Grand Years with Frank Morris

Searching for posts in the month of: June 2018

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 5 records of 5

ROLL OF DRUMS: What gamblers need is a lady called luck!

OVER THE YEARS, HE MUST HAVE KNOCKED ON THE LADY’S DOOR SEVERAL THOUSAND TIMES OR MORE WITHOUT AN ANSWER.

FRANK MORRIS

JUDGEMENT CALL: HE WAS A GAMBLER. NOTHING MADE HIM SAD OR ELATED, JUST STEROTYPED. Below: A GAMBLER WOULD LOOK AT THE HORSES AND REMAIN UNRUFFLED WHEN HIS PICK DIDN’T RUN A PLACE. Below: LADY LUCK IS VERY FICKLE AND SHE WOULD NOT CHANGE FOR ANYONE.

It’s important for gamblers to have a sense of humour. I learnt this from a colleague many years ago. Yes, he was a journalist. Yes, he was a racing fanatic of the first order. No, he wasn’t married but divorced. But, I tell you for sure, if you had a few drinks with him he sized you up and more or less asked you for a loan.

He chased money from every nook and cranny.

Amazingly, every time he put the rent on “a sure thing”, and it ran the other way, he remained unruffled. He’d shrug his shoulders and say: “Look at it this way mate, I knocked the on the Lady’s door and she wasn’t home.”

Yes! The lady, of course, was ‘Lady Luck’. Over the years, he must have knocked on the lady’s door several thousand times or more and rarely did she answers his call. Yes, having a sense of humour can make a hell of a difference.

STEREOTYPED

Australians are one of the heaviest gamblers in the world by far. The Aussies are born to gamble. Almost 88-90 per cent of Australians are gamblers. For argument sake, a senior lecturer, in a 1993 study of 2000 gamblers, showed 10 per cent of gamblers “had poker machine addiction … and squandered between $80 and $12,500 per person.”

Social problem gaming in Australia is at least $4.7 billion a year, according a recent survey. “There was very little conversation with all the gamblers. They didn’t look sad or elated. Just looked stereotyped”, the university boffin said.

When it comes to the pokies, the experts inform us, we make other developed countries look like beginners when it comes to throwing money away in pursuit of Lady Luck. In the past forty years, I’ve read various erudite tomes on gambling and gamblers, and I’ve come to these conclusions.

SIMPLY FICKLE

First, gamblers are no luckier when they gamble more than anyone else. Second, there’s no such thing as a winning gambler. Third, no sociologist or psychologist has explained, convincingly, why people gamble.

Apropos the latter: a leading psychologist believes that the reason Aussies gamble is because “we are basically a nation of immigrants – and immigration is a gamble. And this is a reason to gamble”.

I rest my case.

Well, gamblers per se always have had an eternal infatuation with the elusive Lady. You can’t blame them. But it’s wise to remember that down through the ages she has been that fickle of all courtesans; and she isn’t going to change for anyone.

Not ever.

Next: How do I know if gambling is a problem for me?


PANIC ATTACK: What is a panic attack, what are the causes?

LET US FACE THE CHALLENGE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

THE FIRST SIGNS: TAKE A HARD LOOK AT THIS STRIP. THIS IS HOW PANIC ATTACK HAPPENS. Below: A 19-YEAR GIRL GOES THROUGH THE ANGONY OF PANIC. Below: ANYONE IN THE FAMILY CAN GET PD.

In our daily lives there are situations when it reasonable to feel uneasy or anxious. Physiological fear is an adaptive response that helps us face challenges. It very easy to experience. But, by and large, it is an inconvenient discomfort to befall us in a totally appropriate situation.

This disorder is call PANIC!

Panic Disorder, or PD, is different from everyday nervousness because it is a more intense fear, a fear that is totally inappropriate for the circumstance in which it is occurring. Panic attacks happen spontaneously, or “out of the blue”. They can occur independent of any other stressful situation; and this exaggerated fear may often interfere with daily life.

Panic attacks can also be a triggered by ordinary life events; or they can be triggered by anticipating such events. In other words, panic attacks can be a reaction to fearful thoughts. Feared situations can include supermarkets, crowded places, expressways, tunnels or bridges, social meetings, elevators and many other items.

What causes a Panic Attack?

BECAME ‘HYSTERICAL’

A person experiencing a panic attack feels an overpowering fear that is usually accompanied by a range of physical sensations.

The sufferer will often misinterpret these feelings and truly believe that it is a heart attack or they are going insane; or the fear you are losing control, becoming ‘hysterical’, or even believe that you are going to die.

Panic Attack is defined as a district period of extreme fear or discomfort in which four or more of the symptoms listed develop abruptly and reach a peak within 10 minutes. The panic attack may last seconds, minutes or even an hour or more.

Up to 40 per cent of Australians will experience a panic attack at sometime in their life.

THE SYMPTOMS

INCREASED awareness of the heart-beat. Sweating. Trembling or shaking. Feeling of choking, shortness of breath or smothering.

CHEST pain or discomfort. Nausea and abdominal distress. Feeling of unreality or feeling detached from oneself; or from the surroundings. Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed or faint.

FEAR of losing control or going crazy. Fear of dying. Numbness, tingling or pins and needles.

CHILLS or hot flushes.

Go to a doctor. PD can be successfully treated. For a Support group contact the Panic Disorder Foundation in your State.

<< Understanding Panic Disorder; www.pfizer.com.au


NEXT WEEK: You’ll be welcome to where Charles Dickens lived!

FRANK MORRIS

CLASSIC WRITER: CHARLES DICKENS. FROM HIS PEN CAME MANY MASTERPIECES!

Charles Dickers, supreme storyteller, lived at 48 Doughty Street, London, from 1837 to 1839. He died in 1870. Many of his novels were published in monthly parts. It was just like watching a television series. Dickens would go on to pen many masterpieces like David Copperfield, Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol and other best-sellers. There are original items found in the house belonging to Dickens. So, close your eyes, and transport yourself back to 1837; you can imagine Dickens was around to discuss your findings. Number 48 has since been turned into the Charles Dicken Museum.


HISTORIC PUBS: There’re tales in them thar walls!

FROM THE TIME THEY OPENED BACK IN 1800s, MAYHEM USUALLY FOLLOWED.

FRANK MORRIS AND KIM FROLICH

PIONEERS: THE GOLDEN PHEASANT HOTEL IS THE RESULT OF STURDY WORKMANSHIP. Below: THE GILLES ARMS HOTEL IN 1952 – IF ONLY THE WALLS COULD SPEAK.

The Gilles Arms Hotel in Adelaide, established in 1854, closed its door in 1975 after 121 years of trading.

Its colourful past is emblazoned with a host of real characters, like one fellow called ‘Mick the Mongrel’. Mick, who gained his nickname during the Depression by tying up greyhounds’ toes with cotton to stop them winning races.

There was ‘Skinny’ the ex-jockey and ‘Greenbottle’ the bottle collector – yes, there were many more who made the Gillies Arms their headquarters.

If only the walls could speak what a tale they would tell!

WHALERS, TRADESMEN

One of the first hotels built in South Australia, The Golden Pheasant, is a memorial to the sturdy pioneers and the workmanship of Hackham.

Built in 1841, at Hackham, one the earliest settlements in South Australia. The hotel was used as a ‘local’ for whalers and labourers as well as a staging post for coaches between Adelaide and Victor Harbour.

It was licensed for only 21 years, but during that time gained a reputation for the hearty and often rowdy atmosphere.

An old press at the rear of the hotel produced home-made wine from local Southern Vale Grapes. A gallon of wine sold for two shillings.

<< Famous Hotels from Australian Secretaries and Managers Magazine, February 1976.

COMING: The man who built The Golden Pheasant Hotel was once an English farmer. Adapted from FRANK MORRIS.


TIME Magazine: Gaming disorder

A mental-health condition has been added to the new edition of the World Health Organisation’s disease-classification manual, said Time Magazine. It’s characterised by a pattern of prioritising online games or video games to the point of “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 29 June 18

ASSASSINATION: Robert Kennedy – pursued the same policies as his brother

HATE WAS PULSATING IN A VERY PECULIAR CIRCLE OF DEATH.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

GREAT DARKNESS: ROBERT F. KENNEDY SPRAWLED OUT ON THE HOTEL FLOOR MINUTES BEFORE HE DIED. THE HOTEL’S BUSBOY RACED TO HIS RESCUE. Below: KENNEDY PURSUED THE SAME POLICIES AS HIS ASSASSINATED BROTHER – WITH TRAGIC RESULTS. Below: SIRHAN SIRHAN, A REMOTE PROTAGONIST, WROTE IN HIS DIARY THAT “KENNEDY MUST DIE.”

Fifty years ago, Robert Kennedy knew exactly what he was doing. He was running to be President of the United States of America.

It is not sufficient for the victim of an assassination, political figure though he/she may be, to have entered office and committed their name to any act. They can be merely a successor to a policymaker, or an adherent, and may not be even that.

Robert F. Kennedy, younger brother of the assassinated John F. Kennedy was shot and later died during the preliminary campaigning for the presidency of the United States. Robert was seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the candidature of that office in Los Angeles, California.

The very application to the democratic peoples of that city in that state brought him the now all too-familiar death blow of the bullet. And the full reasons tend to be lost once again in the psychiatric circle of suspicion.

He was one of the four original sons of Joseph F. Kennedy, the former Ambassador to London, the father of ambition. John, the second son was assassinated, so was his younger brother, Robert, leaving the youngest boy, Edward, to cope with his political future.

KENNEDY MUST DIE …

Robert undoubtedly hoped to follow in his brother’s footsteps, not merely the White House, but in the fashionable liberalism of the Democratic Party. It was still a very live, attractive, vote-appealing program of equal rights, desegregation of races, removable of urban poverty and powers to fight growing crime.

None of this should have brought Robert Kennedy more than the normal potential violence.

But he was a victim of a different kind of power-group: racialism.

His assassin was a remote, but not remotely controlled protagonist. A Palestinian Arab, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan had trailed Kennedy for days. On May 18, he had written in his exercise book diary these words:

“RFK must be … be … be disposed of … d … d … disposed of openly … Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy must die … die … die … die … die … die … die … die … die.”

And die he did.

ONE INCH SEPERATION!

Late one night at the Ambassador Hotel, during the campaign, Sirhan did the deed. Using a .22 Iver Johnson pistol, he killed Bobby from the range of one inch; and in the melee he escaped, only to be quickly identified and arrested.

The trial was a seminar for psychiatrists. Why did he kill? He was, or was not, mentally deranged, all the time, or at the time; or he killed with premeditation for a purpose, being in full possession of his faculties most of, or all of, the time.

His diary showed that he had once worshipped the freedom-loving and liberalising Kennedys; but they had supported Israel, the Jewish state, which made him homeless, and in his eyes, stateless.

His mother blamed it on his Palestinian boyhood, and how he had seen terrorism at work; how his brother had been killed by a car escaping hostile gunfire. Even in America he did not feel at home.

He wanted to make his mark for the freedom of Arab refugees by killing that remote figure who supported people or a cause which had rendered him homeless.

<< Assassinations the murders that changed history; published by Marshall Cavendish, London, 1975.
Coming: Royal Assassination in the Middle Ages.


COMING: A NATION REBORN, THE SECOND EDITION OF AUSTRALIAN CHRONICLE COVERING YEARS 1901 TO 1975, WILL BE PUBLISHED SOON. WE’LL START AT 1901, THE CENTENNIAL YEARS, AND THE REST AT RANDOM. PUBLISHED IN JULY.


MEN’S HEALTH: Part of being a male expectation: “don’t talk”

IF YOU DON’T VISIT A DOCTOR THE MOMENT YOU SUSPECT A DEADLY DISEASE THEN YOU’VE TURNED YOUR BACK ON ADVICE, SAY MEDICAL EXPERTS.

FRANK MORRIS

MISS THEIR MARK: THE GENTLEMAN HERE HAS A SEVERE PROBLEM AND (BELOW) AND SO HAS THE OTHER MAN – THEY’VE IGNORED THE WARNINGS AND HAVE SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH THEM. Below: THIS BLOKE HAS BEEN GOING TO THE DOCTOR REGULARLY FOR NEARLY TWENTY YEARS.

Blokes are still refraining from going to a doctor for obvious reasons. But that’s been going on for donkey’s years.

The first Australian survey by AGB McNair into prostate cancer in the 1970s showed that one in three men aged over 50 had a least one symptom of the disease. Hard on the heels of this alarming report, the medical profession issued a stark warning: ignore it at your peril.

But, the saying goes, that penny didn’t drop. Or, didn’t drop loudly enough it seems.

Years later, about 1978, more than 10,000 men would by diagnosed with prostate cancer – and most of them aged over 50. Twenty-five, one in four of this group, will die.

They had ignored the warnings.

These day the situation has improved, but it’S young people who are leading the way.

“Australian women visited a GP on average nearly 7 times a year in 2013—14,” commented the Conversation, partnered by the University of Sydney, “and for men, this figure was under 5 times.

DON’T TALK

“Among those between the ages of 15 and 24 who saw the GP 83 per cent were women and 63 per cent were men.”

A bloke seems to have armour when the questions get personal. In Destigmatising Men’s Health in the Sydney Morning Herald, this came loud and clear. “Part of being a male is the expectation that men don’t talk about their problems”, said Mark Stevens, Odyssey House’s Community Services Manager.

“A lot of men don’t ask because they don’t want to know the answer”, he says. “It’s the same reason many men don’t self-assess.”

Many doctors share the same opinion. The experts says that men’s attendance has much improved. But they say, “Don’t turn your back on something which may save your life.” 

Said a former mayor: “Like many blokes, when I was younger, I didn’t give a lot of thought to my own health. Young men generally have a sense of being indestructible and pay little attention to their own well-being.

GET A CHECK-UP

“Men can and do play important roles in society,” he said. “Our society needs men to be healthy and contribute to their families and communities. That’s why we should encourage men to think about their own livelihood.

“Let’s encourage the males to visit their doctor and get a check-up.”

Here’re a few health issues that will assists you:

CANCER

Lung, colorectal, prostate and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are among the eight cancers that have a high death rate in Australia.

PROSTATE

Most men are unware of the need to anticipate the possibly of prostate cancer … are totally unprepared for the risk they face. There’s a surprising lack of knowledge about the prostate: where it is located, what its function is, what health problems it may develop and what symptoms may be involved. Early detection -- that’s the key to beating any of the three forms of prostate disease, meaning enlarged prostate, prostate cancer or prostatitis.

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

This disease of the heart and blood vessels causes one death every 12 minutes. And stroke is the major cause of long-term disability in adults. But, disturbingly, up to 80 per cent of the adult population has least one of the critical risk factors for the disease. Do you smoke? Do you do any physical activity? Are you overweight? Do you have high blood pressure? What’s your family history? Do you have high cholesterol?

There are other issues like asthma, diabetes or arthritis.

<< Frank Morris’s A Certain Age column, in the Weekend Australian, December 7-9, 2002; Best Years Newsletter, Number 2, Volume 2.


GHOST SHIPS: Final. Amazing wrecks in the Baltic Sea a maritime graveyard

Curator DR STEPHEN GAPPS          Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

DRAWCARD: VASA, IN ITS PURPOSE-BUILT MUSEUM, IS A HUGE DRAWCARD FOR VISITORS TO STOCKHOM, SWEDEN. PHOTO: DR STEPHEN GAPPS. Below: A RARE VIEW, INSIDE VASA. DUE TO ITS ONGOING CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION, THE PUBLIC ARE NOT ABLE TO GO ONTO THE SHIP. PHOTO BY DR STEPHEN GAPPS. Below: A 3D RECONSTRUCTION SHOWING THE GHOST SHIP SITTING UPRIGHT ON THE SEA BED.

You may never understand the main cause of why a ship sinks. A ship sinks and the reason remains unknown?

Still, The Ghost Ship is an exceptional maritime archaeological find, and in terms of its preservation, it has few equals in the world.

The Baltic has been a busy sea-route for a long time. Prehistoric vessels traded around this sea, which has been a central highway between the historical cultures of modern-day Denmark, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Russia and Sweden.

Baltic trade also has a special importance for the Dutch during their period of great maritime expansion. Upwards of 2000 trading ships would sail into the Baltic each year during the mid-17th century.

Salt and manufactured goods were brought to the north, while raw materials such as iron, limestone and timber were carried from the coasts of the Baltic to Amsterdam and other towns in the Netherlands.

In 2003, a well-preserved shipwreck was found north of Dalaro in the Stockholm archipelago. In 2007 and 2008, the site was surveyed jointly by archaeologists from the Swedish National Maritime Museum and the University of Southampton.

It was named the Edeso Wreck, and appears to have been a small man-of-war, built and probably sunk in the late 17th century. It was possibly built in England, or, at least in the English fashion of that time. The original name of the ship and the precise history of its demise are unknown.

Another fascinating wreck is the Kronan – the largest ship in the Royal fleet of the Swedish King Charles X1 in the 1670s. It was one of the largest ships in the world during Sweden’s period as a significant European power.

THE MAGAZINES EXPLODED

Kronan exploded and sank in the battle off Oland, an island off Sweden’s south-eastern coast, in 1676. This was fought in bad weather and apparently Kronan turned too hard with too much sail and began to founder. When the magazine exploded, most of the bow structure was lost.

King Charles’ prestigious flagship quickly sank. Around 800 men died and more than 100 heavy guns were lost. The wreck was discovered in 1980. Since then, more than 30,000 items have been retrieved from the site; including some books as well as Sweden’s largest-ever hoard of gold coins.

Other significant wreck near Stockholm include the 17th century Dutch fluit Lion and wreck of the Mars, the huge flagship of the Swedish navy that was sunk in battle in 1564. She was rumoured to be cursed as its guns were supposed to have made from melted-down church bells.

Perhaps the most intriguing Baltic wreck was the focus of a long hunt by divers -- the so-called ’treasure ship’ Resande Mannen. This evocatively named vessel (Travelling Man in English) went down in the winter, in the Kastbaden near Nynashamm, in 1600.

While 37 people died, 25 survived the deadly cold waters, many clinging to the top masts. Resande Mannen was a small armed ship carrying the Swedish Privy Council’s Count Carl Christoffer von Schlippenbach to Poland for peace negotiations.

MUSEUM UNDER THE SEA

It had been rumoured he was carrying a large amount of money for political bribes, as well as his own personal fortune.

There are more than 20,000 known wrecks in the Baltic Sea, and archaeologists believe there may be as many as 100 thousand. The collection of wrecks – well preserved in their own natural conservation lab, the Baltic – has been called ‘a museum under the sea’.

The wonderful state of preservation of wooden ships in the Baltic Sea makes it arguably the world’s best ship graveyard.

In the waters off Dalaro there are plans to create a ‘diving park’ to allow guided recreational divers to visit the many wrecks clustered in the area. A new museum dedicated to the treasures of the Baltic is slated to open in Stockholm in the near future.

The Baltic has been a busy sea-route for a ver long time, says Dr Gapps.

<< A Ghost Ship and a travelling man by curator Dr Stephen Gapps in Signals Quarterly, September/October/November 2016. Published by Australian National Maritime Museum.


FLASHBACK: The Wild Frontier! Buffalo Bill’s famous Show was the greatest in the world!

BUFFALO BILL PARADED COWBOYS, INDIANS, ROUGH-RIDERS AND SHARP-SHOOTERS TO SHOW SOME CRACKING MARKMANSHIP!

EILEEN HELLICAR AND FRANK MORRIS

ACCORDING TO BUFFALO BILL: HE LEFT BEHIND A FESTERING WILD WEST FOR THE IMAGINARY WILD WEST PLAYED IN A GIANT THEATRE FILLED WITH SHARP-SHOOTING COWBOYS AND INDIANS. BUFFALO BILL WAS SUCCESSFUL UNTIL THE SHOW WENT BELLY UP.

Western writer Zane Grey actually stood face-to-face with gunslingers, gamblers and lawmen, passed on to him by men in the know. Grey hunted mountain lions with the Indians and outlaws with the Texas Rangers. He knew the good guys and the bad guys of the west.

He knew both sides and lived to tell about it.

Grey sought out men, real men, and what they could tell him about Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Captain McNelly of the Texas Rangers, and General George Custer, left nothing to the imagination.

He would play poker with the worst Arizona Card sharks in the business. He would talk and walk with the dance-hall girls until their pretty lips would say, “I’ve told you everything”; and cowboys, who had looked into the cold, icy eyes of William Bonney – Billy the Kid – and prayed to God that their time had come; but William/Billy laughed and walked away.

He got the fair-dinkum facts about the most gruelling episodes in the history of the West, firsthand.

SHOWMAN, HUNTER

In among this lot of sharp-shooters was probably the greatest of them all, Buffalo Bill himself.

The nickname of ‘Buffalo Bill” was given to the American William Frederick Cody. Cody provided buffalo meat for the railway labourers of the Kansas Pacific Railway in 1876 to 78, and in the eighteen months he killed 4280 buffalos.
Cody, an army scout, showman and buffalo hunter, was born in Scott County, Iowa, in 1846. He had only about one year of schooling and when he was 11 he took his first job as a wagon messenger with a freight company.

After that he served on a wagon train and later took part in his first trapping expedition. When he was still only fourteen, he became a pony express rider and completed one of the longest rides in history, covering more than 320 miles at an average speed of 15 miles an hour.

During the American Civil War he scouted for the 9th Kansas Cavalry against the Indians; and later on, while serving in the 5th Cavalry, he killed Yellowhand, the Cheyenne Chief, single handed. He then began hunting buffalo to feed the railway builders.

WILD WEST SHOW WENT BROKE

For a while he went on the stage and starred in a revue called The Scouts of the Prairie, written by a friend, Ned Buntline.

In 1883, he gave up the stage to organise his own production, the Wild West Show, which become rapidly known as ‘Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show’. The show, which contained Indians, cowboys, rough-riders and sharp-shooters, was immensely successful; it toured extensively in American and Europe.

Eventually, the extravagant show got into financial difficulties and Cody combined it with ‘Pawnee Bill’s Great Far East Show’. In 1913 Cody lost his shares in the show and took to performing in other people’s productions, and writing Wild West novels.

He retained his zest for life and his riding skill until the end of his days. He died at Denver, Colorado, in 1917.

<< Buffalo Bill by Eileen Helicar, one of two dozen stories in The Real McCoy. Published by The Readers Digest. 

Next: Davy Crockett – Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the wild frontier. Coming: Known as the ‘King of the Road’ his name was Dick Turpin, highwayman. He rode his horse, Black Bess nearly 200 miles to avoid capture. There is no doubt he would have given the Wild Frontier of the West a firm going over.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 22 June 18

GHOST SHIPS: Part 1. Amazing wrecks in the Baltic Sea a maritime graveyard

MARITIME HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY WERE THE FOCUS FOR MANY OF THE WRECKS IN THIS OVERVIEW. SOME OF THE VESSELS ARE IN REMARKABLY WELL-PRESERVED CONDITION.

Curator DR STEPHEN GAPPS

DEAD & GONE: DIVING ON THE 1660 WRECK OF RESANDE MANNEN. Below: TIMBER FRAME OF RESANDE MANNEN LIES LIKE THE RIB CAGE OF A SKELETON ON THE SEA FLOOR. Below: A BOX WITH SQUARE GLASS MEDICINE BOTTLES.

In 2003 underwater sonar was being used to locate a Swedish reconnaissance plane that had been shot down in the Baltic Sea, during the Cold War, in 1952. The searchers came across what archaeologists called an ‘anomaly’, indicating a possible shipwreck.

As it was 130 metres below the surface, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was sent down to investigate. To the surprise of all, they saw a 17th century ship sitting upright of the bottom of the sea floor, quite intact, looking as though it was ready to be crewed and to set sail again.

In fact, it was so complete that spars and rigging lying on the deck could tell them the last sail settings – and hence manoeuvre – before the ship sank.

It was such an eerie sight that archaeologists instantly named it the “ghost ship’.

Many people know of the iconic Swedish shipwreck, Vasa, lifted from the sea floor in 1961. It now sits in its own very popular museum. But there is much more to Swedish maritime archaeology than Vasa; the Baltic Sea is littered with Swedish and other nations’ ships.

In fact, it is one of the best locations in the world for ship archaeology.

BULGING WITH MONEY

Most marine organisms that attack wood, including the infamous shipworm Teredo navalis, are absent from this cold, brackish sea.

The 2003 ROV inspection of the “Ghost Ship” showed it to be a merchant ship from the mid-17th century, revealing typical Dutch shipbuilding characteristics from this period. A multi-beam echo-sounder was used to penetrate the upper deck and the holds, to gather accurate measurements for a 3-D reconstruction of the ship.

The map revealed the contents of the vessel: the rigging, decorative work, sails, a hearth place, sailors’ chests and other artefacts. The ‘Ghost Ship’ has the characteristic pear-shaped stern recognisable from 17-century depictions of Dutch fluyts (fruits), a type of dedicated cargo ship that could operate with a small crew.

The rudder head is decorated with three flowers, a motif traditional for Holland. The stern was flanked by two life-size sculptures depicting Dutch mid-17th century merchants in fashionable clothing, with bulging money-pouches on their belts.

These have fallen off and were found on the sea-floor next to the wreck.

One of these ‘corner men’ (hoekman, in Dutch) was salvaged in May 2010 by an ROV fitted with a mechanical claw.

SYMBOLS FOR NAMES

A brief inspection revealed red paint on the hat and black on the merchant’s coat and the figure has now been sent to Holland for conservation and further paint analysis. The area on the transom between the hoekmen, originally covered with horizontal panelling, was where the ship’s name should have been.

But at this time (when most people were illiterate), ships’ names were often added by using symbols – allegoric sculptures or ornament. Many names would have been influenced by their ability to be easily depicted and widely understood in symbols: Half Moon, Virgin Mary or The Rose or Prophet Abraham.

When the ROV surveyed the area abaft the ship, a sculpted piece of wood lying among other timbers came into view. It has been identified as the body of a swan, carved in deep relief. The original name of the Ghost Ship was probably Swan; or at least had the word ‘swan’ as part of its name.

The eerie beauty of the Ghost Ship is the natural preservation that makes it possible to reconstruct what the crew were doing just before the ship sank.

<< A ghost ship and a travelling man by curator Dr Stephen Gapps; Signals Quarterly, September/October/November, 2016. Published by the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Next week: Final. Kronan, one of King Charles XI of Sweden’s ships, turned too hard, with too much sail, began to founder and exploded.


FEATURES COMING UP: GAMBLING: What is problem gambling? What are the chances of going from social gambler to a pathological gambler? … Coming of Age: How fit are you? If you want to be in good health when Spring is in the air there’s only one way … Safe bushwalking – it’s fun for everyone! … Men’s Health: Diabetes and prostate problems are where experts say, “Don’t turn your back on them” …  Irish writer, Maeve Binchy -- journalist to award winning novelist … Jenolan Caves -a wonder world’s underground.


IN THE PAST: Nutcote Crisis – Was it the end for a “valued icon and a beloved home”

IN 1991, THE NUTCOTE CRISIS THREATENED TO CLOSE THE HOME OF MAY GIBBS AND THE WONDERFUL BUSH BABIES UNTIL A STRONG AND CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM POLICY WAS PUT TOGETHER. IT WAS MET BY A DELIGHTED COMMUNITY. IN 2018, AUSTRALIANS AND VISITORS HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE BELOVED BUSH BABIES, SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE, IN THE ECLETIC SYDNEY VIVID FESTIVAL. A PROJECTION OF THE ICONS WILL FEATURE MORE THAN 15,000 HAND-DRAWN ANIMATION FRAMES AND NARRATION.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

PLACE TO BE: IT’S MAY GIBB’S ICONIC SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE, IN VIVID COLOUR, ON CUSTOMS HOUSE. ENDS ON JUNE 16. Below: S&C UP CLOSE ON THE PRINTED PAGE. Below: MAGIC GARDEN -- THE PATH EDGED WITH DOROTHY PERKINS ROSES, VIOLETS, ALYSSOM AND LOBELIA.

THE “NUTCOTE CRISIS” IN 1991:

The Nutcote Crisis is at hand. In less than a month, North Sydney Council, NSW, will decided Nutcote’s fate. All hinges on whether the purchase price of nearly $3 million can be repaid by donations.

Realistically, words and dreams are no longer enough to save Nutcote. Only strong action by people at all levels in communities all over Australia will bring a reversal of fortune for Nutcote. North Sydney Council’s contribution of $600,000 plus community donations have exceeded $1 million.

Where will the rest come from?

Despite the concerted efforts of numerous groups, corporate and government responses to requests for financial aid have been disheartening. Mr Phillip Smiles, newly elected Member for North Shore, has gained notoriety with his anti-Nutcote stance; but his arguments are circular and without regard for Nutcote’s community goodwill.

NUTCOTE’S VISION

And while the Nutcote debate rages in a small section Sydney press, its ramifications are virtually unknown in other parts of the metropolitan area.

Far-flung interstate action groups in receipt of newspaper clipping are better informed than most Sydney-siders. What’s the reason for this?

Nutcote, in this regard, deserves significant national recognition. Who will lift the debate above petty parochialism? 

Nutcote has vision and it includes all Australians and the promotion of our national literature.

ICONIC MAY GIBBS

Caroline Serventy, President of the Australia Federation of Friends of Galleries and Museums, spoke for Nutcote supporters … in a letter to Mr Smiles expressing concern at the State Government’s lack of insight concerning Nutcote’s investment potential.

Said Serventy: “North Sydney, and NSW, are both extremely lucky to have the home of such an icon of Australian literature as May Gibbs available as a museum; other communities would be delighted to have such a treasure.

“A new museum has opened every two weeks in Great Britain since 1970. Countries like France, Spain and Canada also have an extraordinarily high number of new museums, many of them local, and supported substantially by the work of volunteers.

“Contemporary museum policy included strong community involvement, and the number of visitors to museums is increasing worldwide.  Most popular are museums that present collections in a social context. Nutcote has the potential for enormous success as an attraction to all Australians and visitors.”

<< Reprinted, with minor editing, from Australian Book Collector, September 1991.

Frank Morris comments: There were Australian-wide commentaries that came to the fore in the Nutcote crisis in 1991. But, after everything was said and done, all was resolved. May Gibbs died in 1969 at 92. Gibbs lived at Nutcote until her death. She left her house to charity, which had to be sold. But the “Nutcote Crisis” saved the day. The May Gibbs Foundation and the house and garden were opened to the public in 1994. * At Customs House until June 16.


FLASHBACK: The Big Fight – “Kid” McCoy, Irish boxer -- his life, was a “very colourful” one

HE WAS DIVORCED AND THEN REMARRIED THE SAME WOMAN.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Below: KID McCOY WAS HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH HIS MISTRESS AND ASKED HER TO MARRY HIM. SHE REFUSED. HE SHOT HER DEAD.

You’ve heard of the Real McCoy. He was behind the familiar names – the person who made the name famous. The real McCoy, who gave his name to the expression, was Norman Selby. Selby, a boxer, was born in Rush County, Indiana, October 13, 1873. His boxing career began in 1891 as well as a name-change to Charles “Kid” McCoy.

In his belief, to be a success as a boxer, it was better to be Irish; and Irish boxers were very popular at that time in the US.

In March 1896, McCoy won the world welterweight championship when he beat Irishman, Tommy Ryan. He continued as a successful boxer. He then competed for the middleweight title, then light-heavyweight then, finally, as a heavyweight.

At the height of his success, a middleweight named Al McCoy appeared on the scene. From then on, Kid McCoy was billed as the Real McCoy to distinguish him from the lesser fighters.

The expression ‘real McCoy’ had been used before Kid McCoy came across it. It originated as Real ‘Mc Kay’, in Scotland, where it was applied to first class whisky. In was launched in America where the name became the Real McCoy.

HE WAS SENTENCED

Kid McCoy’s life was a very colourful one. He travelled widely and introduced boxing into Africa and many parts of Europe. Apart from being a boxer he was also a film star. He had eight wives; one of the eight he divorced and remarried.

Some years before his ninth trot to the altar, he proposed to his mistress. And when she declined his offer, he shot her dead. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for manslaughter, having eluded a murder charge by pleading insanity due to boxing injuries.

He was released in 1932. Soon after being set free he married his final wife. On the April 18, 1940, he committed suicide.

[Adapted from The Real McCoy: People behind the name you thought were fiction; Elieen Hellicar.]

<< From “Kid” McCoy, Irish boxer, his life was a very colourful one; Real McCoy, by Eileen Helicar; 1983.


AUSSIE POEM: Life Cycle – She unknowingly stood on a flower-bed

LYN BROWN

POET’S BOOK: LYN BROWN - “THEY CONTAIN THOUGHTS AND MEMORIES I’D LIKE TO SHARE WHILE I AM STILL ABLE TO.” Below: “UNKNOWINGLY, SHE ALSO STOOD ON A FLOWER BED”.

At five years old in nineteen-twenty-three,

she watched the midwife hurrying to her mother.

Sent outside, she stood unknowingly

on a flower bed, with her little brother,

crushing the scent from violets. Ears to the wall

of their mother’s room, they listened to the cries

of a new-born sister. Two years on, they all,

needing a house of somewhat larger size,

left the small weatherboard. It lasted through 

the century. Three times out of sentiment 

she went to look. Then turning eighty-two 

in the year two thousand, one last time she went.

Sharply aware of pending demolition, 

she found the fulfilment of her premonition.

<< Fire and Water. Poems. Lyn Brown; Best Year Newsletter, 2002.

SOON: I interviewed Lyn Brown in 2002. Lyn had just published Fire and Water. She told me of her great passion for writing and “sitting in my corner ruminating about a particular poem.”


SOON: The Myall Creek Massacre 180 years ago! In 1838, a conflict between Aborigines and settlers hit a crisis point. An estimated 50 Aborigines were killed.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 15 June 18

IN THE PAST: 1903 – Fashion, men-folk and air we breathe!

EVERY LIGHTED GAS-JET IS THE QUALITY OF AIR USED BY THE LUNGS.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

ANYONE FOR TENNIS: THERE IS EXCERISE TO TENNIS SO USE IT TO KEEP FIT. Below: THE MODEL DEMONSTRATES THE PERFECT WAIST.

When we live in the open enforced breathing is not essential. But when wood and stone or brick and plaster form this environment, special measurers must be adopted to ensure constant purity of air. Oxygen is as necessary to life of gas or fire as it is to humans.

Every lighted gas-jet is a powerful rival in the consumption of this element.

One jet will consume as mush oxygen as eight persons. Every inspiration of an individual subtracts oxygen from the air, and every expiration contributes the deadly carbon. This is the carbonic acid gas which collects in the bottom of wells.

It also gathers in mines; it is known as choke-damp. A lighted candle is immediately extinguished in this atmosphere.

So it is the lamp of life.

Breathe through a tube into the bottom of a fruit jar. Then lower into the jar a lighted candle. It will immediately go out. The oxygen of the air is the foods of the lungs.

Be as particular (as you can) regarding the quality of your lung food as of your stomach food. Your palate repudiates vitiated food; so should your nostrils spurn foul air.

PERFECT FIGURE

Look at the diagram. It illustrates what I consider is a woman’s perfect figure. The figure is, as you’ll see, a long one.

The head is small, upon a well-shaped, not too slender, neck. The shoulders are fairly broad. The bust-line is round, well developed. The waist is 21 inches in circumference, and the hips are 37 inches round, well covered, but not, what we call in France, too saillante.

For saillante hips divide the body most ungracefully, and are one of the great difficulties with which the artist in dressmaking has frequently to cope.

The skirt, the measurement from waist to foot, should be 41 inches; and the entire height from neck to foot is 5ft 2 inches. Arms should be 14 inches, from shoulder to the elbow; and 11 inches from the elbow to the wrist. And the wrist should measure just 6 inches round.


IN THE PAST: Flo Russel arrested for wearing an abbreviated skirt

THE JUDGE, OF COURSE, JUMPS AT IT.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

To be arrested on a charge of holding one skirts too high on a rainy day suggests, of course, the United States. In 

Joplin, Missouri, was the precise scene of the incident. And Miss Flo Russel was its victim, or heroine.

It was charged against her, quite in the Addisonian style, the height at which she held them created enough commotion to amount to a disturbance of traffic. Her youth and prettiness, if they did not aggravate the offence, did aggravate the commotion. A policeman arrested her.

ABBREVIATED SKIRT

Miss Russell, in her defence, said that she was wearing a new and particularly handsome silk petticoat and other “thing” equally new and equally handsome. And, she added, held her skirts just high enough to prevent them from being muddied. But, she said, not an inch higher.

To clinch the matter, she had come dressed in identical clothes and was ready if the judge desired to give a demonstration in court.

The judge, of course, jumped at it. A space was cleared and the court became so judicially fascinated with the performance that it took him fifteen minutes to discharge Miss Russell, with apologies.

<< The New Idea, 1903.


IN THE PAST: A lesson in grace – Body twists, upward strength and side stretches!

SHE IS A WOMAN WHO MOVES EASILY – SHE IS THE ‘GRACEFUL’ WOMAN.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

GET READY: ALL THE TWISTS YOU CAN THINK OF -- LET’S GO!

Grace in growing girls is never conscious posing nor lackadaisical drawling and drooping, nor exaggerated nervous intensity, any more that it is a stolid quietness or a rude violence of manner. Grace is much simpler that any of those things.

In fact, grace is often overlooked because it seems so natural and so absolutely what one would like to see.
Grace is literally ease of motion.

Where motion is difficult or awkward or over-intense, there is a great loss of will-powder to provide strength. The horse that runs the swiftest is usually the prize-winner. The horse that steps the lightest and easiest, and is most delightful look at, you back every time.

BREATHE EASILY

The woman who accomplishes the most housework is not the woman who does it with her teeth set, every nerve tense, and stamping about on the heels of her shoes. The woman who is the least tired after a day’s work, or a day’s exercise of any sort, is relaxed.

Whoever the woman, she goes about it with a springy step, breathing easily, with chest held up. This woman is more apt to smile than have a tight look about her mouth. Her muscles are relaxed so far as consistent with accomplishment.

She is a woman who moves easily -- she is the ‘graceful’ woman. The graceful woman is neither too quick nor too slow. She never hurries unless it is necessary. But she is never affectedly slow. Many young ladies have a confused notion that to drawl and to be lazy is to be graceful.

Therefore, the exercises that will benefit these physical deficiencies are the exercises that are going to bring about the condition of grace.

<< From the New I903.


IN THE PAST: 1914/1918. Diggers at Gallipoli over 100 years ago

“THEY RUSH ENEMY TRENCHES … THEIR MAGAZINES WERE NOT CHARGED, SO THEY WENT IN WITH COLD STEEL,” SAID ELLIS ASHMEAD-BARTLETT, WHO WAS DESCRIBING THE SCENE.

FRANK MORRIS

REST TIME: ANZAC MEN GRAB SOME MUCH NEEDED REST AT THE ENTRANCE OF THEIR DUGOUT. Below: AT PEACE: LEAVING GALLIPOLI AFTER A BITTER SWEET STRUGGLE FOR VICTORY.

It happened over 100 year ago. This celebration marks the start of the name Anzac and how it became a symbol of Australian courage and military prowess. It eventually gave the Anzacs the chance of a ‘living hell’ called Gallipoli.

It would also highlight the day when 75,000 Allied soldiers – 10,000 of them Anzacs would lay their lives on the line.
On these bloody shores of Gallipoli was written one of the most memorable chapters in Australian history.

About 1.30am in the inky darkness of April 25, 1915, the troop boat loaded with Anzacs arrives off the Gallipoli peninsula. The eerie stillness of the night produced an uneasy, lonely feeling.

As one war historian wrote: “Even the bravest men among the Anzacs felt fear, but come what may they would acquit themselves in a manner creditable both to themselves and their country.”

Against the shadowy outline of the mountainous coast, the first of the troop boats nosed their bows onto the blackened beach. There was an uneasy silence as they waited for the dug-in Turkish army to open fire.

SHADOWY OUTLINE

The Anzacs leapt out into shallow water, their rifles held above their heads. Suddenly, the tranquillity of the Peninsula’s valleys echoed with the whistling of shells and heavy gunfire. A living hell had erupted. The fight for Gallipoli had begun.

Of the historic day, the Official History of Australia in the War commented: “Never in history was a campaign richer in pure heroism and conscious self-sacrifice.

Now, our Gallipoli heroes have passed on. Their deeds will live forever.

<< From the Grand Years series on Gallipoli.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 08 June 18

THE GREAT WAR: Lusitania “gravest situations” yet faced in war – newspaper

In less than a minute the first torpedo hit the fastest passenger ship in the world up-front on the starboard side.

FRANK MORRIS

JOURNEY OF NO RETURN: THE LUSITANIA, HEADING FOR THER OTHER SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC. Below: THE SPHERE GIVES A BLOW BY BLOW DESCRIPTION OF THE FRUITLESS ESCAPE. Below: KAPITANLEUTNANT SCHWIEGER, OF THE GERMAN NAVY, HAD THE LUSITANIA IN HIS SIGHT.

It’s Saturday, May 1, 1915, at 0800 hours.

Berthed at pier 54, was the Lusitania getting ready for its 5000 miles journey from New York to Britain. It stood there like a centurion, tall and fast. Thousands of the sightseers were screaming and shouting their hearts out. They were flags flying and bands playing; the celebrity ship was preparing to leave.

This was the sense of an occasion; a sense, if you like, of a party going on.

In among this there were politicians and solicitors, some saying “Goodbye” and “Hello”. There were a mixture of passengers – 2000 in all – waiting to board this celebrity ship; there were the first class passengers having their luggage taken from them; and ordinary passengers who had to struggle with their good and chattels.

After Lusitania began embarkation, it was heading for the other side of the globe. As the greyhound of the seas, she carried the hope and dreams of everyone aboard. It was known as the “fastest ship in the world” and Captain Turner was the commodore.

GENERAL WARNING

During 1914, Britain intended to use its powerful naval blockade to starve Germany … into submission. Britain hoped to use the blockade of enemy ports to cut off supplies from the outside would. The public, officials and politicians would make their voices heard.

The ship’s captain was notified of submarine activity off the south coast of lreland. Instead of Liverpool, he was ordered to go to Queenstown, on the Irish east coast.

A week before its sinking, the “German Embassy, in Washington, advertised in the American press a general warning to travellers by ship in British waters, “ notes a magazine caption in The Great War At Sea.

Speed is the best defence against any submarine activity and, in 6 days averaged 21 knots, which made the Lusitania a tough bird to catch. Kapitaleutnant Schwieger, commander of U-20, had curtailed the lives of many ships in his patrol of the North Sea.

Schwieger ranked 6th in the point-score of top-scoring U-boat commanders when he was killed in a submarine accident six weeks after being presented with Germany’s highest decoration for gallantry in 1917.

LUCKY BREAK

Calling to the U-20 pilot, Schwieger, after summing up the position, said, “Four funnels … upwards of 20.000 tons and making about 22 knots.” The pilot checked this information and called back to his commander, “Either the Lusitania or the Mauretania. Both listed as armed merchant cruisers.”

Schwieger and the U-20 prepared for action.

After loading a G-type torpedo into the forward tube, the commander noticed the target had altered its course.

Schwieger could not believe his luck! Lusitania had turned to starboard and the Queenstown coast was 20 miles away. Because the Lusitania had changed its position, the range was about 550 metres it would not be a long shot after all.

At that range, Schwieger “gave the deadly order to shoot.”

END OF PART 1.


POET RUPERT BROOKE DEAD. MANY AUSTRALIANS MUST HAVE HEARD ABOUT RUPERT BROOKE, OR SEEN HIM ON THE BATTLION LINE WHEN HE JOINED UP ON SEPTEMBER 27, 1914.  HE WROTE SOME OF HIS BEST POETRY IN THE TRENCHES. THE WELL KNOWN POEM, THE LITTLE DOG’S DAY, WAS A TRIBUTE TO THE PERIOD. RUPERT BROOKE’S WAR … IN THE NEXT GREAT WAR.


THE LUSITANIA: Final! All hell broke loose – a torpedo is coming!

JOURNEY ENDED: STERN UP AND MINUTES LATER, GONE FOREVER. Below: NEARLY, AND ALMOST GONE, THE LUSITANIA TAKES A DEEP BREATH THEN … Below: THE NEW YORK TIMES WITH A FOUR-DECK HEADING THAT ALMOST TOLD THE FULL STORY.

Schwieger waited a few seconds to steady himself. “Fire one!” The torpedo cleared the tube. It chalked up 38 knots and it was right on target.

Back on the Lusitania …

There was a lookout on the starboard bridge wing but it was from the crow’s nest that the vital warning came, via the telephone. “Torpedo coming on the starboard side!” Captain Turner, the commodore of the Cunard Line, “responding to the lookout’s warning looked to starboard in shocked disbelief just in time to see the white streak in the water.”

There was a heavy thudding sound from the starboard side just under the bridge.  A second torpedo shot was felt, “almost instantaneously, which physically rocked the ship”.

SOS – COME AT ONCE

All hell broke loose.

The Lusitania bow was listing on the right hand side and water was fast getting in through the cavernous torpedos holes. At 1411 hours, the Lusitania had started sending distress signals. “SOS, SOS, SOS. COME AT ONCE. BIG LIST. 10 MILES SOUTH OLD KINSALE. MFA.”

A lifeboat laden with over fifty passengers, weighting 5 tons, swung inboard and crushes those standing on the boat deck. Passengers ran for a lifeboat. Children were crying. Parents and elderly folk were blighted by fear.

WALKED AWAY

Schwieger looked out of the periscope and saw the 20,000 ton ship, so to speak, just about ‘on its knees’ … saw passengers jumping overboard … saw lifeboats being eased over the side and with others racing out of danger. He saw many tragic things in the 18 minute before the ship went under.

Schwieger, because he was low on fuel, lowered the periscope and headed back to sea to begin the U-20 voyage home.

When he received the Blue Max or Pour Le Merite Medal, for sinking a total of 190,000 tons of Allied shipping, the largest victim, the Lusitania, was never mentioned on the citation.

At 1428 hours GMT, only six lifeboats out of a total of forty-eight were afloat amid the wreckage. In the final moments the Lusitania bow would strike the sea bed before the stern sank beneath the waves and went to the bottom. It lost over 1200 souls.

The fastest passenger in the world, the Lusitania, was gone.

<< Background from The Great War at Sea: Naval battles of World War One; Lusitania, a television documentary; and Pen and Sword Books Ltd.


MILESTONES: How the Aussie people lived between the war years?

IT STARTED IN THE RING AS THE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP, AND ENDED UP FORTY MINUTES LATER WITH POLICE BEING CALLED IN.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

ATLAS POSE: JACK JOHNSON SAID, “I WAS DEAD SURE I’D WIN.” Below: TOMMY BURNS SHAPING UP AND IS ATTEMPTING TO HAVE ANOTHER GO AT JOHNSON.

1908

It was dawn on Boxing Day and people awoke to newspaper headlines involving the clash of the titans and the struggle for white supremacy when Tommy Burns, the Canadian, was pitted against “American’s premier coloured boxer” Jack Johnson.

More 60,000 spectators converged on Rushcutters Bay Stadium, Sydney, for the Heavyweight championship of the World, and filled the stadium to the brink.

Reports of the day claim “there were 20,000 men at ringside and twice twenty thousand lingered outside …” There were crowds of men everywhere but only one woman – the wife of the celebrated author, Jack London, who covered the stoush for newspapers overseas.

The fight was over in forty minutes, moments after the opening of the fourteenth round before police intervened. A towering Johnson toyed with Burns who was almost 20cm shorter than his opponent.

Meanwhile, at the ringside, an over-confident Johnson said: “Never had any doubt. From the start of the fight I was dead sure I would win.” A well-beaten Tommy Burns said: “I did my best. I fought hard but Johnson was too big”.

Mrs Jack London, the only woman to have witnessed the fight, said: “I think Burns is the grittiest fighter it is possible to be.” – Frank Morris.

The iconic poem of Australia, My country by Dorothea Mackellar, was published in London. Mackellar, who died in 1968, at the age 83, is credited with two most quoted lines in Australian literature: “I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains …”

Her house was the centre of publicity back in the 1970s. A visitor maintained that the she spoke to the ghost Mackellar about certain trinkets and news, and described her outfit; everybody in the district soon knew about the ghost. An opera based of the life of Australia’s most famous poet was staged in the open at Narrabeen, NSW. – Frank Morris.

Horror rail smash at Sunshine. Australia was shocked when 44 people died and more that 400 were injured in the nation’s worst rail disaster. There were anguished screams when victims were laid out in rows in two waiting-rooms for identification on April 20. – Frank Morris.

1909

In November, NSW coalminers mounted a strike which lasted four and a half months – but it ended in defeat.  

George Augustine Taylor, in December, made first unpowered flight in Australia.

Colin Defries piloted the first motor-propelled flight in Australia.

<< Milestones, a part-feature in Good Weekend; extra editorial by Frank Morris.


THE YANKS BRING THEIR NEWSPAPER: It’s can be worth a lot of cash!

AS THE WARS ROLL ON, STAR AND STRIPES WILL BE A FAMILIAR CATCH CRY.

FRANK MORRIS

THE S&S: THE STARS AND STRIPES, THE FIRST ISSUE WAS IN 1915. S&S WAS THE MOST POPULAR, MOST QUOTED SERVICE PAPER IN WORLD WAR 2. Below: IT’S THE 21ST CENTURY AND S&S IS STILL GOING, THIS TIME AS A TABLOID.

The most treasured newspaper of any war from 1915 onwards was Stars and Stripes. Experts say it’s hailed as the most popular, most quoted, and most ambitious of the service newspapers around since World War II.

Meanwhile, there was an interesting array of service newspapers and magazines produced all over the world -- Yank, SEAC, Parade, Battle Dress, Victory and so on – S&S origins actually date from the Great War.

Media historian Michael Anglo said these news outlets “provided a safety valve for the vast hordes of civilians in uniform who were enmeshed in the military machine.”

The first of issue of The Stars and Stripes was produced in Neufchateau, France, on February 8, 1918. The idea that the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) published its own newspaper was promoted by an articulate but aggressive young officer, Guy T. Viskniskki.

START THE PROJECT

Viskniskki, a press officer and censor, backed up his proposal with the fact the he had organised and managed the 80th Division Training Camp weekly, The Bayonet. When the General Staff finally acquiesced to his plan, Viskniskki unearthed enough newsprint to start to project.

His next move was to find linotype machines and stereotyping equipment and suitable premises. He did. He organised the printing at the Paris plant of the London newspaper, The Daily News. Viskniskki’s position as editor was curtailed after a few issues.

He was eventually succeeded by an “editorial council”, which was headed by Harold Ross, who later co-founded the New Yorker magazine. Some of the other luminaries included Alexander Woolcott (drama) and Grantland Rice (sport).

BRITISH EDITION

The paper, which was “greatly prized” by the infantry and officers alike, continued to be published in France for the next sixteen months. It was shifted to Washington, lock, stock and caboodle to operate as “an independent weekly”.

Since its beginning, S&S has been part of every theatre of war on every front. The paper made its first appearance in North Africa as a four-page weekly in December, 1942. This edition carried a special message from the US Commander of the European Forces, General Eisenhower.

The General emphasised, once again, the importance of home news to the soldiers.

Special editions, weekly and then daily, covered the Mediterranean and Italy; and a British edition appeared in 1942, hard on the heels of the first US troops arriving in Ireland.

As the wars rolled on, “Stars and Stripes forever” has been a familiar catchcry.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 01 June 18

Stay Informed

Receive eNews & Special Offers

Brochure Request Order

Tour Reviews Read

Last 12 months


Tags