Grand Years with Frank Morris

Searching for posts in the month of: April 2018

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 4 records of 4

CONNECTION: Family violence – getting rid of the complaint in Victoria

How we rid ourselves of behaviour and discrimination before it becomes overwhelming.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

QUIET MOMENT: ARE HIS FOOTSTEPS GETTING CLOSER? Below: IF YOU RESPOND TO A FAMILY VIOLENCE ISSUE, MAKE SURE YOU ARE SENSITIVE AND TRUSTING. Below: ANY INCIDENCE OF FAMILY VIOLENCE MUST BE REPORTED.

In the Victorian Crime statistics between July 2016 and June 2017 there were 1007 family incidents recorded by Victoria Police. While the recorded incidents of family violence is “relatively low in Glen Eira when compared to many other Victorian Local Government areas, the rate is continuing to increase” the Glen Eira Council said.

For instance, in Glen Eira, a total of 615 family members applied for a Family Violence Intervention Order through the court in 2016-17; breaches were one of the top 10 crimes in the community with 209 recorded by Victorian Police.

While there is no specific local data, Glen Eira knows that the most affected family members are female. Ten per cent are young people aged 17 and under.

PLAY A PART

“We also know that a child is present in nearly 30 per cent of family violence incidents,” a Glen Eira Council spokensperson said. “This can have a long lasting impact on their development and lives.”

Council plans to take action to prevent family violence through leadership and promoting positive values and cultures. Family violence can be stopped if we all “play a part” to be free of it.

“One way is by becoming an active bystander – a person who speak up or seeks out someone to respond when we witness an act of violence, discrimination and offensive behaviour, that’s playing your role,” a Glen Eira spokesperson said.

The Council has listed some ways of being an active bystander:

BLAME THE ‘VICTIM’

REPORT any incident of violence to the police, or appropriate authority.

RESPOND sensitively to an individual who discloses an experience of violence by believing them, and support them to contact an appropriate service.

CHALLENGE a friend’s or peer’s sexist remarks or jokes that normalise or condone violence against women or put the blame on the ‘victim’.

CONFRONT someone you know who has shown violent behaviour; encourage them to seek assistance to change.
If confronted by violence contact the police.

The Glen Eira City Council takes in … Bentleigh, Bentleigh East, Brighton East, Carnegie, Caulfield, Elsternwick, Gardenvale, Glen Huntly, McKinnon, Murrumbeena, Ormond and St Kilda East.

<< Glen Eira News, April, 2018.


AFL: “DALLY” MESSENGER – he was the master of the game

Nobody could deny that this keen player was a born footballer!

FRANK MORRIS

IN THE MAKING: DALLY MESSENGER AT THE START OF AN EARLY FIRST GAME OF RUGBY LEAGUE IN 1907. Below: MESSENGER, IN THE 1950s, AND RAS SHIELD. Below: THE RUGBY LEAGUE NEWS CHRISTEN DALLY MESSENGER AN IMMORTAL TO CELEBRATE HIS BIRTHDAY.

Dally Messenger is a rugby league “high priest”, said the book 200 Years of Australian Sport.

Messenger was credited as being the “father of rugby league” in Australia, and yet he could only manage a spot on the bench in the Rugby League Dream Team. I didn’t query the reason.

Born in April, 1886, Messenger brought many unique gifts into football.

Originally, the stocky-built Messenger was a Rugby Union player. He became “The Master” for his being highly popular with the milling crowds in Sydney. That’s why his swinging over from Union gave Rugby League its greatest impetus.

“League historians have pondered whether Rugby League would have taken its grip in NSW and Queensland if Dally Messenger had not agreed to join the breakaway movement and play the new code in 1907,” sports writer, Alan Clarkson wrote.

DEEP IMPRESSION

In 1907, New Zealand “All Golds”, who were on their way to England, introduced their newly-adopted League game to Sydney. There were so impressed with the genius of Messenger that they took him England. He made a deep impression.

“Dally” toured again as vice-captain of the first Kangaroos of 1908-09. He declined the offer to tour again in 1912-13.

Writes Clarkson, “On the first Australian tour of England, Messenger, in the game against Hull, and with the aid of a strong wind, kicked a goal from about 70 metres out. In an exhibition at Headingly, Messenger, in near force gale winds took the ball a yard out from the try line and close to the corner and kicked 11 goals from 12 attempts.”

Messenger was an unorthodox player, but he had a touch of genius. He was 170cm tall and weighed 76kgs. He died in 1959.

<< Hall of Champions book, 1972.

NEXT: VFL – “Up there Cazaly!” The legend of one of rules highest flyers, Roy Cazaly.


FLASHBACK: Strode paved the way with first country newspaper

He performed miracles with the Hunter River Gazette.

FRANK MORRIS

AUSSIE GOES TO PRESS: AFTER A LOT OF SETBACKS, STRODE PAVED THE WAY FOR THE COUNTRY PRESS IN AUSTRALIA. Below: AN 1890 ENGRAVING OF THE MAITLAND MERCURY BUILDING. THE MERCURY, STARTED IN 1843, HOLDS THE DISTINCTION OF BEING THE OLDEST COUNTRY NEWSPAPER IN NSW.

Official! Rustic New South Wales goes to press!

The first newspaper published outside Sydney “appeared suddenly” on December 11, 1841 -- that is 177 years ago. It was Thomas Strode’s Hunter River Gazette, priced at one shilling.

Strode, a former chief printer of the Sydney Herald, several years earlier, produced in partnership with George Arden, the Port Phillip Gazette.

Strode performed many miracles with the Gazette, like printing it almost single-handed on an ancient press with defective type.

But it didn’t take long for the partnership founder.

Writes historian Dr R.B.Walker in his book on the NSW press: “Arden’s intemperate pen soon embroiled him in many quarrels and after he attacked an erratic Judge Willis … Strode saw fit to arrange dissolution of the partnership.”

In 1841, not long after parting company with Arden, Strode settled in Maitland, in the Hunter Valley, “a busy centre” for the expanding settlement, where two unsuccessful attempts had been made to establish a newspaper.

The region, with a population of 2768, was far more important than Newcastle, writes Dr Walker.

MOCKING REPLY

When Strode’s four-page paper, Hunter River Gazette, hit the street, it was laid out in a style that was to characterise country newspapers for many years.

Writes Dr Walker: “Strode insisted that he be paid six months in advanced … and his pen spared no one. It wand as his style to print side by side of the letter of a local clergyman and his mocking reply using the same words and phrases in a scathing rebuttal.”

Although Strode had written himself into the historical book, his newspaper had only a short life.

THE PAPER WOULD NOT SURVIVE

He discontinued the Gazette “ungraciously” till June 1842, and headed back to Melbourne where he eventually gained control of the Port Phillip Gazette from his former insolvent partner.

Writes Dr Walker: “But Maitland was too important to be without a newspaper.”

The first issue of the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser appeared on January 7, 1843.
“The paper would not have able to survive its first year,” writes Dr Walker, “but for the profits derived from advertisements relating to the colony’s first general elections.”

 

<< Grand Years 2012.


FLASHBACK: Strode’s treatment was insight for the country press

FRANK MORRIS

PREMIER IS NO 2: THE LIMITED EDITION COLOUR WALL CHART OF EVERY COUNTRY NEWSPAPER IN NSW WAS PRESENTED TO THE PREMIER, NICK GREINER BY THE COUNTRY PRESS ASSOCIATION OF NSW EXECUTIVES IN 1991. THE CHART WAS DESIGNED AND WRITTEN BY FRANK MORRIS. Below: ONE OF TWO SUPPLEMENTS, THE INFLUENTIAL COMMUNICATOR, THAT WAS RUN IN ALL OF NSW’S COUNTRY PAPERS.

A special symbol was designed to mark the publication of the first country newspaper in NSW in 1841. The logo appeared on the front pages of more than 150 newspapers in NSW to celebrate the historic event.

To top all this, was a limited edition coloured wall chart featuring all the papers in the Country Press Association of NSW in 1991 and the publication of several supplements which detail the recorded history.

Australian newspapers are rich in history, colour and turmoil, and the unforgettable characters who made it so.

Some interesting facts about the ‘first’: The first newspaper to be published in Australia was George Howe’s The Sydney Gazette on March 5, 1803, under the aegis of Governor Phillip Gidley King.

KIAMA INDEPENDENT THE OLDEST

Howe also printed the first Sunday newspaper in Australia and also the first book in the colony,in 1802. In 1841, the first childrens’ book, A Mother’s Offering to Her Children by Lady Bremer, was the last journal issued by the ‘old’ Gazette office.

The oldest surviving country newspaper in NSW published by one family throughout its entire history, before being taken over by Rural Sales, is the Kiama Independent. In was founded in 1863. -- Frank Morris

<< Grand Years 2012.


SHOP WINDOW: Part 2. Heritage Places – A gift to the Nation

The Old Melbourne Gaol, left, is Victoria’s oldest surviving prison complex. Built in 1841, it was the place at which Ned Kelly, who was hanged in 1880, and notorious gangster, Squizzy Taylor. Under the program, there are daily tours, and a comprehensive display and exhibition held within the goal. The Callington Mill in Oatlands, Tasmania, right, is a local landmark. It dates back to 1837 and was once the major flour mill in the region. On the site there is a group of stone buildings which contain a five-level windmill, miller’s cottage, and colonial home. The site was developed as a major attraction for visitors to the region.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 27 April 18

FM’s CONNECTION: Smoking – others stop why can’t you!

I THINK I’LL QUIT: DON’T JOIN THE THOUSANDS OF AUSTRALIANS WHO HAVE DIED FROM SMOKING. Below: LOOK AT THIS SIGN CAREFULLY: IT SAYS QUIT NOW. Below: READ THE MESSAGES ON THE PACKAGES.

Thousands of Australians have died from smoking and related diseases every year.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Quitting at any age will give you immediate benefits and reduce your chance of developing any type of smoking related illnesses. With planning and determination a person can quit and never smoke again.

Tobacco smoke is toxic and contains more than 7000 chemicals. At least 70 of these are known to cause cancer.
Many chemicals from tobacco smoke pass through your lungs and pass into your bloodstream and are carried around in your body. Carbon monoxide replaces some of the oxygen carried in a person’s blood, robbing their muscles, heart and brain of oxygen.

Other toxic gases damage the tiny hairs that help clean a person’s lungs, allowing mucus and toxins to build up and increase the risk of lung disease. It make no difference if they smoke “light” or regular cigarettes: they will inhale a similar amount of toxic chemicals.

Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco smoke that can make quitting difficult – but not impossible.

SMOKING – STOP IT!

A person’s health can be affected by smoking, it:

INCREASES the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.

DAMAGE a person’s lungs, causing respiratory diseases such as emphysema, asthma and bronchitis.

INCREASE the risk not only of lung cancer but also many other types of cancer – including cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, stomach and pancreas.

REDUCES fertility in women and men.

WEAKENS your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections.

CAN cause or contribute to many other health problems – blindness, osteoporosis, etc.

LIVE LONGER

Tobacco smoke in the air comes from both the burning end of a cigarette and from the smoke breathed out by a smoker over family members, friends, co-workers, etc.

This exposure to second-hand (SHS) can cause heart disease, lung cancer and increase breathing problems in non-smokers living or working with smokers. Children, too, exposed to SHS are more likely to suffer from health problems.

Why stop smoking?

It’s important to be clear about your reasons for smoking and for quitting. Good reasons to quit are simple: the condition of your heart, lungs, circulation and immune system, will improve. Breathing will improve within weeks; and food will smell and taste better.

And the person live will longer!

Contact the Quitline on www.quit.org.au

<< Pharmaceutical Society of Australia; ABS.

COMING: The Heide Gallery, in Heidelberg, Victoria. In the same area, which was the beginning of a strong tradition of Australian modern art, stands the famous Heidelberg School of the 1880s. Enter the movers and shakers of the new venture in the 1930s.


ART GALLERY: Making History – Nolan at the newsagent

CAR AND FLOWERS: HONEY, WHERE IS THE FORD?

This exhibition recreates the 1942 experimental display at a local newsagency at Heidelberg.

FRANK MORRIS

Sidney Nolan would try anything as long as he sold some of his work. This is why in 1942 the young Nolan held a “ground-breaking” display of his work in the window of a local newsagent in Heidelberg, Melbourne.

“It was the idea of Nolan’s benefactors, John and Sunday Reed, to ‘take art to the people’ rather than to an exclusive audience in an art gallery,” the curator said. “The works were mostly experimental landscapes … the prices were low but nothing sold.

“Many of the paintings subsequently languished in obscurity. The exhibition re-creates this remarkable but little-known venture. It brings together the surviving compositions which have been identified through photographs … taken at the time.”

At Heide Museum of Modern Art until May 20, 2018.

Picture: One of the paintings. Sidney Nolan’s Golden Landscape, 1942.


COVERS: Final farewell to magazine after 44 years!

FAREWELL: MODEL JESINTA CAMPBELL CAME FACE TO FACE WITH CLEO TWICE. WHEN IT WAS STARTING, AND 44 YEARS LATER FOR ITS FINAL ISSUE. “I FELT HONOURED”, SAYS CAMPBELL.

Gone are days of sass, bachelors, sex and centrefold.

FRANK MORRIS

In March 2016, a mighty explosion took place in Australian magazine-land! The controversial magazine Cleo was shutting up shop. The magazine, which for 44 years, had hunted down everything related with bachelors, sex and centrefolds to become one of the best read journal’s in Australia by women.

At Cleo, they described the magazine as “Australia’s paper giant.”

When Cleo arrived in 1972, it created excitement and pizazz in Australia. I remember the issue that contained the ‘seductive’ Jack Thompson centrefold was truly a knockout. Of all the centrefolds published over the years, none have ‘caused a stir’ like Jack’s.

“My centrefold was part of the liberating of women and I’m happy to be a part of that sense of freedom,” said Jack.

BRAVEST DECISION

On its arrival, Cleo was caught up in Helen Reddy’s emphatic declaration “I am woman, hear me roar”, a statement the Australian women responded to “in droves”.

“By the early 90s, Cleo was the highest selling women’s lifestyle magazine, per capita, in the world,” the magazine said.

As a young mother, Ita Buttrose was never considered “the most of likely of people to head up a controversial new women’s magazine” like Cleo. But she was. There were thousands upon thousands of young women who had a yearning for the “new sexual revolution.”

In her editor’s letter, she completed by saying, “Like us, certain aspects of women’s lib appeal to you but you’re not aggressive about it.”

The model, Jesinta Campbell, met Cleo when it was starting – “It was the first cover I ever shot for any publication in Australia” – and again – “To then shoot the final issue was an absolute honour.”

Launch in 1972: 200,000 copies. Final issue: Over 54,000 copies.

Creating Cleo was one of the bravest decisions ever made.


THE MO STORY: Final! His son, Sam, tells it all

VISIT FROM HOLLYWOOD: CAROL LANDIS AND JACK BENNY GO BACK-STAGE AT THE TIVOLI TO MEET ROY ‘MO’ RENE IN 1943. Below: SADIE GALE AND ROY RENE IN 1929. Below: ROY RENE. JUST CALL ME MO!

Sam talk about his famous mum, Sadie Gale.

SAM VAN DER SLUICE      Adapted by FRANK MORRIS   

My mother’s name was quite famous in show business.

Her name was Sadie Gale and she had been on the stage since she was three years old. She even beat my father. She was a star in her own right.

She retired when my sister, Milo, and I started high school and she thought that it was the right thing to do. She decided to be our mum. Up to then she played soubrette roles and principal boys, and she was a very beautiful woman.

In fact, I think she is a very beautiful at eighty years old.

Come this March, she will be eighty-one and I don’t think she would mind if I still call her beautiful.

She and my father would never encourage my sister or me to go into showbusiness. Dad was always aware, however, that it is probably one if the hardest businesses in the world.

Friends and parents … would come home and see mum and dad studying scripts for a new show. They would think that it was all fun and games.

Show business is a very tough business. As far as father and mother were concerned, there is not a better business.

The audience are zany, lovely, wonderful human beings.

LOT’S OF MONEY

Dad was pretty well liked. He knew everybody. In fact, I would go so far as to say that everybody loved my dad. He was a soft touch, though. In those days he was being paid fairly well, and even though he made lots of money whilehe was working, he certainly did not die a wealthy man.

He must have given a lot on money away; we certainly didn’t get it! People used to go up to him in the street and tell him a sad story and he’s give them a few quid. Yes, he definitely was a soft touch!

Dad knew a lot of the “underworld”. People like Tilly DeVine thought he was a wonderful person. Then at the other end of the scale he had judges and people of the legal fraternity who were his friends.

He had that rare gift of making everyone feel that they were his closest friends.

(On reflection), it was really a funny combination of people who would come to sit in the audience and listen to my father.

The Macquarie Theatre, at 2GB, was not far from the Police Station. Opposite, on the corner of Hunter and Phillip Streets, there was a hotel. Dad would spend his time between the Saloon Bar with the police and the Public Bar with the “underworld”.

Dad would happily flit from the Law back to the cut-throats and thieves without any problem. He was one of their mob and they were one of his mob!

WE WERE PALS

The funny part about it, though, Dad was very unsure of himself. He had to be constantly reassured by his colleagues and by my mother. He’d come off stage and say, “Was that any good’, “Did I get any laughs”. You know that sort of thing.

He really was very unsure of himself and always wanted to do better. He was a professional through and through.

Before he went on stage he would check his props … then he’d take a cigarette out of his mouth and hand it to somebody else … without fumbling. Dad was a complete professional in every way.

I was twenty-two years old when he died. I was just getting to know him as a man. Dad would discuss contracts or a show … and it was nice relationship to have. We were pals.

That was so sad, because he died before I had a chance to really spend a lot of time with him as an adult – man to man. We were a very, very close family.

I think my father was the best, no, the greatest comedian that Australia has ever produced. I say that with all sincerity. God bless you dad!

<< From Grand Years. Adapted from the 8th Annual Mo Awards, 1983.


Last Laugh! Sorry! I’ve got bad news for you chief. It's about the noise!

Next week: Shop Window -- when we gave away properties to the nation.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 20 April 18

THE MO STORY: Part 1. His son, Sam, tells it all!

CHANGE-OVER: MO AS ELIZABETH 1 IN THE VIRGIN QUEEN.  Below: MO AND HAL LASHWOOD PASSING ONE ANOTHER IN SYDNEY.  Below: MO PLAYS THE "STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER" WHEN STRAIGHTMAN HAL LASHWOOD LOOKS ON LAUGHING. THE PHOTO: 1947.

The Mo statute is only 32 cm tall and weighs nearly 1500 grams.  He either comes in Gold, Silver or Bronze. For a statue, he stands tall. He is the Mo Award. The Mo was in honour of one of our great entertainers, Roy Mo Rene.

SAM VAN-DER SLUICE   Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

My name is Sam Van-der Sluice. That wouldn’t mean anything to you. But I’m the son of Harry Van-der Sluice. I guess that wouldn’t mean anything to you either. I’m the son of  “MO” -- Roy Rene Mo.

That might mean something to you!

What sort of man was Mo? Harry was born on February 15, 1892, in Hindley Street, Adelaide. He was the son of a English Jewess and a Dutch Jewish cigarmaker. He had two brothers and four sisters.

He started his showbusiness career when he was 14. He used to sing in the gallery in a falsetto voice. In those days, his stage name was Boy Roy, and when his voice broke they said to him you’re getting too old for that now; you’d better call yourself a different name.

“Why don’t you give yourself the name of the famous French clown, Roy Rene,” a stage-hand said. Rene became Roy Rene. Later, a stage door keeper by the name of Bill Sadler claims that he, Sadler, gave him the name of Roy Rene Mo because of his moustache.

The name stuck until years later in radio when he was christened McCackie – Mo McCackie.

So -- Dad started as Harry Van-der Sluice, his real name; Boy Roy, Boy Roy Mo and Mo McCackie. The last three were stage names. As far as the very early years of his showbusiness life was concerned, that is.

THE NAME STUCK

Needless to say, I only knew him as DAD!

We had a lovely life together. My father, my mother, my sister and I lived in a home at Kensington. It was a lovely home: I suppose by today’s standard it was modest; but it was a castle to us and it was dad’s palace.

I remember every time he used to swing into Cottenham Avenue, Kensington, where we lived. After he returned from the Tivoli, he would say to my mother, “Happy Road”. And it was a happy road. He loved all the children and they loved him – despite his moustache!

The family came first and work came second, and I don’t think dad lived for anything else apart from his family and his work. He was happiest when he was doing both – with his family and the stage.

Dad had a love/hate relationship with the audience. He could love them and yet hate them. I remember, he used to say when he got his first “belly” laugh, “I’ve got ‘em, I’ve got ‘em pal!” – and he would get them, too!

HE ADORED HER

The greatest thing that can happen to any performer is when they hear that round of applause. Or when they get that lovely belly laugh, which is so great. There nothing more pathetic when a comedian doesn’t get a laugh.

Dad got most of the laughs.

My mother’s name was quite famous in showbusiness. Her name was Sadie Gale and she had been on the stage since she was three years and four months old. For many, many years, she was a star in her own right.

She retired when my sister Milo and I started high school and she thought that it was the right thing to do and stay home and be a “Mum”.

Up to then she played soubrette roles and principal boys and she was a very beautiful woman. In fact, I think at eighty years, she still is a very beautiful woman.

My father loved her very much. He adored her and anything she did was fine by him.

Sadie Gale gave the Mo Award her blessing and said, “the Awards took on a new shape.” Ingrid Berg, publicity manager of the Mo, said, “The Mo Awards are living proof that Australian talent is not a rarity.” Yes, Rene would been much chuffed at that. Sadie Gale presented the Mo Award for the Entertainer of the Year at the 10th Annual Meeting in 1985. Strike me lucky! – Frank Morris.

Next Week: Sam talks about his famous mother, Sadie Gale.

<< From Grand Years. Adapted from the 8th Annual Mo Award, 1983.


LIVING ALONE: Retirement – a woman can get a mixture of feelings!

DOWN CAME THE RAIN? IT POURED AND IT POURED. AND THEN IT STOPPED. THEN IT POURED AGAIN ALL NIGHT. THEN IN THE MORNING, ITS CLEARED. I JOINED MY VILLA MATES AT THE COFFEE SHOP.

There are times when I get depressed.

ANNE SIMOND*     ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

Living alone in retirement? Anne, who has been retired for five years, discovers that being alone is not the same as being lonely.

“When I was approaching retirement age there was one problem – or stumbling block – which perhaps worries many women, but not me. A man. I didn’t have to worry about ‘my man getting under my feet.’ I don’t have one. I live alone.

“I did think about retirement before the time came, which I consider to be a great advantage. While working and bringing up my children single-handed, there were many things that I had neglected. Since then I have managed to make amends in some spheres.

“I find I quite enjoy splashing around with wallpapers, brush and paint. And there’s no one to laugh about the fact that sometimes I get almost as much paint on myself as on the doors and window frames!,” Anne said.

Her role was to become part of the tribe that went to evening classes in English, which might have annexes that flow from that. Anne took to writing for pleasure.

THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE

“I’ve now have written at least 200 poems and have about 80 published in various journals,” said Anne. “Then I found delight in experimenting with some exotic cookery recipes to the advantage of a few clubs in the area. Next, I turned to one of the loves of my youth – music.

“I was pleased to find that the theory and sight-reading hadn’t left me entirely. And no neighbour had yet complained about the few scales and five-finger exercises which I found necessary. If I do find myself getting a little depressed, I find playing my piano really lifts my blues!

“I don’t believe that ‘such and such years’ are the best years of our lives. No one can know this. It’s up to us all, individually; and each stage had its compensations, both financial and otherwise. In retirement, reduced bus and rail fares, visits to cinemas and theatres are a great boon.

“Guilt about neglecting friends and relatives living some distance away has now left me. I’m in touch with them again. The numerous emails I receive, and the replying to them, gives me quite a kick.

“Before my retirement, I never had time to write!,” Anne said.

<< Living alone in your retirement; Best Years Newsletter; March, 2010.

*Not the correct name

Next week: l0 tips for living alone.

Pictures: Backpacking. At 72-year-old, our newest friend in the villa is skirting around the world for 12 months as a last hurrah. Catching up. I look for Skype to catch up to my relatives and friends.

The name has been changed.

<< Best Years Newsletter, 2010.                                   


Let’s Laugh! Your tool kit will say: don’t take it with you!

Increasingly, you are one of the people who own their home. This can be a great comfort to you that you are safe from rising rents. The mortgage is paid off and the house is yours. But then you find other problems arising. You are getting older. Maintenance on a house keeps rising. Even the routine decoration jobs are expensive. Let’s face it, you have to pay somebody else to do them because you are not as agile as you used to be. You don’t need roller skates. After a lifetime of working hard, the old habits die hard. Join the throng that are going the right way. Go to a reliable accountant and he or she will explain the ‘right way’ of doing things.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 13 April 18

HAPPY EASTER! The Black Rabbit discoverers a Mulberry Tree!

A MULBERRY TREE: ITS THE ONLY ONE IN LA LA LAND. Below: WELL STOCKED. Below: I FEEL LIKE DANCING AROUND IT, BLACKIE SAID.

Jolly is a happy word. He feels it in his bones.

FRANK MORRIS

The Black Rabbit was feeling marvellous. Jolly marvellous.

“Absolutely, stupendously jolly marvellous!” he yelled. “That is a jolly happy word,” he said.

He could feel it in his bones.

What he could see of La-La-Land, it looked perfectly fine, too.

As he looked over La-La-Land, from his front porch, he saw that every animal was leaping around.

They must be caught up in a kind of merriment.

I wonder whether it’s something in the grass.

“How ex-tra-ordinaaaary!,” he said, with a modicum of goodly mirth. "How ex-tra-ordinaaaary.”

The Black Rabbit felt like leaping too.

He tried it. He leapt very high.

He tried it again. He leapt even higher.

He thought he might try it again. He did. He leapt so high he thought he would never come down.
He plummeted down to earth and rolled all the way to the river.

“How ex-tra-ordinaaaary!” he said.

“Those animals must be in peak form”, he muttered to himself.

With all that leaping around the Black Rabbit began to feel tired himself.
Fatigued, in fact.

He looked at the other animals and they were still leaping.

All of a sudden he stopped walking and yelled out, “Where am I, where am I. I know La-La-Land like the back of my hand, but this is ridiculous.”

He looked up-the-hill, down-the-hill and to the left and right.

SING AND DANCING

He sighted the Mulberry Bush. Only one. Oh, and four rabbits popped out.

The rabbits were bright-eyed and full of smiling. Each rabbit was standing around the bush holding a piece of multi-coloured tape.

And then they were off … singing and dancing.

“How ex-tra-ordinaaaary!” he said, in a rather high voice.

Next, the rabbits were singing in front of a wash tub, with a new verse to the same song.

“How ex-tra-ordinaaaary!” he said, in a higher voice than last time.

The four rabbits were busy hanging their clothes on the line to dry.

And all were singing a verse of the same song.

When they finished, the four rabbits darted into their house.

They emerged minutes later with a pile of school books, some wrap and string. And off to school went the four rabbits. All were singing, quite happily, “going to school on a cold and frosty morning.”

Next moment, he was alone. “I wonder how long they’ll be,” he thought.

HEADING FOR HOME

I hopped back to the Mulberry Bush and tried to emulate the rabbits singing and dancing.

I tried singing.

I tried skipping and hopping to the same tune.

The next thing I knew I was doing it. I was doing it … singing and dancing.

“How ex-tra-ordinaaaary!” he said in a voice that would have drowned out all of La-La-Land.

At last, just over the hill I heard the four rabbits heading for home.

They were singing and dancing.

“This is the way we come out of school on a cold a frosty morning,” all four rabbits sang.
I ran to meet them. And I joined in.

They laugh at me. I laugh back.

All five of us were singing and dancing. “Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush early in the morning …”

They were out of sight.

“I got my wish”. “How ex-tra-ordinaaaary! How ex-tra-ordinaaaary!” was the familiar tone that I heard echoing from on high.

<< From Grand Years 7 years ago.


COMING: Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables, the story of insurrection in Paris, in 1845. An outstanding feature. It will be a six-part series. More soon.


BUSHRANGER: Ben Hall was the first “criminal of the bush”

THE FIGHTER. HALL ONCE SAID, "I'LL BE DEAD BEFORE I'M THIRTHY. Below: A BOLT OUT OF THE BLUE: CAPTAIN THUNDERBOLT WAS DEAD. Below: DAN MORGAN IS THE NAME. JUST CALL ME "MAD DOG."

FRANK MORRIS

Ben Hall was only young when he was shot by police. Ben made the statement that “you’ll never hang Ben Hall.” Hall was called upon by authorities to surrender or became “our” outlaw.

So Ben became the first bushranger to be outlawed. A week later, he was dead.

At the age of 27, shot dead by police on the morning of May 6, 1865. Police knew of his whereabouts at Billabong Creek, near Forbes, NSW.

OFTEN BEFUDDLING POLICE

He appealed to the tracker to finish him off but suddenly there was another hail of bullets and Hall was dead.

There were 36 bullet wounds found in his body. For 3 years the Hall gang audaciously plundered the area around Forbes and often “befuddling” police by stealing their uniforms.

Some of Ben Hall’s exploits can be read in Rolfe Bolderwood’s Robbery Under Arms which he penned in 1888. Hall was born in 1838.

In 1910 there was a spate of bushranging films to add to the drama already on display. Both in television and movies the spectacle has never stopped.

Out they tumbled, starting with Moonlight, King of the Road, Starlight, Thunderbolt, Captain Midnight and Ben Hall.
With Ben Hall, the producer says “thanks” to his production team for their “down to earth” work in playing and photographing the Ben Hall production.

In Ben Hall and His Gang, while there was scant attention that the film was Australian but, nevertheless, the publicity for the picture was “colourful and intriguing.”

CRIMINAL OF THE BUSH

The career of Hall covers his escape from prison, the sticking up of the Eugowra Mail and his “death by 30 bullets.”

Two days later, at the Glaciarium, a large audience witnessed the first production of an Australia Biograph film.

The picture presented a seamy side to the life of Ben Hall – the Notorious Bushranger. Unlike the usual bushranging films, which glorified the villainy of the criminal of the bush, this one recorded a “triumph of the law over lawlessness.” Scenes reflected great credit to the producer, Gaston Mervale.

Among the early films to open in 1910 was one that would have the bushranger mutter “Thank God … free at last” and the curtain comes down.

People talked about it for ages.

In The Life and Adventurers of John Vane, which premiered in Melbourne, was the first of the bushranger’s type movie ever screened.

The newspaper critics highly praised the film and the fact that a record number of spectators, and the “inclement” weather, didn’t stop them attending.

KEIGHLEY HOMESTEAD

One critic said that a man, despite the fact that he may have led an evil life, “may nevertheless … be possessed of sterling qualities.”

For John Vane, he did not lack exciting incidents, despite its conventional ending. Here is synopsis of the story: Beginning a downward career, John Vane bails up a Chinaman. Vane captured by police.

Vane is then released by his sweetheart. Vane, after robbing banks, joins Ben (“You’ll never take me alive”) Hall for the raid on the Keightley homestead.

Vane suffered from remorse and leaves the gang. Vane surrenders to Father McCarthy and is sentenced to 15 years.

When he’s released, he mutters, “Thank God, free at last.” Who was it who said, “Often from evil cometh good.”

<< The bushranger story is an adaption of three profiles on Hall which appeared in Grand Years.


LET’S LAUGH! First aid kit – how much can you drink?

Alcohol – moderation is the key word. How much can you drink? Large amounts depress the appetite and habitual heavy drinking will cause liver damage, leading to impaired digestion and detoxification of harmful substances in the body. This, in turn results, eventually in physical and mental deterioration. There is no simple no safe limit – it will not only vary between individuals, but on mood. And how much have food you have eaten. Is alcohol a problem? Experts agree that a person drinking more than six schooners a day or a bottle of wine, is running a risk. If alcohol is affecting your life, it’s about time you saw a doctor. He or she will most likely send you to an organisation who will help you to stop drinking. – FM; Retirement Pack.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 06 April 18

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