Grand Years with Frank Morris

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THE GREAT WAR: Part 1. Service in North Russia -- two Aussies win the Victoria Cross

TROOPS IN FLIGHT: A REMARKABLE PHOTOGRAPH WHICH SHOWS A SCENE OF THE REVOLT OF RUSSIAN TROOPS AT THE EASTERN FRONT.

Recently, I found a copy of Anzacs in Arkhangel by Mark Challinger in my bookshelves. In the book the author notes, “This book is about a strange and little-known chapter of Australia’s military history” about Australians who went to fight Bolsheviks in North Russia as members of the North Russia Relief Force. This is their story. – MB.

MAX BALL

Adapted BY Frank Morris

In early 1918, after Russia withdrew from World War 1, the UK Government decided to despatch a military mission of about 560 persons to North Russia to instruct and lead Russians (Whites), who were loyal to the Provisional Government, and opposed the Bolsheviks (Reds).

(The object was) to secure military stores at Murmansk and, perhaps, re-establish an Eastern Front.

Designated “Elope Force” it included 21 Canadians, four New Zealanders (of whom two were born in Australia), and nine Australians. All were volunteers. A second force, code name “Syren”, of 600 British troops, was sent to Murmansk.

Twelve months later, matters had not gone well. The Bolsheviks (Reds) were prevailing over the White Russians and reinforcements were needed to support Elope in Arkhangel. Indeed, the British Government was concerned that its troops may need to be rescued.

PROVE THEIR METTLE

In April, 1919, recruiting posters were displayed in London calling for volunteers from trained soldiers, who were fit and over the age of 19, for the North Russian Relief Force. The volunteers would be enlisted in the British Army; if not still be serving British soldiers.

At the time, some 70,000 AIF volunteers were in Britain waiting for transport home. Some had enlisted in the AIF in 1918 and had not seen action in France; and wished to prove their mettle.

Some may have been attracted by the generous pay offered by the British Government; and some, after the adrenalin rush of being in action, may have been bored.

For whatever reasons, up to about 150 Australians volunteered to serve in the Relief Force. To do so, they had to request their discharge from the AIF and enlist in the British Army.

Samuel George Pearse was born in Penarth, Wales, and enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne in July, l915, aged 18. Assigned to the 1st Machine Gun Bn, 2870, Private Pearse was awarded the Military Medal in France.

PEARSE CHARGED THE ENEMY

Private Pearse, now 133032 of the British Army, was assigned to the 45th Bn Royal Fusiliers, distinguished himself on operations south of Arkhangel.

On August 29, 1919, Sergeant Pearse’s unit was assaulting an enemy battery when, under heavy fire, he cut his way through barbed wire and charged an enemy blockhouse single-handed, killing all the occupants with bombs; but he met his death minutes later.

The citation records that “it was due to him that the position was carried with so few casualties. His magnificent bravery and utter disregard for personal safety won for him the admiration of all troops.”

Next: The Great War -- Arthur Percy Sullivan, of Crystal Brook, South Australia, arrived in Britain in September 1918. Sullivan commenced artillery training and, because the war was over, never sent to France.

<< Service in North Russia wins two Aussies the Victoria Cross; Max Ball. Camaraderie magazine, Second Edition, 2016.

Pictures: One of two winners: A bunch of Canadian Troops being inspected by their General. Hooray! A band of Aussie machine gunners hear the fighting is over. 


COMING NEXT YEAR: A new series of the Australian Chronicle covering the growth of this country’s second 100 years. The series will be called Building a Nation.


MONTAGE: FRANK MCNAMARA SPOTTED A COLLEAGUE, CAPTAIN DAVID RUTHERFORD (CENTRE) WHO HAD CRASH LANDED IN THE DESERT. MCNAMARA WON THE VC FOR HIS REACTION AND BRAVERY.

FLASHBACK: THE GREAT WAR – AUSTRALIAN FYING CORPS HAS A REMARKABLE GROWTH

VC was won by Captain Frank McNamara, who landed in the desert under heavy Turkish fire, to rescue a fellow pilot.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Australia’s air-force goes back to when it was called the Central Flying School, which was established at Point Cook, Victoria, in 1914. Since those days, most people have an interest in what appeared to be a “mechanical aberration” of minor interest: flying.

The School, therefore, started on a somewhat small scale. It consisted of a six-man team, two pilot instructors – Lieutenant E. Harrison and Lieutenant A. A. Petre – a cook and caretaker, and three tiny planes, two Deperdussins and a Bristol Boxkite.

Although World War 1 was to see a remarkable growth in aerial power, the School was the only permanent air base structure in the Commonwealth until 1921. It was transferred to East Sale, Victoria, in 1948. The School was maintained as the original unit of the Royal Australian Air Force.

The first trainees at the School were army officers, who began studies on August 17, 1914.

Three of the officers, Lieutenant Richard Williams, T.W. White and G.P. Merz, had happy and unhappy distinctions. Williams, who was later knighted, was the first Australian officer to earn air rank and became Director-General of Civil Aviation in 1946.
White was also knighted and became Minister for Air and Civil Aviation in 1949.

THE ONLY MAN SENT

Merz, on the other hand, had the mishap of being the first Australian pilot to be killed in action, in Mesopotamia on July 30, 1915.

Lieutenant Harrison was the initial pilot to be sent abroad by the School’s foundation instructors; Rafael to join up with the naval military expeditionary force, which captured New Britain from the Germans, in the latter part of 1914.

Australia was the only Dominion to create its own air-force during the war. This way, flying personnel from other Dominions enlisted to join in the Royal Flying Corps.

In 1915, the first of four squadrons that went to Mesopotamia and France had a notable record. They destroyed 276 enemy planes at the cost of 60 Australian aircraft.

HOW TO SWING PROPELLERS

Squadron No 4 went to Germany in December 1918. It was the only Australian unit of any kind to take part in the Allied occupation.

The first Squadron saw more action than any other RAAF Squadron. The 28 officers and 195 men of No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, left Melbourne on March 16, for Suez.

When they departed, they had no planes with them – only two cars and seven motor cycles. The pilots use borrowed aircraft and the job the ground staff had learned meticulously was how to swing propellers.

Captain Frank McNamara was the only Australian airman in World War 1 to win 50 decorations and the VC, the Victorian Cross.  McNamara, though badly wounded, landed in the desert under heavy Turkish fire to rescue a fellow pilot.

When the four AFC Squadrons returned to Australia in June 1919, they were disbanded. But in 1921, Australia became the first Dominion to create its own air force independent of army or naval control. The Australian Flying Corps became the Royal Australian Air Force.

<< From Historical Firsts produce by Tucker & Co Pty limited; 1960s.

Pictures: Promotion. Air Vice Marshal Frank McNamara (right) photographed with the boys. One and only. Lt. Frank McNamara, the first Australian aviator to win the Victoria Cross.


THE GREAT WAR: “OUR LAST MAN AND OUR LAST SHILLING.” PRIME MINISTER ANDREW FISHER (CENTRE( PLEDGED TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF ENGLAND.

FLASHBACK: THE GREAT WAR – THE AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTERS WHO LED US INTO BATTLE!

Prime Ministers are elected by the party and, as chief minister, they are the leaders of our country.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Joseph Cook hailed from England and he migrated to Australia in 1860. Cook entered federal politics as a member for Parramatta in 1901. He became leader of the Free Traders in 1905 and, as soon as Reid resigned, he took over.

Cook, age 52, spent his political life changing between different parties. But before changing his political life from party to party, Cook went to work in the Lithgow mines until 1891. He left when he was elected to the NSW parliament as a Labor member.

There was plenty of guile spread among the opposition of Labor. He was noted as a man who had worked hard, and had profited. Others saw him as a gentleman who, politically speaking, had seen the light.

AUSSIE NAVY SAILED INTO SYDNEY

As prime minister he was leader of the Liberal Party but he struggled to pass many of his initiatives due to a lack of a majority.

Cook tried to improve the situation by seeking and obtaining the first double dissolution; but his government was defeated by Labor.  The ALP, again led by Andrew Fisher, was “immediately  consumed” by World War 1.

During Cook’s term Australia’s new naval fleet sailed into Sydney Harbour on October 4, 1913.

“Since Captain Cook’s arrival, no more memorable event had happened than the advent of the Australian Fleet,” said Prime Minister, Joseph Cook.

Cook was Prime Minister for 12 months. He was elected on June 24, l913. He was born in 1860 and died in 1947.

ANDREW FISHER – DECIDED TO STAND BEHIND BRITAIN UNTIL “OUR LAST SHILLING”

In his final term as prime minister, Andrew Fisher was faced with leading the country into the start of World War 1. Under his government, Australian troops fought in Gallipoli, the Middle East and Europe.

Fisher made a well-known pledge: That Australia would stand beside Britain, the mother country to the end.
“To help and defend her to our last man and our last shilling,” said the prime minister.

That’s why Australia went to war.

‘FRICTION’ WITHIN CABINET BUILT UP

In the election on September 17, 1914, Labor was returned to power and Fisher was prime minister for the third time. The Great War, by this time, had started; and it dominated federal politics until early 1919.

Fisher serves as prime minister until October 27, 1915. Author Ronald W. Laidlaw said “friction within his cabinet had built up” and the time for him was to “prove difficult.”

Standing in the wings was William Morris Hughes, one of “most colourful and controversial Labor politicians” in Australian history.

Fisher was born in 1868 and died in 1928.

WILLIAM MORRIS HUGHES – THOSE CONSCRIPTION ISSUES

Just about everyone called him “Billy” Hughes. Hughes time in power lasted over 7 years; and with 58 years of his life spent in Australian politics, he hold the record for being the “longest-serving parliamentarian ever”.

During the war he became known as “the Little Digger”. Hughes belonged to fives parties and he was expelled from three. He is remembered for being the most clever and controversial member of his day.

In 1916, Hughes paid a visit to England to discuss the progress of the war. He met Herbert Henry Asquith, the British prime minister, and other members of the cabinet. He complained about the way Australian troops had been used at Gallipoli and went on to make a number of requests.

He attended the “special” Economic Conference in Paris where he argued passionately for “an aggressive post-war commercial policy.”

Hughes got back to Australia on July, 1916. He launched the introduction to conscription in a bid to make up troop numbers.

ANOTHER WHITE WASH

By doing so, he divided his own party and the bulk of the Australian people. Even many politicians – including the Labor premier, Arthur Holman, most newspapers, capitalists, patriots and conservatives.

But Hughes managed to oppose Daniel Mannix (who became Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne in 1917) and anti-conscriptionits, farmers and many others.

Speeches were made, meetings held, posters displayed and letters written to newspapers.

On October 28, 1916, was the referendum. It was a landslide for ‘No’. The voting was 1,087,557 for ‘Yes’ and 1,160,033 voted against.

In 1917, Hughes and his government asked the people to vote a second time on the issue of overseas service. Basically, the people were fed up with the war and defeated the government most soundly.

The referendum went on to reinforce the previous decision. The tally was 1,015,159 for those in favour and 1,181,747 against. It was another whitewash.

Four and half years later, November 11, 1918, World War l ended. Hughes reign ended in 1923. He was born in 1862 and died in 1952.

<< Australian History; Ronald W. Laidlaw, 580pp; MacMillian Company Pty Ltd, South Melbourne, Victoria; 1980.

Pictures: Welcome. Prime Minister Joseph Cook welcomes the new fleet in Sydney. He said war. Prime Minister Fisher was “immediately consumed” by World War 1. Chose wrongly. Prime Minister Billy Hughes: he was behind the conscription debacle.


COMING IN AUGUST: SHERLOCK HOLMES & FRIENDS: JUST WHEN THE SHERLOCK TELEVIONS SERIES IS THE TALK OF AUSTRALIA, HE WILL SUDDENLY BECOME THE TALK OF GRAND YEARS. SHERLOCK WILL APPEAR IN TWO EPISODES IN AUGUST AND MONTHLY UNTIL NOVEMBER.


NEARLY THE SAME: THE HMS GALATEA CAME TO AUSTRALIAN SHORES MANY TIMES. SHE’S SIMALAR TO PELORUS OF 21 GUNS.

RAN NAVY: PART 2. ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY NAMED … BUT THERE WERE DARK DAYS AHEAD

In June, 1859, the British force on the Australian station consisted Iris (26 guns), the Pelorus (21guns), the Niger (14 guns), the Elk (12 guns) and Cordelia (11 guns).

The Admiralty proposed to increase the force.

It said: “Not only to provide for the defence of the Colony, but in the event of war, to give periodical convoys to treasure ship ships proceeding home, either by the Cape of Good Hope or by Cape Horn.”

The first Admiralty proposal to establish a permanent Australian naval force was made in 1869. The plan was for the colonies to pay half the cost and upkeep, but the idea fell through.

RISE OF GERMANY

In the succeeding decade, several other suggestions were made for the creation of a separate Australian squadron. But without success. `

Each colony proceeded independently – with the exception of Western Australia which had no naval force or whatever – to provide coastal and harbour defences.

Towards the end of 19th century, the lack of a central Government and the financial stringency in Australia, meant the 1887 scheme was slow to take shape. However, the rise of Germany as a naval power early last century gave the some urgency to the development of an Australian station.

The Navy Defence Act of 1910 was passed. In October, 1911, the King authorised the adoption of the title Royal Australian Navy. – Adapted by Frank Morris.

<< Adapted from Historical Firsts, Tucker & co Pty Limited; 1960s.

The First. HMAS Australia was the right ship at the right time.

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

FLASHBACK TO 1961: Plastic bag controversy – what will be the outcome?

THE LAST BAG: SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS FROM THE TWO GIANT STORES WILL BE PHASED OUT BY JUNE 30, 2018. OTHER STORES WILL FOLLOW SUIT. FIFTY-SIX YEARS AGO, I WAS INVOLVED IN THE REAL BEGINNINGS OF THE PLACTIC BAG WAR.

The number of lightweight supermarket bags Australia use annually – 4 billion. The number of bags for every man, woman and child – 170. How many supermarket plastic bags are recycled – 3%. The proportion of dead turtles in Moreton Bay, off Brisbane, found with plastic bags in their stomachs – 40%. How many years plastic bags take to break down – 200-l000.

FRANK MORRIS

The plastic bag “controversy” hit Australia hard when it started to become a serious issue in 1961, fifty-six years ago. As editor of Plastics Retailer, I was a shown a thing or two about decreasing one’s tone in my criticism about the whole affair.

At the time the issue was the number of children dying because they used the plastic bag as a toy.

The Plastics Institute of Australia’s Federal Branch sent out a warning to parents, that “to avoid danger of suffocation this bag is not a toy.”

One story I wrote in July 1961, I said, “Grave doubts have already been expressed upon the effectiveness of the Industry’s campaign to prevent further fatalities from the misuse of thin plastic bags.

NIGHTMARE

“It’s been said that the campaign is a sop to public opinion and will produce no lasting public benefit. It will certainly be under close scrutiny; and by a proportion of very unfriendly observers too, who will be quick to point out failure,” I said.

Scant attention was being paid to the environment. The inhabitants of our beaches and rivers were being overlooked.

After 56 years, the plastic bags sequel had simply turned into a nightmare.

Pictures:  The first step. The Plastics Retailer and one of the historic pages.

PLASTIC BAGS, 2O17: BIG STORES TAKE ACTION TO BAN THE BAGS!

Across Australia single-use plastic bags will be phased out in 12 months’ time by the supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles. Single-use, or thin, plastic bags will be “things of the past” the officials announced the dramatic change last Friday.

That means, by June 30 next year plastic bags will be limited.

RIGHT TO THE END

“The move is welcomed by environmental groups,” one Sunday newspaper said.  The groups have long campaigned against plastic bags.

The supermarkets giants, apart from Queensland, will have implemented “state-wide bans” to take place next year. There are plans in place for Queensland to do the same thing.

All through the plastic bag procedure in NSW, the Government remained silent.

PICTURE: No go. After all the continual parry and thrust of media, concerned citizens, environmentalists and assorted groups comes the end of the plastic bag reign in 12 month time.


IT BEEN 200 YEARS since Jane Austen’s death on July 18, 1817. Austen expert, Professor Devoney Looser, flew into Sydney to give a keynote speech at the University of Sydney, which had just discovered an original first edition of Austen’s Mansfield Park published in l814. The book is now in their rare books collection. In letters to one newspaper, it was said that “Jane Austen has brought the enjoyment of reading to millions of people around the world, myself included … The world needs to continue to promote reading books and the masterpieces of this brilliant writer.” In another: “Jane Austen was a brilliant social commentator and observer … Her writing is timeless.” – FM.


INSIDE NEWSPAPERS: INTERNATIONAL EXPRESS, LONDON – WHAT A BREEZE SAID SUPERHERO!

A girl of seven who is a carer for her disabled older brothers has been turned into a superhero character in the Beano comic. Breeze Martin helps her parents look after wheelchair-bound Coast, 9, and Blue, 10, who battle severe autism and need 24-hour care.

In her spare time Breeze loves to read the Beano, which she has adored since buying an old annual at the school fair when she was four.

She wrote to the Beano revealing: “I like looking after my severely disabled brother Coast … I also like drama and roast dinners.”

I’M FAMOUS

Bosses at the comic responded by dedicating at entire page to Breeze. In the cartoon Breeze has the “amazing” ability to “fix things and make people feel better” and helps Beano’s Minnie The Minx mend her catapult.

In real life Breeze is devoted to helping mum Becky, 42, and dad John, 55.

Breeze said: “It’s really fun being in the Beano. My friends think I’m famous.” She was made “Beano Boss” for the issue.

Beano’s editorial director said: “If we do a tiny thing that makes a kid like her happy, it’s top notch for us.” –Adapted by Frank Morris.

<< From International Express, June 29-July 5, 2017.

Picture: Beano fun. Hero Breeze and the comic she starred in for being a carer.


ON THE RUN: FEBRUARY I, 1919, THE 18-FOOT CHAMPIONSHIPS OF AUSTRALIA ON SYDNEY HARBOUR. BOATS FROM MOST STATES SAILED. WINNER WAS MAVIS OF NSW.

FLASHBACK: MARK FOY, FATHER OF THE 18 FOOTERS

(They were our glory days! Sailing has been a popular pastime in Australia since the early days of settlement. These photographs were contributed by Lyne Hirsch who recalls some of the sport’s glory days of the last century. “My grandfather, Henry Carl Press, was involved in the establishment of the Sydney Flying Squadron and sailed 18-footers,” Lyne said. “Our amazing grandfather also built boat at Woolloomooloo, had ferries on Sydney Harbour, as well hire boats at picnic grounds. A boat named in his honour, the HC Press ll, won many big races during the 1920s and ‘30s and was known as “The Phar Lap of the 18-footer world.’”)

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Born on the Bendigo goldfields in Victoria on February 2, 1865, Mark Foy came to Sydney in 1884 with his brother Francis, where they began business under the name ‘Mark Foy.'

Regarding Sydney Harbour as the world's finest aquatic playground, he had ample means and sufficient leisure to indulge his hobby – sailing.

To his great disappointment, he learned that sailing attracted practically no public interest – reasoning it was mainly because yachtsmen did not cater for the public.

The major problem was producing a faster boat, but Foy solved this with the first of the 18-footers. It was an open, centreboard boat with a very light hull, an 8 ft beam and only 30 inches amidships.

It carried a crew of 14, at most (compared to the previous boats' 25) and had a huge spread of sail which gave it a sensational aquaplaning speed downwind.

Foy catered for the enthusiast who liked to follow his fancy throughout a race. His first idea of striped sails as identity marks was dropped, due to the prohibitive cost of manufacturing varying designs for registration, and later replaced with the colourful emblems which are still the distinguishing badge of the racing 18-footers.

FOY’S FIGHTING BLOOD

In the eyes of the Anniversary Regatta committee of 1892, the ‘gaudy' emblems constituted heresy toward the traditional numbering, All entries from Sydney Flying Squadron members were rejected on the ground that “such large badges were not in keeping with the dignity of the oldest regatta in the southern hemisphere”.

This got Foy's fighting blood up and he announced, “We'll run our own regatta on Anniversary Day. I'll pay for it and we'll give the public just what it wants”.

A triangular course of about three miles was plotted. From a start at Garden Island, boats would round Pinchgut, run into Mosman Bay and then past Clark Island to the finish.

The course would be sailed, according to official direction, either clockwise or anti-clockwise. The prime purpose was that close handicapping would bunch the field for a spectacular, downwind run along the “straight”.

Clark Island, which offered an excellent view of the whole race, was vital to the success of Foy's plan. By chartering every available ferry for the day of the regatta, he aimed to pack the natural grandstand with paying spectators. Each 1,000 ferry fans would add 50 pounds to profits, which would enable more prizemoney to be given.

Foy whipped enthusiasm to fever pitch. He hired bands to play on Clark Island, at the major ferry terminals, on the ferries and on the specially chartered flagship for the day.

Hire-pressure publicity given to Foy's plans paid a big dividend. On regatta day, Clark Island was packed to capacity. Crowded, moored ferries provided additional accommodation, while every jetty and vantage point from Mosman to Milson's Point and Darling Point to the Rocks was thronged.

The crowd was without precedent in the annals of yacht racing in Australia yet most of the spectators knew little about the sport and less about the official regatta.

The vast majority were there to thrill to the excitement that Foy had promised. By evening they were the forefathers of the 18-footer enthusiasts, participants and spectators of today.

Wisely, Foy allowed the official yacht to steal the initial thunder. Waiting until the competing yachts had disappeared towards the Heads, he cashed in on the public's boredom.

BOW TO BOW FINISH

Prizemoney totalling One hundred and twenty six pounds had attracted Squadron skippers and Foy was able to stage three races over his triangular course with no distraction from the vanished official fleet.

The public got its money's worth. The coloured badges of the 18-footers were an instant success and excitement ran high when the closely packed fields turned downwind for the run home.

At the start there had been less than three minutes between the scratch and the limit boats. Now, a dozen boats raced for the line in a bow-to-bow finish. By nightfall, the success of 18-footer racing on the Foy system was assured.

Foy had demonstrated emphatically that 18-footer racing was the most exciting participant and spectator sport ever seen on Sydney Harbour. Its status has never been seriously challenged since. Sydney Flying Squadron entries were accepted without quibble at the next regatta.

Foy did all in his power to lease or obtain Clark Island as a fixed grandstand to view races with the Squadron's own ferries transporting patrons. This request was refused, sympathetically, as all islands are public parks.

<< Adapted from Mark Foy, Father of the 18-footers.

Picture: Home and away. The H.C Press ll, with double stripes, surges in a race on Sydney Harbour. H.C. Press ll was shown is the Sportsman in August, 1932, with skipper, Chris Webb, who was described as “the famous old man of The Spit. I did it. Mark Foy, organiser of the 18-footers.


COMING! THIS THE FIRST TIME THAT SHERLOCK HOLMES AND FRIENDS WILL BE PUBLISHED.

In one part of the Sherlock narrative, the visualisation of Holmes was still an untidy affair. Conan Doyle sent the first six Holmes stories, published under the collective title of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in The Strand, and posted them to Alfred Harmsworth, the future Lord Northcliffe, the owner of the journal. Harmsworth wrote back: “I agree with you that the illustrations have to be excellent. Sidney Paget is the name.” The first instalment is published in July. – FM.


 

 THAT’S ALL, FOLKS: TOMMY BURNS WAS WELL BEATEN BY JACK JOHNSON UNTIL THE POLICE STOPPED THE FIGHT IN THE 14TH ROUND.`

THE FIGHT: NOBODY WANTED TO MISS IT – POLICE CALLED IN TO STOP THE BATTLE

FRANK MORRIS, ERIC READE

On December 29, 1908, it was left to Sydney Stadium of all places to screen the sporting classic of the year The Johnson-Burns Fight. This contest had taken place in the ring of the stadium three days earlier, when the police stopped the fight and Johnson was declared the winner on points.

Film pioneer Eric Reade, who wrote about the tussle, said: “Hugh McIntoch, who refereed the fight, was dressed in a white suit to make him more conspicuous in the film” and The Sydney Morning Herald, which described the film ’as the greatest series of pictures since motion photography became a fine art.’”

HIGGINS TO THE FORE

Reade said: “It showed every face in the 20,000 present, the crush outside, the advanced trained tactics of both champions, and every detail of the 14 round battle until police stopped the fight.”

It was this film that brought Ernest Higgins to the fore as one of truly ace cinematographers on the Australian circuit.

Higgins, born in Hobart, became a bioscope operator in his home town in 1903. He and his brothers Arthur and Tasman, were “to raise the standard of Australian photography to equal, often better, the efforts of cameramen overseas.”

<< The Australian Screen; Eric Reade; Lansdowne Press, Melbourne 3000; 1975; Frank Morris.

*More episodes of The Fight coming up.

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

ROLF BOLDREWOOD DAYS: PART 1. Life at Yambuk – blue and golden days were waiting!

NOT MADE TO ORDER: PART OF THE YAMBUK RUN WAS DISTINCTLY DANGEROUS RIDING. MANY A GOOD STEED AND HORSEMAN HAVE BITTEN THE DUST.

Thomas Alexander Browne, later to become Rolf Boldrewood, was born in 1826. Browne grew up in Sydney and went on to have a varied career, working, among other things, on stations in the Riverina and the Western District of Victoria, and as a magistrate in Albury. Writing under the pen-name of Rolf Boldrewood, he became well-known for his famous bushranging novel Robbery Under Arms. Browne spent some time on Yambuk, a cattle station on the west coast of Victoria, in the 1840s. – FM.                                 

THOMAS ALEXANDER BROWNE

Once upon time, in a “kingdom by the sea”, known to men as Port Fairy, Yambuk, was a choice and precious example of an old-fashioned cattle station. If one could easily ride up … to that garden gate, receive the old cordial welcome, and turn his horse into the paddock, what a fontaine de jouvence – fountain of youth – it would be?

Touching the groves on the opposite side of the Shaw River, down to a bank of which the garden sloped, were broad limestone flats, upon which rose clumps of the beautiful lightwood or hickory trees, some of Australia’s noblest growth, when old and shady.

The cottage, low roofed, veranda protected, was thatched at the early period I recall, the rafters b0.eing picked from the strongest of the slender ti-tree saplings in the brush which bordered the river side. The mansion was not that imposing.

The rooms were of fair size, the hospitality refined, and pervading every look and tone; and we, who in old days, often shared in on our journeys to and from the metropolis of the district, would not have exchanged it for a palace.

YAMBUK -- EXTREMELY PICTURESQUE

A man with a thousand head of well-bred cattle, on a run, capable of holding half as many more, so as to leave a reserve in case of bushfires and bad seasons, was thought fairly endowed with this world’s goods.

If prudent, he was able to afford himself a trip to Melbourne twice a year or so; and to save money in reason. He generally kept a few brood mares, and was enabled to rear a superior hack for himself or friend.

As it was not the custom to keep more than a stockman, and one other man for general purposes, he had a reasonable share of daily work cut out for himself.

Yambuk was then an extremely picturesque station, combining within its limits unusual variety of soil and scenery, land and water. The larger grazing portion consisted of open undulating limestone ridges, which ran parallel with the sea beach.

BLUE AND GOLDEN DAYS

The River Shaw, deepening as it emptied into the ocean, was the south-eastern boundary of the run. Beside the limestone ridges were sandy hillocks, thickly covered with the forest oak, which growing almost to the beach, braved the stern sea-blast.

What was very sound and well sheltered were these low hills, affording the most advantageous quarters to the herd in the long, cold winters of the west.

When our dreamy summertime was o’er, a truly Arcadian season, with “blue and golden days” and purple shadowed eves, wild wrathful gales hurtled over the ocean waste, rioting southward to the pole which lay beyond.

Mustering then in bad weather was a special experience. Gathering on the sea-hills, the winter’s day darkening fast, a drove (herd) of heavy bullocks …lumbering over the sand ridges ahead of us, amid the flying sand and spume (foam), their hoofs in the surf … it was a season study; worth riding many a mile to see.

How often has that picture been recalled to me in later years! The sad-toned, far- stretching shore; the angry storm-voices of the terrible deep; the little band of horsemen; the lowing, half-wild drove; the red-litten cloud prison, wherein the sun lay dying!

<< Life at Yambuk adapted from Australian Pathways, Spring 1998.

Pictures: The cattle are coming! The cattle make a mad dash for land on the side of the creek. One escaped. Two stockman ambushed a bullock.


VALE: AUTHOR MICHAEL BOND WITH PADDINGTON BEAR.

CREATOR OF PADDINGTON BEAR, DIES AT 91 – HE WAS A DAZZLING WIT

The tributes never stop! They poured in for the creator of Paddington Bear Michael Bond who died aged 91. The author passed away at home on Tuesday, July 4, following a short illness. I regard him as one of the finest examples of childrens’ authors around. Bond introduced his famous creation in 1958’s A Bear Called Paddington. He would entertain kids with his bear for more than 20 books. “He will be forever remembered,” his publisher said. – FM.


HEAD COVERING: NED KELLY, IN FULL GEAR, WAITING ON THE REPLY FROM THE POLICE. (SIR SYDNEY NOLAN CENTENARY, AND TO MARK THE 100 YEARS, THIS PRINT OF KELLY IS INCLUDED IN AN EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION OF ICONIC PRINTS. CONTACT: thestore.com.au/nolan

BUSHRANGERS! PART 2. THEY HAD A DEEP-SEATED HATRED OF SQUATTERS

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Bushranging in Australia can be divided into two fairly distinct periods or phases. The first bushrangers were convicts who escaped from their chains to the comparative, often temporary, freedom of the wilds.

Of these, Matthew Brady and Martin Cash in Van Diemen’s Land and Willian Westwood (“Jacky Jacky) and Bold Jack Donahoe from NSW are best known. Their careers were, with few exceptions, short and tragic.

The second and major phase of bushranging dates from the 1860s when alluvial gold had largely petered out; and gold-diggers, unable to afford the expense of quartz mining, turned to the land for a livelihood.

Under public pressure, the legislature of NSW introduced a Land Act in 1861, with the object of unlocking the lands to small farming. The squatters, holding the best lands as sheep runs, resented this intrusion on their preserves.

They opposed the new “selectors”, the small scale farmers, with every weapon at their disposal. They employed “dummies” to buy up the blocks of land – the “selections – as they were put up for sale.

DIED GAME                                                                                       

Beside their wealth, the squatters had behind them the power of the legislature. They fenced the small selectors in with variety of repressive measures. The police force was of a generally poor calibre and showed little sympathy for

With few exceptions, the bushrangers of this period and up to the time of Ned Kelly’s death in 1880, sprang from this class. While their motives in turning to robbery under arms were varied and considerable, in each instance an underlying hatred of the squatters seems to have been involved.*

Meet Jack Doolan, the legendary “Wild Colonial Boy”, Ben Hall, “Darkie” Gardiner, Johnny Gilbert, Dunn, “Thunderbolt” and later Ned Kelly. Kelly and his mates all became the people’s hero-symbols in the fight against the squatters.

The bushrangers fought fairly and “died game”, it was claimed.

<< Bill Wannan’s The Australian -- Yarn, legends, ballads; Currey, O’Neil Publishers, Melbourne.

Pictures: They knew everything. Fred Lowry (top) and John Gilbert knew what was expected of the bushranger.


HE’S BACK! SPIDER-MAN PITS HIMSELF FOR ANOTHER JOURNEY AGAINST THUGGERY AND EVIL OPPONENTS.

CLASSIC REPEAT: SPIDER-MAN – THE CULT IS STILL GROWING!

“I’m one of his most ardent fans,” said Stan Lee, the creator.

FRANK MORRIS

The Spider-Man cult is growing in leaps and bounds in Australia, so much so that the genial Super Hero’s comic books have become a much sought-after commodity by collectors.

In some comic exchanges around the country early Spider-Man pulp ranges in price from $10 to $15 a copy. Signed copies by the Spider-Man creators would spiral in price.
The ubiquitous Spider-Man is one of a galaxy of comic superstars that has become a ‘blockbuster’ for the America publishing company, Marvel Comics.

Such literary landmarks as the Amazing Spider-Man and The Avengers -- The Hulk, Iron-man, Thor, Captain America and Back Widow – have paved the way to take the Comic Kingdom by storm.

Spider-Man’s creator, Stan Lee, had been toying about a “doing a strip that would break all the conventions – break all the rules.”

In his book on the history of Marvel Comics, Lee writes: “Just for kicks, I wanted to be different.”

PULP MAGAZINE HEROES

“I wanted to create a strip that would actually feature a teenager as the main character who would lose out as often as he’d win.”

In the 1930s, one of America’s favourite pulp magazine heroes was a stalwart named The Spider. Stan Lee, believe it or not, was one of his “most ardent” fans.

Write Lee: “The Spider wore a slouch hat and a finger ring which, when he punched a foe fearlessly, would leave its mark – an impression of a spider.  “It was The Spider’s calling card and it sent goose pimples up and down my ten-year-old spine.”

Although The Spider had no superhuman powers, Lee “was grabbed” by the name.

I BARED MY SOUL

When Lee mentioned the idea of a spider-type character to his chief he was informed that “people didn’t like spiders” and that it was an unlikely name for a hero.

Write Lee: “It was then I bared my soul. I related how my childish heart would madly pound in breathless anticipation new for each new issue of The Spider.

“I zealously explained that The Spider-Man would be a trendsetter, a freak character in tune with the times.”

Lee contended that everybody knew about Superman – so the time had come for “a competitor” to hit the scene.

And that’s where his childhood took over. It had to be Spider-Man, he writes.

And it was.

<< Grand Years ran this article about 6 years ago. This Spider-Man was originally published in 1984. It wasn’t written until after I had read Stan Lee’s book.


 

CARS: FAMILY’S WOULD LOVE THIS ONE -- PLASTIC PONTIAC, THE GHOST

The 1939 Pontiac DeLuxe Six “Ghost Car” was first displayed at the World’s Fair in New York of that year. It was originally built at a cost of $25,000. It was sold recently by RM Auctions for $309,000.

After the World Fair it went on display to dealers around the country spending some time at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

The car had only 86 miles on the clock at the time of the auction.

HOW MANY WERE BUILT?

It was built by General Motors and Rohm & Hess Chemical Company who developed the Plexi-Glas material in 1937. It has been used by the aircraft industry from that time on. The metalwork was treated in copperplate and chrome plating.

How many of unique 1939 Pontiacs were built in a mystery. But it is believed that one was a later update fitted with the 1940s front sheet-metal. The spare wheel is clearly visible from inside the trunk; and the dashboard is in steel, as are the floor panels.

<< Photographs from the Internet and Special Interests Auto magazine. Article appear in Restored Car, May-June 2017.

Picture: Firmly built. The dashboard is in steel, as are the floor panels.

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

CLASSIC REPEAT: Australia at war -- Sydney raided by 3 midget subs

THE THREE WERE FOUND: THE THREE SUBS THAT LEFT SYDNEY HARBOUR IN TATTERS ON THE FATEFUL NIGHT AFTER THEY CAUSED A LOAD OF DAMAGE. THE THIRD SUB WAS DISCOVERED AS A SUNKEN VESSEL OFF DEE WHY, A SYDNEY BEACH, IN 2006.

Seventy-five years ago, Sydney was attacked by 3 midget subs.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

Three enemy midget submarines sneaked through Sydney Harbour Heads under the cover of darkness on Sunday night to attack shipping, docks and defence installations.

One midget sub released two torpedoes, one of which hit and sank a Sydney ferry.

As soon as the Japanese started to attack, at least 6 homes in the Sydney eastern suburbs were damaged. 
In one of the few moments in which the violence of war fell immediately on Sydney, three Japanese midget submarines succeeded in entering the Harbour.

The initial indication of the presence of the midget subs was given when an explosion occurred and the guns began to fire. Searchlights swept the water and ferry passengers had a timely experience.

Shells whistled round them and the sharp crack of machine-gun fire could be heard.

IT SHOOK VIOLENTLY

As a report revealed later, the first explosion was caused by one of the torpedoes fired by the submarine which came to the surface. Its conning-tower and periscope were seen by ferry passengers.

A seaman, who was on watch on the deck of a steamer moored near the harbour ferry which was hit, said: “Bright moonlight was flooding the water … periscope and conning tower were clearly visible only 50 yards away from where I stood.

“I thought I must have been dreaming. For a moment I thought it must be one of our own submarines, but I was quickly disillusioned. While I was watching the black object … there was a terrific explosion … it shook violently and began to sink.

“Almost simultaneously there was a burst of gunfire. It was the smartest bit of work I have ever seen. The submarine remained visible for a few minutes… by that time the conning tower must have been riddled with bullets.”

How does the midget sub work?

CRUISING SPEED 20 KNOTS

A sketch of the Japanese two-man submarine, prepared by G.H. Davis, was released by the US Navy Department during the attack by the these vessels on shipping in Pearl Harbour.

The craft, which is 42 feet in length, is divided into five compartments. The conning tower is four and a half feet high. The 18in torpedo is housed in the bow.

At slow speed the craft has a cruising range of some 200 miles, and it is claimed that it has a top speed of 20 knots.

No internal-combustion or surface-cruising motors are fitted, and power is provided by electric motors used both on the surface and under the water.

The crew consists of an officer and a rating.

<< From the Courier-Mail and the Sydney Morning Herald on June 2, 1942.

Pictures: Half sunk: HMAS Kuttabul sits partly submerged in the waters of Sydney Harbour. The third sub fired two torpedoes at the USS Chicago but instead sank the ferry killing twenty-one sailors. Down and out. The wreck of the midget sub in 2006.


AT FULL GALLOP: THIS TIME A BUSHRANGER LEFT BEHIND THE POLICE  AT FULL BAY.

NEXT WEEK: BUSHRANGERS -- THESE MEN DISPLAYED CERTAIN HEROIC TENDENIES

Australia can be divided into two fairly distinct periods or phases are far as bushrangers are concerned. First they were convicts who escaped from their chains to the comparative, and often temporary, freedom of the wilds. Of these, Matthew Brady and Martin Cash in Van Diemen’s Land, William Westwood (Jacky Jacky) and Bold Jack Donahoe in NSW are best known. Their careers were … short and tragic. Next week. Part 2 of Bushrangers. Next month. Captain Thunderbolt territory!                                    


YOU’RE IN THE ARMY: ELVIS JOINED THE MARINES WHEN HE WAS ON TOP. NO WAY WAS HIS RUN-AWAY POPULARITY DENTED.

FLASKBACK: ELVIS – AFTER 40 YEARS THE LEGEND LIVES ON

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

A jet once owned by Elvis Presley, reported AAP, has sold for more than half-a-million dollars. The jet had been sitting in Roswell, New Mexico for 35 years.

The press agency said that the plane sold at auction for $US430,000 ($576,000) to an undisclosed buyer. It added that the auction house said Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone woodwork, red velvet seats and red shag carpet.

It added the red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar has no engine and needs a restoration of its cockpit.
In the 1970s, reported Anthony O’Grady, when Elvis was constantly touring America, many of his shows presented him as a bloated, pallid parody of his own legend. Remarkably, though, his voice never failed.

He died in 1977, 40 years ago, since he passed away.

SUPER MONEY-MAKER

Early after his death, his frantic fans were crying on his anniversary “is this the year you planned to do something different”… “I wondering when you are going to come out of hiding”… “If you could drop me a line to say you are well” … “I know deep down that you you’re alive” and so on.

Even when he was dead or alive, Elvis was still the super money-maker of all facet of music.

It’s 40 years ago that the undisputed King of Rock n’ Roll died at Graceland, his Memphis home. Officials of Memphis are still saying that Elvis is purported to bring millions of dollars a year to his home town.

In a career that spanned 23 years, he made 33 movies and dozens of hit records as a matter of course. He went from Memphis truck driver to the most successful and remembered rock star the world has known.

GROSSLY OVERWEIGHT

Born into poverty in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis was the surviving member of twins. His first public appearance was at a Country Fair where he sang Old Shep at the age of 10. In 1954, while working as a driver, he was discovered by Sun Records supremo Sam Phillips.

His first hit, That’s All Right Mama, was released in August.

He was with Sun Records for two years and then he signed with manager Colonel Tom Parker who moved him to RCA Records and topped charts around the world with Heartbreak Hotel. Even a two-year stint in the army could not dent his spectacular popularity.

Sadly, his health deteriorated in the mid-70s due to his dependence on drugs. By the time of his death, he was grossly overweight and obviously ailing.

The legend lives on, and it is the measure of his greatness that we still pay homage to the King of Rock today.

<< Anthony O’Grady, Anthony Batson in New York. They were journalists on the Sun, Sydney, now defunct; Frank Morris.

Pictures: The legend lives on! A special A3-sized poster showing the many facets of his personality during his ongoing climb as the King of Rock a’ Roll. The poster was drawn by Steve McNally. The end. The newspaper tells all.


A BODY OF TALENT: IN ITS 12TH YEAR OF PERFORMING FOR THE PUBLIC ON A HIGH-RANKING TELEVISION SHOW, YTT ARE NEARING THE END OF THEIR ILLUSTRIOUS CAREERS. SOME OF THE STARS WHO WERE PART OF THE SHOW INCLUDED DEBRA BYRNE, JAMIE REDFERN, JOEY PERRONE, TINA ARENA AND DANNI MINOGUE.

SMALL SCREEN SUCCESS: PART 2. YOUNG TALENT TIME MAGIC PACKS ‘EM IN

FRANK MORRIS

The latest crop on Johnny Young’s Talent Time is poised to rewrite the record books at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Bookings have been “so great” for YTT’s family Christmas spectacular that promoters have had to slot in a third concert. Over the last four weeks the box office has been running hot, and ticket sales have exceeded the 25,000 mark.

“The third concert was scheduled because of the demand.” Promoter Henry Hess told this column. “It’s quite an achievement for an Australian show. 

ONE OF THE SUCCESS STORIES

Television’s Young Talent Time, which some critics said would not last, is one of the success stories of Australian entertainment.

A few weeks ago the show clocked up its 600th episode on the Channel 9 network.

When Johnny Young started YTT 12 years ago he expected it to run for 13 weeks. Some of Australia’s best known TV and club stars began their show business careers with the show. Today, many formers YTTers are in demand overseas.

<< Written in 1984.

Picture: Poster girl! Tina Arena has made a life of her own after YTT folded.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 07 July 17

FLASHBACK: Elvis Presley, the legend lives on… Here’s a memory of that time!

STILL THE KING: “THE KING IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE KING.” OVER THE RADIO 44 YEARS AGO WE HEARD THAT ELVIS PRESLEY HAD PASSED AWAY AT GRACELAND, HIS FAMOUS MEMPHIS HOME. EVEN A TWO-YEAR STINT IN THE ARMY COULD NOT DENT HIS PHENOMENAL POPULARITY. HE LEFT US WITH WHOLE A LOT OF MEMORIES. SADLY, HIS HEALTH FAILED IN THE MID-7Os.7

He was bloated and a pallid parody of his own legend. But, remarkably, his voice never failed. To Elvis from a genuine fan: “I was wondering when you are going to come out of hiding? That was written on the tenth anniversary of his death. Also: Elvis Presley’s plane, which was sitting on the airfield for 35 years, was sold. Next: The Memory Lives On.


BOOKS, BOOKS: FINAL! -- STAN SMITH, AN AUSSIE JOURNALIST, RARE BOOK COLLECTION

These are pricey collectibles.

FRANK MORRIS

The (Stan) Smith Collection, of 308 lots, was auctioned at Sotheby’s in London in 1998, and was expected to fetch around $3 million. Writes Peter Fish, in the Sydney Morning Herald, “Smith has been posthumously awarded what is perhaps the ultimate accolade for the dedicated collector: to be auctioned at Sotheby’s as a single-owner collection.”

Among Smith’s prized collection* was John Gould’s Birds of Australia, which contained 681 poster sized, hand coloured lithographed plates. The 36 parts, seven volumes in all, each measuring 55cm by 37cm, were bound in green morocco leather.

The last part appeared in 1848, but a supplementary volume was published in 1869. This sought-after Gould is valued at $300,000 or more. Individual prints from disbound versions, claims Fish, “such as the colourful cockatoos have sold for nearly $10,000 apiece.”

Some of the other Gould material in the Smith Collection is included in a first edition (1837-1838) of Synopsis of the Birds of Australia, seven volumes of Birds of Asia (1850-1883), Birds of Europe (1832-1837) and a Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains (1831-1832).

LEAR’S – A BRILLIANT SERIES

John Gould’s Birds of Australia has been acclaimed as “the most celebrated of Australian bird books.” Writes rare book curator and historian Michael Richards: “The book was the works of a self-made zoological entrepreneur, who invested fifteen thousand pounds in the project … (but) it is as much the achievement of Gould’s wife, Elizabeth Coxen, as his own.”

An accomplished artist in her own right, Elizabeth transferred many of the painstakingly researched drawings to stone lithology until her death, aged 37, soon after the birth of her sixth child, 1841.

According to Fish, the two other stand-out rarities in Smith’s trove were Edward Lear’s Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae (parrots) published between 1830-1832 “and based on a brilliant series of drawings by the then eighteen-year-old Lear”, and St George Mivart’s Monograph of the Lorries (lorikeets), published in 1896.

Fish writes that the flower books were “almost as well represented as bird books” in the Smith Collection.

Congratulations Stan, wherever you are; it was great to catch up with you again at long last!

<< From Australian Book Collector (103), February 1999.

* This Collection was auctioned 1998 and these prices have risen substantially.

Pictures: The Master. John Gould’s Birds of Australia is regarded as the most celebrated in the world. Gould died in 1870. Early to modern Australasia. Two Tasmanian Tigers looking for prey. The last of the Tasmanian Tigers died in Tasmania in 1936.


TOGETHERNESS: TWO SHIPS OF THE AUSTRALIAN STATION AT ANCHOR IN FARM COVE, SYDNEY. THE FOUR-FUNNELLED WARSHIP IS THE CRUISER HMS POWERFUL, ONE OF THE LARGER VESSELS THEN AFLOAT. SHE WAS FLAGSHIP OF THE AUSTRALIAN STATION FROM 1905 TILL 1912. THE SMALLER VESSEL CAME TO SYDNEY IN 1890. SHE WAS PAID OFF IN 1907.

PART 1 -- AUSSIE NAVY, THEN ROYAL AUSTRALIAN, ON THE GO! IN THE DARK DAYS …

FRANK MORRIS

The Australian Navy started in 1887. The House of Commons passed the Australasian Defence Act which gave legal effect to an agreement that an “auxiliary squadron” of five destroyers and two torpedo gunboats was to supplement the existing British squadron in Australian waters.

Because of the financial straits Australia was in at the time, towards the end of the last century, and the lack of a central Government, the 1887 scheme was slow to take shape.

Long before the RAN got its ticket to serve, Australian sailors were involved in wars. During the 1860s, they sailed to the second Maori war in New Zealand; and then, and the turn of the century, the Boxer Rebellion -- a violent anti-foreign, anti-Christian uprising – in China.

MANY HEADY BATTLES

The rise of Germany as a naval power early in the 1880s gave urgency to the development of an Australian station. The Naval Defence Act of 1910 was passed; and in October 1911, the King authorised the adoption of the title – Royal Australian Navy.

After the RAN’s birth, Australia fought many heady sea battles and lost ships from the Atlantic to the Pacific; in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean through two world wars. Next was the Korean War, the Malaysian emergency and the Vietnam War, where Australia manned its battle stations.

The Royal Australian Navy, in its 106 years, has not only established a brilliant record of service and participated in many major events, said Historical Firsts, but has acquired a vital role in the sea defences of the free world.

Picture: The first. The Spitfire was launched in 1855. As the first war vessel built in NSW, the Spitfire was 60 tons and mounted a long 32-pounder gun.


Wild about Harry! It is twenty years since the author J.K. Rowling unleashed the boy wizard, Harry Potter, on to an unsuspecting public.


WE CAN’T HELP LAUGHING: WE’RE CONSTANLY BEING TOLD TO KEEP HAPPY AND FIGHTING FIT. WE WERE EVEN TOLD TO CLIMB A MOUNTAIN. WE LOOKED AT EACH OTHER AND LAUGHED UPROARIOUSLY.

CLASSIC REPEAT! FINAL. LAUGHING MATTERS! A LIGHT-HEARTED APPROACH TO LIVING LONGER

Do you cringe every time you hear a bad joke?  You’ve been told that you suffering from a severe cardiovascular condition -- would you cringe at this time. Remember, CD is one of the country’s top killers!

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

A good belly laugh, especially when you share it with other people, appears to be the only type of laughter which creates a pain-relieving endorphin rush. It turns out that our ability to laugh at life’s little things matters.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia. Nine in 10 Aussies have at least one risk factor for developing this chronic malady, and one person dies from it every 12 minutes. The word “heart disease” is responsible for 34 per cent of all deaths in Australia – almost 22,000 are men – a year.

A new essential element is emerging: whether or not you’re having a good time.

MEANS LONGER LIFE

Researchers are discovering that enjoying life, being satisfied with it and generally feeling positive and content can help keep your heart happy. Those who exhibit these traits and behaviours may be less likely to experience heart disease or heart attacks or strokes.

What’s more, having a good time in life seems to work in a dose-dependent manner: the more we enjoy ourselves, the more our hearts will thank us. 

Some of the research is quite interesting.

What’s love got to do with it, you might ask. Researchers wanted to know whether loving life meant a longer life. To do so, they conducted a 12-year study with almost 90,000 people. The researchers found that the men in their study, who didn’t enjoy life, were 1.5 times more likely to experience a stroke or heart disease than those who had a high-level of enjoyment.

The ‘unhappy’ men would probably die of a coronary-related heart problem.

Feeling satisfied with life has many aspects. According to researchers, 8000 men and women had to find out which facets were the most important when it came to protecting their heart.

Researchers found out that those who were satisfied with their job, family, self and sex lives were 26 per cent less likely to develop heart disease.

Recently, researchers have looked at the link between seeing every cloud has a silver lining and cardiovascular problems. One such study followed a group of healthy elderly men for 15 years and found that the most optimistic of the bunch were 50 per cent less likely to die from heart complaints.

Picture: Laugh, laugh, laugh: A light-hearted approach to living longer. Your heart will thank you!


THE THREE BEARS: CAPTAIN BEAR (SUDIMA HOTELS/RESORTS), GEORGE, FROM THE GEORGE (HELLO, THANK YOU  FOR CARING FOR ME) AND RED NOSE BEAR (I’D RATHER HAVE A KIP THAN WEAR THIS RED NOSE).

THERE’S A BEAR IN THERE – BEARS ARE NOT JUST FOR KIDS …

FRANK MORRIS

Teddy Bears come in all shapes and sizes!

Children love them, and so do adults. There’re big bears and little bears, tall bears and short bears, soft and cuddly bears, firm-jointed bears and “dignified” growler bears.

Although there are about 270 varieties of teddies, says one toy show owner, “pink teddies are the most popular. Usually, these are bought for little girls.”

How do you find that special bear?

“Teddy bear collectors love to find Australian-made bears from old family collections,” said a spokesman for the Dolls Collectors Club. “At the same time, a wonderful selection of choices of early German, English, French and American teddies are on offer.”

LITERARY BEARS POPULAR

Currently popular, are bears from the German firm Shuco renowned for their “small mechanical teddies and toys.” The spokesman said the key-wind bears can walk and roller skate; and there are other bears with two faces, others nod ‘yes/no’.

“While others hide ladies’ compacts or perfume bottles.”

Among the great bears are the German-made Steiffs which are in high demand. They are made in all sizes. Literary bears such as Winnie-the-Pooh and Rupert, according to the spokesman, “are popular.”

A large array of bears are very hard to pass by.

Picture: Teddy Bears. The came in all colours of the rainbow.

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

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