All Posts

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 10 records of 149

SPECIAL FEATURE: PART 1. Between the gravestones – 20 years of original thinking

A CROSS TO BEAR: THE WROUGHT IRON CROSS AT OCTAVIUS BEAL’S GRAVE AT ST THOMAS’ ANGLICAN CEMETERY, ENFIELD

Cemeteries offer huge scope for learning more about our ancestors. Dr Lisa Murray, author of a new book which will help you discover more about the work of a taphophile.

SARAH TREVOR

What initially drew you to colonial cemeteries?

I have been fascinated by cemeteries for more than 20 years. Originally, I was curious about early headstone designs and the history of monumental masonry and sepulchral art in Australia. But my interest quickly expanded to the history of cemeteries and their landscape designs.

Your book, Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide, contains a wealth of information for those of us obsessed with cemeteries. Could you tell us a bit about the process involved in researching and writing the guide?

I had to be extremely organised. I visited every cemetery – all 101 of them – that are included in the book; and a few more besides! I had a spreadsheet to keep track of everything. Every weekend my partner and I visited a different district, so each week prior to a district tour -- I researched the cemeteries, taking notes from headstone transcriptions and histories, and plotted a route. Then on site at every cemetery I recorded audio notes of my impressions of the cemetery; and my partner took photographs. When I returned home, these would all be downloaded and further notes made for things to follow up, particularly related to eye-catching memorials and prominent individuals. I wrote the book entries morning and night, before and after my office job. So, basically, I lived and breathed cemeteries for about 12 months.

What were some of the challenges that you encountered when putting together the book?

Three things come to mind: distance (Sydney is a big, sprawling city), figuring out the earliest burials, and flat camera batteries. I thought snakes might be a problem, but we only encountered one.

Which resources did you find the most helpful in the course of your research?

The National Trust of NSW’s masterlist of burial grounds was my starting point (nationaltrust.org.au/services/cemetery-conservation/cemetery-masterlist). I could not have done this book without all the cemetery headstone transcriptions compiled by so many family history groups and historical societies. I created a Trove list of Sydney cemetery publications to make it easier for everyone to track down these great resources (http://trove.nla.gov.au/list?id=64285). I loved going to the Society of Australian Genealogists (sag.org.au) and looking at all their cemetery records. And it hardly needs to be said, but the digitised newspapers on Trove fleshed out many stories. The online Australian Dictionary of Biography (adb.anu.edu.au) was also crucial for identifying where prominent people were buried.

What are some of the insights that a family historian can uncover by visiting their ancestor’s gravesite?

Family connections and memories coalesce in headstones, relationships may become clearer -- or more puzzling. You may even find someone you’ve never heard of listed within an inscription or epitaph. These might record an occupation, or even the personality or virtues of your ancestor. Or an unmarked gravesite might be a clue about family circumstances – economic or otherwise.

Have you ever visited one of your own ancestors’ burial sites?

I visited my great grandfather’s grave when I surveyed Macquarie Park Cemetery (also known as Northern Suburbs General Cemetery) for the book. It took a little while to confirm his location as the cemetery administrators had mistyped his name when they converted the burial registers to a database.

Next month: There’s more to this great grandfather’s grave than the author wants to believe – his name, his marriage and his “personal” material welfare?

<< inside history magazine, Summer 2017. << Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide by Dr Lisa Murray (NewSouth Books, $34.99) is out now.

Pictures: At prayer: An angel dominated this grave in a section of South Head General Cemetery. For us all. The Sparke family vault at Rookwood.


SPECIAL FEATURE: CEMETERIES COME AND GO!

FRANK MORRIS

Aside from churchyards, there had been two major cemeteries built in the 1800s in Sydney, NSW. Gazetted in 1819, one of them was Devonshire Street near to Central Railway Station.

Rookwood came in 1865 and Woronora in 1895. Helen Willows, 19, was the first person buried at Woronora in April 1, 1895.

More than 90,000 people have been buried there and 137,000 have been cremated.  In St Peters, NSW, down the road from Central, is a graveyard which is 175 years old.

It celebrated the event on April 5. John Benfield, a solider, was the first person buried there in March 1839. There have been 2515 interred at the site, the last one in 1896.

Picture: Monuments. These giant-sized statuette had a deep meaning for the person/s buried there.


NEXT WEEK: Sherlock Holmes and Friends – meet the Holmes’ Group. Two instalments next week. The rest of the series will run until November. Next September: Outstanding personally, Betty Cuthbert, whose eulogy is featured today, won the 100 metres at Melbourne in l956. She was possibly less excited the fact than most her admires, said a close colleague.


GLORIOUS SUMMER: THE SUMMERS WERE SURPASSINGLY LOVELY. A COOL BREEZE THAT SWEPT OVER THE SURGE UPON THE BROAD BEACHES WHERE TWO STOCKMEN WERE HEADING.

ROLF BOLDREWOOD DAYS: PART 2. LIFE AT YAMBUK – HOME SWEET HOME

The solid turf would disappear … you could end up with a strained joint and broken collarbone.

THOMAS ALEXANDER BROWNE*

And how pleasant, again, in contrast, when the cattle were yarded and the rails securely pegged, to unsaddle and walk into the house.

(Inside), where lights and glowing fires and a well-appointed table awaited us, presided over by a Chatelaine [lady of the house], whose soft voice and ever-varied converse – mirthful or mournful, serious or satirical, practical or poetic – never failed to soothe and interest.

Stock riding in those days, half real business and half sport, as we youngsters held to be, was certainly not one of those games, as Lindsay Gordon sings – “No harm could possibly find its way.”

Part of the Yambuk run was distinctly dangerous riding. Where the wombats dig their treacherous shafts and galleries, how many a good steed and horseman have I seen overthrown.

WHEN OUR NAGS ROLLED US

These peculiar night-feeding animals, akin to the badger of the old country, burrowed much among the coast hummocks. Their open shafts, though not particularly nice to ride among at speed, were trifling drawbacks compared to the horizontal “drives” into which your horse’s feet often broke.

The solid turf would disappear, and, with your horse in a concealed pitfall up to the shoulder, gave a shock that often told tales in a strained joint or a broken collarbone.

We fell lightly in those days, however, and, even when our nags rolled over us, rarely seemed to mind the trifling circumstance.

<< From Life at Yambuk; Australian Pathways, Spring 1998, volume 1 no. 1. *He changed his name to Rolf Boldrewood to write his bushranging novel, Robbery Under Arms.

Next month: A night ride – Ah, well do I remember, that loved and lonely hour – and demise.

Pictures: Odd pair. One bullock is captured by a stockman, and another animal escaped.

NANA: MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A DIFFERENT PERSON, ONE WHO COULDN’T BE DEFEATED. OR, IN A WAY. DISAPPOINTED. I SAW HER FREE OF AMBITION. FREE TO ENJOY, AS SHE LIKED TO PUT IT. BUT SHE GETS ANXIOUS, MIGHTY ANXIOUS WHEN THINGS GO WRONG.

THIS ABOUT IT! PART 2. GRANDMOTHER’S WITH LOVE

FRANK MORRIS

In no time, I began to get taller like a string bean. I was lying in my cot at my grandmother’s. It was 11.30am. It was a Saturday. Dad was sitting on the couch, reading. Experience warned me, however, that it was the Sportsman. My father was a gambler. Not a serious one but nevertheless, he was a “steady” one, if there’s such a word.

He never, for instance, gambled the house we had at Bexley. Or, anything important. Cards were much the same deal. I seems to recall an IOU he signed just moments before beating this fellow at cards. My father won the hand and he paid the IOU back.

My dad came across to me and put his giant hands around me. It was an affectionate hug. It lasted for several minutes. Other occasions, when he grabbed my hands his giant hands made 10 of mine.

SHE’S GONE TO HEAVEN

Where’s my mum, I begged. He dropped his hands down at his side and said, “Mum won’t be back, she gone to Heaven.” My mum was in bed, then she left her home. There we’re people hanging around. That’s all I remember. It worried me a great deal. And dad walked out the room. He went out to the Stanley wireless and switched in on.

Race afternoon had started when the afternoon presenter said, “Good day ladies and gentlemen …” Dad told me that was it is Ian Hay on 2KY.

I never realised this before, but dad was crying. He lived at grandmother’s the same as me. I’ll never forget those days. I could hear the front door open. Nana had been over to the neighbour opposite. Dad came to see my problem and his giant hands came to recue me from boredom.

Dad was smiling. He must have had a win at the races. He carried me to meet nana. Her outstretched arms were there to cuddle me. Nearly four, I was in another world. I hug her very closely. She bent down and whispered in my ear. I couldn’t hear it, but everything was fine. I hug her. Hug her. Minutes went by. Then Nana put me down.

It was some time later, when through my nana’s daughter, that I got the true story. My mother didn’t leave home but had died through a serious heart problem. They said that I was the apple of my mum’s eyes. I spent the next 20 years finding out why my mother died.

Coming: I was 5 years old and sick as a dog with flu.

Picture: Good old nana. She would hug me two or three times and kiss me on the forehead.


SIX GOLD MEDALS: BOBBY MORROW AND BETTY CUTHBERT, BOTH TRIPLE GOLD MEDALISTS, CONGRATULATE EACH OTHER ON THEIR VICTORIES IN MELBOURNE IN 1956.

VALE: THE ‘GOLDEN GIRL’ BETTY CUTHBERT PASSED AWAY

FRANK MORRIS

She was the ‘Golden Girl’ “who ran for her faith”, was how one newspaper described Betty Cuthbert’s zeal.

Cuthbert, who won four Olympic Golds and piles of other tracks records, died last Monday. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1969.

She dominated the women’s sprinting events at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games; she was the Australian ‘Golden Girl” of athletics. Cuthbert created records in the 100 metres (11.4) and 200 metres (23.4), and was a member of the victorious 4x100 metres relay team which broke the world record.

At Rome in the 1960 Olympics, Cuthbert represented in the 100, 200 and 400 metres. In Tokyo in 1964, she showed remarkable resoluteness and courage to win the gruelling 400 metres in the record time of 52 seconds. At Tokyo, Cuthbert established herself as an all-time great in athletics.

BROKE NUMEROUS RECORD

Cuthbert won two Silver medals at 1958 Cardiff Commonwealth Games. She a collected Gold medal for the 4x100 yard relay at Perth Commonwealth Games in 1962.

She broke world records on numerous occasions over 60 metres, 100 yards, 200 metres, 400 metres and 440 yards. In 1956, she was recipient of the Helms Award. She awarded the MBE for services to sport in 1965. Cuthbert became the first woman to be appointed to the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust in 1978.

Betty Cuthbert was a legend. She was one of the best Australians to ever compete. She inspires athletes everywhere to wear the national uniform.

<< The Hall of Champions, Sports House, Sydney.-

Picture: On your mark. The running style of Betty Cuthbert.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 11 August 17

FLASHBACK 1945: The Atomic Plague – Hiroshima was hit and became a nightmare world!

WAS HE OR WASN’T HE: WAS PRESIDENT TRUMAN CORRECT WHEN HE DECIDED TO DROP AN ATOMIC BOMB ON HIROSHIMA AND LATER NAGASAKI?

It’s 72 years since Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett travelled to Japan to cover the “aftermath” of America exploding the Atomic bomb over Hiroshima. Of Burchett’s endeavour, an Australian journalist reported that “Over 90,000 people died … but no western scribe had witnessed the aftermath experience.” Burchett emerged from the train and stepped into a nightmare world. He sat down on some rocks with his baby Hermes typewriter and began his paragraph. Burchett’s story was published on September 5, 1945, in the Daily Express, London, and would become a worldwide sensation. This is what he wrote. – FM.

WILFRED BURCHETT

In Hiroshima, 30 days after the first atomic bomb destroyed the city and shook the world, people are still dying, mysteriously and horribly – people who were uninjured in the cataclysm – from an unknown something which I can only describe as the atomic plague.

Hiroshima does not look like a bombed city.  It looks as if a monster steamroller has passed over and squashed it out of existence.  I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world.

In this first testing ground of the atomic bomb I have seen the most terrible and frightening desolation in four years of war.

It makes a blitzed Pacific island seem like Eden.  The damage is far greater than photographs can show.

When you arrive in Hiroshima you can look around for 25 and perhaps 30 square miles (64.7-77.7 sq km) and can hardly see a building.  It gives you an empty feeling in the stomach to see such man-made destruction.

DOZENS OF GUTTED BUILDINGS

I picked my way to a shack used as a temporary police headquarters in the middle of the vanished city.  Looking south from there I could see about three miles (4.8 km) of reddish rubble.

That is all the atomic bomb left of dozens of blocks of city streets, of buildings, homes, factories and human beings.
There is nothing standing except about 20 factory chimneys- chimneys with no factories. A group of half-a-dozen gutted buildings. Then again nothing.

The police chief in Hiroshima welcomed me eagerly as the first Allied correspondent to reach the city.  With the local manager of Domei, the leading Japanese newsagency, he drove me through, or perhaps I should say over, the city. And he took me to hospitals where the victims of the bomb are still being treated.

In these hospitals I found people who when the bomb fell suffered absolutely no injuries, but now are dying from the uncanny after-effects.  For no apparent reason their health began to fail.

They lost appetite.  Their hair fell out.  Bluish spots appeared on their bodies.

And then bleeding began from the ears, nose and mouth.

At first, the doctors told me, they thought these were the symptoms of general debility.  They gave their patients Vitamin A injections.

The results were horrible. The flesh started rotting away from the hole caused by the injection of the needle.
In every case the victim died.

In writing this story, I had “scooped” the Occupation press corps, a group of hand-picked American journalists flown directly from Washington who had been assured that they would be the first foreign journalists to enter Hiroshima.

A BOMB USED AGAINST HIROSHIMA

The most prestigious member of the United States journalist delegation was William L. Laurence. At the time of his Hiroshima visit, he was wearing two hats: one for the New York Times, the other as a member of the inner circle of the government’s nuclear weapons directorate.

He alone had access to the Manhattan Project’s supersecret plants and laboratories, and had been the sole journalist to observe the Alamogordo test of the prototype A-used against Hiroshima.

It had not been anticipated that a maverick reporter would have found the means to arrive at the dead city ahead of the (“official”) party.

Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that Lawrence in the New York Times and myself in the London Daily express wrote diametrically different reports.

I reported what I had seen and heard, while Lawrence sent back a prefabricated report reflecting the “official line”.

<< For a complete coverage read Shadows of Hiroshima by Wilfred Burchett, Verso Press, 1983.

Pictures: 72 years ago. On August 6, 1945, the world enters the Atomic Age when a single nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, killing 90,000 people and injuring thousands of others. Little Boy: World War II atomic bomb which was detonated over Hiroshima.


MAN’S GREAT LEAP: NEIL ARMSTRONG’S GHOSTLY FIGURE EMERGED FROM THE SPACECRAFT, HIS LEFT FOOT HOVERED ABOVE THE MOON SURFACE AS HE SPOKE THE WORDS FROM A WORLD AFAR. PICTURE FROM NASA.

FLASHBACK 1969: IT’S 52 YEARS SINCE MAN’S GREAT LEAP

FRANK MORRIS

On July 21, 1969, at 12.56 pm, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to put his footprint on the moon.

That’s 52 years ago. Time waits for no man.

GREAT LEAP

Watched by more than 600 million people around the world, Armstrong’s ghostly figure emerged from the spacecraft.

Armstrong’s first words as he gingerly slithered his feet across the moon’s surface were: “That’s one step for man but a giant leap for mankind.”

Twenty minutes later he was joined by his space companion Buzz Aldrin.


FLASHBACK 1969: NEW ALBUM INSPIRED BY ARMSTRONG’S WALK ON THE MOON

FRANK MORRIS

Reg Lindsay has released a new album, which is bound to find its way into every record collection.

Lindsay’s My Life in Country Music contains most of his hits, including Armstrong, which was inspired by astronaut Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk in July, 1969.

Lindsay told me a few years ago he was “not afraid” to take a punt on a song. “I’ve never been afraid to experiment,” he said. “If an idea is worth a gamble, it may come off.”

BIGGEST RECORD

He took a gamble with Armstrong he said. “Armstrong was one of those times when I allowed myself to be talked into a particular song and style. I wasn’t convinced that I could do justice to the song, but it turned out to be one of the biggest-selling records I ever had.”

Over the past three decades, Lindsay has turned out more than 300 albums and, at the last count, some 200 singles.

(Reg Lindsay died on August 5, 2008. He was 79.)
<< This story plus other material dealing with the space program was syndicated.

<< Frank Morris’ Showline column, 1985(?).

Pictures: Armstrong. Lindsay was inspired by his moon walk.


THE WIFE OF REV JOHN FLYNN: MRS FLYNN, MARRIED TO AN OUTBACK HERO, SAID “INLANDERS ARE CHEERFUL SOULS; THEY NEVER COMPLAIN.”

FLASHBACK 1939: MRS FLYNN OF THE INLAND KNOWS THE OUTBACK LIKE THE BACK OF HER HAND

Wife of outback hero tells of life in the interior.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The Rev. John Flynn inaugurated the first Flying Doctor in Australia, with a base at Cloncurry, Queensland, in 1928. It was called the Inland Aerial Medical Service.

Flynn also installed the first wireless base there, and distributed the first few pedal wireless sets that made it possible for isolated settlers to call the doctor in times of emergency.

Today, Cloncurry is only one of six Flying Doctor bases scattered widely over the outback of Australia. Talking of the work in the interior on Australia, Mrs Flynn said, “The settlers in the inland must be prepared to endure years of isolation.”

She added: “I remember going with the wireless officer to install a pedal set on a station 80 (40km) miles south-east of Croydon in the Gulf Country. The woman of the house and the governess had not seen another white woman for two years.

“At another station in the Gulf Country we were welcomed by a charming girl who had been to school in Sydney. She was the only white woman for 60 (30 km) miles. Soon after this girl came north to look after her father and brother; her brother had taken ill.

Inlander meets the dreaded perils

“The father had to set out by car to take him to the doctor at Camooweal, 200 (100km) miles distant. When he reached Camooweal the doctor was away, so he had to go 150 miles further on to Mt Isa. There the boy was operated on for appendicitis.

“But his father could barely wait to see him out of the anaesthetic before making a rush for home.

“The rains were due. They begin in December in that country and go till March. Once they started he would never reach home. And his daughter, fresh from the city, would be left alone with the natives for three months.

“He got as far as the last river before the floods began. He had to leave the car there, swim the river and walk the last 8 (16km) miles home. There was no way of getting news of his son.

“So after six weeks of anxiety, he saddled up a horse and set out to cover the 90 (45km) miles to the nearest telegraph station at Burketown, only to find that the telegraph had been down for five weeks and could not be fixed till the rains ceased.

“As it happens the boy was all right.

“The Inlanders are cheerful souls. They never complained.

<< Adapted from Mrs Flynn of the Inland; Australian Women’s Weekly, October 21. 1939.

In December: Some more words of wisdom about outback Australia by Mrs Flynn, wife of the man who started the Inland Aerial Medical Service – which became the Royal Flying Doctor Service – the Rev. John Flynn, in 1928.

Frank Morris writes: In 1939, the famous Rev. John Flynn, was newly appointed Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church. The Australian Inland Mission owes “its inception to him … and the plan for its formation being adopted by the Presbyterian General Assembly.”

Pictures: Wanting a shave. In 1938, John and Mrs Flynn are busy at the campsite at Gilbert River. Iconic. Rev John Flynn in 1938 after he has been elected Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.


WHO’S COUNTING: COUNT TO TEN AND YOU BECOME A TENOR!

SMALL SCREEN SUCCESS: 1988 -- THE SECRET OF WICKETY WAK’S GOOD FORTUNE!

What is the secret of Wickety Wak’s success?

For the past 12 months, the MO award-winning Queensland show-group has played to more than 2 million people all over Australia – and they keep coming back for more.

“The secret of WW’s consistent success lies in their witty and impeccable stage presentation,” says the group’s manager, Paul Ewart. “Their whole aim is to keep people of all ages total entertained. And they do it with crazy send-ups, musical tributes and a host of knockout celebrity impersonations.”

WON PRESTIGE AWARD

The group has just completed a television special for the Seven Network, which was shot over 3 months on locations around Australia. The new program, Called Wak About Australia, features Australian music ranging from Waltzing Matilda to Air Supply’s Lost in Love.

And this group is just putting the finishing touches to another TV special, Wickety Wak Live at the Gold Coast, which looks set to be a “top-rater” for Channel Seven.

“It’s WW’s most ambitious project yet,” said Ewart.

So far the group has made seven television specials, one of which, Waks Works, has won the prestigious Penguin Award in 1984. – FRANK MORRIS.

<< Appeared in Frank Morris’ Showline column which went to various newspapers.                                                                                                                                                

Picture: Timeframe. Wickety Wak … still going.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 04 August 17

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

CLASSIC REPEATS! The Great War: HMAS Australia steamed into Sydney Harbour

A CREDIT: “LIKE THE NATION IT SERVES, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY IS STILL YOUNG.” WROTE PETER SMARK. “IT’S SURVIVED TO MOULD ITSELF INTO ONE OF THE FINEST, BEST-TRAINED NAVIES OF ITS SIZE IN THE WORLD.” THE PAINTING, AT TOP, SHOWS THE BATTLE-CRUISER HMAS AUSTRALIA LEADING THE AUSSIE FLEET INTO SYDNEY HARBOUR ON OCTOBER 4, 1913. SOURCE: 75 YEARS GUIDE, A TRIBUTE TO THE RAN, A SUN-HERALD FEATURE 1986.

The first cruiser is a memorable event to the advent of the Australian Fleet, said the Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Cook.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The dreadnought battle cruiser HMAS Australia, the nation’s first flag ship, stole the show as it steamed into Sydney Harbour. - Ahead were a squadron of ships which comprised the newly-found Australian Fleet. For this historic occasion, the day was perfect.

It was October 4, 1913.

With HMAS Australia, came the light cruisers Melbourne, Sydney and Encounter – on loan from the Admiralty pending the completion of the Brisbane – and the torpedo destroyers Warrego, Parramatta and Yarra.

Thousands of people line the cliffs and along the shores of Port Jackson watching this fulfilment of many years of hopes, dreams and endeavour.

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

BUT IT WAS AGREED

In 1909, Britain became alarmed by the rapid growth of German naval power. The Admiralty requested Parliament to take exceptional measures to secure the safety of the Empire. An Imperial Conference met in London on July 28, 1909.

The Conference led to Australia and Canada forming independent navies, over which they exercised full control. But it was agreed that they should operate as an integral part of the Royal Navy in time of war.

In discussions, it was recommended that the whole system of Pacific Ocean defence should be remodelled by the creation of three Fleet Units: one on the Australian Station, one on the East Indies Station and the one on the China Station.

HMAS Australia was built at Clydebank and launched on October 25, 1911. She weight 18,800 tons and cost $3,700,000 and could attain a speed of 26 knots, and had convey off about 800 crewmembers. Her length was 590 feet overall, beam 80 feet and mean draught 26.5 feet.

The original armament were eight 12-inch, sixteen 4-inch guns, and two 21-inch torpedo tubes. Her armour belt was 6-inch amidships and 4-inch at the ends.

PRETTY SIGHT

The presence of HMAS Australia and her squadron put the nation’s mind at ease. In those times of mounting international tension and, especially when World War 1 was breathing down our necks, the Australia Fleet arrival was a pretty sight.

HMAS Australia escorted several expeditions which annexed German inlands and patrolled the Western Pacific. In early 1915 she went to European waters where she sank a German auxiliary – a German East African liner – and captured 100 prisoners, including many Negroes.

When she joined the British Fleet, HMAS Australia was honoured with the position of flagship of the second battle cruiser squadron. She never saw the thick of action. She missed taking part in the Battle of Jutland , off the mainland of Denmark, which took place on May 31, 1916, because at the time she was in dock for repairs of collision damage.

<< Adapted by Frank Morris from Historical Firsts, produced by Tucker & Company, Sydney.

Picture: One for all. HMAS Australia being towed into position when she moved into Sydney Harbour.


CLASSIC REPEATS! WHAY HAPPENED TO THE HMAS AUSTALIA?

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

HMAS Australia returned to Sydney in 1919. She was to await her fate from obsolescence. Under a world disarmament agreement she was sold for $6000 to be dismantled, and sunk off Sydney Heads in 1924.

This was a sentimental occasion which prompted many people to pile wreaths on Man-o’-War Steps, Farm Cove.

A naval party of 15 petty officers and stokers with long service in the battle cruiser accompanied her to her final place of sinking.

Patsy Adam-Smith, who wrote several books and articles on the ANZACS, said: “My mother told me of the end of HMAS Australia. It was April 12, 1924. We’d read about it in the papers. Under the terms of the Washington Treaty the nations were to disarm.”

I WAS PROUD

My father, Albert Smith told me, ‘Of course we were proud that HMAS Australia was flagship of the Second Battle-cruiser Squadron but I can’t recall any of us admitting it.’

As her mother, Adam-Smith continued: “This day they towed the HMAS Australia out through Sydney Heads and sank her. Your father didn’t say anything. I don’t know what he thought. We all thought it was awfully sad.

“Even though I hadn’t known him during the war I was proud of the HMAS Australia like everyone else. But he said nothing.”

<< Patsy Adam-Smith’s THE ANZACS, Thomas Nelson, 1978.

Picture: Ship goes down. In 1924, the battleship HMAS Australia was sunk off Sydney Heads.


TAKE THAT! A GERMAN BIPLANE IS SEEN NOSE-DIVING TOWARDS EARTH.

CLASSIC REPEATS! SOME AMAZING BUT TRUE STORIES

How did these astonishing photos come about?

FRANK MORRIS

The biplane, with flames pouring from under the fuselage, suddenly appeared to be out of control. The pilot, with a shocked look on his face, was tipped out and was seen spearing towards the earth.

This was a World War 1 photograph which showed a dogfight between a German and British aircraft; the British pilot appeared to let his plane twist and turn in the last phase of avoiding a stunning mid-air collision.

Were these incidents true or false?

According to the journalist who wrote the story, they were “audacious publishing hoaxes.” The journalist said “the pictures had been sold to a publisher for the equivalent of $20,000, a considerable sum in 1933.”

DEFINITIVELY DEBUNKED

The journalist said: “Gladys Cockburn-Lange claimed to be the widow of the British pilot who had taken the photographs.”

It turned out that in 1984 they were “definitively debunked” by the Smithsonian Institutes in Washington. Archivists there realised that Cockburn-Lange was none other than Betty Archer “wife of Wesley David Archer, a model maker in the film industry.”

The journalist said “he had painstakingly made models of all the aircraft and superimposed them on aerial backgrounds.”

<< Idea from the Sun-Herald newspaper, 2013.

Picture: Hoax or not? The British pilot does some fancy flying in an effort to avoid a remarkable air collision.


AT LAST! IBM ROLLS OUT ITS OWN PC

PART 5 -- COMPUTER MILESTONES: FROM DATA PROCESSING TO DIGITAL

Australia has entered the Information Age.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

The 1980s was reputed to be a decade of many “first” – and that’s what happened!

The first portable computer was released by Osborne in 1981. Adam Osborne, sold his computer book publishing company to McGraw Hill in 1979; and he hired Lee Felsenstein to design an inexpensive portable computer. The computer that resulted from this combination could fit under an airplane seat.

Also, IBM delivered it first PC.
…………………..
In 1982, the development of GSM began when the Conference of European Posts and Telegraphs (CEPT) formed a study group called Groupe Special Mobile (GSM). Their charter was to develop a pan-European public cellular system in the 900 MHz range.
…………………
The Internet became a reality when the ARPANET was split into Military and Civilian sections in 1983. Also, in 1983, the first laptop, the Tandy TRS-80 model 100, was rolled out in the US.
…………………...
In 1986, Australian Software Engineering Conference was founded by Dixon-Hughes, Leaney and Skinner.
……………………
The world’s first Software Quality Management Standard, AS3563, was developed in Australia and adopted by the IEEE in 1988.
…………………...
In 1989, Australia has entered the Information Age by taking the nation’s first Internet connection through MUNARRI at Melbourne University.

<< ACS Milestones, The Australian newspaper, January 6, 2001.

Picture: Publishing for a computer! Adams Osborne got out publishing.


A PAIR: THECROSSWORD AND ITS CREATOR

THE FIRST CROSSWORDS PUZZLE!

The Crossword is 100 years young! England’s Arthur Wynne, a journalist (above), created the world’s first crossword for the New York World on December 20, 1913.

It was called the Word-Cross Puzzle.

In 1922, Pearson’s Magazine, was the first publication in Britain to buy the crosswords. In 1930, The Times crossword made its debut. Cryptic crosswords made its appearance in 1926. – Frank Morris.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 23 June 17

OZ SPOT: Final! The lady from Pittwater in the pale yellow house

A DRINK: A STATUE OF DOROTHEA MACKELLAR IN GUNNEDAH.

Her shape was all wrong to be contemporary … and similar in style seen in photographs of people in the 30s.        

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

One night, with the doggies tucked in bed beside me, a hot water bottle at my feet, my silly woollen cap stuck on my head, I start to read Barbara’s document*. It is her research into Dorothea Mackellar’s life and the history of Tarrangaua.

It is enormously detailed … interesting only to locals, I suspect, or people who wander past and are curious about the pale yellow house on the side of the hill. Towards the end, on a page of its own, she writes this extraordinary tale:

About a year and a half after we moved in, I looked out the window from my study, which had once been Dorothea’s small and simple bedroom, and saw the strangest sight.

There was a woman, wearing a longish dark dress and a huge sun hat, walking quite sadly, it seemed to me, with her head down. Her steps were slow and a little tentative, as she headed towards the steep slope leading to the water’s edge.

FROM ANOTHER TIME

She disappeared for a moment, and then came back into view but I still could not see her face. And then she followed an old sandstone pathway, narrow and rarely used, to the waters of Frog Hollow. The little bay to the east.
I felt she had stepped out of another era … Her shape was all wrong to be contemporary. Her ankle length dress, in a fabric that also seemed from another time … after the first world war. And her hat was large, straw and similar to the style seen in photographs of people in the 30s.

It was mystery to me.

I REMEMBER THAT DAY

I felt silly and melodramatic. Because I knew from the first moment the figure appeared that she was a ghost. The ghost of Dorothea.

I am a pragmatist by inclination. But I know what I saw. I remember the day quite clearly because it was Melbourne Cup day … As every Australian knows it is the one day of the year when we all seem to be gripped by a mad, gambling frenzy.

Not a day any Australian would easily forget.

<< House at Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan; Penquin Book, 2012.

*Susan Duncan, author on this book; and Barbara, the owner of the house before Susan Duncan.

Picture: Undated photo. Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar as a young girl. Our country. A child’s drawing of Mackellar’s landscape.


I'M BUSY. SHERLOCK HOLMES.

THINK ABOUT IT? ELEMENTARY! THE INTERNATIONAL SHERLOCK HOLMES EXHIBITION

Sherlock Holmes is a ‘star’ in his own right! At the Powerhouse Museum Exhibition there’s a whole new world of captivating artefacts that have baffled any detective who tried to identify them. But not Sherlock Holmes!

“For the first time in Australia you’ll be transported back to Sherlock Holmes Victorian London, where you’ll crack the case,” said a spokesperson.

BE A DETECTIVE

A fine recreation of 221B Baker Street where Sherlock Holmes and his trusty side-kick Dr Watson lived was captured in the Sherlock! television drama. See the original manuscripts and the first editions, and visit one of the most accurate recreation of Baker St.

Come on you mini sleuths, get to the International Sherlock Holmes Exhibition and see what it would be like to a detective 127 years ago.

The International Sherlock Holmes Exhibition is from now until October 8, 2017.

Picture: I’m busy! Sherlock Holmes working on a tricky chemical problem that will help name the killer.


AWARD: MIDGET FARRELLY, POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA (AM) FOR HIS DEDICATION TO SURFING AND SURF LIFE SAVING, WINNING THE INAUGURAL 1964 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AT MANLY.

QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS: A TRUE NATIONAL HERO

Surfer Bernard Midget Farrelly was a ‘champ of the waves’. Midget ploughed ahead and won the 1964 inaugural world title at Manly, Sydney.

But this year, Farrelly, who died in August at the age of 71, has been granted posthumously a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his significant services to surfing and the surf-life saving. His daughter, Johanna Isherwood, said the family “especially valued the honour.”

Isherwood said, “Dad lived his lived for the water and really didn’t think much about what people thought of him. That’s why this means so much. It is recognition of the pioneering role he played in the rise of surfing in Australian life.”

Midget’s victories brought a burst of national pride.

OVER 60 MILLION WATCH RACE

Lord James Blears, Surfabout Magazine Hawaiian writer, reported that Sydney’s top-seeded boardrider, l8 year old Midget Farrelly, won the Senior Men’s 1963 Makaha International surfing final in Hawaii.
“It was the first international win by an Australian,” said Blears.

The importance of the Championship was heightened by the American Broadcasting Commission’s superb coast-to-coast TV coverage which was watched world-wide by an estimated 60 million viewers.

.Farrelly won the 1964 world championship with 132 points from a possible 150. – Frank Morris.

Picture: We’re the champs! Midget chats to Phyllis O’Donnell, 1964 World Championship holder, just after the contest.

MISS MARILYN: CHILDREN’S TV PRESENTER WITH THE SUPER FLYING FUN SHOW.

SMALL SCREEN SUCCESS:  NUMBER 1. SUPER FLYING FUN SHOW … EVEN MONTY WEDD MADE A MARK!

FRANK MORRIS

One weekday morning in the 70s the Super Flying Fun Show’s Miss Marilyn was giving away a host of prizes to the winner of a contest. After which she turned to the camera and said, “Well, we have a welcome surprise for this morning. It’s Monty Wedd a well-known artist who is to going you show how to draw.”

As Monty’s face turned to the camera, he was grinning like a Cheshire cat.

He was one a dozen guest stars they had lined-up for the kids. Monty had 10 to 15 mins to draw; then they were invaded by Rod and Emu. Monty knew his time was up. “Until next week. See you then.” Monty would fade into blackness.

Life began for the SFFS on Channel Nine as a children’s morning program in 1970; it ran for nine years.

Writes Harry Hollinsworth in the SMH Summer Guide: “I’m pretty sure I watching from the start as my earliest memories … were, I recall, Clotty and Emu. Clotty (Rod Hull) was replaced in 1971. He returned to Britain to reprise the janitor/emu partnership with some success.”

AS IF WAS YESTERDAY

He was replaced by Marty and Emu.

Apart from Rod/Marty and the Emu to get the early Super Flying Show off the ground, there was also Smoky Dawson, Monty Wedd and Paddle Pop Lion, the charming Miss Marilyn (Mayo) – and loads of cartoons.

Marty’s son used to go to the same school as Hollinsworth. Marty did a number of Marty and Emu presentation “days and birthdays.”

Writes Hollinsworth: “In my teenage years I saw Marilyn in a commercial for the series Holiday Island cast as ‘Dusty, everyone’s favourite barmaid.’ I couldn’t bear to watch. She had appearances in Riptide  (Customer) and Spyforce (Juliet). I wasn’t allowed to watch either show as it was thought they would give me nightmares.”

I remember SFFS as if it was only yesterday!

Next: TV’s Johnny Young and Young Talent Time. The show ran from 1971 to 1988.

Picture: Miss Mayo. Morning show host, Marilyn Mayo, being photographed by TV Week in 1976.


POSTCARD FROM NEW ZEALAND: FROM A DAUGHTER WITH LOVE!

NICOLA MORRIS

I decided to take a coach trip to New Zealand. I made a booking with Grand Pacific Tours and settled on an Ultimate Small Group Tour. It’s been hailed as their “business class on wheels” tour. I was ready to go.

Everything is “premium” level, I might add.

The new coach is a pleasure to ride in. Everything you want is provided. It is the premium way to travel. 

I came two days earlier so I can go to the theatre in Auckland. I – it was not part of the Ultimate Tour.

Tuesday May 9, 2017: Auckland was fantastic very Melbourne-like. Except the weather, it was fantastic! The theatre on Saturday night was world-class. I went by ferry to Waiheke yesterday to a ‘bean-bag’ view from Cable Bay vineyard. Literally, the hilltop from the vineyard was scattered with bean-bags where you sit back and relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the water views. Unreal!

Now, on with the Ultimate Tour.

Headed to Christchurch today.  Christchurch is go green and the St George (hotel) was very welcoming. Arrived to a view of falling leaves outside my room and, of course, a bottle of wine from management – note the label! It’s from my sister.

Took the tram ride around town. Construction in Christchurch is six years on; lots of buildings due to be completed in August/September.

KNOCK ON THE DOOR

Hang on, there is a knock at the door. It’s turn down service – my first George bear and some chocolates and macaroons – again, unreal!

It’s cold tonight, so I’m having a night in. Will keep you posted?

Friday, May 12, 2017: Got to go up in the helicopter this morning. Will do the canyon trip tomorrow. Just been booked into the Royal Suite.

Saturday, May 13, 2017: Fox Glacier – a view from the top. The Ultimate coach is first class comfort and the helicopter ride is the ultimate view! The bad weather passed the previous day. We were awaken to a beautiful morning. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk on pure white snow – it was glorious.

Sunday, May 24, 2017: Skippers Canyon, Queenstown – a view from the edge! There’s more to Queenstown than skiing and jet boating – and this is it. The best view of Queenstown is winding your way along the narrow Gorge Road of Skipper’s Canyon in a 4WD. It’s scary at first, then just breathtaking. Believe me, you have seen the best views.

Monday, May 25, 2017: There’s other things to do and see. Had a great day, Milford Sound was superb.

Thursday, May 28, 2017: At 6.22 am, this is the view from the balcony – Mt Cook. It’s unlikely to be visible all day, but spectacular nevertheless. – Adapted by Frank Morris.

Picture: The Sisters, said the wine label. Note the label. My sister comes good! The best. 4WD – scary but then breathtaking.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 16 June 17

INSIDE NEWSPAPERS: Final! Rocky Mountaineer Mile Post … “a feat of construction”

 

HERE WE GO! TODAY’S VERSION – THE ROCKY MOUNTAINEER TRAIN CROSSING THE OTTERTAIL CREEK.

Three safety tracks were also built to help divert out-of-control trains.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Throughout the construction process, CP Rail was encountering cash shortages. Though William Van Horne had great confidence in the company’s success, he and Stephen had to turn to the government for funds.

A bill was eventually passed authorising a loan of $22.5 million to CP Rail with the understanding that the construction would be completed in 1886. In the spring of 1884, the work continued along the canyon walls of the Kicking Horse River.

At the “Big Hill,” above Field, BC, special permission was granted to build the line down the steep grade of 4.5 percent, double the maximum grade allowed elsewhere. Three safety tracks were also built to help divert out-of-control trains.

By the end of 1884, the Ross group had reached, what is today, Golden.
In 1885, CP Rail was again faced with financial problems, having spent the $22.5 million; and with minimal cash, construction crews were not being paid and began to strike. By March, 1885, construction had stopped.

CONSTANT RAINS, WASHOUT

Fearing their dreams would not be realised, CP Rail once more approached the government for funding. After much political bantering, CP Rail was finally given more financial assistance, and the crews began to work again.

The next major obstacle ... to face was putting the line through Rogers Pass. Heavy snowfalls, of almost 15.25m/50 feet per year, necessitated the building of numerous snow sheds. By 1885, in late October, the line had reached Revelstoke, after fighting constant rains and washouts.

Andrew Onderdonk, the US contractor, was working under government contract to build this section and, since his equipment was already on site, CP Rail contracted him to build the section from Savona to Eagle Pass.

It took the Ross group another five weeks to reach Onderdonk’s railhead. The Last Spike was driven into ground on November 7, 1885. The construction of Canada’s first transcontinental railway was completed. It was finished almost six years ahead of its original schedule.

It was a feat of construction which amazed the world.

<< Rocky Mountaineer Mile Post.

Pictures: Contractor Andrew Onderdonk who, with his thousands of men, took on the dangerous Hell’s Gate in 1882. To hell and back: The steep walls of the infamous Hell’s Gate Canyon on the Fraser River.


OPEN SESAME: STAN THOMAKOS IS IN HIS ELEMENT BEHIND THE WHEEL OF HIS SPRITELY TORANA XU1, A SELF-MADE EQUIVALENT OF THE SAME CAR WHICH WON THE 1979 TOURING MOTOR RACE CHAMPIONSHIP AT BATHURST. THE CO-DRIVER WAS BOB MORRIS. THAT’S MORRIS’ AUTOGRAPH BELOW THE CAR. STAN KNOWS HIS TORANA INSIDE AND OUT. HE OWNS PD’S CAFÉ AT MORTDALE, SYDNEY.

REMEMBER WHEN! TORANA TURNED 50 … THE SEVENTIES MADE ITS TYRES SIZZLE!

FRANK MORRIS

If Torana was still being built today, it would have been 50 years young. The production of the Torana went from 1967 till 1979, the last year it raced. Its name came from the Aboriginal word “to fly”. And that’s exactly what it did at Bathurst in the hands of Peter Brock and company.

Twenty-seven years after he was born, Peter Brock would team up with a Holden six-cylinder Torana XU1 to start the winning partnership.

“It would rewrite the motorsport record books and turn one into a legend and other into a national institution,” writes Wayne Webster, motoring editor of the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) and Sunday Telegraph. “The only problem is picking which one is which.”

The career of Peter Brock and the other homegrown Aussie icon are “almost inseparable”.

THE HEARTS OF WOMEN

Webster: “No other person is as identifiable with the Holden brand as Brock … they continue to be linked through a marketing umbilical cord probably stronger now … than at any time in the past. Holden made Brock a household name.

He helped the company to put the Holden in driveways.

“Brock’s Bathurst triumphs, which fell one short of the “Perfect 10”, that the public longed for and the media dreamt of, all came courtesy of Holden products. For marketing men Brock was a gift from heaven; a good-looking, articulate racer with an appeal that won the minds of male buyers and the hearts of women.

“His triumphs at Mount Panorama made him a legend and he dragged Holden products along with him.”
From 1972-1979 he won Bathurst victories four times in a Torana XU1, L34 and A9X twice.

<< Peter the Great, Holden 50th anniversary feature, by Wayne Webster, The Weekend Australian, November 14-15, 1998.

Pictures: Torana is tops: Peter Brock -- winning the Bathurst 1000 in 1978. XU1 Secrets – Turning Torana into a champion. Holden enters the small car market with a converted Vauxhall. Now, it has become one of the most versatile motor sports cars Australia has seen.


SHERLOCK AND FRIENDS -- THE SERIES STARTS MID AUGUST AND RUNS MONTHY TILL OCTOBER. THE OPENING CHAPTERS WILL RUN TOGETHER. AND DON’T FORGET THE SHERLOCK EXHIBITION. IT STARTS AT THE POWERHOUSE MUSEUM, SYDNEY, ON JUNE 5 … NEXT MONTH: 75 YEARS AGO 3 MIDGET SUBS ATTACKED SYDNEY HARBOUR. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? … US WESTERN STORY – PRINCES OF THE FOURTH ESTATE. THE FIRST OF THE SERIES STARTS JULY.


LAUGHING MATTER! WHY WOULD WE BREAK UP? HE MAKES ME LAUGH!

CLASSIC REPEAT! LAUGHING MATTER, PART 1. WHY IT’S PRECRIBED AS THE BEST MEDICINE

It is a light-hearted approach to living longer.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Lighten up! Watch a funny movie with a few friends? Or join a “laughing club” where people meet for a specific purpose for the time of their life. Or hang out with fun, playful people who laugh easily.

You find this will put you in a more positive frame of mind. Or, ask people to describe what they find funny; maybe they will ask you the same.

What you need is a big belly laugh. You cringe as the person you’re with tells another terrible joke. Maybe, if you laugh a little you’ll find that it helps in the long run.

“From generating an increase in the supply of oxygen to our body (an aerobic activity),” says Kayte Nunn, in her article, The Best Medicine, “laughter definitely packs a beneficial health punch.” Nunn goes on to suggest that when “we let out a great chuckle or even just a quiet giggle, we use up to 50 facial muscles.”

Nunn continued: According to studies, this triggers the release of feel-good hormones, oxytocin and melatonin … which are both used in antidepressants.

Dr Tim Sharp, founder of The Happiness Institute, said, “This is almost certainly a physiological benefit. When we laugh, we release hormones and there are certain neurotransmitters in our brain that are mood-enhancing.

“This happens when you laugh naturally and even if you ‘fake it’; you can still build up the physiological response  and therefore get the same benefits.”

The trick is that “when we laugh,” said Dr Sharp, “we use various muscles and activate different parts of our body, therefore this is a good form of physical activity.”  Finding something to laugh at regularly you might even stave off having a heart attack.

A study conducted in 2000 by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Centre found that people with heart disease were 40 per cent less likely to laugh … compared to people without heart disease.

The study concluded that people with heart disease generally laugh less and display more anger and hostility in everyday life situations.

<< Adapted from Kayte Nunn’s The Best Medicine from Wellplan Magazine.

Pictures: Smile, laugh – double take. Why don’t you have a big, big laugh? It’s the best medicine you’ll ever get!


HARD FOUGHT: WE EVEN MADE THE PAPERS OVERSEAS. THIS PAPER IS FROM AMERICA. “THREE MIDGET SUBS RAID SYDNEY; ALL BELIEVED SUNK,” THE PAPER SAID. TWO WERE LOCATED IN THE HARBOUR; THE THIRD ONE ESCAPED THE CORDON OF GUNFIRE AND WAS FOUND OFF DEE WHY, A SYDNEY BEACH, IN 2006.

THINK ABOUT IT! SCRIBE WITNESSED THE ATTACK ON SYDNEY HARBOUR BY THREE MIDGET SUBS

Mr Kevin Smith, of West Pennant Hills, Sydney, wrote a piece for Column 8 on the three midget Japanese subs that attacked Sydney Harbour on March 31, 1942 -- 75 years ago. Column 8 says:

“Kevin was a teenager and witnessed the event on the harbour from his parents’ home at Watsons Bay. He thinks there would be only a few people still alive who saw the events as he did.”

21 SAILORS WERE KILLED

‘From the front of our house,’ said Kevin. ‘My parents and older brother and sister saw the searchlights, we heard the gunfire and the sound of depth charges exploding. Twenty-one sailors were killed by an exploding torpedo on Garden Island.

‘The next morning, we saw one sub caught in the boom net and another sunken one being guarded by naval vessels in Taylor Bay. The third escaped and was found off Dee Why in 2006.’ Thanks, Kevin.

<< Column 8, Sydney Morning Herald, May 31, 2017.

COMING: Three midget Japanese subs attacked Sydney Harbour on March 31, l942. Next month!
Picture: People stared in amazement. Crowds watch one of the midget subs being hauled safely to land.


DOG AND COMPANY: WHEN CHECKERS PASSED AWAY, NEARLY EVERY MEDIA COMPANY ON THE GLOBE WANTED PART OF THE ACTION!

CLASSIC REPEAT! THE CHECKERS SPEECH – RICHARD NIXON TALKS ABOUT HIS DOG

In 1952, Richard Nixon’s famous international talk-fest, the Checkers Speech, broadcast over radio, television – and the press, too – centered on a dog and two children. If you don’t remember, here it is.

RICHARD M. NIXON

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

One other thing I probably should tell you, because if I don’t they’ll probably be saying that this is about me too.

We did get something, a gift, after the election.

A man down in Texas had heard Pat (his wife) on radio mention … that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us.

We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate and he sent it all the way from Texas. It was black and spotted. And our little girl, Tricia, the six-year old, named it Checkers.

And you know, the kids loved that dog. And I want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we gonna keep it.

[Frank Morris writes: Checkers was in the heart of every American from that day in 1952. The dog was photographed everywhere it went. Magazines like TIME and Newsweek often featured Checkers – as did the television and the dailies. When Checkers died in 1964, every news media covered the event. Adapted from The Literary Dog published by Push Pin Press, New York.]

<< The Literary Dog, published by Push Pin Press, New York.


THE CAT’S WHISKERS! A NOTE FROM A VERY SPECIAL FELINE

 “MR MORRIS – THANKS YOU FOR MY STORY. SPIRIT THE CAT.”

Well, this was a surprise! Spirit the Cat and the Tasmanian Tiger have heaps of friends judging by the story I wrote last week. One reader said I should run a series like last weeks of Spirit and Tiger getting up to mischief -- the kids will love it. It’s worth thinking about.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 09 June 17

Stay Informed

Receive eNews & Special Offers

Brochure Request Order

BLOG: Grand Years Read

Last 12 months


Tags