Grand Years with Frank Morris

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Men's Shed: Are you missing a yarn with the lads? Do you want to test your skills? Or both?

THE SHED IS A FAVORITE PLACE TO BE FOR MEN WHO NEED A YARN AND TO TEST THEIR SKILLS! STORY BELOW

Some are content to use the traditional Men’s Shed to continue their hobby and learn new skills or pop in for a cuppa and a chat.

FRANK MORRIS

The bloke who came up with the idea of a ‘men’s shed’ should come and have a drink with the tens of thousands of lads throughout Australia who have also reaped some benefits.

The Men’s Shed, is in every nook and cranny of the nation. The role of the Men’s Shed is to play an important part in providing men with a unique meeting place for men to “stay connected” within the community.

“You find that a lot of men retire and they are at a loose end and that’s something that leads to depression,” says a coordinator. “A lot of wives encourage the men to join up. They say it’s a godsend.

“For others, that are alone, it’s a great way to get out of their abode and keep busy.”

It’s vital that a man’s physical and mental wellbeing is being taken care of. “As a consequence, some are looking to spend time in a constructive environment or simply share time with other men who have similar interests,” says News for Seniors.

“A major issue for many men is they don’t take an active interest in their own health and wellbeing. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, men make fewer GP visits that women. Only 40 per cent discuss health issues with professionals and 16 per cent don’t use any medical services at all.

“Men’s Sheds often play a significant role in reducing these problems … by connecting the men with health professionals.

“Most sheds also undertake community work and so there’s an opportunity for men to be involved in something meaningful and be a positive contributor to the cause.”

Take Bill and Carol (not their real names) for instance. They move intrastate to a small country town and were living quite happily. One day, Bill, who was retired, was deep in conversation at the local pub with several guys about his own age; and then one of them mentioned a place he was reading about called “a men’s shed.”

He went on to say that “this place” is used to build food trolleys destined for local aged care facilities, dog kennels, coffee tables, cubby houses and “all that sort of thing”.

“The men would build these things for the community” said the local guy. “And men came from all over the place who were interested and would join in and take part.”

In the end, Bill was wrapped in “the shed idea” and was keenly interested in the whole concept. All the lads at the pub were “in” and the only problem was: we’re would the Men’s Shed be located.

That was a minor concern. The word is, that everything worked out according to “Hoyle”.

“The group are a mixture of age and cultural backgrounds from the late 50s to 80s.” the coordinator said.
One gentleman said, “This is the best thing I’ve done in years.”

Currently, there are about 1000 sheds of various sizes offering men a place to socialise and share skills, reported News for Seniors.

[The Australian Men’s Shed Association gets financial assistance across Australia. To find a Men’s Shed near you call the Association on 1300 550 009; or email amsa@mensshed.net ]

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TOP PHOTO: MEN LOVE THE SHED. THE SHED IS OPERATED VOLUNTARILY BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY. IT GOOD FOR MEN WHO HAVE MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES OR LIVING UNDER STRESS TO SHARE A YARN OR TWO WITH THEIR COBBERS AT THE SHED.

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FRANK MORRIS IS ON HOLIDAYS. THE MAIN STORIES HERE ARE REPEATS. THEY’RE FROM A BACK-LOG OF ARTICLES WE HAVE PUBLISHED SINCE GRAND YEARS WAS BORN 8 YEARS AGO. IT COULD BE THE FIRST TIME YOU’LL READ THEM.

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STRIPES CAN BE A HEADACHE! WE MUST ALWAYS ASK THE QUESTION – WHY?

FRANK MORRIS

When you look at these stripes, similar to those on the tread of an escalator, you may have illusions of colour, shape and, in fact, a slight motion sickness. Do not look at the pattern for too long: it might make you feel dizzy or bring on a headache.

According to a theory put forward by a senior doctor at the Medical Research Council’s Applied Psychology Unit in the UK, people who see many illusions tend to have frequent headaches; and, on days when they have one, they see more illusions.

If the headache is only one side of the head, the illusions tend to be asymmetric.

Such stripes are similar to those that induce seizures in people suffering from epilepsy who are sensitive to flickering light. Certain forms of visual stimulation trigger large number of cells in the visual cortex of the brain in a time-related pattern that may bring about a spreading excitation.

Stress may arise through watching television, the doctor says. “There may be a link between the illusions and control of eye movements.”

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TIT-BITS: TV Trivia of the 1950s and 1960s. How clever are you? Name Beaver Cleaver’s brother and tell who played him … What was Barney’s specialty on Mission Impossible? … What was the main character’s name on Wanted – Dead or Alive and who played him? … What was Zorro’s real name? 

Answers: Wally/Tony Dow, Electronics, Josh Randall/Steve McQueen, Don Diego de la Vega

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 25 September 15

Chesty Bond – who were the men that created the ‘birth’ of this super-man!

Meet the men who made this possible.

FRANK MORRIS

Chesty Bond is seventy-five years old.

To gaze at him you would swear blind he doesn’t look a day over 30. The square-jawed icon, with his thatch of blond hair, rippling muscles and chiselled chin, had the enterprise of Atlas who had just lifted the world and carried it on his massive shoulders.

The two men responsible for this human dynamo were Ted Maloney, who worked at the ad agency J. Walter Thompson, and Syd Miller, who was one of Australia’s finest commercial artists.

Maloney achieved a lot of success in the advertising business. In his spare time, he was one of Australia’s best-known cooking experts. He received his share of fame as co-author of the cookery book Oh For A French Wife which was published in 1952. The book was a classic soon after its release.

He wrote several other cookery books as well as regular columns on wine and food for newspapers. The other half of the combination was Syd Miller, contributor to some of the leading publications in Australia.

Miller knew of Maloney from way back. The both were acquainted with each other when they worked in the advertising department of Smith’s Weekly. In 1938, when Miller was freelancing he met Maloney, who was now employed at J. Walter Thompson.

To his surprise, Maloney was working on the million pound Bonds account and, after much palaver, Maloney and Miller “were together again.”

Chesty Bond was created by Miller and Maloney and made his debut in the comic section of the Sun newspaper on August 10, 1938. This was Maloney’s dream, to have the newly-charged image character up against the best.

Chesty appeared five times a week and was the first advertising strip of its kind in the world.

But let’s go back to when it all stated.

“Popeye had inspired the idea for Chesty,” recalled Maloney. “Popeye had his spinach so Chesty got his strength from Bond’s singlets.”

Miller had to forego the history adventures series where Bond’s athletic singlets were being used in ‘historical’ situations. The ‘comic strip’ idea seems to hit the nail on the head. He started scribbling immediately to create a strip that would be successful.

“The true Chesty Bond was strong man, not your lumpy weight-lifting type,” Miller said. “He was kind, likeable and good-looking but he was not a male model. He was definitely Australian but acceptable everywhere. He was the heroic straight man.”

Chesty would be an Australian strong-man. Better still, he was made to feel transcendingly powerful whenever he wore his Bonds singlet. Miller scribbled a few heads and then one with a jaw. Chesty’s eyes changed to slits when he was facing danger.

The official Chesty Bond was born.

“During the war, Chesty battled with Hitler, Hirohito, enemy submarines, planes, spies and ships,” Miller said. “He also gave Bonds cotton cut-offs to ambulances, hospitals and volunteer defence forces.”

A prominent retail executive said “Chesty has widespread appeal right across the community. He is well loved. He represents more than just the blond bronzed Aussie. I think he appeals to all Australians, no matter what race or creed.”

Over the years, he went from tabloid cartoon to real-life TV star.

That’s Chesty Bond. And that’s all there to it.

THE TELEPHONE’S LINKED WITH HISTORY …

1912: An automatic wall phone with bell set. Despite the closeness of World War 1 in Europe, one single event dominated the news: the sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic. It was the largest ship afloat in the world. After brushing an iceberg in the North Atlantic, late in the evening on April 14, the Titanic sank with the loss of more than 1500 lives. The first automatic telephone exchange was installed at Geelong, Victoria. Walter Burley Griffin, the high-flying American architect, won first prize in a competition to design Australia’s capital city. Construction of the East-West Trans-continental railway began. Swimmer Fanny Durack defeated another Aussie Mina Wylie to become the first Australian woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Stockholm.

New Series: Australian Champs -- Super kid Nat was a champ!

Adapted by Frank Morris                                                    

Robert “Nat” Young’s first major victory, and one of his proudest moments, was in the 1963 Australian Open Surfing Championship.

When the points score was tallied and Nat announced the winner, the legendary Duke Kahanomoku stepped forward and presented Nat with the trophy. For Nat, this was the starting point to a brilliant surfing career.

This was highlighted by his runaway win in the 1966 World Championship at Ocean Beach, San Diego. He won the Australian Championship that year and again in 1967 and 1969.

A strong and intense competitor, Nat maintained his place in the top bracket of world surfing for many years, playing an influential role in establishing Australia as a top surfing nation.

One of his most gratifying achievements was his headline-making success in the 1972 Smirnoff Professional Championship at Makaha Point. After he retired from international surfing, Nat retained his interest in the sport.

He went on to produce some of the most popular and watched surfing films shown in Australia and overseas in a long time.

[Frank Morris used his own material, in addition to the booklet, Hall of Champions, Sport House, Sydney.]

Men’s Shed: Are you missing a yarn with the lads or do want to use your skills!

Some are content to use the traditional Men’s Shed to continue their hobby and learn new skills or pop in for a cuppa and a chat.

FRANK MORRIS

The bloke who came up with the idea of a ‘men’s shed’ should come and have a drink with the tens of thousands of lads throughout Australia who have also reaped some benefits.

The Men’s Shed, is a collective, everywhere, in every nook and cranny of the nation. The role of the Men’s Shed is to play an important part in providing men with a unique meeting place for men to “stay connected” within the community.

“You find that a lot of men retire and they are at a loose end and that’s something that leads to depression,” says a coordinator. “A lot of wives encourage the men to join up. They say it’s a godsend.

“For others, that are alone, it’s a great way to get out of their abode and keep busy.”
It’s vital that a man’s physical and mental wellbeing is being taken care of. “As a consequence, some are looking to spend time in a constructive environment or simply share time with other men who have similar interests,” says News for Seniors.

“A major issue for many men is they don’t take an active interest in their own health and wellbeing. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, men make fewer GP visits that women. Only 40 per cent discuss health issues with professionals and 16 per cent don’t use any medical services at all.
“Men’s Sheds often play a significant role in reducing these problems … by connecting the men with health professionals.

“Most sheds also undertake community work and so there’s an opportunity for men to be involved in something meaningful and be a positive contributor to the cause.”

Take Bill and Carol (not their real names) for instance. They move intrastate to a small country town and were living quite happily. One day, Bill, who was retired, was deep in conversation at the local pub with several guys about his own age; and then one of them mentioned a place he was reading about called “a men’s shed.”

He went on to say that “this place” is used to build food trolleys destined for local aged care facilities, dog kennels, coffee tables, cubby houses and “all that sort of thing”.

“The men would build these things for the community” said the local guy. “And men came from all over the place who were interested and would join in and take part.”

In the end, Bill was wrapped in “the shed idea” and was keenly interested in the whole concept. All the lads at the pub were “in” and the only problem was: we’re would the Men’s Shed be located.

That was a minor concern. The word is, that everything worked out according to “Hoyle”.

“The group are a mixture of age and cultural backgrounds from the late 50s to 80s.” the coordinator said.
One gentleman said, “This is the best thing I’ve done in years.”

Currently, there are about 1000 sheds of various sizes offering men a place to socialise and share skills, reported News for Seniors.

[The Australian Men’s Shed Association gets financial assistance across Australia. To find a Men’s Shed near you call the Association on 1300 550 009; or email amsa@mensshed.net ]

FRANK MORRIS’ COMING ATTRACTION …

2015: Who was Thomas Cook? … Aussie First – Celebrated novelist Frank Hardy, the battlers’ battler. Was Nellie West’s adultery, as told in Hardy’s Power without Glory, truth or a police plot? Nellie West was supposed to be Ellen Wren, wife of the infamous/famous John Wren (“John West”). This was one of Australia’s most bizarre literary mysteries.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 14 November 14

The Great War: “Prepare for action “ – German raider was a battered ruin

The HMAS Sydney and the German cruiser Emden fight to the death in one of the first sea battles on November 9, 1914. Emden is done for, was the chorus cry from the HMAS Sydney.

PATSY ADAMS-SMITH, NORMAN BARTLETT

Adapted by Frank Morris

The HMAS Sydney caught a view of the German cruiser Emden just as they approached Cocos Island. As a result, both ships began to prepare for a slugging match. It was the morning of November 9, 1914. It was one of the first sea battles of the war.

In the opening stages of the action, Emden’s guns, firing salvos rapidly at extreme range, caught Sydney unawares. She received fifteen hits in ten minutes, but only five burst. By turning away slightly, Sydney kept the fight at her range. And with her six-inch guns she overwhelmed the German raider.

By 10.30 in the morning Emden, after a gallant showdown, was a battered ruin. At the direction of her commander the Emden was headed for North Keeling Island where she ran aground on the reef.

Sydney, laconically, signalled the convoy she was protecting, “Emden beached and done for.”

The big day happened at 6.30 am the November 9.

Melbourne, at the head of the convoy, picked up a wireless message from the cable station in the Cocos-Keeling Group. The message said” “Enemy warship off island.”

The convoy was less than sixty miles from Cocos Island. With her stokers “working like demons” the Sydney reached a speed of 27 knots and reached the Emden two and a half hours later at 9 am. By 9.45 am the battle had begun.

Emden had two guns of only 4.1 calibre and it was her policy to fight at comparatively short range. Sydney had 6-inch guns and could use her tactical advantage, staying either outside the range of the smaller guns; or at a distance where the extreme range would make good shooting difficult.

The blasting lasted an hour and forty minutes.

Lieutenant Garsia recorded every second of it, this time in a letter he despatched from HMAS Sydney in Colombo to his father. Within a few days it was to flash around the world.

Sydney “had some hits” and losses. Of the 8 or 9 wounded only two are permanently affected. Hampden, who had “bites” out of both calves, will be fit to go in 6 weeks. The hits on the Sydney were severe.

In his report, Captain Glossop stated a ‘terrible sight” had met them on the Emden. Glossop wrote: “Corpses and fragments of human remains lay about, shrivelled by the blazing fires under the deck and the hardly less blazing tropical sun.

“The wounded had been without food and water for 24 hours; their wounds were corrupted … with maggots a quarter inch in length crawling in them.” Captain Glossop described a later sight on board HMAS Sydney which was “scarcely less dreadful” and wrote: “That the cruiser has become nothing but a hospital of the most painful description.”

Sydney had been a crowded ship when she sailed but now, with almost two hundred of the Emden’s crew on board, the wounded and dying were in every hammock and lay thick on the deck.”

And for rest of the war, convoys called in at Colombo and passed the Emden. The troops took snapshots.

[Adapted by Frank Morris. Patsy Adams-Smith, Norman Bartlett.]

MATE, THERE A WAR GOING ON …

FIRST-HAND: Private George McClintock’s diary showing a pressed poppy inside. “Revealing, compelling and uncensored” – that shows how these batch of letters written by the young soldiers to their parents or girl friends were described by the historians. These letters that came from Gallipoli, North Africa, Palestine and the Western Front gave the family the true and horrendous tale of the war. Vivid and emotional, these letters gave their family the true meaning of how they faced up to hope and fear, love and longing, life and death. To read these letters or diaries is to live, in retrospect, a little of the life of an Anzac Digger – muddy trenches, bloody battlefields and death. Then, through the bleak anonymity, the official telegram would arrive. – FM.

The 100TH Anniversary WW1 Commemorative Watch

LEST WE FORGET: On the 100th anniversary of the Great War, s prestigious centenary limited edition proves a striking tribute to the courageous heroes who sought to defend liberty itself—Lest We Forget. Honour their incredible acts with the 100th Anniversary WW1 Commemorative Men’s Watch. It a first-of-a-kind and exclusive to The Bradford Exchange. It’s also in a limited edition of 4,999. Surrounded by a rich gold-plated casing and complemented by a genuine leather strap, the champagne-toned dial of this unique heirloom timepiece showcases a handsome tribute to the landmark anniversary of WW1. In addition, the precision chronograph dial with stop-start function and Roman numerals shows all functions of time. The reverse of this precision Quartz movement is etched with WW1 battle-fields and the poignant sentiment “Never Forgotten”, signifying eternal gratitude and enduring pride for each of our heroes. Contact www.bradford.co.uk for further details.

The Great War: The Emden Affair: Sailor Andrews saw it all

The Germans beached the Emden rather than let her sink.

FRANK MORRIS

The HMAS Sydney sailed into Sydney Harbour on October 4, 1913. This was the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet -- the HMAS Australia, Sydney, Melbourne and various other crafts.

On board the HMAS Sydney was young crew member Charles James Andrews. It was a personal milestone for Peter Gough and family because his grandfather was Charles Andrews.

“Charles ran away from home at 14 to get to get away from his stepmother,” Mr Gough said. “He joined the army in 1910 and transferred to the navy, which was then called the fledgling Commonwealth and Naval Forces.”

In 1911, he later served on the British cruiser HMS Challenger which trained Australian navy personnel.

“Andrews and his crewmates arrived in England in 1912. They were trained in British ships to take over the Australian naval ship being built in Britain,” Mr Gough said. “He was part of the crew of HMAS Sydney which was brought back to Sydney.

“He was on board when HMAS Sydney engaged and destroyed the German cruiser SMS Emden off the coast of the Cocos-Keeling Island in 1914.”

After the melee had ended, “the Germans beached the Emden rather than let her sink.”

Andrews married Dorothy in 1918 and he left the Royal Australian Navy in 1919. “Charles ran his own trucking business, one the first in the city,” said Mr Gough. Charles died in 1980.

[Adapted from conversations with Peter Gough in a newspaper.]

The Great War: Hogue was no bushman but the “chief promoter” of the “rural superman”

He published articles under the by-line “Trooper Bluegum”.

FRANK MORRIS

Alas, Australia is full of Oliver Hogues. For Lt Oliver Hogue, though, his story is worth knowing about. Hogue, who came to prominence in the First World War, was an unofficial Australian war correspondent who was “chief promoter” of the burgeoning bush myth, the “rural superman.”

He was himself no bushman.

University educated, Hogue was well connected. His father was a leading NSW politician and, primarily, he worked on the Herald where he met up with Charles Bean.

Hogue rode with the Australian Light Horse, a “repository for upcoming Australians”, which was considered to be the elite arm of the national forces. He proceeded to “publicise” its exploits with the same brashness as a modern-day press agent.

He was singularly devoted to the Light Horse and published several articles under the by-line “Trooper Bluegum,” which would later be the material for three books: The Cameliers, Love Letters of the Anzacs and Trooper Bluegum at the Dardanelles.

Dr Robin Gerster, in his comprehensive treatise on the heroic theme of Australian war writing (Big Noting, MUP 1987), states that Hogue sang the praises of “the hero bushman … and by virtue of their rural background the horsemen were viewed as the best Australians, and consequently, even more effective than the infantrymen as fighters.”

Sir Henry Gullett, who served with the Light Horse in Palestine, wrote to Hogue, and stated that their “great physical strength, superb athleticism and love of physical exercise” was comparable to the ancient Greeks horses.”

[Australian Biographies Begging to be Written by Frank Morris, Australian Book Collector; later as an  syndication story.]

FRANK MORRIS’ COMING ATTRACTION …
The Great War: Before making a separate peace in 1917, the Russian Imperial army made an important contribution to the Allies war effort. The late Russian-French historian, Serge Andolenko, wrote that key aspects of Russian’s involvement in World War 1 have been overlooked … A museum dedicatied to World War 1 has been built near St Petersburg and is purporting to be the first in Russia … The estimated number of military casualties that had befallen Russia was nearly 2 million troops.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 07 November 14

The Great War: Melbourne Cup 1914 -- bewildered Australia found itself at war!

Separated by half the globe from the place where trouble had been fomenting, most Australians had believed that all was well with the world. Nonetheless, the young nation followed the Prime Minster, Mr Fisher, when he said “Australians will stand along side our own to help and defend her to our last man and our last shilling.” Australians rallied to the cause. When the 1914 Melbourne Cup was run, several boat-loads of Aussie troops were already ensconced at war.

Adapted by Frank Morris

It was a subdued Cup Day in 1914. It was the dark days. It was tame in colour, in movement and even in the meeting and greeting of old friends. The attendance was not far short of 100,000. It was a sobering remainder that the world was at war.

There had been some agitation to suspend racing for the duration … but the VRC had promised to donate one-third of its profits for its Spring Meeting, or 5000 pounds – whichever was the greater – to patriotic funds.

The first war-time Melbourne Cup was by won Kingsburgh, a comparative outsider at 20-1; the horse was popular with the crowd because they admired the owner, VRC committeeman, L.K.S. Mackinnon.

Mr Mackinnon had made several previous attempts to win the Cup, and had at times supported his horses very seriously. Originally, he used the nom-de-course of “K. S. MacLeod” but Kingsburgh was the first horse he raced under the correct name.

He did well over Kingsburgh’s success. He took early odds and his horse won 1400 pounds for an outlay of only 78 pounds.

Kingsburgh’s form had not been particularly impressive before his cup win. The horse’s previous success had been the Carlingford Mile at Rosehill as a 3-year-old. Nevertheless, there was no element of luck about his Melbourne Cup win; he accomplished it in the record time of 3.26.

Bred at Shipley stud … Kingsburgh was purchased by Mackinnon under advice by trainer Charles Wheeler for 700 guineas. Wheeler took charge of Kingsburgh in the early stages of his racing career, but the young horse raced poorly on Melbourne tracks.

Mr Mackinnon took him to Randwick where he was trained by Isaac Foulsham, the former Victorian who had gone to Sydney for health reasons.

Foulsham was a skilful trainer with a well-liked dry humour. He had won the Melbourne Cup thirty years ago with the versatile Malua. He won it for a second time on Kingsburgh.

Young apprentice G. Meddick, who rode the winner, was trained by Bill Kelso who taught Jimmy Pike and many other great riders.

[Adapted from The Melbourne Cup by Maurice Cavanough; 1971; published by Lloyd O’Neil Pty Ltd.]

Midget: The first World Men’s Championship trophy 50 years on!

FRANK MORRIS

Surfabout was around when the first World Championship at Manly, NSW, was held in 1964. I was the editor of the magazine at the time. Once in awhile the head surfing photographer and part-owner, Jack Eden, and several “tear-away” surfers used to come to my house where we sat and talked – and drank coffee.

One of the surfers was Midget Farrelly. Midget was 18-years-old when I first met him; and it was 12-months before the ‘big’ surfing event.

As 1964 rolled around, the first “properly organised” World Championship was off with some brilliant surfing.

Writing in Surfabout, Lord James Blears said: “Farrelly … with a distinguished style of riding, scoring 132 points from a possible 150, beat the top Americans Mike Doyle and Joey Cabell. An estimated crowd of 65,000 watch the race.”

Midget Farrelly had become the champ of the waves.

“Thirty years ago Australia hit the headlines as a surfing nation. We’ve come of age on the waves” opined Surfabout magazine.

Phyllis O’Donnell, of Banora Point, NSW, took out the first Women’s World Championship, to make a clean sweep of the major titles.

Australia’s Pacific Longboarder magazine editor, John Brasen, takes up the story 50 years on. In part, he writes: “In retrospect, it can seem surprising just how much fuss a two-day competition at a Sydney beach-break caused 50 years ago. But Australia, then, was another world.

“Australia was a land of just 11 million, mainly Anglo-Saxon souls. It was nearly 20 years since the end of WWII. We had the White Australian Policy and a church and state told us how to live. It was, basically, a fundamentally conservative society, although from the mid-50s a growing youth culture had surely begun to shake it up.”

Then the revelling 60s landed on our doorstep as did the hotly debated first World Championship.

Brasen writes: “The trophy sat in his garage, neglected, from 1964 to 2014 and it could seem that he didn’t care a toss for it really. Midget said he ‘ignored it for 50 years after the ‘New Era Spoilers’ talked the event down … keep in mind they controlled the surf media of the day and had a lot of people who were reading their nonsense.’

”While Midget was a hero to most of us, others were less impressed with the victory at Manly; even suggesting it was a “hometown” decision. The drop-in rule was at the heart of this, and at the time it had its grey areas.

“Two or more riders could surf the same wave but they weren’t to impede each other. A photo showed the sleek Hawaiian Joey Cabell … dropping down on the top of Mike Doyle. While Bobby Brown is forced to straighten out in the whitewater behind the both of them.

“The surf media picked this up … and suggested Cabell’s aggression had cost him a chance to finish better than his eventual third.

“But the maximum penalty for a drop-in, at the time, was a point, and Midget had clearly won with 132 points from Mike Doyle on 126.4 and Cabell with 126. Midget said, ‘when I saw the score sheets 10 years ago, a … judge had given them to me, I realised it had been a good win, and not a close one, or a ‘hometown’ decision as put forward by that small group.’”

 [Adapted from Pacific Longboarder, Vol 17, No. 5, 2014.]

Australia’s first film – the 1896 Melbourne Cup

ERIC READE

Adapted by Frank Morris

Marius Sestier arrived in Sydney in September. Sestier commenced photographing scenes in the local area, on 60-spools of film, but unfortunately his knowledge was limited to that of a professional cinematographer.

Not being an artisan, he knew nothing about developing, and his first shots of Australian life were a complete failure. But help was to come from an unexpected source. Arthur Peters, manager of Falk’s dark room, designed a special drum on which the undeveloped film could be wound, and gently rotated through a bath of chemicals.

Sestier’s name then appeared on the vaudeville bill at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne. The bill stated that “The Lumiere Cinematograph was exhibited by M. Marius Sestier”.

However, on Tuesday, November 3, Sestier outshone them all.

He visited the Melbourne Cup meeting at Flemington. Next morning the Argus contained the following report:

“The cup of 1896 boasted a last novel feature … the cinematograph for the first time. By the Lumiere principle, a series of views were taken of London, Paris and St Petersburg; and an actual presentation, not only of the Cup meeting, but the most wonderful Cup race ever run over this classic course.”

Sestier returned to Sydney and once again opened the Lumiere’s Criterion Theatre, on November 24. According to a newspaper advertisement, “Exhibitions of the Wonderful Tableaux of the Melbourne Cup were received with thunders of applause and unbounded enthusiasm”.

This is the first historical Australian film. It captured the excitement of a steam train from Melbourne arriving at the Flemington station. Snorting like a temperamental film star, the train was soon relegated to the role of an extra, when the doors of the dark carriages opened.

Out they poured, charming ladies in filmly frocks set off with large, lacy hats to put interest and excitement into a flickering scene. Another remarkable clear shot showed the arrival of the Vice Regal party, with constables telling the crowd to keep back.

After his win, Newhaven refused to act like the perfect gentleman as Lady Brassey attempted to place the Blue Ribbon around his neck; he reared and plunged out of camera range.

[Adapted from The Australian Screen by Eric Reade.]

 

FRANK MORRIS’ COMING ATTRACTION …

2015: DC-3 Revisited. Pioneering days were fun. They were the days of grass roots flying. As air attendants on the DC-3, they were quite used to coping with unusual situations … Famous Women. From all over the world, women have become famous – like Marie Curie, the scientist; the young unknown Indian who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their epic western adventure; Sally Ride (pictured), the first America space shuttle traveller; and there are others.

 

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 31 October 14

Daphne du Maurier: “The place has taken hold of me”

Manderley, the fire-wracked mansion in the unforgettable movie, Rebecca, was more than a figment of the author’s romantic imagination. It’s a dream that became an obsession.

Adapted by Frank Morris

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

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

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

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

“Our friends, the Quiller-Couches, gave further information. They used to visit it for garden parties in its heyday. And I gleaned snatches of family history. And there were the original 16-century builders; the Stuart royalists who suffered for their King; the Tory landowners with their white wigs and their broods of children; and the Victorian landowners.

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

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

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

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

As an author, Daphne du Maurier has been described as a “poetic writer” but some critics have failed to see this. Other critics and historians have her “fantastically moody and resonant” and her sweeping novels and plays are a “bit like a myth or fairy tales.”
Daphne du Maurier’s death was a blow to all who loved her. Du Maurier died in Cornwall, England in 1989. She was 72.

Twenty-five years later, there’s is a lot happening on the du Maurier scene.                                       

The BBC have an upcoming adaptation of Jamaica Inn. Also in the pipeline is the new Rebecca movie with Colin Firth and Meryl Streep. The novel is about a naïve woman who marries a brooding British nobleman and finds she must live in the shadow of Rebecca, his beautiful first wife.

In the 1940 version of Rebecca, director Alfred Hitchcock deftly combines the romance, suspense and mystery into an excellent film. The stars includes Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders and Judith Anderson.

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

Natural Born Columnist: Writing a column for a newspaper is a daunting task!

 

The American historian, Jerry D. Lewis, said columnists are “the stars of the newspaper business.” Lewis also labelled the daily column as “literature in a hurry”. That’s why writing a daily column is a daunting task. John Pringle chose Charmian Clift because Clift “could maintain a good literary tone.” Charmian’s biographer wrote: “He (Pringle) was never to regret his choice of Clift … who made the column into a great personal success.”

FRANK MORRIS

Pringle describes a columnist’s writing as “deceptively simple”

The celebrated newspaper editor, John Pringle, was staunch an admirer of Ross Campbell. Pringle, in his book of essays, On Second Thoughts,* expostulated that there is no excuse “for ignoring one of Australia’s best writers.”

The editor said of Campbell, that “his writing is deceptively simple, both in style and subject matter. I say “deceptively” because, of course, this extreme simplicity conceals considerable art as well as a very shrewd perceptive view of life.”
Pringle, in his second tour of duty as editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, from 1965 to 1970, introduced a weekly column in the paper’s women’s pages written by the exceptionally talented Australian writer and novelist, Charmian Clift. Pringle’s choice turned out to be a master stroke.

Clift’s brief was that she could write about anything that took her fancy; and because she was a writer and not a journalist, Pringle correctly surmised that Clift’s reputation could “maintain a good literary tone”.

Writes Garry Kinnane: “He (Pringle) was never to regret his choice of Clift … who made the column into a great personal success.”

*Angus & Robertson, 1971.

MacDougall’s column was lauded a “hallmark” in Australian journalism

The columnist who thrived on people as well as humour was the redoubtable Jim Macdougall. Jim seemed to be forever part of the Sydney landscape. The name Jim Macdougall was as well-known as any landmark in Sydney! His long career began as a cadet reporter on the Melbourne Herald in 1924.

After a while he was sent to the paper’s London bureau.

When he returned to Australia, he was assigned to write a front-page column for The Sun, which was lauded as a “hallmark” in Australian journalism. Over the next four decades his column moved to the Daily Telegraph, and later, the Daily Mirror.

Macdougall died on his 92nd birthday in 1995.

Colleague Matt White’s tribute in The Australian says it all. “In an age where the word columnist conjured up all the glamour of newspaper reporting, and when regular by-lines in the daily press were reserved for the giants of journalism, Jim Macdougall, columnist, was supreme.”

White describes Macdougall’s column as a “mixture of humour, humanity and some incredible predictions.” In 42 years at the job, Macdougall turned out more than 10,000 columns, many of which broke important news in a couple of paragraphs long before the stories became front-page headlines.

When Macdougall departed the Daily Mirror in 1975, it was the end of an era. His column had appeared every day for 14 years.

A few years later, he wrote: “It’s not until evening does one realise how splendid a day has been. As I look back, it has indeed been a splendid day.”

McNicol v. Penton: Penton helped hone his column into “punchy short sentences, active voice”

During the scourge of the “dull and politically correct,” David McNicol, poet, journalist and writer, penned the famous Talk of the Town column from 1945 to 1951. Modelled on the style of column pioneered in the US by Walter Winchell and Drew Pearson, it appeared on the front-page of the Daily Telegraph.

McNicol’s mentor in the early days of the column was the great editor Brian Penton. Penton helped him to hone his style – punchy short sentences, active voice.

When Penton died, McNicol went on to become editor-in-chief of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph. He remained in this role for almost 20 years.

McNicol resumed his old career as a columnist, on The Bulletin, when Packer sold the paper to Murdoch in 1972.

[Adapted from Australian Book Collector, October, 2001.]

THE TELEPHONE’S LINKED WITH HISTORY …

 

1902: The “Candlestick” phone: In the second year of Federation, with 3.8 million population, women were enfranchised for Federal elections. A Pacific telegraphic cable was completed which linked Southport, Queensland, with Vancouver on the west coast of Canada. Work was just about finished on one of Australia’s earliest major engineering feats, the construction of a 350 mile pipeline. This pipeline was equipped to carry water from Perth to the Kalgoorlie-Coolgardie goldfields. A break came when Australia’s severest and most widespread drought partially came to an end. Over the past seven years of the Federation Drought, more than 50 million sheep have died. – FM.

Flashback, 1975: The Gough Whitlam Government takes a bow – “We’ve been sacked!”

FRANK MORRIS

Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam died last Tuesday, October 21. He was 98.

Whitlam led his country through massive change from 1972 to 1975, before being ousted by the Governor-General Sir John Kerr.

The nation literally went in to shock when the Governor-General stepped in and sacked the Whitlam Government. But the fact remains: Sir John Kerr was forced to make a move to rescue Australia from political deadlock where it was heading.

And he made it – he sacked the Government!

The Governor-General’s decision was certainly a courageous one, to say nothing of it being momentous and unprecedented.

But was in the right or wrong decision to make?

In 1975, Queensland newspaper, The Courier-Mail, summed up the whole issue. “The GG made a courageous decision and well knew he would make bitter enemies. He has made an implacable of one in Mr Whitlam.”
That he did.

[“Lang Sacked”. The headline that rocked Australia when the Governor of NSW, Sir Philip Game “dismissed” the Premier of the Labor Party, Jack Lang in 1932. ]

Flashback, 1984: “Thousand miles from care” – Going to Manly is an adventure!

In 2014, Manly NSW, a cosmopolitan beachside maze, is no different to what it was in 1984. Perhaps a little different with all the mod cons. There are higher building, finer streets, brighter pubs, more bars and nightclubs. The beach hasn’t changed, and Manly Ruby League club is still the toast of the town for eating, entertainment and jackpots. Here is the latest news: A beach-based children’s fun-park, built in 1981, has been nominated for the Australian Heritage Lists. That’s Manly!

FRANK MORRIS

There’s no better way – or place – to find some solace than paying a visit to Manly. As the famous old saying goes, “you’ll be seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care.” Sydney writer, Joseph Glascott, described going to Manly as “an adventure.”

Some years ago, he wrote: “A trip to Manly retains the special flavour of a visit to the seaside. “Manly evokes the charm of the sea rather than the pounding of the beach waves.”

The hub of Manly, apart from the holiday-style sea side attractions, is The Corso. Its mall, with pavement cafes, fish shops and coloured awnings, had become the focal point of the village.

Manly’s history is also a fascinating talking point. The first life-saving club, the Manly Surf Bathers, was founded in 1907.

Earlier this century, newspaper publisher, William Gocher, defied the law by bathing at daylight “and won freedom for the public to bathe” in the ocean after 6am.

Were the natives a manly lot?

Governor Phillip could not be blamed if he looked back on his visit to Manly with some displeasure. It was there that Phillip was speared by a native Willemering while speaking to another native, his new-found friend Bennelong.

Luckily, at Phillip’s side was the colony’s assistant surgeon-general, William Balmain, who extracted the spear. Phillip refused to punish the offender.

Manly was so named because of the “manly appearance” of the natives first encountered there. So come to
Manly, where, as the music hall refrain goes, “you’ll be beside the sea, beside the sea.”

[From Cab Talk, April 7, 1984.]

 

FRANK MORRIS’ COMING ATTRACTION …
Auschwitz – The past and the present. It’s important that everyone knows about Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp. The past and the present will not go out of fashion … Girl Guides Australia is on the rise and some neighbourhoods even have waiting lists. Does your young relative have what it takes to be a Girl Guide or leader? … Men’s Sheds – Are you a member? It’s where you can do a zillions things or just a friendly talk. Many Men’s Sheds need new members – so join.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 24 October 14

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