Grand Years with Frank Morris

Searching for posts in the month of: December 2016

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 5 records of 5

Classic Repeats! Too big, too strong – Johnson wins world ‘title’ fight in the 14th round!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BOUT: ON DECEMBER 30, 1908 -- THIS IS THE FIGHT WHICH ATTRACTED WORLD ATTENTION. THE OPPONENTS WERE CHALLENGER JACK JOHNSON AND TOMMY BURNS, GAVE PATRONS THEIR FIRST AND ONLY LIVE VIEW OF TWO MORTALS FIGHTING FOR A WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

Described by The Star newspaper as “the greatest struggle for racial supremacy!”

FRANK MORRIS

On Boxing Day, 1908, it was a big day!

More than sixty thousand spectators converged on Rushcutters Bay Stadium, Sydney, for a brawl between two of the smartest in the business – Jack Johnson, “America’s premier coloured boxer and Champion Tommy Burns.

At stake, was the heavyweight championship of the world? Reporting on the famous event was the celebrated American author, Jack London.

ROUND 1 – JOHNSON REACED BURNS’ HEAD WITH A FLURRY OF PUNCHES

When the gong had sounded the men were at it in a second. Johnson coming up to his man, saying, “All right Tommy.” Johnson suddenly lunged forward and reached his opponent’s body, but the blow was only light … Both men brought their hands to the body; and Johnson reaching Burns for a sharp uppercut; Burns toppled over. The champion was down for eight seconds … he signalled that everything was all right … Though there was a flurry of punches from both fighters … The men were locked together … Burns was finding the body with the left hook, while Johnson brought his right hand down to Burns’ kidneys … Johnson brought a beautifully timed right to the head, staggering Burns temporarily. Up to this time, Johnson was getting decidedly the better of the fight … Johnson worked his man over to the side of the ring and charged with a right lead to the head; but Burns had no difficulty in getting under … Burns was boxing superbly … just as the gong sounded, Johnson reached Burns’ head with a stinging rush (of punches).

ROUND 5 – BURNS WEST DOWN … BUT WAS UP AGAIN!

At the end of round four, Johnson let a straight left go which Burns dodged. Johnson walked up quietly and he said: “Come right for a couple of seconds” then let loose with his right, reaching Burns under the chin. The champion’s ankle gave away and Burns went down; but he was immediately up again. Johnson placed right and left punches repeatedly to Burns’ head … and his left eye started to swell. Johnson was having the best of the round. Burns was receiving heavy punishment by Johnson but Burns was dancing around. Johnson, however, was surveying him coolly … After several seconds Burns remarked to Johnson: “Are you going to fight, you cur?” Johnson suddenly moved forward and swung a terrific left jab, which found its way to Burns’ stomach … The champion still kept to his work but he was doing very little scoring. His mouth was bleeding … Johnson brought his right jab up, catching Burns under the chin. The gong sounded.

ROUND 7 – JOHNSON SWUNG HIS RIGHT ACROSS BURNS’ HEAD; THE EYE DREW BLOOD

At the end of round six, Johnson bustled Burns into his corner … a terrific left jab just missed
the champion’s chin. The gong sounded. After a few seconds the fighters circled each other; Burns commenced the attack … but Johnson cut around and got both hands severely on his ribs and body … and let in some unmerciful blows … slinging his right across Burns’ head. Burns’ right eye drew blood … Johnson was scoring freely with both hands. It seems at this point Burns was tiring. Then, Johnson turned to the crowd and said: “I thought Tommy was an in-fighter.” … But only a few seconds remained … Johnson took matters very quietly when the opportunity presented itself. The coloured man swung his left on to Burns’ ribs, dropping him. Burns remained down for a few seconds … when the gong sounded.

ROUND 14 – BURNS BUCKLED AND FELL TO THE CANVAS

At the end of round 13, Burns was attacking his opponent’s head. Johnson used both left and right on the face and drew blood from Burns’ eye. In the opening of the 14th round, the last of the fight, the left side of Burns’ face was badly swollen. They sparred and clinched for a few seconds. In the breakaway Johnson sent his right viciously to the jaw. Burns saw it coming, and was quickly out of reach … They stood out again and Johnson looped his left to Burns’ body … and a good right to the ribs. Johnson, who had a big advantage in reach, swung his right and got Burns square on the jaw. The champion buckled and fell to the canvas, where he remained for eight seconds. When he rose … Johnson swung his left which caught Burns on the forehead. Mr McIntosh, the referee, declared Johnson the winner.

Here’s what was said after the fight:

Jack Johnson, at ringside, said “I never had any doubt; I knew I was too good for him. Why, I have forgotten more than he ever learned.”

Tommy Burns, before leaving the ring, said “I did my best; I fought hard but Johnson was too big. His reach was too much for me … that’s all I have to say.”

Mrs Jack London, wife of the celebrated Jack London, was the only woman to witness the fight. “It seems a pity … that it should end as it did. I think Burns is the grittiest fighter it is possible to be … it was too bad for Burns to be cut up as he was.”

Mr McIntosh, the referee, said “I think the best man won.”

<< Adapted from The Star newspaper’s fight review.

Picture: Black a winner: Johnson was a clear winner. Johnson was the world’s first black champion.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AHEAD: SIR HENRY PARKES AT HIS DESK AS COLONIAL SECRETARY. PARKES WAS ALWAYS CONSIDERED STREETS AHEAD OF OTHER DISTINGUISHED PUBLIC RIVALS.

CHATTER! SIR HENRY PARKES WAS THE FOUNDING FATHER OF FEDERATION

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

April 28, 1896 – Former long-standing Premier of NSW Sir Henry Parkes dies yesterday morning with his wife at his bedside. Flags on government buildings and shipping were lowered to half-mast throughout the day as a mark of respect to the memory of the distinguished public figure.

Parkes, 80, is widely regarded all over Australia as the founding “Father of Federation.” Sir Henry’s death was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as a “sharp blow to thousands.”

The Herald reported: “Everywhere among the public, in tramcars, in the streets, at shops and business places, were to be gathered the signs of genuine regret that the long and distinguished life had closed.”

Parkes, born in Warwickshire, England, began life as a tenant farmer.  He set sail for Australia in 1839 and found work in Sydney as a customs house officer.  After several business ventures, including his own newspaper titled the Empire, he entered politics in 1854.

Married three times to Clarinda Varney, Eleanor Dixon and Julia Lynch, Parkes was father to 11 children.

Picture: Federation: Sir Henry Parkes at 80. He was known as the Father of Federation.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND THE WINNER IS …! BULLER’S DONKEY COULD’VE WON IF IT WERE NOT FOR HENRY PARKES!

CLASSIC REPEATS! IN THE GOOD OLD ELECTION DAYS …

Electors! Electors! Vote for Buller’s donkey! A far more eligible candidate than Dr Hamilton!

JOHN F. FAIRFAX

In 1864, Sir Henry Parkes, was a candidate for a South Coast electorate.  His rival in the contest was an unfortunate man called Dr. Hamilton, who was not only beaten at the poll, but was obliged to stand up against a positive barrage of abuse, with which Parkes’ supporters assailed him.

The above advertisement is a fair sample of the pungent ridicule which the doctor was called upon to bear.
Parkes was not half as fierce as his mildest supporter, and his speeches during the campaign were restrained and quite impersonal.

But his friends volleyed and thundered. “We cannot see without concern the attempt now being made to foist into the Assembly, a candidate who would disgrace the electorate,” they volleyed.

“We think therefore that Dr. Hamilton will still be better employed in curing the various ills which flesh is heir to – always provided that his charges are not ruinous to his patients,” they thundered.

The Kiama Independent was vigorous in its support of Parkes, and condemned Hamilton with all the violence customary in newspaper columns of those days. The Independent with a joyous disregard of libel, accused him of bribery, and even went so far, in fierce little asides, as to draw attention to lack of applause when his name was mentioned.

ON A BITTER NOTE

“He (Hamilton’s sponsor) had great pleasure in proposing that G.H. Hamilton was a fit and proper person to represent this electorate in the Legislative Assembly (No cheers).”

Even at the declaration of the poll, the bitter feeling was maintained, and the unhappy doctor, stung by a remark made by one of his enemies, replied that he considered it no honour to shake Mr. Black’s hand, and that he would not condescend to let Mr. Black black his shoes.

Apparently two blacks could not make a white, and the campaign ended on a bitter note.

The majority for Parkes was 166, and he was hoisted into a buggy and drawn by his cheering supporters to the Steam Packet Hotel, where bumpers were drunk in celebration.

On conclusion of this happy ceremony, Parkes had again stepped into the buggy when little Paddy Andrews, who had been his coachman, leapt in beside him with a loaf of bread thrust in the end of a pole, shouting at the top of his small lungs that now people would know them both as Free Traders.

Next morning the townspeople gave the successful Parkes a hearty send-off as the steamer left the wharf. Looking back at the town, he was no doubt further moved by the “parting salute of small ordnance” – and perchance, a farewell bray from Buller’s donkey.

<< Taken from Fairfax’s country books.

Picture: I can win this! Electors were saying, “Vote for Buller’s donkey!

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 30 December 16

Classic Repeats: The tree, one of the most expressive Yuletide symbols!

 

EXOTIC: A CHRISTMAS TREE, MADE UP WITH THE KNOWN SYMBOLS OF  CHRISTMAS, IS PART OF THE WRAPPING PAPER USED FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS.

All over the world the Christmas Tree represents the richness of festivities.

FRANK MORRIS

“The triangle of a tree is a symbol of birth, life and death,” said Edna Metcalfe. “The tree is mankind’s best friend, feeding, clothing and sheltering him. In thanks, we bring the tree inside at Christmastime and cover its branches with jewels.

The celebration of the nativity is at the heart of all Christmas festivities and decorations. And the Christmas tree is one of the world’s most expressive Yuletide symbols, says author, Edna Metcalfe, who had observed the celebration of Christmas in many different countries.

Says Metcalfe: “In it is … sacred and secular, the rich varieties of national and regional traditions and festivals, fact and folklore.”

As a young girl of thirteen, Queen Victoria was impressed with her first Christmas tree, which was arranged by the German side of the family. The traditional tree became popular in England during her reign thirty years on.

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST

In Holland, every family has a tree. It is often laden with fruits and fragrant herbs, brightened with pinwheels and silver pine cones.

Meanwhile, in France, it is the Paradise tree which is decorated with apples and small white wafers representing the Holy Eucharist.
In Italy, it is the Ceppo tree; in the Ukraine, the tree is decorated with cotton wool and a gossamer netting of cobwebs, which, based on legend, it is hoped that the first light of the sun will turn them silver.

The Christmas tree came to the US from the Yuletide tradition of German immigrants, as it did in England, with the ornaments adapted from the simple resources of pioneer America – gingerbread men, cornhusk dolls and popcorn string.

In Sweden, as in most northern European countries, the focus is on birds and animals, as these were the creatures who were present at the birth of Christ.

<< This was a syndicated article.

Picture: Italian Ceppo Tree. In Italy Christmas lasts for three weeks, beginning eight days before the birth of the Jesus. Italy has not adopted the Christmas tree.
 


FIRST POKER MACHINE: CHARLES FEY’S LIBERTY BELL STARTED AN ENTIRE GAMING INDUSTRY. LITTLE WAS KNOWN AT THE TIME, BUT THE MACHINE DID FOSTER ‘BIG GAMBLERS’. IT WOULD BECOME THE LYNCHPIN OF THE SPECIES.

1975 TRIVIA – THERE’S A POKER MACHINE CRAZE GOING ON!

Mr Brian Frost, of Nutt and Muddle the distributor, said that thousands of Sydney housewives are buying poker machines. Frost said cheats soon found a machine that paid out an excessive number of jackpots due to worn parts and they were of little commercial value once the club discarded them. “New machines cost from $2000,” said Frost, “but you can get one second-hand from $25.


JUST FOR YOU: I DON’T CARE WHAT HE’S CALLED AS LONG AS LEAVES ME SOME GIFTS!

CLASSIC REPEATS! SANTA CLAUS OR ST NICHOLAS – HIS FAME QUICKLY SPREAD

St Nicholas, who is popularly known as Santa Claus, is a corruption of the Dutch name Santa Nikolaus.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

Santa Claus, or to give his real name, St Nicholas, was the Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor in the fourth century. Like St George he was venerated in both eastern and western Christianity.

St Nicholas is said to have been made a saint on the strength of one miracle: the rescue of three generations from being unjustly executed by the Emperor Constantine.

Another miracle attributed to him was the resurrection of three little boys who had been murdered, cut up and put into a pickling tub to be served as bacon. He is also said to have tossed gold into the homes of penniless girls so that they did not have to earn their dowries in a disreputable way.

St Nicholas’s fame spread quickly throughout the Byzantine and Roman empires.

But his immense popularity stems from 1087 when merchants from Bari, in southern Italy, rescued his relics from the Turkish Seljuks. The merchants, on this occasion, were heading towards Bari, where the relics now lie in the Church of St Nicholas.

THREE GOLD BALLS

St Nicholas is the patron saint of Russia and Aberdeen. He is also the patron saint of pawnbrokers, clerks, scholars, children and sailors.

The pawnbroker’s three gold balls are said to represent the three bags of gold he, St Nicholas, tossed into the homes of the poor girls.

His popular name of Santa Claus is a corruption of a Dutch word denoting Santa Nikolaus and his feast day is December 6. In the some countries, Christmas presents are distributed on the night of December 5.

The custom used to be for someone to dress as a bishop and give small gifts to children who had been good. The present custom of putting toys and other small presents into a stocking on Christmas Eve was introduced into Britain from Germany in 1840.

<< Adapted from The Real McCoy by Eileen Helicar; published by Reader’s Digest. 1984.

Picture: St Nicholas. This portrait of Santa Claus by Thomas Nast was published in Harper’s Weekly in 188l.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 23 December 16

Merry Christmas! Graham and Big Ted – from Kutie Toys to ABC Play School

 

Creator and Big Ted are together again!

FIONA BYRNE and FRANK MORRIS

Graham Byrne was born in 1938 at a place called Watford, England. All through his childhood the Second World War ground on.

As a little boy Graham had suffered the same plight as most kids – he did not have many toys.

During the war, most of the toy factories were converted to the manufacture of military equipment; particularly guns or spare parts for planes.

Toys that were made in war time were mainly constructed of paper or card due to rubber, plastics, wood and metal being needed for basic war equipment.

By 1952, Graham’s father, Arthur Byrne, decided to migrate to Australia where he hoped to offer a better life to his family. Graham was only 14 years old at the time. The Byrne family became part of the ‘Ten Pound Pom’ scheme, the colloquial term to describe British subjects who had to pay ten pounds for their fare, while the their children travelled free.

FROM SPECIAL FABRIC

In the 1960s, Graham’s father established a plush push-along toy business. Graham was also interested in the toy industry. He was specifically concerned with designing and making teddy bears. So, in 1965, Graham decided to join his father and share of the factory.

Graham called the business Kutie Toys, so named because of his yearning to create a cute looking range of bears.

To make the business stand out, he intentionally changed the spelling.

He chose a durable, washable fabric that was safe for children, which he sourced from Germany. Kutie Toys distributed bears in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong and mainly sold through toy shops and pharmacies.

In 1966, the ABC was in need of a large teddy bear for a new children’s program. Time plays horrible tricks, but Graham is not sure whether his father was approached by the ABC; or if ABC ran an advertisement.

His father, Arthur, thought that it would be good for Graham’s business to donate a bear to the national broadcasting service for the television show. Graham agreed with the idea -- it was great. A special type of fabric was used, woollen claws were sewn onto the pads and the finished bear was donated to the ABC broadcaster.

Fast forward to 2016 …

Graham happened to be watching the 50th Celebration of Play School when, suddenly, he reeled back in shock. He saw Magda Szubanski hugging a teddy bear just like Big Ted. He studied the bear and thought, “That's my bear!”

WISH TO COME TRUE

He called for his wife, Barbara, to come have a look. They both peered intently at the TV screen and it didn’t take them too long to realise: yes, that was the bear Graham made and donated to the show all that time ago.

The two parents reflected on how as busy young people they never sat down to watch an episode of Play School. The irony is that their children – Vanessa, Fiona and Nadine – were avid watchers of the show; yet the girls grew up with no knowledge that Big Ted was made by their father.

When the place was buzzing with grandchildren, who came along in the early part of the 21st century, they also watched Play School; one of the comments was that Big Ted looked like one of their grandad’s bears!

Graham mentioned to his children that his wished he could give the bear a big hug after all the medical treatment that he had been having all year. His dream came true.

On October 14, the ABC Play School team met Graham and two of his daughters at the ABC Studios and they were shown around the Play School set. With Graham overjoyed when reunited with Big Ted it was something to behold.

Yes, it was an emotion charged day!

Picture: United. Graham has always been interested in the toy industry. He is, once again, together with Big Ted after 50 years.


HISTORY IS MADE: CARCOAR, NSW, IS THE SECOND TOWN IN THE CENTRAL WEST. WHEN IT WAS ESTABLISHED IT BYPASSED THE GOLD STRIKE.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! GOLD RUSH DAYS – FINAL. SECOND RURAL TOWN IN THE CENTRAL WEST

FRANK MORRIS

Carcoar, 50km south-west of Bathurst, has one of the most valid, intact collections of 19th century architecture in NSW, according to the bible, Architecture Australia magazine.

The town, which stands at the gateway to the NSW western plains, was surveyed in 1838 and destined, it was believed, for a prosperous future. Carcoar was the first rural town beyond Bathurst, and by the late 1870s, it was ‘the centre of a rich agriculture district,”

In response to its growth and the expectation of a population boom the Government, from 1861 to 1888, built a hospital, post office, court house, public school, police station and railway station. But it was, as it turned out, all to no avail.

The planners had made a serious blunder.

Not only was the town bypassed by the gold rush and the rail line, but its population, which soared to 600, began “a continuing decline.” Today, Carcoar is an historic village seemingly untouched by time.

ROLLICKING SONGS

“Carcoar has many notable buildings,” said Tony Macdoughall in his book, Colonial Buildings of Australia. The school, which still stands, with its simple lines and familiar bell-towner is, said Macdoughall, “typical of many schools erected throughout Australia over this period.”

The banks and properties in and around Carcoar were often the targets of bushrangers, like Jack Donohoe, the original Wild Colonial Boy and a member of the Underwood Gang, Ben Hall and Frank Gardiner.

Both Hall and Gardiner, before they converted to a life of crime, are believed to have worked for a short time in the town’s butcher shop. Although Donohoe was regarded as an innocuous bushranger, he made an impression with his rollicking songs.

According to bushranger buff and author, Roy Mendham, the “Wild Colonial Boy was Donohoe’s favourite song in which he replaced the fictional ‘Jack Doolan’ with his own name.”

Picture: Wild boy! Carcoar was a haven of bushrangers who meant business, especially Jack Donohoe, who was consider as innocuous type.

<< Adapted from Expression, magazine of State Rail, 1988.


SAD TIMES: GOODIES OF ALL DESCRIPTIONS WILL NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE  AT THE ENTERPRISE STORES EMPORIUM. THE STORE CLOSED AFTER 165 YEARS.

GOLD RUSH DAYS! CARCOAR EMPORIUM SHUTS ITS DOORS AFTER 165 YEARS

FRANK MORRIS

The letter was beautifully crafted and affixed to the window of the Emporium as the “first sign of the passing of a slice of history.” It was signed: “God bless, Charlie and Colleen.” The Emporium, part of the district’s history, has shut its doors.

Charlie and Colleen decided that on next Sunday, the Enterprise Stores Emporium would close its doors for the final time after nearly half a century of shopkeeping in the small county town of Carcoar. The store, locals say, opened in 1851.

BACKWARD PROGRESS

Colleen admits she is “very sad” but said the time has come to retire. She said: “It’s not just a bread and milk and paper shop, it’s much more than that.”

Because the population of the district has fallen to about 150, the town’s fortunes have been whittled away. “We’ve lost a lot of our facilities here … but it’s still a great little town to live in.” She says, with a smile, “We call some of it ‘backward progress’ … with what we’ve lost over the years.”

She ended by saying, “We’re just taking time out for a while; I don’t know what the future will hold for us.”

<< Adapted from the Sydney Morning Herald, October 24, 2016. Quote came from story.

Picture: Shut its door: With so few still trading in Carcoar, the Emporium store closed after 165 years.


HAIL AND HEARTY: FRANK IFIELD WITH HIS MUM AND DAD

MERRY CHRISTMAS! CHATTER: “HEY MUM, I CAN YODEL!”

In 1948, mum was taken by surprise when her young son, Frank Ifield, yelled: “Hey mum, I can yodel.” His grandmother was so impressed she bought him a ukulele and told him to develop his art.

Born in Coventry, England in 1937 of Australian parents, Ifield took an interest in country music as a youngster. He always listened to country programs on the radio, but there was little in his background to indicate that one day be would become an international singing star.

As a teenager, he hardly ever missed the Tim McNamara shows in the early fifties when they hit the suburbs.

And it didn’t take long for the aspiring young singer to get into the act. According to country music expert Eric Watson, Ifield caught wind that one of McNamara’s regular artists had come down with the flu and couldn’t do the show.

With nothing to lose, he went backstage and asked McNamara if he could take the entertainer’s place.

ONLY NEEDED TWO YEARS

When television was officially launched in Sydney in 1956, Ifield was the first country singer to appear on the small screen on the second night of transmission. Within twelve months of the historic telecast, he had his own weekly TV show, Campfire Favourites, which ran for nearly two years.

By the end of the decade, Ifield had conquered most of the heights in Australia. In 1969, two years before he turned 21, Ifield left for England.

Writes Watson: “Frank gave himself two years to make good; and in typical fashion, he only needed two.”

<< Frank Morris’s Showline column in 1986.

Picture: Early TV: This gave Ifield his own show and a chance to yodel his heart out!

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 15 December 16

Merry Christmas! Classic Repeats: Daphne du Maurier: ‘’The place has taken hold of time”

NOT FAR: DAPHNE DU MAURIER, ENJOYING A BREAK FROM WRITING, IS NEAR HER HOME IN CORNWALL.

The fire-wracked mansion in the unforgettable film, Rebecca, was more than a figment of the author’s imagination. No, it was a dream that became an obsession.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

Daphne du Maurier discovered the haunted mansion which became the scene of her most acclaimed novel, Rebecca, while rambling about her beloved country retreat with sister, Angela. The author little dreamed that the house she longed to fill with life would one day become her own.

Du Maurier was a lively mix of tomboy and dreamer. She was only 13 years of age. She was often given to scribbling romantic poetry in her diary among the descriptions of a wildly imaginative play, a critic wrote.

The book, Myself When Young, written by du Maurier in 1977, sums up the obsession the “young” teenager thought about. Little did she realise that the house called Menabilly would one day be hers.

In her book, she writes: “And looking north, inland from the Gribbin, I could make out the grey roof of a house there, set in its own grounds among trees. Yes, Angela and I were told that would be Menabilly. It belongs to Dr Rashleigh, but he seldom lives there.

“Our friends, the Quiller-Couches, gave further information. They used to visit it for garden parties in its heyday.

And I gleaned snatches of family history. And there were the original 16-century builders; the Stuart royalists who suffered for their King; the Tory landowners with their white wigs and their broods of children; and the Victorian landowners.

MENABILLY WAS MINE!

“I saw them all, in my mind’s eye, down to the present owner, who would love his home; and when I thought of him it was not of an elderly man, a respectable justice of the peace, but of a small boy, orphaned at two years old, coming for his holidays in a Eton collar and tight black suit.”

Du Maurier wrote in her diary: “Menabilly, haunting, mysterious … The place has taken hold of me. I must go back there next time I come down.”

She “trespassed” once again in the grounds of Menabilly. “The place called to me, I felt I just had to peep at the house, if only for a moment,” she wrote in her book.

In 1943, du Maurier’s dream came true. Menabilly was hers.

As an author, Daphne du Maurier has been described as a “poetic writer” but some critics have failed to see this. Other critics and historians have her “fantastically moody and resonant” and her sweeping novels and plays are a “bit like a myth or fairy tales.”

Daphne du Maurier’s death was a blow to all who loved her. Du Maurier died in Cornwall, England in 1989. She was 72.

<< “A Place has taken hold of me” appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, December 1977. Frank Morris used passages from Myself When Young by Daphne de Maurier.

Picture: Extension of me. Having written Myself When Young, du Maurier filled in what the “young” Daphne was thinking. The mansion. Menabilly was haunting and mysterious … “the place has taken hold of me.”


NEXT WEEK: We missed last week’s deadline on the Graham and Big Ted surprise story! It’s on next week. Here is a clue: Graham was interested in the toy industry specifically because he wanted to design and make teddy bears. Plus … there is another surprise.


I WANT TO GET WITH IT: JUST BEFORE THEY TOOK OFF, THESE KAMIKAZE PILOTS HAVE THEIR LAST PHOTO TAKEN.

CLASSIC REPEATS: TO YOUNG KAMIKAZE PILOTS, SURRENDER WAS ‘UNTHINKABLE’

In 1941, 75 Years ago, Pearl Harbour was bombed by Japan. Then, in August 1945, the American B29s droned over Japan on their way to drop the Atomic Bomb.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

Japan’s lightning successes in 1941-42 destroyed the myth – current in the West – of white supremacy.

Already eroded by the decisive defeat of the Russians in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, the idea was shattered at Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

Part of the Japanese disbelief in ‘white supremacy’ stemmed from the existence of a group of people inhabiting the northern most part of the country – the Ainu.

Remnants of a mysterious people who once occupied all Japan, the Ainu, an under-developed, backward people, were white skinned. To many Japanese this proved the white man’s inferiority.

At the head of the powerful, but reactionary, military junta, stood Emperor Hirohito, a direct descendent of Amaterasu, the sun-goddess, or so it was claimed.

Not until almost the end of the war did his subjects dare gaze at the face of their god-emperor. It was widely believed that those who looked on him would be struck blind.

BLACK MARKET

War brought increasing prosperity to the Japanese people – at least during the first year and a half. Then the economy deteriorated.

Between December 1943 and July 1945 the black market price of firewood rose by over 5,000%; beer by 750%; soap, sugar and shoes by 1,000%; and matches by 8,000%. With wages only doubling, to be further whittled down by taxation and enforced saving, hardship was widespread.

Many small businessmen were ruined. Even the rich had to trim their standard of living. Restaurants and theatres closed their doors; geisha girls became redundant.

Much industry, including aircraft production, was decentralized into small workshops – the traditional model. Workers, toiling sometimes for 15 hours a day, produced over 62,000 aircraft between 1941 and 1945.

With the tide turning against Japan and the American submarine menace, Japanese merchant shipping lost heavily – 90 per cent by the war’s end. As shipping losses increased, imports dwindled – particularly food.

THE FAILED HEROS

Rations provided little more than subsistence level. Health declined generally. Chronic diarrhoea became a common complaint due to the inadequate and unbalanced diet. Average calorie intake – 2,265 in 1940 – was a mere 1,680 in 1945.

Unlike other countries, however, where war acted as a catalyst for social change, Japanese women remained as subservient as before.

Although nearly three million women took up war work, the great majority did not. When labour became scarce, students were conscripted, not women.

Never far from the surface was the cult of the failed hero – the man who makes a final stand against hopeless odds to finish as an exile, a fugitive or with a suicide.

Vice-Admiral Onishi addressing 24 Kamikaze pilots on October 25, 1944, gave voice to the cult when he said: ‘Japan is in great danger. The salvation of our country can come only from spirited young men such as you … You are already gods’.
Six months later, 930 Kamikazes blew themselves to pieces in the attempt to stop the American invasion of Okinawa.

The American decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan was prompted in part by the battle for Okinawa. American military leaders came to believe that a final assault on Japan might cost a million lives. With the capture of Okinawa, the bombing of Japan became more intense.

Ironically, the American bombing raids did much to reinforce the traditional view that the white man was little more than barbarian.

JAPAN FACED STARVATION

Japan’s closely-packed wood and paper houses offered no protection against the rain of fire bombs that descended on Tokyo, March 9, 1945. Few public air shelters existed. Families were expected to dig their own shelter in front of the house, and fight fire with water and sand.

78,650 people were killed (official figure) in the raid on Tokyo – more than either of the atomic bombs that fell later. Some estimates put the dead and missing in the Tokyo raid as high as 200,000.

While Tokyo was burning, Emperor Hirohito sat in his underground command post below the Imperial Library of the city. This Japanese equivalent of the Fuehrerbunker, a complex of chambers connected by tunnels, had been constructed two years earlier.

American air crews had, however, been ordered to spare the Imperial Palace because ‘the Emperor of Japan General MacArthur and the Emperor at Allied GHQ in Tokyo. September 17, 1945is not at present a liability and may later become an asset’, as events post-war were to show.

With her army stranded overseas, unable to return home to defend the country against the expected invasion, Japan faced starvation in August 1945. Her oil supply – so necessary for the maintenance of life in an industrial society – was exhausted.

Even so, surrender was unthinkable.

The American B29s droned over on their way to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Today, with memories of the war faded, the Emperor has settled comfortably into the role of a mild mannered, constitutional monarch.

<< The Daily Mirror (UK), Friday, April 13 and Thursday, April 19, 1945.


THE KAMIKAZE! THE ZERO COMES IN FOR THE KILL.

CLASSIC REPEATS: 1966, THE DAY I VISITED A KAMIKAZE SHRINE

I was gobsmacked. John didn’t say a word.

FRANK MORRIS

Funny things happened in Japan. It was in 1966 – my first visit to this amazing country. I had been employed by this newspaper for three months.

Next, I was in Japan, at the Tokyo Prince Hotel -- a rich person’s palace. It was 4.30am on Saturday. I was in the room about thirty seconds when there was a knock on my door.

A short Asian raised his hand and said “My name is (I can’t pronounce his name) -- you can call me John.” We shook hands; he seemed a good bloke.

“I’ll take you on a nice surprise”, said John. “A Kamikaze Shrine.” I responded: “You’ve been doing a spot of checking have you.” “Yes”, he said.

Next we were train-bound for Kyoto, which, in olden times, was the former capital city of Japan.

After several hours on the move we arrived at the Japanese cemetery.

ONE WAY MISSION

John knew this place like the back of his hand. “This way” he said. I just followed him to the point when I could go no further. We were at the Kamikaze Shrine, which spread over several thousand acres.

I estimate that it would take you two days or more to inspect the monolith and take in all of the surrounds of the wonderful sight.

It was 6.30 pm and I was gobsmacked. John didn’t say a word – only what he thought was necessary. The Kamikaze were driven people and they were on a one-way mission to kill themselves and cripple any enemy shipping that stood in their way. Many others landed in the drink.

It was their final stand.

After visiting the shrine, there are two reasons why I mention this fact: I considered the story of the young Kamikaze pilots, a good and powerful read; it literally transports you to the pilot’s treacherous and lonely final dive.

And John. Well, John was Japanese and he believed in what they did. But he took me so I would understand why they did it.

“We better get back,” he said.


I CAN DO ANYTHING: SUMMER IS OVER, THE WAYWARD WIND, I REMENBER YOU, 20 GOLDEN GREATS --  ARE ALL PART OF FRANK IFIELD’S HIT RECORD COLLECTION.

CHRISTMAS CHATTER: ‘HEY MUM, I CAN YODEL!’

FRANK MORRIS

Frank Ifield’s mum was taken by surprise the day her son burst into the kitchen at their Dural home in 1948 and yelled: “Hey mum, I can yodel!” The youngster then gave a full throated demonstration of his new found ability.

Frank’s grandmother, who was also impressed, dashed into town a few days later, bought him a ukulele and encouraged him to develop the art.

Next week: The fact that he could yodel, gave Frank a standing start in country music.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 09 December 16

MERRY CHRISTMAS! RUTH’S REMINISCENCES: FINAL. AUSTRALIA WAS TOLD “IT’S WAR”

IT’S WAR: THE ARGUS, MELBOURNE, IS ONE OF THE NEWSPAPERS TO PROCLAIM THE SAD NEWS. ON SEPTEMBER 3, 1939, FRANCE AND BRITAIN DECLARE WAR ON GERMANY. AT THE SAME TIME, THE PRIME MINISTER SAID THAT AUSTRALIA WOULD ALSO BE AT WAR.

Jack was a communist organiser, but he wasn’t a communist!

FRANK MORRIS

“It was a time of growing action”, Ruth said. “We had to make people aware of the increasing danger of fascism.” Meetings were held in “alternating townships” along the south coast of NSW – from Wollongong to Scarborough. Ruth continues:

At all times vigilance was needed against brutal attacks on speakers and audience. The World Peace Movement was also organising activities concerned with the attacks of the fascists on the elected government of Spain.

The Spanish Relief Committee was set up. Later, in Lidcombe, a public meeting was held to raise funds for Australian nurses going to Spain.

Ruth and Jack returned to Sydney, living for a short time in Paddington. They became a familiar couple in the Domain where they “met many fine comrades at meeting, rallies, and various other Peace activities.

Jack was lucky to score a temporary job at CSR. They rented a house at Lidcombe and Ruth managed to get domestic work in a confectionery and tea shop.

ACCUSED OF COMMUNISM

She earned 15 shillings a week and by the time they paid their rent they had 2 shillings for gas and electricity. Ruth continues:

We managed, though times were hard. Then the authorities claimed that Jack was defrauding the government by taking the dole. They alleged he was earning 30 shillings a week as a communist organiser on the South Coast. He was not even a member of the Communist Party!

He was later accused of wrongly filling in the “32 Questionnaire” because he had not stated that I was earning 30 shillings a fortnight. This questionnaire was issued to the unemployed, who had to answer all 32 questions.

And they were allowed to earn 40 shillings a fortnight (if they could!) over the dole, but Jack had not stipulated his earnings. However, because I was earning, he was put on a single man’s rate and so was only entitled to one day a fortnight working for the dole.

WE COULDN'T PAY OUR RENT

We found it hard to pay the rent and exist. For a time, we were able to pay only half the rent. Then towards Christmas, in 1933, the Federal Government appealed to employers to take back their former employees for a few weeks.

Jack worked for six weeks.

While we were able to pay all the back rent, it soon mounted up again, We were one of the (hundreds of) families threatened with eviction. The following year there were many court cases and evictions. We were granted the maximum time to pay up. But it was impossible. It wasn’t long before we and our possessions – what little we had – were put on the street.

One sympathiser gave Jack a room and I went and stayed with another friend. Two days later “strings” were pulled to get us a home and a job for Jack. Jack was known for his ability as a union official.

The house was substandard but Jack had a job. I eventually found an empty house, which we rented from 1934 to 1951. Jack’s “job for life” as it was called, lasted eight weeks. There were frequent spells of unemployment, broken by intervals of work.

During this period, we joined the Labor Party.

Ruth and Jack continued to fight for a better deal for the unemployed. Relief work under Council supervision – road building and labouring work on swimming pools and sports ovals – was provided.

PERSONAL HARDSHIPS

Depending on the size of the families, men could be lucky and get three weeks employment in five. According to Ruth, some of the “most militant” men were omitted from the roster.

In their book, Australia 1939, Johnson and Nation write: “Much of the confidence and optimism engendered during the ‘roaring twenties’ had disappeared by the mid-thirties, mainly due to the shock of the Depression.

“On an individual level the immense personal hardships resulting from long-term unemployment left a legacy of bitterness and resentment in the minds of many men and women.”

Australia was drawn inexorably into the maelstrom of “the swift moving current of world affairs.” At 3.15pm on September 3, 1939, lPrime Minister Robert Menzies broadcast to the nation that Australia was at war. Ruth concludes:

There was only intermittent work until the beginning of the 1939-1945 war. Isn’t it odd that there’s plenty of work when the war is imminent. And yet, the general attitude (at the time) seemed to be “why worry.”

Judging from the copies of letters and notes in her collection, Ruth wrote frequently to newspaper editors, radio commentators and other public figures “always putting the case for peace and progress and women’s rights.”

Ruth and Jack moved to different suburbs over the next thirty years, living mainly in the south-western area of Sydney. She was a member of the Union of Australian Women from 1950 to 1980, an organisation which at the time was heavily concerned with Child Endowment, baby bonuses, assisting distressed families, and rising costs of rent and food.

The UAW was successful in having a maternity ward opened at Parramatta Hospital.

Jack died in 1975. Ruth lived out her final years in a retirement village. She died in 1994. In her will she directed that “the whole proceeds of the property be given to the Australian Peace Committee.”

The collection of letters, cards, notes and other documents belonging to Ruth and Jack – a contribution to the working class struggle – was presented to the National Library, Canberra.            

<< Ruth’s Reminiscences. Final. Australia was told “its war”. Australian Book Collector, October 2000.
 

Pictures: Opening brigade. Prime Minister, Mr Bob Menzies, holds the first war cabinet. Ladies’ Army. For women, there was plenty of work back home.


OUR FIRST SOLUTION: THE OUTBREAK OF THE BOER WAS ON OCTOBER 11, 1899. THERE ARE INTENSE DISPLAYS OF PATRIOTISM AND LOYALTY THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, REMARKED SEVERAL AUSSIE NEWSPAPERS.

WOMEN AT WAR: FREE LECTURES! WHO WERE OUR WOMEN WAR CORRESPONDENTS

Since Agnes Macready travelled to South Africa in 1900 to cover the Boer War for the Catholic Press, Australian women have fought for the right to report on conflict. In the watershed years of World War II, more than 20 Australasian women reported from overseas and on the home front.

Dr Jeannine Baker, in her book Australian Women War Reporters, will share the stories of some of these trailblazing female journalists. Dr Baker is an historian who researched Australian media and women’s history.

She was awarded the University of Melbourne’s 2014 Dennis-Wettenhall prize for Australian history. She has worked in the media and museum sectors as a researcher, curator and documentary maker.

<< Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney, December 7, 2016. Free. Time: 1pm. www.rahs.org.au

Picture: Covers. Dr Jeannine Baker tells it like it is.


WOMEN AT WAR: AUSTRALIAN WOMEN INVOLVED IN JOURALISM SINCE NINETEENTH CENTURY

KATIE BIRD   Adapted by Frank Morris

The first Australian female foreign correspondent also originates from this period, with Jessie Couvreur, “Tasma”, reporting from Brussels for the British newspaper, The Times, in the 1890s.

Louise Mack, despite the British Government’s prohibition again women leaving for the front line, set off for Belgium from London as a journalist for the Daily Mail in 1914. She stubbornly remained there for several months; while all other correspondents fled.

AS A MAID

She only avoided arrest by the Germans in Antwerp through disguising herself as a maid.

In contrast, the actions of Second World War female correspondents were much more tightly controlled; but by this time there was an increased number of women involved in the occupation.

<< Confined to the Mainland: Australian Women War Correspondents Reporting from Overseas in the Second World War; Katie Bird.

Picture: New star. Louise Mack entered the record book as Australia’s first war journalist.


Next week! Who are Graham and Big Ted? And why was Graham and Big Ted reunited? Here is a clue: Graham was interested in the toy industry and he specifically wanted to design and make teddy bears. Plus, there is another surprise!


FIGHTER: CAROLINE CHISHOLM, WHO WAS KNOWN FOR HER PHILANTHROPIC WORK, PUBLISHED HER FIRST REPORT ON FEMALE IMMIGRATION IN JAMES TEGG’S NEWSPAPER, THE ATLAS. SHE BECAME THE FIRST WOMAN FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT IN AUSTRALIA.

SHE WAS OUR FIRST FOREIGN WOMAN CORRESPONDENT

FRANK MORRIS COMMENTS

British born Caroline Chisholm, best known as a philanthropist who looked after the interests of women immigrants as they arrived in the colony, before she switched to journalism in 1842.

Chisholm believed in the fact the powerful British Empire had failed in the real settlement of Australia!

Chisholm published Female immigration considered: a brief account of the Sydney Immigrants’ Home, her first report on the immigration question, which was published by the esteemed James Tegg, of Sydney, at the Atlas newspaper office.

HER EXPERIENCES

She became the first woman foreign correspondent, even though she was posted abroad by a newspaper.

Chisholm wrote a regular column for Douglas Jerrold’s Weekly Newspaper, in Britain, to inform young women emigrating to Australia information based on her own experiences. It was highly touted.

Louisa Atkinson, author of Gertrude the immigrant, became the first woman journalist in Australia – she wrote A Voice from the Country. She was aged only 26.

Picture: Over the line. Louisa Atkinson was our woman journalist extraordinaire. 


I DON’T ALL WAYS BARK! GENE BUCK WAS GIVEN A PRESENT WITHOUT ANY FURTHER A’DO.

EL GAURDO: FINAL. THE DOGS IN HIS LIFE

Mr Buck had said a pal of his has given him a dog without any comment.

RING LARDNER       Adapted by Frank Morris

This was the dainty boy that belonged to Gene Buck and it a bull dog no bigger than a 2 car garage and it wouldn’t harm a hair of nobody’s head, only other animals and people.

Children were as safe with this pet as walking in the Pittsburgh freight yards and he wouldn’t think of no more wronging a cat than scratching himself. In fairness to Mr Buck I’ll state that a pal of his give him the dog as a present without no comment.

Well they wasn’t no trouble till Gene has the dog pretty near half an hour when they let him out. He was gone 10 minutes during which Gene received a couple of phone calls announcing more in anger than in sorrow the sudden deaths of 2 adjacent cats of noble berth.

CURE THE TASTE

So when the dog come back Gene spanked him and after that he didn’t kill no more cats except when he got outdoors.

But the next day, De Wolf Hopper come over to call and brought his kid which the dog thought would look better with one leg and it took 5 people to get him not to operate; so after that Gene called up the supt. of a dogs reform school and the man said he would take him and cure him of the cat habit.

He tied one of his victims around his neck and leaving it there for a wk. said he didn’t know how to cure the taste for young Hoppers unless De Wolf could spare the kid for the wk. after they was finished with the cat.

<< El Gaurdo by Ring Landner; Push Pin Press, New York.

Picture: Precaution. He is probably the most courageous dog in the world.


CHRISTMAS CHATTER! THE LONG KISS GOODBYE,

It was the photo to score the most media support. Everybody loves it. Alfred Eisenstaedt’s wonderful “kiss and hug” photograph of Greta Zimmer became the ‘spontaneous kiss’ that was the famous image from WWII. Greta Zimmer Friedman, a 21 year-old dental nurse, was kissed by a jubilant American sailor during the celebrations in Times Square, in 1945. The victory over Japan had been won, though it was long-awaited. Friedman died recently at age 92. – Adapted by Frank Morris from the Sydney Morning Herald.                         

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR – MAY THEY BE FULL OF GOODNESS!

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 02 December 16

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