metro, London.

“For the first time,” the paper said, “the sticky plaques that characterise the condition have been found in the brains of older chimpanzees.”

MORE ADVANCED AGE

It added: “A team at Northeast Ohio Medical University studied 20 brains from chimps ages from 37 to 62. They discovered beta-amyloid plaques in 12, and increasingly larger volumes in the brains of those of a more advanced age.

“However, it is unclear if they cause dementia in the animals.” said the Metro.

<< Metro, London, August 2017.

Illustration: Chimps have Alzheimer’s Disease. It is NOT clear what caused it.


BITS & PIECES: GET ME WEIS ICE CREAM, SAYS UNILEVER?

They did. And Unilever loved the taste for Weis.

“Global food giant Unilever has snapped up the Australian ice cream company Weis, “said the SMH. The Dutch-British consumer goods company said it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Queensland company.

Already, Unilever own the Streets ice cream company and more than 400 other consumer brands from around the around the world like Lipton, Bushells and Dove.

<< From SMH, 2017.


MANAGED TO HANG ON: WESTCOURT WENT STRIDE FOR STRIDE WITH LINGLE AND IT PAID OFF.

MELBOURNE CUP: 1917 AND FOR WESTCOURT THE TIDE TURNS

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

There has never been a dead-heat for first or second in the Melbourne Cup. On one occasion, in 1933, there has been a tie for third; but the judge must have been sorely tempted to call it even when Westcourt and Lingle went across the line almost on terms in the 1917 Cup.

Both W.H McLachlan on Westcourt and P. Brown on Lingle thought they had won. As far as the crowd was concerned a decision for a dead-heat would have been acceptable. But the judge, the only man in the right place to see, said that Westcourt had won by a short half-head.

It would have been bad luck for Westcourt if the verdict in the 1917 Cup had gone against the horse. Two years previously, Westcourt had lost the Melbourne Cup to Patrobas by a mere half-neck as a three-year old.

That year, Westcourt had an exasperating run of minor placings in important races. He did not win a race as a three-year-old, but his placings were high on the list.

ELEVENTH HOUR

Westcourt suffered an injury to his near foreleg and a veterinary surgeon declared the horse would never race again. With patient care, the effect of the injury was minimised but the possibility of a complete breakdown was never far from the thoughts of his connections.

Set for the Australian Cup in the autumn of 1917, Westcourt was forced to withdraw from work. His Melbourne Cup trial was the Melbourne Stakes on Derby Day but he ran third to Cetigne. It was only then, did Westcourt reach his eleventh hour.

From 10th position in the Cup field, Westcourt was able to improve his position to the point of taking the lead after turning for home. Westcourt, under heavy punishment from McLachlan, went stride for stride with Lingle, hanging on for a game win. Wallace Isinglass was two lengths further back, third.

It was McLachlan’s third winning ride in the Melbourne Cup.

<< The Melbourne Cup from 1861, Maurice Cavanough; 1960; Lloyd O’Neil Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria.

Illustration: Who was responsible, says The Strike newspaper. Because of the sudden-death Great Railway Strike in NSW, who was to blame? How many people would have been game enough to take the train to Melbourne?                                                                                                         


THE WHISPER: ELSPETH BALLANTYNE (LEFT) AND JUDY MCGRATH IN A SCENE FROM THE HIT DRAMA PRISONER.

SMALL SCREEN SUCCESS: PRISIONER ALMOST TURNED THE WHOLE TV WORLD CRAZY

FRANK MORRIS

Australian drama Prisoner was the only show to take wayward women down the path to a correctional facility called Wentworth Detention Centre. For the time it was made, just about everybody got a good going over -- some of it quite bizarre.

The series was produced by Reg Grundy Organisation and aired through Network Ten from February 27, 1979 to December 11, 1986, a total of 692 episodes.

It was released in the United States and United Kingdom but with copyright injunction, it was retitled Prisoner – Cell Block H. The series was released in Sweden, and various other countries, with a cult following.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 27 October 17

TRUE STORY: FINAL! “WE WERE IN LOVE”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S HAPPENED?: SHE WAS GOING TO RING SEVERAL TIMES. SHE GAVE TRYING TO REMEMBER.

But the same awful silence continued.

SELECTED BY FRANK MORRIS

She said she loved me. I wanted it all to go on forever. And yet all the time there gnawed at my mind something which seemed to warn me that it would end.

I never knew much about Nancy. She worked as a receptionist in a West End Hotel and that her folks were dead. Sometimes I used to think that she might have been hurt by some man, for there was always in her eyes a sort of haunting sorrow.

But she never spoke to me about that ever again. After the first few days she grew palpably fond of me. Then came the time when she said she loved me. That is an experience which millions of other people have had, but to me it seemed unique.

Then came that day when I said: “I’ll see you tomorrow at six outside Romanos”.

But the didn’t turn up. I waited for a hour and a half. I was frantic with worry. The worst part of it all was that I didn’t know where to find her.

WHAT HAPPENED?

My only hope was that she would write to me. I waited a day, a week, a month, a year – but not a line. Meanwhile, I put advertisements in the agony columns, asking her to write. 

But the same awful silence continued.

What happened? Did she have an accident? Did she really love another man? Or was she afraid to share her life with me?

I don’t know. I don’t suppose I shall ever know.

For a brief, crazy moment, while I watched that girl in the Strand, I thought that she might be Nancy’s daughter.

I wanted to go up and speak to her, but something inside held me back. A moment later she had vanished like a dream.

Since that day I have cursed myself for not talking to that girl, for I have a hunch that maybe she was Nancy’s daughter.

Picture: I remarked to Nancy: “Remember, I’ll meet you at Romano.”
<< The Daily Mirror, Britain, August 30, 1940.
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ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO: JOHNNY GILBERT BRACES HIMSELF FOR HIS LAST GUNFIGHT. GILBERT WAS SHOT DEAD BY POLICE AT A PLACE CALLED BINGALONG, NSW, IN 1865.

BUSHRANGERS: PART 4. DEATH OF JOHNNY GILBERT!

The Waverley Hotel, Sydney, said a habitual drinker, was a “bush shanty” and a dangerous abode. Bushranging author, Roy Mendham, comes out with a real secret!

FRANK MORRIS

January 14, 1854, It was Saturday night, the hotel was the site of a murder when publican John Davis was found hacked to death. A newspaper of the time described the crime and said that “it was a bloody mess.”

The newspaper said, “On the left of the head was a terrible gash extending from eye to the ear, the bed and bedding being saturated with blood. Under the bed was found a blood-stained axe which had done the deed.”

What made locals even more fearful was the isolation of Bondi Junction and that the murderer was known to be “on the loose and in their midst.”

The newspaper went on to explain the scene: “This event has struck no small degree of dismay into the residents of the neighbourhood … there being no police protection, the nearest point they could send for a constable being [at] Paddington, a distance of nearly three miles.”

Enter Joseph Roberts.

A veil of suspicion immediately fell upon Joseph Roberts, the nephew of John Davis. Roberts, a “mild looking youth [who was] said to be 17 years of age” and worked for Davis, was now missing.

Several mounted police started a search and 228 km south of Sydney Roberts was found at Collector near Canberra. He told police that he was riding to the goldfields. Local residents said Roberts’ guilt was “purely circumstantial” and “vouched for the boy’s good character.”

NOT GUILTY

The murdered man’s widow, Mrs Davis, later gave evidence that “her unworthy spouse was a habitual drunk.” She had married Davis in September 1853 and stayed with him for three days.

At his trial Roberts showed the court how intelligent he was; he pleaded not guilty to the charge “in a firm and collected manner.” The trial stirs up intense local interest. When the case was heard on April 6, 1854, the court was crowded and the officials had difficulty in maintaining order.

Despite the fact that he fled on the night of the murder he was arrested and found to have money on him -- $200. His uncle was known to carry large sums of cash, and did so when he was killed.

The jury, alas, found him not guilty of Davis’s murder. He left the place soon afterwards and headed for the Goulburn district. However, Roberts soon fell in with a ‘bad crowd’, or ‘flash gang’, as the local landowners called it. 

Joseph Roberts was born in Canada.

He and his uncle came to Australia in the 1850s and got hooked on the world-wide publicity about the gold discoveries in Victoria. They arrived in Melbourne from New York on board the Revenue in 1852.

MENDHAM: IM RELATED

Roberts is listed on the ship as 10 years old, making him only 12 at the time of his uncle’s murder. This conflicts with contemporary newspaper reports in which they described him as being 17 years old.

In his book The Dictionary of Australian Bushrangers, Roy Mendham claims that after the murder of his uncle Joseph Roberts became ‘Johnny Gilbert’, a bushranger who later rode with the infamous Ben Hall and Frank Gardiner. He was later a key part of their gang.

In the wanted notice for Johnny Gilbert from the Colonial Secretary Office in 1863, he is described as:

“Between 22 and 24 years of age, boyish appearance, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, between 9 and 10 stone, light brown straight hair, worn long in native fashion, beardless and whiskerless; has the appearance and manner of a bushman or stockman; and is particulately flippant in his dress and appearance.”

Joseph Roberts/Johnny Gilbert was killed by police at Binalong, 37 km north-west of Yass, on May 13, 1865. His body was taken to Binalong police station where it was put on display. Locks of hair were taken for souvenirs.

He was buried on May 16 in bush near Binalong, where his grave can still be seen today on the outskirts of town.

Pictures: End of the road: Johnny Gilbert, born in Canada, dies as an outlaw. Alone: Johnny Gilbert … guns ready to blaze.

<< Based on the article, A Bushranger at Bondi, in 18??
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ALL THE NEWS:

PSYCHOLOGIST MADE GOING TO THE DENIST LESS PAINFUL

DR EVELYN HOWE, BORN IN 1947, WAS A DENTAL PSYCHOLOGY PIONEER AND THE FIRST WOMAN TO EARN A DENTAL PHD IN SYDNEY.

MARINE ARTIST WAS A TRUE MASTER

OSWALD BRETT, BORN IN 1921, WAS A TRUE MASTER OF PAINTING SHIPS. BRETT MADE A PROFESSIONAL LIVING OUT OF PRIVATE AND CORPORATE COMMISSIONS. HE HAD THE WONDERFUL FACILITY FOR PLACING HIS SHIPS IN HIGH SEAS … AS IF THEY WERE MOVING.
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CLOSE FINISH: BETTY CUTHBERT FINISHES THE 4X100 METRES AHEAD OF HEATHER ARMITAGE (GREAT BRITAIN) AND ISABELLE DANIELS (USA). THE AUSSIE’S SET A NEW WORLD RECORD OF 44.5.

FAMOUS CELEBRITIES: PART 2. BETTY CUTHBERT AND HOW SHE WAS DISCOVERED

She was sent into the Olympic Games as Australia’s No 1.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

The 100 yards championship of Australia was the yardstick for Betty Cuthbert.

However, she was unable to qualify for the final, being third in her heat. But two days later, just 3 weeks before her eighteen birthday, she won the 220 yards in 25 seconds. The time was irrelevant.

The grass track had been soaked by heavy tropical rain that competitors were in part ankle deep in mud; and to avoid two very bad patches, the race was run from end to end of the arena on a curve all the way. The importance of the race was that Cuthbert beat five opponents of international repute.

SHE WAS THE BEST

Marlene Mathews was second, and Norma Croker was third; fourth and fifth were two 1952 Olympic sprinters, Shirley Strickland and Winsome Cripps; sixth was Nancy Boyle, the Victorian Champion, then considered a probable Olympic representative.

This was the first time the sporting public, outside of NSW, had heard of Betty Cuthbert.

But consistently good times in Sydney during the Australian winter climaxed with a world record 200 metres of 23.2 in September. This culminating in a double victory in the Australian Olympic trials sent her into the Games as Australia’s No. 1.

<< Olympic Saga: The Track and Field story Melbourne 1956; by Keith Donald and Don Selth; Futurian Press, Sydney; 1957.

Next month: The similarity in the careers of Betty Cuthbert and Marjorie Jackson.

Picture: Like a breeze: Betty Cuthbert flashes home in the Olympic 200 metres. Then came Stubnick, second, and Mathews, third.………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

HOLMES AND MORIARTY: IS IT THE END?

SPECIAL: FINAL. SHERLOCK HOLMES AND FRIENDS – THE VARYING DEGREE OF PERSONIFYING!

He donned tweeds or the oppressively respectable Victorian frock-coat!

FRANK MORRIS

These appurtenances “are stereotypical symbols of Sherlock Holmes … all, alas, are apocryphal … part of Sherlockian lore,” writes Jack Tracy in The Encyclopedia of Sherlockiana.

“Sidney Paget, the famous illustrator of the stories for Strand magazine, was fond of wearing the deerstalker … and the Inverness cape, which is essentially a travelling cloak, to protect one from railway soot and road mud.”

This “traditional” apparel was not worn by Holmes in London. Rather, he “donned tweeds or the oppressively respectable Victorian frock-coat” asserts Tracy.

The American actor William Gillette, who originated Holmes on stage in 1899, is attributed to supplying the detective with a meerschaum pipe. When he illustrated the stories for Collier’s magazine, the American artist Frederic Dorr Steele based his representations of Holmes on Gillette’s character.

PAGET ILLUSTRATIONS OKAY!

Doyle complained that Paget had made Holmes more handsome than he intended. But the author considered Paget essential to the success of his stories, and especially asked for him as illustrator of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Paget work from his studio, at Holland Park Road, Kensington. From the time he illustrated A Scandal in Bohemia, Paget produced a total of 357 drawings, ending with The Adventures of the Second Stain in December 1906.

Some of the earlier drawing were imperfect. But Frederic Dorr Steele defended Paget, saying that any defect in the engraving was partly because of the crudity of the reproduction. Those who have seen the originals say the illustrations lost much in the publishing.

James Montgomery, in a Study in Pictures, wrote: “It would be impossible to overestimate the influence that he (Paget) exerted on the hearts and minds of countless thousands who based their conceptions then, as they continue to do after sixty years, on his interpretation (of Holmes).”

HOLMES DIDN’T CHANGED

Montgomery found that Paget was more accurate in his illustrations than was Steele.

In 1953, the Sherlock Holmes Society of London used a portrait of the great detective as a Christmas card; however, the portrait, though first published in the Cornhill magazine in 1951, was done by Paget and found in waste-paper basket by his wife who rescued it.

Montgomery thought it possibly the most satisfactory portrait of Holmes; a wonderful character study of the Master in a contemplative mood. In Peter Haining’s The Art of Mystery and Detective, it was said the “first appearance of Holmes no doubt helped The Strand circulation.

Haining added: “Particularly the earlier ones by Sidney Paget played a significant part in the success story by giving the world a physical likeness of Holmes which has changed little to this day.”

Paget married Edith Hounsfield in 1893 and had five children; one son and four daughters.

Sidney Edward Paget died on January 29, 1908.

<< Sherlock Holmes and Friends came about when Frank G. Greenop wrote the storyline, I think it was in 1974. Frank Morris wrote the story in 2002. It was never published until it appeared in Grand Years.

Pictures: Honest man: Frederic Dorr Steele defended Sidney Paget for his engravings. Holmes hadn’t changed. Paget’s likeness of Holmes has changed little to this day.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 20 October 17

GHOST SHIPS: The Mary Celeste and other derelicts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHE WAS A GHOST: MARY CELESTE WAS ALMOST STATIONARY IN THE LIGHT NORTHERLY AS THE DEI GRATIA APPROACHED HER. SHE WAS ABANDONED.

The map showing Mary Celeste’s course from New York to the Azores from where she drifted in an abandoned state. The first of a three parts series.

ALAN LUCAS

To nonbelievers in paranormal events there are no such things as ‘ghost ships’. The term ‘mystery ships’ is now being better accepted.

In this context one of the most ghostly mystery ships of all time was the 282-ton, 98-foot long American hermaphrodite brig Mary Celeste. Built in Nova Scotia in 1861, she was found abandoned east of the Azores in the North Atlantic by the British brigantine Dei Gratia during November 1872.

Coincidentally, before leaving New York the captains of both ships dined ashore together at the time their respective vessels were in the hands of stevedores. Mary Celeste’s cargo was 1700 barrels of commercial alcohol destined for Genoa, Italy.

When Captain Reed Morehouse of the Dei Gratia caught up with Captain Benjamin Briggs’s Mary Celeste, he called across to her but received no response; conditions at the time being a light northerly over a calm sea with Mary Celeste yawing and luffing under reduced sail.

When Dei Gratia’s mate Oliver Deveau and a seaman boarded her not a soul could be found, despite everything appearing to the shipshape.

NO THOUGHT OF VIOLENCE

Deveau and his assistant first checked the main cabin and found a sewing machine with a reel of red cotton and a thimble near the remains of a recently eaten meal, plus the captain’s time piece. This scene of domesticity refuted any thought of violence; as did their finding of Captain Brigg’s petty cash and gold locket along with his wife and daughters’ neatly folded clothes.

The galley and crew quarters proved to be in good order and the only anomalies being the storeroom’s empty preserved-meat drawers and the ship’s papers, sextant and chronometer missing. The logbook was still aboard but it held no clues as to why Mary Celeste was abandoned.

A salvage crew from Dei Gratia was put aboard Mary Celeste and both ships sailed to Gibraltar, arriving in the evening of December 13, 1872. Gibraltar’s Admiralty Proctor -- Mr Solly Flood -- “had the ship arrested in the customary manner’; while Captain Morehouse lodged a salvage claim.

ENTER THE ‘GHOST SHIP’

Despite numerous official examinations in Gibraltar, no firm reason for her abandonment could be established beyond the possibility of vapour from nine damaged casks of alcohol causing a minor explosion, despite there being no signs of fire damage.

Under the circumstances, it was hardly surprising that the public soon tagged Mary Celeste as being a ‘ghost ship’.

On March 25, 1873, the Vice-Admiralty Court in Gibraltar awarded a sum of money to Dei Gratia for services rendered, which represented about one-fifth of the sworn value of Mary Celeste and her cargo.

The strange circumstances of Mary Celeste remain a source of conjecture. Yet drifting derelicts in her era were surprisingly common, many being abandoned during or immediately after extreme weather events.

Nearly all derelicts were wooden ships whose hulls kept them afloat when swamped; especially if their cargos were logs. So serious was their threat to shipping that the Derelict Vessels Report Act was passed in 1896 by the British Parliament with a fine of five pounds levied against anyone failing to report a drifting derelict.

<< Ghost Ships – the Mary Celeste and other derelicts by Alan Lucas; Afloat Magazine, August 2017.

Next November: What even stranger mystery was the derelict of the American sailing vessel Ellen Austin which sail in 1881?

Pictures: The man who was not there. Captain Briggs was called by the Captain of Dei Gratia to the Mary Celeste but received no response. No one’s home. Mary Celeste was found abandoned.

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DISASTER IN THE FOG: IN 1910, THERE WAS AN APPALLING RAILWAY ACCIDENT WHICH OCCURRED IN VICTORIA. IN THE EVENT, WHICH WAS AT RICHMOND STATION, 9 PEOPLE WERE KILLED AND 110 INJURED.

COMING NEXT YEAR. WATCH FOR PART 2 OF THE AUSTRALIAN CHRONICLE NEWSPAPER SERIES FROM 1901 TO 1984.

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ALL THE NEWS …
THIS RED INSIGNIA MEANS THAT A STOP PRESS NEWS ITEM HAS BEEN POSTED ON THIS SITE. WHEN IT’S WORLD-WIDE IT HAPPENS RIGHT HERE -- GRAND YEARS. KEEP LOOKING. IT CAN HAPPEN AT ANY TIME.

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BIOGRAPHY: JOHN CHRISTIAN WATSON -- THE FIRST LABOR PM IN THE WORLD

FRANK MORRIS

He was born at Valparaiso, Chile, when his parents were on their way from Britain to New Zealand. But he made his mark on the Australia political front.

His name was John Christian Watson and he became the first Labor Australian prime minister in 1904. He was the youngest incumbent to hold the office at the age of 37. And that’s not all. He was the first Labor prime minister in the world but it was short lived, however.

He governed Australia for 3 months and 21 days until it came crashing down.

Several attacks by the press for misrepresenting the aims and objective of the party made him very irate indeed. Watson said the party rejected a “definition of socialism” pinned on it by its opponents. He criticised Free Trade Party and Anti-Socialist leader George Reid for his attack that since the advent of the Labor Party wages had gone down.

Watson said the Labor Party’s aim “was to make life” happy and content for everyone. He was a moderate and a pragmatist who moulded colonial labour interests into a federal platform. He resigned his leadership in 1907; he left parliament in 1910.

MODICUM OF SHAPE

He only held the position for a short time but it was long enough to make an impression of him as a Labor Prime Minister. Deakin wrote: “His simple dignity, courage and resource during his short lease of power, made him hosts of admirers and many friends.”

Deakin, who took over from George Reid as prime minister, lasted only 4 month 9 days in the position, before Andrew Fisher swooped in for Labor. The two battled with the prime ministership twice more until Fisher scored again, serving for 3 years and 1 month.

With Billy Hughes and others, he was expelled from the Labor Party in 1916 for supporting conscription.

Later in life he pursued other business interests, one of which was the presidency of the National Roads and Motorist Association in 1923. He was there until his death in Sydney on November 18, 1941.

Watson will be remembered as an influential figure who helped put a modicum of shape into the ALP.

<< Monash Biographical of the 20th Century Australia, 1994; Frank Morris from the series Great Aussie Firsts.

Picture. There’s one man. Australia’s first Labor ministry in 1904 with Labor Prime Ministry John Watson, centre.
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RED PANELS: AMERICAN 1906 STEAMED CAR MADE BY ABNER, WILLIAM, JOHN AND WARREN. IT TOOK 90 SECONDS TO HAVE IT MOVING AFTER A COLD START. THE MODEL PICTURED ABOVE WAS MADE BETWEEN 1914 AND 1917.

THE CAR MY FAMILY WOULD LIKE – DARING YOUNG MEN AND THEIR STEAMING MACHINES!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

The Locomotives on Highways Act inflicted on motorists in Great Britain three quarters of the way through the 19th century banned speeds of over about 7km/h and insisted that vehicles had be preceded by a man carrying a red flag.

It did much to retard the development of the motorcars in the UK. It was repealed in 1896. The speed limit was then raised to 20km/h and the flag bearer dispensed with, possibly because even lawmakers realised he would be too puffed out at the new speed limit.

Steam was a serious business, particularly on the market in the USA in the early 20th century. The advantages over internal combustion included silence, lack of fumes, flexibility, smoothness and acceleration. But the problem was getting a steamer engine, moving from scratch.

(The steam engine’s furnace had to be lit, then there was a pause for the steam to be ready so it had plenty to pull the beast. FM)

FIRST CARS WERE STEAMERS

The decline of the steamers was hastened when Cadillac began offering self-starters in 1912. This, in turn, complicated Whites sojourn into steamers which lasted until 1911. The simpler Stanley Steamers went on until 1927.

Steamers were fast, with a surging acceleration due to torque being good from low engine speeds. Every stroke was a power stroke; while, in the internal combustion engine, only one stroke in two is. Steamers were easy to drive, vibrationless, quiet and gears were needed.

Incidentally, Australia’s first cars were steamers, starting with the Shearer in 1885. It lasted until 1895. Then came the Thomson in about 1896. Interest in steam cars has never really died. The Gvang steam powered sports car, built in the 1970s, was exhibited at a motor show in Sydney.

It has no clutch or gearbox and was capable of 320km/h.

Sadly, it ran out of, no, not steam, but funds.

<< Those daring young men in their steaming machines by Eric Wisemen; Restored Cars, Sept-Oct 2017.

Picture. A 1905 White steam car. A similar vehicle was used by American President Taft in 1911. They were built from 1905 to 1911.

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HELLO!: BIG TED, WITH GRAHAM AND THREE OTHER CHARACTERS OF THE ABC PLAY SCHOOL SHOW, HAVE THEIR PHOTO TAKEN.

THE KIDS SAY, “HELLO TO BIG TED” … HE CATCHES UP WITH PLAY SCHOOL AT A SYDNEY CLUB

Guess what? School kids found time to say “hello to Big Ted” in the flesh. Big Ted, and four other characters, joined the throng of fans of the ABC Play School Show at the Revesby Works Club, Sydney during the school holidays. “Charlie, the husband of my eldest daughter, Vanessa, met the manager of Revesby Workers, and said, ‘I know the man who made Big Ted,’ said Graham Byrne, the creator of Big Ted. The rest is history. Graham Byrne went along. He met the presenters and the many of kids who turned up.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 13 October 17

SPECIAL COVERAGE: The orphan girls that sailed from Ireland to Australia

CONNECTION: THE GOOD SHIP PALESTINE PREPARING TO SAIL FROM IRELAND TO AUSTRALIA WITH ORPHAN GIRLS IN 1853.

Descendants of Mountbellew who sailed on the good ship Palestine in l853.

SPECIAL CORRESPONENT

A team of genealogists and researchers are diligently working on a project to trace the descendants of the Immigrants of the ship Palestine that left Ireland and travelled to Australia in 1853. But this team needs your help.

On this ship were 33 workhouse orphan girls from Galway. The team is trying to connect with as many of the Orphan Workhouse Girls descendants in Australia with the hope of telling their stories – stories that establish where they came from, and, hopefully, would connect with their Irish cousins!

In addition to this a TV documentary will commence this year on the project. (The Editors are eager to connect with any possible descendants.)

The magazine is aware that there are 12 girls not on the list from Mountbellew workhouse from County Galway – Ann Archer, M. Border, S. Burrow, S. Evans, J. Mayne, M. Rawlings, H. Stillmon, W. Warde, S. Pinder, M. Cooke, E. Arnold and M. Hall. From information garnered in Australia, we now believe they were from another facility – Ennis workhouse, County Clare.

BRIDE-SHIPS OF DESTITUTE GIRLS

This group travelled on the Palestine with the Mountbellew workhouse orphan girls in 1852 and arrived in Western Australia on April 28, 1853 after five long months at sea. (The editors are hoping that descendants will recognise the names and places published in Irish Roots magazine.)

A group of 33 young girls were transported to Australia on Palestine from Mountbellew workhouse, County Galway in 1853. It was renowned that these ‘bride-ships’ carried destitute girls from orphanages, poorhouses or those involved in a sponsored fare during the Great Famine.

In 1852, The Mountbellew workhouse at that time, had 418 inmates, 130 able bodied females. On November 6, the same year, there were 392 inmates and 124 able bodied females. On November 20, there were 401 inmates, 134 able bodied females, though 32 able bodied females were discharged in this week; presumably, there were 30 which had assisted emigration.

The county in 1845 to 1847 was very much affected by the famine. In 1841, the population was 443,000. Ten years later, it had fallen to 322,000. More than 73,000 persons died between 1845 and 1850.

Approximately, 11 per cent of the population emigrated over the next 5 years. By 1891, the census showed 215,000 inhabitants of the county.

TRANSPORT TO VAN DIEMEN’S LAND

In 1852, in early September, an entry in the Mountbellew Poor Law Union Board of Guardian Minutes, described a letter from Lieutenant Saunders (R.N. Emigration Agent), stating that the Emigration Commissioners had instructed him to make a selection of 30 young women from the female inmates in Mountbellew workhouse who were candidates for emigration to Van Diemen’s land.

Their passage to the colony was going to be on the good ship Travencore, which sailed from Plymouth on September 23, 1852. Saunders requested to be informed of the day he could make his selection.

On September 10, 1852, there was a revealing entry: That Lieutenant Saunders Emigration Agent from the limited time given to purchase 500 yards of grey calico for the necessary number of shifts, which are complete and prayed the Boards sanction to his so doing: submitted the following list of articles necessary to complete the outfits prescribed by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners.

He requested the Boards attention to buy: 40 yards calico, 210 yards of flannel, 540 yards cotton, 360 yards cashmere and 120 towels. That the Master be authorised to purchase the above articles required was resolved. – Adapted by Frank Morris.

Anyone wishing to contact the coordinators of this project or make comment can do so through Facebook: -https://www.facebook.com/Mountbellew-Workhouse-Cemetery-Retoration-814745548596059/

<< Irish Roots Magazine, issue 102, Irish Roots Media, County Wicklow, Ireland.

Next month: Final! After of the first successful deployment of passengers had been sent another list was drawn up.

Pictures: Orphan girl. Mary Dooley, who born in County Galway in 1826, was the daughter of Edward Dooley. Edward was born 1780-1800. Mary Dooley was an orphan and ended up in the Mountbellew Workhouse in 1852. Project coordinators: Outside the Mountbellew Workhouse are from left: Martin Curley, Mary McLoughlin, Kathleen Connolly and Paula Kennedy.                                              


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THIS RED INSIGNIA MEANS THAT A STOP PRESS NEWS ITEM HAS BEEN POSTED ON THIS SITE. WHEN IT’S WORLD-WIDE IT HAPPENS RIGHT HERE -- GRAND YEARS. KEEP LOOKING. IT CAN HAPPEN AT ANY TIME.


BITS & PIECES: DONYALE LUNA WINGS INTO SYDNEY

FRANK MORRIS

Blast from the past … that’s American super model Donyale Luna absorbing the crowded spotlight of Sydney’s past 50 years ago. The place was at Roselands shopping centre, a social epicentre of suburbia. She was flown out by the now defunct Daily Mirror in 1967.

She wore the slinky see-through gown the made onlookers “not quite sure where to fix their focus” reported the newspaper.

DIED AT 33

And supporting Donyale Luna during the “epic” was a bunch well-known Aussie model. Seeing this photo brought a flood of memories. I was working on the Daily Mirror in charge of the Luna troupe.

As I remember they were exciting times. I’m buried in the crowd down there at the side, well back.

She was the first black model to appear on the cover of American Vogue. She died from a heroin overdose at age 33.

Picture: Rear view. Donyale Luna in that see-through gown.


PERFECT MATCH: JAKE LAMOTTA AND SUGAR RAY ROBINSON CREATED THE PERFECT RIVARY.

BITS & PIECES: BOXING ICON DEAD: JAKE LA MOTTA -- 83 FIGHTS, AND MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE

FRANK MORRIS

“Hit me, don’t worry” Jake LaMotta screamed out. “He was 55 and looked really tough”, say Robert Di Niro. “I didn’t realise it until I’d reached his age but you can really take a punch.” 

Di Niro was preparing for his brilliantly captured film of Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. The film was made in 1980 and is regarded as one of the best movies ever made. Di Niro won an academy award in 1981.

LaMotta, who died aged 95, was not a great fighter but one of toughest, a boxing beast that lapped up some of the most brutish behaviour dished out by opponents and came out on top. He was middleweight champion in1949 by stopping the titleholder Marcel Cerdan at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. He held the title until 1951.

He fought Sugar Ray Robinson six times and won only one bout. He told the Times he had “mixed up feelings” about the film. “Then I realised it was true. That’s the way it was.”

On the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Giacobbe LaMotta was born on July 10, 1922. He was one of five children. He father, a Sicilian immigrant, peddled fruit and vegetables.

THROUGH THE ROPES

His schoolmates lived in fear of LaMotta. In the rat infested tenement where they lived he, according to Robert Goldstein of the Times, LaMotta “attacked bullying schoolmates with an ice pick, and beat a neighbourhood bookie into unconsciousness with a lead pipe while robbing him.”

Goldstein continued:

“He emerged as a leading middleweight in the early 1940s, having been rejected from World War 2 military service. In February 1943, he dealt (Sugar Ray) Robinson the first loss of his career … after knocking him through the ropes. Robinson won their other five fights.

“LaMotta successfully defended his title twice, then lost it to Robinson in 1951 when their bout in Chicago was stopped in the 13th round. LaMotta was a bloody mess but never hit the canvas.

After he lost the title his career took a dip. He retired and then came back in 1954 for a few more bouts. He then quit for good. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Picture: Evasive. Jake Lamotta showing some of the defensive slips and rolls on an opponent.


BOMBORA: HERE, JACK EDEN CAPTURED A HUGE “DEATH WAVE” WHICH SCOTT DILLON WAS THE FIRST TO RIDE IN TO THE SHORE. THE PHOTO WAS USED BY THE SUN (SYDNEY) NEWSPAPER IN A FEATURE BASED ON THE SURFABOUT STORY ON BARE ISLAND.

THE SURFING SIXTIES: SURFABOUT’S COVERAGE – BARE ISLAND BARES ITS TEETH

Bare Island is a stretch of treacherous water near La Perouse, NSW. By 1964, it had claimed 12 lives.

JOHN MORRIS-THORNE*

Massive seas, the biggest recorded in eight years, pounded Sydney’s coastline.

At Bare Island, especially, mountainous sea swells pitched from the ocean depths and exploded resoundingly against the reef.

Bare Island is a stretch of treacherous water near La Perouse recognised by local fishermen as the most dangerous bombora in the Sydney area.  So far it has claimed twelve lives.

Here is how I reported the scene.

The reef 300 yards off shore was a mass of boiling surf as mountainous swells, peaking to an estimated 25 ft., peeled off left and right at the speed of an express train.

Many of the bystanders shook their heads in astonishment as it seemed well nigh impossible to handle monsters such as these.

Big-sea rider Scott Dillon was the first to untie his big gun, then Tony Burgess. But two out in these conditions was inadvisable, until two pint-size juniors, Chocko Ferrier and Karl Saw, offered to act as pick-ups in case of emergency.

THE METHOD

Launching their boards from the rocks to the rear of the island the small group paddled out wide gingerly approaching the critical zone.

Adopting the correct method in big seas at a strange place the group watched several sets roll through before moving in closer to the take-off point.

A small set of about 18 ft. reared up behind the reef and Scott Dillon moved off on the first heavy ridden at Bare Island.  Tony Burgess followed suit on the next set and the spell was broken.

Gradually moving in closer on each wave the boys felt more at home as their gun boards continued to escape the curl.

Unfortunately, the wind which at first was blowing off shore had turned in-shore forcing the peak surf to break too quickly thus preventing the boys getting right into the bin.

UNPARALLELED SPEED

Following directions from the many onlookers on the cliffs, including a dozen aborigines, the riders scampered to sea as some of the biggest sets of the day marched in through the Heads.

Words of advice could be heard shouted across the water as the boys endeavoured to escape the impending wipeout as the huge ominous sets standing in black lines moved in nearer.

The unparalleled speed of the big gun enabled them to make it over the top of the first two sets with ease.

Chocko Ferrier on his slower dog-board brought the crowd to its feet as he climbed in seeming slow motion up the face of the biggest wave of the day-clearly 30 ft. plus-to escape possible destruction by mere inches.

The excitement grew tense as the gun boards, caught wide of the box seat, battled for position as the third set thundered up,  Scott Dillon on his back hand took off right on a wave comparable with any seen at Waimea Bay.

But the fourth set saw Tony Burgess in trouble as the wave sucked hollow at the take-off.  The wave collapsed and Tony’s board quivered as if to break then catapulted skyward saving it from being carved up on a 15 ft. cliff break of bare rock.

Tony, however, was safely picked up, but it took over thirty minutes to retrieve his board which had drifted towards the oil tankers berthed 600 yards away.

This was a splendid effort by these four surfers. But once thing is for sure: Bare Island is no places for the beginner.

<< Surfabout, Vol 1, No 3, 1963.

NOTE: “John Morris-Thorne” was the name used by Frank Morris in the sixties.

Pictures: Evocative images. “Eden’s camera captured countless images which infused new life into what can described as an irrepressible period of our history,” wrote Frank Morris in Surfabout Revisited Collection catalogue. The top photo was taken by Jack Eden on the day. Moment of triumph: Scott Dillon said (left), “I was part of the surfing sixties. It’s my greatest joy that I was there.” Scott, on his big gun, became the first surfer to crack a huge “death wave” at Bare Island.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 05 October 17

BRING ON SPRING: Heatwave – summer ‘silent enemy’

THE SUN RISES: WHAT’S GOING TO BE THE FINAL TEMPERATURE?

“Mum wasn’t the same after this,” says her daughter.

FRANK MORRIS

Heatstroke is described as summer’s “silent enemy” – especially for people over fifty years.

Thelma, a fairly robust 80-year old, had been out most of the day.  But she decided to walk home, a kilometre or so, after a stint of shopping.

It happened to be one of Sydney’s hottest days – about 38C.  By the time she made it to her front door, Thelma’s body had rapidly overheated and dehydrated.

“Mum was never the same after this,” says her daughter.

“Her doctor believes it was the start of her physical and mental deterioration over the next few years.” Thelma spent the last few years of her life in a nursing home suffering from dementia.

Heatstroke can be fatal because it happens so quickly.  The overheated body can seize up much like a car’s engine.

And you don’t have to be exposed to especially high temperatures either.

Simply walking, mowing the lawn or watering the garden is enough to bring it on.

Because the body loses fluids it’s essential, as any GP will tell you, to drink water – and plenty of it.  Don’t wait until you get thirsty.

HEAT EXHAUSTION

“Summer heatwaves are a discomfort for everyone but pose a great danger to older people,” medical researchers Michael Ballester and Fred Harchelroad in the leading US journal, Geriatrics.

According to the authors, heatstroke can be fatal “because age and other factors such as disease, dehydration and medications diminish the ability of the older body to compensate for increased temperatures.”

Older people can succumb to heat illness even in moderate summer temperatures. The body combats overheating by sweating.

With ageing, say the authors, “sweating loses some of its efficiency as a cooling mechanism.”

Certain medications can also increase the risk of heat-related illness and even death for older people.
The authors single out neuroleptics, beta some leading tranquillisers.

HEAT STROKE

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea and dizziness. Mild shock can follow, which can lead to heatstroke if left untreated.

To treat, move the person to a cool place and remove or loosen tight clothing.  If conscious, give person cool water – half-glass every 15 minutes.

No alcohol or caffeine.

HEATSTROKE SYMPTOMS:

The body’s temperature control system stops working and symptoms include hot, red skin; rapid, weak pulse; shallow breathing and changes in consciousness.  Brain damage and death may result if a person is not cooled down quickly.

If you suspect someone is suffering from heatstroke call 000.  Wrap wet sheets around the person and fan them. Watch for signs of breathing problems.

If a person refuses water, or is vomiting, do not give anything to eat or drink

<< This was a syndicated article.

Pictures: What’s the temperature? Heatwave conditions have been with us since the year dot.


THE ICON: JAKE LAMOTTA, THE MIDDLEWEIGHT WITH A TERRIBLE TEMPER, BECAME A CHAMPION FIGHTER. IN ONE OF HIS BOUTS WITH SUGAR RAY ROBINSON WE SAW ROBINSON FALL THROUGH THE ROPES.

BOXING: JACK LAMOTTA, RAGING BULL, DEAD

Jack LaMotta was described as a “good-for- nothing-bum” with a terrible temper but his courage in the boxing ring saw him become an icon, said Richard Goldstein of The New York Times. He died last week at aged 95. He achieved so much in and out of boxing that he became the subject of the much-talked-about movie, Raging Bull. – FM.
Next week: The Jack LaMotta story.


HE’S DEAD. HUGH HEFNER, AGED 91, HAS DIED IN NEW YORK. HEFNER WAS PUBLISHER OF PLAYBOY.  see video on SBS DEMAND


ASK FRANK: COLLEEN WANTED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT PAUL DALTON, CHAPLIN IMPERSONATOR

This is in response to an article I had written on entertainer Paul Dalton. It was a story for a magazine back in 1984. I, in turn, published it in Grand Years just as a reminder that Paul Dalton used to travel the Australian clubs and other places with his Charlie Chaplin Impersonator show.

His audiences were big, even in the latter period. The show only lasted 25 to 30 minutes. I interviewed Dalton after his performance. What he told me was in the article.

HEARTWARMING

He gave me a photo of him as Chaplin. I had a tape of the interview and several contact names, among which was the editor of a magazine who had put me on to Dalton.

I gave them all to Colleen with the photo, except for the tape which I had mislaid. I received a ‘Thank You’ card with the belief that my “gesture had been heart-warming.” She continues: “Thank you for the photo of Paul. That was certainly one I did not have nor, I believe, my father had seen it.” Colleen L, comes from Sydney.

Ask Frank is a regular column.


HERE’S CHARLES DICKENS – COME, LISTERN TO HOW HE IS COMPARED TO SHAKESPEARE!

FRANK MORRIS

The NSW Dickens Society will hold its bi-monthly talk at City Tattersalls Club on Saturday, October 14. The editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, Susan Butler, will discuss the words that have derived from the work of Charles Dickens and how he compares to Shakespeare. The event costs $5 for NSW Dickens Society members and $10 for others.


SPEND A DAY IN THE GARDEN: A FLORAL DISPLAY AT ROOKWOOD, NSW.

SPECIAL FEATURE! FINAL! BETWEEN THE GRAVESTONES – 20 YEARS OF ORIGINAL THINKING

Learn more about your ancestors. Author Dr Lisa Murray and her book, Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide, which offers huge scope for learning.

SARAH TREVOR

Have you ever visited one of your own ancestors’ burial sites?

I visited my great grandfather’s grave when I surveyed Macquarie Park Cemetery, which is also known as Northern Suburbs General Cemetery, for the book. It took a little while to confirm his location as the cemetery administrators had mistyped his name when they converted the burial registers to a database.

Seeing his grave in the Presbyterian section and reading his name on the inscription – Francis Xavier Bell – really brought home to me his Catholic origins and piqued my interest in finding out more about his marriage and personal circumstances. It was both moving and satisfying to see his grave, and good to give it a bit of TLC. I swept off the accumulation of leaf debris.

Do you have a favourite cemetery?

Most people’s favourites are Rookwood Necropolis and Waverley Cemetery. They are both spectacular, of course, and highly significant in terms of cemetery design, prominent burials and monuments. But leaving those aside, I would have to say the South Head General Cemetery has as extraordinary selection of headstones, monuments and vaults; including racing car driver Phil Garlick who died in 1927.

I loved scooting along the Hawkesbury River in a tinnie to get to Bar Island Cemetery; that would have to be the remotest cemetery we went to. Gore Hill Cemetery has the most gothic atmosphere, due to its beautiful overgrown landscape; and a quiet stroll is rewarded with many fascinating gravestones.

An early hidden gem of the inner west is St Thomas’ Anglican Cemetery, Enfield. The wrought iron cross and grave surround that marks the grave of local piano manufacturer Octavius Beale, who died in 1930, is unique; and the lych-gate entrance a rarity. You don’t see many of these crosses; there is a much stronger preference for stone memorials in Sydney.

This is a large wrought cross with IHS in the centre painted gold, encircled by a wreath of leaves and ribbon. It also features a palm frond decorating the base of the cross. The grave surround is an elaborate art nouveau which features flowers, leaves and poppy heads – a symbol of sleep.

Beale established Australia’s first piano factory in 1897. I suspect the cross was probably crafted at the factory. They certainly would had the skilled workmen to make it.

My list goes on. I could never have just one favourite cemetery!

What’s something you hope readers of your book come to appreciate about cemeteries?

Cemeteries are not always sad places. They are restful landscapes with artistic memorials and extraordinary stories just waiting to be discovered. I have always had a soft spot for 19th century cemeteries. But visiting all of Sydney’s cemeteries has made me appreciate the colour, movement and the deeply personalised memorials to be found in the late 20th century ones.

I hope by using my guide, readers will come to appreciate all the different elements and stories that make our cemeteries so special; and hopefully they, too, will want to visit more cemeteries.

TOP TIPS FOR FAMILY HISTORIANS WHO WANT TO FIND OUT WHERE ANCESTOR/S WERE BURIED

  • Obtain a copy of the death certificate.
  • Search for funeral notices and death notices, particularly in digitised newspapers.
  • Consider where other relatives are buried; they may have been reunited in death, even if they died a long, long way away.
  • Work out what cemeteries were active in the period you’re interested in.
  • Use Dr Murray’s book as a guide.

<< Between the gravestones; Inside History, Summer 2017.

The book: Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide by Dr Lisa Murray is out now, $34.99.

Picturers: Where there’s one … The Angel stature appear at South Head General Cemetery, NSW. Grandeur. A taste of gothic at Gore Hill, NSW.


THE STYLE: BETTY CUTHBERT WINNING THE 100 METRES FINAL AT THE SYDNEY SPORTS GROUND. SHE WON WITH EASE.

FAMOUS CELEBRITIES: PART 1. BETTY CUTHBERT AND HOW SHE WAS DISCOVERED

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

When she was a 13-year-old schoolgirl, Betty Cuthbert left running marks on myriad racetracks around Australia and eventually overseas. A Home Science High School student from Parramatta, she and her physical education teacher, June Ferguson, steadily progressed through sub-junior and junior ranks to her world title.

(It was as June “Matson” that Ferguson competed in the London Olympic Games in 1948.)

In 1951, Cuthbert was selected to represent NSW at the Australian schoolgirls’ and boys’ championships in Tasmania. Cuthbert was a 13 years old blond and she knew where she was going.

In the ensuing year, she won her first NSW Title, the sub-junior 75 yards; and second in the sub-junior 50 yards. In 1953, 1954 and 1955 she won both the 75 yards and 100 yards NSW junior titles; and, in addition, she won 220 yards junior championship in 1955.

COMPELLING TIMES

Both the 100 yards and 220 yards were Australian Junior records.

In the 1956 NSW championship she ran compelling times – 100 yards, 10.6; 100 metres 11.5; and 220 yards 22.2 – but she was second to Marlene Mathews in all these events.

It was not even certain that Cuthbert could do well enough in the Australian championships to be included in the Olympic training squad.

<< Olympic Saga – The track and field story Melbourne 1956; Keith Donald and Don Selth; 1957; Futurian Press.

Next month: Betty Cuthbert and the Melbourne Olympic Games. She could, very well, become athletics ‘Golden Girl’!

Picture: Almost there. Fifteen year old Betty Cuthbert wins another major title.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 28 September 17

A TRUE STORY: Part 1 “We were violently in love”

WHAT HAPPENED? I WISH SHE WOULD WRITE TO ME. I WAITED A DAY, A WEEK, A MONTH, A YEAR – BUT NOT A LINE.

An Australian soldier returned to England and wrote the story of a lost love that almost came true again.

SELECTED BY FRANK MORRIS

For a moment I couldn’t believe my eyes. She was standing there in the sunny Strand, gazing up at the balloons, which sailed in the sky like huge silver torpedoes.

She had the same dark hair, the same wide brown eyes, the same sensitive straight nose and the same quiet as Nancy had the time I saw her.

My first impulse was to rush up to her, for I was convinced for a moment that she was Nancy. Then it suddenly dawned on me that the girl was only twenty and that Nancy, like myself, must be forty now.

It was over twenty years since I last saw her. And now, clad once more in the Australian uniform I wore in the last war, I was reliving a scene that had lingered vividly in my since memory ever back I sailed back to Melbourne in 1919.

There was this unknown girl – the living image of Nancy – before me, as fresh and as beautiful as Nancy was on that memorable day I kissed her and said: “I see you tomorrow at six outside Romano’s.”

We were violently in love.

SHE WAS THE GIRL

There was no doubt about that; it was a beautiful and clean love such as I can never hope to know again.

It began on a day when I picked her up from the road, where she had slipped. It was a windy, cloudy and an altogether dreary day, when romance seems as remote from you as the tiniest star in the universe.

I picked her up and her embarrassed eyes smiled hurriedly into mine. At that moment I knew instinctively that she was the girl I had always dreamed of meeting. I helped her to on the pavement, where she brushed the dirt from her coat. Then I asked her whether she would like to join me in a coffee.

Yes, that was how it all began. And from that moment I felt the happiest and luckiest man the world.

There were the days we spent in the country during my leave. The long walks across the green fields. That beautiful wood in which bluebells formed an exquisite carpet of blue. And  the sun shinning through the trees like golden lances.

<< The Daily Mirror, London, August 30, 1940.

Picture: Forever. “I wanted this to on go forever, but I had a feeling it would not last,” he thought.


ONE NIGHT STAND: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! ON THE LEFT -- A GUITAR-PLAYING SHEIK, AND ON THE RIGHT – AS “TARZAN”, THE LEOPARD AND CHIMPANZEE HUNTER! SPIKE ACTING UP IN 1984.

SPIKE MILLIGAN BRINGS SOME CHEER TO COLUMN 8

FRANK MORRIS

The original and zany Spike Milligan appeared at His Majesty’s Theatre for the last time in July 1984. Spike describes his Second Farewell Tour as a “completely unpredictable musical extravaganza.”

At the time I was working on a newspaper and went to seen him. I wrote a review at the times called “Spike’s one night stand.” He also played Eccles in the laugher-prone comedy The Goon Show.

Spike died of heart failure in 2002. He was 83. He spent his early life in India where he was born. Off and on, he came to Australia and stayed at Woy Woy for many years.

Just recently, some Column 8 readers picked up some of these gems from Spike Milligan:

I PREFER LEWISHAM

From Frenchs Forest, NSW: “There were holes in the sky for the rain to come in. They’re very small holes, that’s why the rain is so thin.”

From Lane Cove another bon mot: “So fair is she, so fair her face, so fair her pulsing figure; not so fair, the maniacal stare, of a husband who’s much bigger.”

From Darling Point, NSW: “On arrival by ship to perform in Sydney, Spike Milligan was asked by a reporter, ‘How long will you be in Australia?’ Quick as a flash he replied: ‘About 5 feet 6’.”

From Rozelle, NSW: In his later years, Spike said: “I don’t mind going to heaven, but if Jeffrey Archer’s there, I would prefer to go to Lewisham.”

<< Column 8 extracts are from The Sydney Herald, June 28 and 29; July 4, 2017.

Picture: No matter what he did? He was a fine trumpet player too, with a bit of humour thrown in!


LADY MARY FAIRFAX DEAD: In 1959, the media scion Warwick Fairfax married his third wife, Lady Mary Fairfax, who claimed the position of First Lady of a profitable and influential media dynasty, died on Monday (September 19) at the age of 95. At its peak, John Fairfax & Son was ranked tenth in the media world. It published a raft of newspapers and a vast network of magazines, radio and television stations. – FM.

COMING SOON: Warwick Fairfax, proprietor of the family flagship, The Sydney Morning Herald, was for “impartiality and fair dealing.”


FLASHBACK: YOU SERVE YOUR PETROL. Shell service stations lead the way when self-serve petrol was introduced 41 years ago in 1976. It’s hard to accept the fact that “motorists would stay in their car” while the attendant pumped the petrol and checked oil and tyre pressures as one of the conditions. All of it came to an end. It was now up to you. The attendant inside can read from the computer how much you have to pay. – FM.


A LONG TIME AGO: THE US ACTOR, WILLIAM GILLETTE, IN THE FIRST MOVIE ABOUT SHERLOCK HOLMES IN 1916. THE LOUNGEROOM, IN WHICH GILLETTE IS LIGHTING HIS PIPE, CAME FROM DOYLE’S ILLUSTRATOR, SIDNEY PAGET.

SPECIAL FEATURE! PART 3. SHERLOCK HOLMES AND FRIENDS – THE VARYING DEGREES OF PERSONIFICATIONS

Paget, Tenniel and John Leech – they were as different as chalk and cheese, but their contribution to their subject was. Indeed, inestimable.

FRANK MORRIS

There is no record of the exact time when Paget and Doyle met. But Paget’s impression of the Grand Duke of Castel-Felstein, the king of Bohemia, was unmistakably, according to Pound, “strongly reminiscent of Doyle himself, who had the physical presence and authority of a personage.”

Paget played an important role in creating the Holmes legend in the same way as Robert Seymour’s and John Leech’s linear interpretation of Dickens’ Pickwick Papers and Christmas Carol respectively, and John Tenniel’s acclaimed visual conception of the Alice books.*

The drawing styles of the three artists are as different as chalk and cheese, but their contribution to their subjects was inestimable indeed.

As one of the fashionable satirical artists of his day, Seymour had a tenuous start in his relationship with Dickens. The high point was, he created Mr Pickwick we all know today. “(And) this in itself was no doubt a stimulus to Dickens imagination,” writers Martin Fido in his biography of Dickens.

His success notwithstanding, Seymour, in a weak and infirm state of mind, took his own life, leaving behind a note in which he exhorted that no one was “to blame … I don’t think anyone has been a malicious enemy to me.”

WATSON “A MAN OF LETTERS”

“The artist who carried on the tradition of Seymour’s untimely death was Hablot Knight Browne who, using the non de plume Phiz, was “to remain Dickens illustrator for twenty years.”

The great detective’s friend and biographer, Dr John Watson, was modelled on the well-known architect, Alfred Morris Butler. Holmes, unquestionably, revered Watson as a “man of letters” and admitted that he would “be lost without my Boswell.”

Born in the 1850s, Watson is described in the Holmes story, Charles Augustus Milverton, as “a middle-sized, strongly built man” possessing a square jaw, and “as thin as a lathe” following his experiences in Afghanistan.

It was there, as a military surgeon during the second Afghan War (1878-1879) that Watson was severely wounded in the battle of Maiwund.

Paget added the deerstalker cap. Which, undoubtedly, Pound believes “assisted the fixation of Sherlock Holmes in the public mind.” But the famous cap, the curved meerschaum pipe and the Inverness cape, are not mentioned anywhere in the Holmes stories.

They are, according Jack Tracy, compiler of The Encyclopaedia of Sherlockiana, not part of Holmes as Watson depicts him.

<< Sherlock Holmes and Friends came about when Frank G. Greenop wrote a storyline (1974) and Frank Morris added to the storyline and wrote the story in 2002. It was never published until it appeared in Grand Years.

Next month: Some of Paget’s illustrations of Holmes were, at times, imperfect, said Frederic Dorr Steele.  The illustrations lost much in the publishing.

*Alice in Wonderland series.

Pictures: Thrills and romance. Conan Doyle wrote the play Sherlock Holmes and the US star William Gillette made it into a film. The film of Sherlock Holmes was made in 1916 and declared lost. A surviving print was found in 2014. It was made by Essanay Studio, New York. Pontificating: Sherlock Holmes, released as Moriaty in the UK, is a silent mystery drama issued in 1922. It stars John Barrymore as Sherlock and Roland Young as Dr John Watson.


PLAY SCHOOL: THIS IS A FINE DUO – DR CATHIE HARRISON AND BIG TED. PHOTO: THE AUSTRALIAN

BIG TED: PLAY SCHOOL – THERE’S A BEAR IN THERE!

FRANK MORRIS

Dr Cathie Harrison gets to cuddle Big Ted in her office at the Australian Catholic University for one reason: he, and his ABC Play School pals, have been ‘pupils’ of hers for the past 18 years.

“Cathie has helped shape the colourful stories and sing-a-long adventures of Big Ted and his pals while encouraging Australian children from Sydney’s inner west to outback Queensland to enjoy learning,” said the Australian newspaper.

ALWAYS CONSTANT

A senior lecturer in early childhood education, said the newspaper, Dr Harrison “is also one of the early childhood advisers on the ABC’s children’s television program.”

“The commitment to the child has been always constant,” she told the newspaper. Play School has been running for more than 50 years.

Graham Byrne, the designer and manufacturer of Big Ted, was “delighted” with his appearance.

Picture: Thrill’s: Graham Byrne, Big Ted’s inventor.

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

BRING ON SPRING! When you're allergy-free there's nothing to sneeze about

NATURAL BEAUTY: A SMALL CHILD HAS THE SNEEZES. HOPE SHE REMEMBERS TO TAKE HOME A BUNCH OF THESE WILDFLOWERS FOR HER MOTHER FOR SPRING.

The creation of anything allergy-free will minimise allergic reaction.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

The major culprit in springtime hay fever is pollen which are tiny particles that are released from trees, weeds, and grasses to fertilise other plants.

For reasons that are largely unknown, some people are hypersensitive or allergic to pollen. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely avoid wind-borne pollen; but you can take steps to minimise your exposure to pollen, especially around your own home and garden.

The best course is to limit your exposure to allergens!

If you’re among the estimated one in three Australians who suffer from seasonal allergic hay fever, don’t despair. To help remedy the ordeal, here is the creation of allergy-free gardens and preventive supplements to lessen allergic reactions.

FOLLOW THIS ROUTINE

Allergy-free gardens are very much in vogue. It is easy to find useful and practical advice, for example, which plants to avoid and which to use in your gardens. The Internet provides a list on allergy-free gardens for more information.
Your local garden centre has timely information about the type of allergy-free plants best suited for your region of the country. Nevertheless, try this routine when you are next gardening:

GARDEN on days when pollen count is low; or on days that are cool, cloudy or less windy.

WEAR gloves, a long-sleeved shirt; hat and sunglasses or goggles. Even a pollen mask may be useful.

AVOID touching your face and eyes when you are working in the garden.

AVOID certain tasks that can aggravate symptoms: mowing, raking, composting and working with mulch or straw; or using power blowers.

KEEP the windows of your house closed when mowing; and for a few hours later.

ATTACK those weeds early and regularly, but in short bursts.

NOTE -- Try vitamin and mineral supplements which can boost your immunity against allergens; also, they are an excellent preventive. Some active recommendations are Garlic, Horseradish, and Vitamin C.

<< Healthy Life Magazine, for a natural health foods.

Picture: Spring time is here. Come on, your allergy-free garden is calling!


COULDN’T TELL: A SPIRITED MAGPIE SWOOPS ON MILO THE DOG. THE MAGPIE COULDN’T DETERMINE WHETHER IT WAS MAN, WOMAN OR CHILD -- HIS ATTACK WAS THE SAME.

BRING ON SPRING! PART 1. THE BIRDS ARE COMING!

The magpies are swooping – in droves.

FRANK MORRIS

“Cyclists are warned to look out for magpies” was one article in a Fairfax newspaper. This warning got cyclists on the tip of their toes if they saw magpies threaten their safety.

“My wife was attacked recently walking up close to a clump of trees and she was swooped on by a magpie; she got the fright of her life,” said Mr Wilson told Grand Years.

One letter writer told the newspaper that “magpies have been a problem in his neighbourhood since 2012.” He said, “I was delivering leaflets for a major retailer … and ended up avoiding the swooping season.

“A nest is located at an intersection which is used by people and cyclists. If a person was swooped, the panic or reaction to an injury could cause them to lose sense of direction and be knocked over.”

The writer says, “What happens if they are knocked of their bikes … lose control” and they are run over?

BE READY TO DUCK

Another writer says, “I got swooped on four times just by walking down my street.” Another says, “Make friends early. Magpies have great memories and if you toss then mince or other scraps, they regard you as a friend and do not swoop.”

David Davies, a photographer and cartoonist, a keen magpie watcher, said a magpie swooping on people is only when they are protecting their young. He said: “By and large, they are a friendly type of bird.”

Now, you may be warned to “look up’ the next time you are near trees and be ready ‘to duck’ if there’s a magpie in the air.

For an immediate alert, people must know that the swooping season starts in mid-August – not mid-September – so that we have a long way to run.

ATTACK THE FACE

“The male birds get a big boost of testosterone and all they want do is protect their young,” said the Broadsheets, Melbourne.

To date there have been 849 attacks since mid-July across Australia, out of which 109 people have been injured, usually the head or neck and sometimes in the face.

While statewide there have 37 per cent in Queensland, 30 per cent in NSW and 20 per cent in Victoria.
People, it’s been reported, are likely to be attacked in places with high foot traffic.

<< Adapted from Fairfax Community Newspapers.

Picture: Friendly fellow: The magpies, by and large, are a bird that acts on amicable terms.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 14 September 17

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