All Posts

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 10 records of 200

LES MISERABLES: The insurrection and the barricades

FEARS OF WATER POISONING SPREAD THROUGH THE CROWDED QUARTERS.

Adapted by FRANY MORRIS

ACTION!: THE AREA (OPEN STAR) SHOWING LES MISERABLES BARRICADES AT RUE DE LA CHANVRERIE, PARIS.

It was Tuesday, June 5 …

Paris is in a feverish state. The devastating effects on the poor suffering from unemployment, cholera, and rumours of plots and counter-plots from Bonapartists, legitimists, republicans and police provocateurs, it was not a healthy state of affairs.

Royalists, who supported the grandson of Charles X, Henry V, were stirring up rebellion in the west and south. Fears of food and water poisoning sent panic through the crowded quarters.

These condition have … caused thousands of students, workers, soldiers and foreigners to come out to honour the memory of General Lamarque, a strong supporter of the poor, who had been a leader of the opposition to Louis Philippe.

He had described Louis Philippe and his government as a “halt in the mud.”

A horseman carrying a red flag and a cap of liberty, the symbols of 1792, mysteriously appeared at the ceremony. Shots rang out. Troops clashed with the crowd. Barricades, like an electric current, spread through the greater part of the city; and there were many fierce and heroic clashes between the insurgents and the troops.

This was, indeed, a tragedy. Frenchman again Frenchman. Many are wounded, many are dying. The next few hours will affect the future of the nation.

Smashing the printing plates. The newspaper, The Tribune, was seized before it was brought out.

LES MISERABLES: Stop Press – Support failed, absence of leaders

THE WAR ENDED WITH A BLOODY REPRESSION.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

DEATH: THE FALL OF THE BARRICADES GAVE THE INSURGENTS LITTLE CHANCE OF COMING OUT ALIVE. THE OUTCOME WAS INFLUENCED BY ARTILLERY FIRE AT CLOSE RANGE.

The insurgents were eventually defeated by the repeated infantry charges and close range artillery fire. The uprising failed, not for lack of support, but for the absence of leaders.

Neither the young editor of Le National newspaper, Armand Carrel, nor the ailing General Lafayette, both admirers of the American republic, were ready to take the chance and lead the insurrection.

The insurrection is not well-known as a historical revolution. It was an important spontaneous event expressing the feeling of the populace, rather than being well prepared and led by dedicated men.

It ended on June 6 with the bloody repression on the rue St Mery.

RENEWED VIGOUR

Although beseeched by the opposition, the King blamed the troubles on conspirators and refused to alter his policies. There were later 80 attempts on his life. Martial law was declared in four departments.

There were many arrests, but jurors acquitted all but a handful of those brought to trial. Rather than discouraging the republicans, the events filled them with a renewed determination to continue and to educate and organise the people in obtaining better conditions; like, civil liberties and a democratic government.

Repressed again in 1834, they triumphed in the revolution of February, 1848, which inaugurated the Second Republic.

<< Background from Cullen Publications Pty Ltd, Sydney.

Will it hurt? Soldier has a dressing.

LES MISERABLES: Victor Hugo and the common people in Les Miserables

PEOPLE, THINGS: THE MICHELANGELO OF FRENCH LITERATURE, VICTOR HUGO, SAID THE SINGLE, FATEFUL WORD – LES MISERABLES. THEY’RE THE OUTCASTS, THE UNDERDOGS. WHO IS TO BLAME?

The author, wrote the classic, Les Miserables, around the barricades events. The musical production also follows his novel accurately. It contains striking scenes at the barricades. Victor Hugo describes part of the fighting:

VICTOR HUGO

The ground within the barricades was so covered with used cartridge-cases that it might have been a snowstorm. The attackers had the advantage of numbers; the rebels had the advantage of position. They were defending a wall whence they shot down at point-blank range the soldiers staggering amid their dead and wounded; or enmeshed in the barricade itself.

The barricade, constructed as it was and admirably buttressed, did indeed present one of those positions where a handful of men could defy a legion.

Nevertheless, being constantly reinforced and expanding under the hail of bullets, the attacking column inexorably moved forward; with certainly, the army was compressing the barricade like the screw of a winepress.

THE ASSAULTS CONTINUED

There ensued, on that heap of paving-stones in the Rue de la Chanvrerie, a struggle (that would have been) worthy of the ruins of Troy.

That handful of haggard, ragged, and exhausted men, who had not eaten for twenty-four hours, who had not slept, who had only a few shots left to fire, so that they searched their empty pockets for cartridges.

Nearly (all) were wounded, with head or arm swathed in rough, blackening bandages; having holes in their clothing through which the blood flowed; ill armed with sufficient muskets and old, worn sabres, became Titans.

The barricade was ten times assailed and climbed, but still it did not fall. Adapted by FRANK MORRIS.

Next: Victor Hugo -- striking scenes at the barricades.

Defending the barricades. The outcasts and soldiers fight tooth and claw.


NEXT WEEK: Queen Elizabeth ll at 95 – the winds of change. Meanwhile …

AT AGE 90, THE QUEEN REMEMBER THE POMP AND PAGENTRY OF HER MARRIGE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

WEDDING DAY: NOVEMBER 20, 1947 WAS THE GRANDEST DAY IN THE QUEEN’S 90 GLORIOUS YEARS WHEN SHE WAS TO MARRY PHILIP, THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH. ON THE MORNING OF HER WEDDING DAY, SHE TOLD CRAWFIE HER GOVENESS. “I CAN’T REALLY BELIEVE IT IS HAPPENING.”

A fairy-tale wedding. On July 9, 1947, three months after Princess Elizabeth’s 21st birthday, the world learned her very thrilling secret: she was officially engaged to dashing Philip Mountbatten who was the love of her life.

In accordance with royal protocol, he was created His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh shortly before the wedding.

The wedding reception was at Buckingham Palace and in honour of the happy couple the dinner included Fillets de Sole Mountbatten to start and Bombe Glace Princess Elizabeth as dessert. They honeymooned in the UK at Broadlands, the home of Philip’s uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the bride close to take her favourite corgi Susan with them.

END OF A LIFE

The young naval couple lived first at Windlesham Moor near Windsor Castle and then in Clarence House in London. But Philip was still a serving naval officer, the second in command of the destroyer HMS Chequers, which was based at Malta.

She spent her stays there at Villa Guardamangia, another home owned by Lord Mountbatten.

Almost a year to the day after her wedding, the Queen gave birth to Charles on November 14, 1948, at Buckingham Palace. Princess Anne was born on August 15, 1950, at Clarence House.

Life was cut short for George VI. He was becoming frailer so Elizabeth was increasingly involved as a stand-in at royal events. In 1952, she and Prince Philip were on their way to Australia and New Zealand … when news was received on February 6 that lung cancer had ended the King’s life.

His health undoubtedly suffering from the strain of being a dutiful king through the difficult war years.

<< 90 Glorious years, a YOURS Souvenir Edition; Bauer Media Pty Limited, Sydney.

lIIustration: The King and I: George VI and Princess Elizabeth share a few words.

COMING: Bushranger – Ned Kelly meets his doom; Historic Pubs – A farmer builds a pub.


QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING: 120 glorious years for this icon of Sydney!

THE POPULATION HAS WITNESSED SOME ENORMOUS CHANGES TO THE FACE OF ITS CAPITAL CITY.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

PICTURE: THE DOMED SHAPES OF THE QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING FILLS THE SKY WITH WONDERMENT THAT PEOPLE HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. 

The Queen Victoria Building, built 120 years ago, first captured the public’s imagination in 1898. The building, in all this time, has remained an edifice unparalleled in Australia. For its scale and architectural air of distinction, the level of detail and craftsmanship, was second to none.

Over the past century, this majestic Romanesque arcade has become a symbol of a flourishing city and one true constant in a world moving at a modern pace.

Described as “this iconic jewel” in the heart of Sydney, it has been witness to enormous change, and, at one time, faced a real threat of being torn down. Yet it seemed that survival was always in her sights and it continues to thrive. Is it rare that a Victorian-era building so resiliently stands the test of time as our beloved QVB?

It will inspire generations with her enduring beauty and grace.

MYSTERY, INTRIGUE

A touch of local heritage is also part and parcel of the grand, ‘young’ building. By unlocking the secrets, for instance, you’ll discover the little-known details of Australia’s largest and grandest Victorian arcade. As befits this building, which has amassed a 120 year-old history, wants to share her mystery and intrigue.

For instance, the ghost of a former tenant wandering thought the arcades at night; and the extraordinary tale of how the long-abandoned Queen Victoria statue found its way to Sydney. There’s more to this majestic building that you might think.

Question: In the building’s inaugural years, a Chinese-merchant opened the Elite Hall tea house, which went on to be one of the most popular restaurants of the Victorian era. His spectre was reportedly seen walking the arcades at night?

Who was it?

<< Background to this story from Celebrating an Icon; to mark its 120 years of history.

TO EXPERIENCE THE GRANDEUR OF THE QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING, BOOK A GUIDED TOUR WITH THE CONCIERGE OR CALL 02 9264 9209.


SHOP WINDOW: Heritage Places -- A gift of a nation 

FRANK MORRIS

Collingrove in the Barossa Valley, SA. In a magnificent section of the Barossa Valley, complete with English country garden, is a homestead called Collingrove. The Angus family, which built it 1856, Collingrove stands as a rare specimen of how our pioneers attempted to recreate the ‘Old Country’ atmosphere of their origins. The homestead is the perfect place to step back in time. It’s ideal for accommodation, homestead tours and weddings.

The first school in Alice Springs. The school was established in temporary accommodation on the Old Hartley Street site. This took place shortly after the railway reached the township in 1929. The school underwent some restoration since 1980; and it was opened for the Bicentennial program in l988.

<< Backgrounds for the two articles came from a Gift to the Nation, Historic Australia, No 4. 1987.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 17 August 18

VIVE LES MISERABLES: It was the greatest musical of a lifetime!

FRANK MORRIS

BREAKING INTO SONG: WHEN THE LEAD SINGER REACHED A HIGH NOTE, WHICH ALMOST TORE MY EAR DRUMS APART, I WANTED TO JUMP FROM MY SEAT TO JOIN THE FRAY. Below: I FIGHT, DREAM, HOPE AND LOVE, SAID THE LES MISERABLES FIGURE.

The musical in Melbourne, 1988 …

The spectacular and powerful production of Les Miserables more than lives up to its pre-publicity as “not only the greatest musical sensation of the decade, or the century, but of a lifetime.”

Forget the hype, Les Miserables is a stirring, emotion-charged event that will make your palms sweat and bring tears to your eyes.

FLAWLESS THEATRE

In fact, I’m not too ashamed to admit that the famous barricades were so overwhelming that I wanted to jump from my seat and join the fray, even though it turned into a bloodbath.

Les Miserables is flawless theatre!

Over the next twelve months you – along with thousands more – will want see it several times. The cast, like the production, is impressive. It would be unfair to praise but a few names.

All I will say is, “Take a bow Normie Rowe”.


LES MISERABLES: Insurrection in 1832 -- the fighting, the barricades

WERE THEIR ACTIONS JUSTIFIED?

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

To l832 …

It is now forty-three years after the outbreak of the French Revolution and seventeen years after the battle of Waterloo, and the air was still unpleasant, dank. In Britain, the Prime Minister, Earl Grey, has just overcome the resistance of the House of Lords to the third Reform Bill enfranchising the middle classes.

On the continent, the spirit of liberalism and nationalism continues to challenge aristocratic and monarchical rule again in France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Poland.

In the United States of America, Andrew Jackson, a frontiersman and friend of the common people, is running for President … again.

In Paris …

The funeral of the popular Napoleonic hero and government member, General Lamarque, took place; and he was laid to rest on June 5, l832. Parisians are still taking to the barricades in an uprising to overthrow the July Monarchy of Louis Philippe.

What is the fury or passion that is driving these working men and students behind the barricades to resist repeated infantry charges and cannon fire? Are sedition and rebellion bred in the bones of these Parisians who rise up from the gutter at the slightest sign of provocation? Or are there actions justified?

These insurgents are the offspring of the Revolution of 1789 and Republic of 1792. They had sought to bring democracy and social justice to the common people. They are also the admirers of Napoleon Bonaparte who had aimed at liberating the peoples of Europe from hereditary kings and aristocrats.

These are the same insurgents who had fought at the barricades during the “three glorious days” of July 1830 when another king by divine right and his regime were overthrown.

But Louis Philippe, the new constitutional monarch selected from the Orleanist branch of the royal family, felt like an enemy; in the minds of many of these people, he had betrayed their struggle for liberty and social justice.

He answers their petitions and strikes for jobs, living wages and lower taxes with troops and arrests; their pleas for France to aid insurgent Belgians, Italians, Germans and Poles with a do-nothing policy; their demands for liberty of the press with the trial of republicans who attempted to revive the memory of 1792.

PICTURE: The burial ground of popular Napoleonic hero, Gereral Lamarque.
Next: Les Miserables – the killing begins.


The Guillotine and the Thenardier family under review

Adaption by FRANK MORRIS

WORK TO BE DONE: CONSTRUCTING THE BARRICADES. 

La Guillotine, or the guillotine, was the brain-child of Joseph Ignace Guillotin in 1789.

Guillotin, a Paris deputy, suggested that all those convicted of capital offences should have the right to be decapitated, like a privilege that was reserved for nobles.

The decapitation should be quick and painless.

Such ‘beheading machines’ were already known in Germany, Scotland and Yorkshire, England.

“Avec la machine je vous fais sauter la tete”, said Guillotin.

The guillotine had a life-span of nearly 200 years.

President Mitterand abolished the death penalty in 1981.

FATEFUL WORD

On another note, Victor Hugo describes the Thenardier family as les miserable – “the outcasts, the under-dogs … the rejected of society and the rebels against society.”

Hugo wrote: “Certainly they appeared utterly depraved, correct, vile and odious; but it is rare for those who have sunk so low not to be degraded in the process.

“And there comes a point, moreover, where the unfortunate and infamous are grouped together, merged in a single, fateful word. They are les miserables.

“They are outcasts, and under-dogs. And who is to blame? Is it not the most fallen who have most need of charity?”

<< Les Miserables is adapted from Cullen Publication Pty Ltd, Edgecliff, Sydney.

PICTURE: M. Thenbardier… an outclass citizen’s, the reject of society.

COMMENT: All newspaper engravings and line illustration are product of the various newspaper that covered the following 1832 French insurrection. Read all it.


CLASSIC REPEAT: Memory, epilepsy can have an impact on one’s life

IF YOU’VE EXPERIENCED A CHANGE WITH YOUR MEMORY, BEHAVIOR OR PERSONALITY, THEN CONSULT YOU DOCTOR. DON’T WASTE ANY TIME.

FRANK MORRIS

The racing fraternity had been stunned since champion jockey Nathan Berry passed away from Norse syndrome, an acute form of epilepsy.

Dr Rubina Alpitsis, Senior Neuropsychologist, in Melbourne, said some people with epilepsy will “experience changes to memory, thinking, behaviour and personality.” Dr Alpitsis said “epilepsy can disrupt the normal activity of the brain – a complex and sophisticated organ.”

She said “different abilities can affected, depending on the type of seizure a person has and where it occurs in the brain.”

“But the most common complaints concern the effect of epilepsy on memory and understanding these effects can help us identify strategies for remembering.”

What do we look for?

The ability to “solve complex problems” occurs in the front part of the brain, or the frontal lobe. “While the area that impacts memory – our ability to learn, consolidate and store new information – is in the middle, or medial temporal lobe.”

STRENGTH THROUGH SHARING: What is it like living with epilepsy?

Alpitsis said that changes in memory and thinking can occur before, during or after seizures and can be temporary or long term. “A number of additional factors can contribute to changes. You have your medications but also frustration, depression or anxiety.”

Anne and Graeme Woods support each other. They even went to an Epilepsy Action forum together and both said it was a pleasant feeling. “It was just good to unload your feelings, how to cope with your epilepsy,” says Anne.

As a child, Anne began having absence seizures but wasn’t diagnosed with epilepsy until her 20s. “I used to get into trouble at school for daydreaming.”

I DON'T DWELL ON MY CONDITION

Now in her early 40s, Anne, had three tonic clonic seizures in her sleep. Graeme, a horticulturalist with the local council, said “we’re both very supportive.” For Graeme, those times have been all too frequent.

He had his first tonic clonic seizures hit when he got encephalitis as a result of measles at age four. Being assaulted with complex partial seizures like that had him bundled into a police paddy wagon on suspicion of drug and alcohol intoxication.

Then, in 1997, five years after temporal lobectomy surgery successfully treated his epilepsy, a fever contacted from mosquito bites, led to his nocturnal seizures. Despite all this, Graeme continues to focus on a positive outlook on life. “I don’t dwell on my condition.”

The couple donate support services for people with epilepsy. “The more the public are aware, the more it breaks down the stigma,” says Anne.

<< From Epilepsy 360 magazine.

Pictures: Deadly. Not many people know the epilepsy part of the disease can be fatal.


HONOURED: Just Rewards – another double jackpot for Len!           

BUT THE COMPANY WAS NEVER TO REST ON ITS LAURELS.

FRANK MORRIS

STANDING PROUD: TWO OF THE THOUSANDS OF MACHINES TO WHOM AINSWORTH WAS ESPECIALLY ATTACHED. Below: LEN AINSWORTH, NOW CHAIRMAN EMERITUS. Below: AINSWORTH ‘S LATEST MACHINES IN ONE OF THE CASINOS.

Aristocrat has been on the scene for the past 60 odd years, making it one of the oldest established and most respected names in the coin gaming industry.

The manufacturer, Ainsworth Consolidated Industries, notched up many history-making ‘firsts’ in the early years. The company is a successful exporter of gaming products to over 40 countries.

“Our expertise is working for Australia,” a company spokesperson said. “And this means more jobs and vital export dollars for the country”. But the company was never one to rest on its laurels.

When the company released its Clubman machines in the early 1950s, it introduced the first front opening cabinet, first self-lubricating reel assembly bearings and the first ‘free play’ lock. Needless to say, the machines took the market by storm.

In 1956, the year poker machines were legalised by Cahill Labor Government, the company unveiled its superior Clubmaster series which featured multiline and scattered pays. A few years later, Ainsworth hit another jackpot: the first fully lit reels and scorecard.

FAMOUS MICROSTAR

In 1979, the company led the gaming world with the release of the ‘first’ electronic microprocessor machine and the ‘first’ electronic credit meter. In the early 1980s, came the now-famous Microstar series.

“There machines incorporated most of the latest gaming technology still in use” the spokesperson said.

The company’s Research and Development Centre in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, NSW, is one of the largest in the southern hemisphere. Both across Australia and internationally.

The “irrepressible” Len Ainsworth, 72, contracted cancer in 1994. Doctors had warned him that he could “be dead within the year.” Ainsworth took the gaming company which he founded, Aristocrat Leisure, and gave it to wife, ex-wife and seven sons.

RIGOROUS PACE

In 1995, Ainsworth established Ainsworth Gaming Technology and it employed about 25 people (today 500), and one of his the first tasks was to apply to the NSW Licensing Court for a poker machine dealer’s licence.

Recently, Ainsworth, at 94, sold his majority stake to an Austrian company, Novomatic. Ainsworth is now Chairman Emeritus and he continues life at a rigorous pace.

Ainsworth is delighted to be recognised as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. He told Club Life magazine that “his appointment to the Order of Australia is an honour.

“And I am privileged not only to be involved with philanthropic efforts that have included multi-million dollar donations to charities including Sydney Children’s Hospital and St Vincent’s Private Hospital and to recognised for the development of Australia’s gaming industry and export market”,  he says.

<< Player’s Guide to Poker Machines; Frank Morris; National Publication, Homebush West, Sydney.

COMING: Have I got a problem with gambling?


IT’LL BE WORTH IT: Have a cuppa with Buddy Williams

FRANK MORRIS

BUDDY WILLIAMS, ALWAYS SMILING, LAYING HAND-PRINTS AT THE INAUGURAL CEREMONY IN 1977. WITH HIM ARE TEX MORTON AND SMOKY DAWSON.

In 1977, legendary country music star, Buddy Williams, was inducted to the Hands of Fame at Tamworth and with him were Tex Morton and Smoky Dawson. This was an inaugural ceremony. Buddy’s handprints in the Australasian Country Music Hall of Fame cornerstone are there to stay. Since then, dozens upon dozens have been invited to add their name to the handprints. There is a celebration to commemorate his 100th birthday. He was born in 1918. It will be held at Dorrigo Showground on Saturday, September 8. There will be a number of country music entertainers busking; on Sunday a dedication plaque will be unveiled at the Museum on Cudgery Street; country music will continue on Sunday with Trevor Tolton, performing at the Dorrigo RSL Club, NSW.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 10 August 18

THE GREAT WAR: Rupert Brooke’s War – “I saw what was a truer Hell

BROOKE WAS A POET OF THE WAR. FROM HIM, AUSTRALIA LEARNT A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE BLOODY FIGHTING THAT WAS YET TO COME.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

I WOULD TO LIKE TO GO: RUPERT BROOKE, THE SOLDIER-POET OF THE WAR. SAID RUPERT: “I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS ADVERTURE THROUGH WITH MY OWN MEN.” Below: HIS FIRST GRAVE AT THE FRONT. Below: RUPERT BROOKE, SOLDIER-POET. Below: THE SOLDIER BOWS OUT.

Rupert Brooke joined his battalion, and camped of the coast of Kent, on Sunday, September 24, 1914. They marched to Dover a week later and embarked to defend Antwerp from the German advance.

In the next five days, Antwerp fell. Brooke and his company had to march twenty-five miles in the retreat; through a landscape wasted by shelling and pools of burning petrol from a bombed fuel depot.

Round them the carcasses of horses and cattle sizzled, and wagons of dead people, the wounded and refugees filled the road. Brooke wrote:

“… I saw what was a truer Hell. Thousands of refugees, their goods on barrows and hand-carts and perambulators and wagons, moving with infinite slowness out into the night; two unending lines of them, the old men mostly weeping; the women with hard drawn faces, the children playing or crying or sleeping.… The eyes grow clearer, and the heart. But it’s a bloody thing, half the youth of Europe, blown through pain to nothingness in the incessant mechanical slaughter of these in modern battles”.

By October 8, they had reached the troop train, which carried them to Bruges. All the company’s luggage, and several of Brooke’s manuscripts, had been destroyed. The next day, they arrived back at Dover.

SEA-SICK

The company was re-equipped at Chatham.

Brooke arranges to stay with friends so he moved to the Hood Battalion. The next three months training was interrupted only by influenza, by respiratory complaints arising from the use of coke stoves, and drunkenness.

Brooke spent much of February ill in bed in London at 10 Downing Street, the home of his friends the Asquiths.

On Saturday, February 27, 1915, his ship departed from Avonmouth Docks for the Dardanelles. Two days later, on March 1, they were in open sea off the Bay of Biscay, and he was sea-sick. Early on Monday, March 8, they put into Malta, where Brooke dined and went to the opera to see Tosca.

The next day the ship set out for Lemnos and the Eastern Mediterranean, arriving three days later.

Brooke’s ship sailed for Turkish waters a few days later. Early the next day, on March 19, they entered the Dardanelles. But after several hours of inactivity, they were withdrawn, due to losses from mines in the coastal bombardment on the previous day.

The landing, they surmised, was impractical so they returned to Lemnos.

They left Lemnos for Egypt on Wednesday, March 24, sailing via Patmos and Rhodes and arriving in Port Said on Sunday, March 28. Brooke and two friends spent two days in Cairo, visiting the Pyramids and the Sphinx; and touring the moonlit streets by donkey.

After a series of exercises and route marches, Brooke was ill with sunstroke and dysentery. He spent the next week in the Casino Palace hotel with a fellow officer who had been similarly afflicted.

However, by Thursday, April 8, orders came to sail for Lemnos. By this time, Brooke’s potential as a poet, politician and academic was becoming recognised and many did not want England to lose him.

THOUGHT ABOUT DEATH

Brooke’s Colonel suggested he spend more time recovering in Egypt; and Brooke’s Commander in Chief further suggested he take a staff job. Brooke refused both of these offers. The Commander in Chief said: Rupert Brooke very naturally would like to see this adventure through with his own men … I should have answered the same in his case …”

Brooke said, “Well, if Armageddon’s on I suppose one should be there”.

According to Margaret Lavington, who wrote Rupert Brooke: Biographical Notes, Brooke “had a presentiment of his death, but he went, as so many others have gone”. Brooke never reached the Dardanelles.

The sunstroke and dysentery he got over. But he died from blood-poisoning on board a French hospital ship at Skyros on Friday, April 23. A few days later, the news of his death was published in The Times. In part, Winton Spencer Churchill wrote:

“Rupert Brooke is dead … The voice has been swiftly stilled. Only the echoes and the memory remain; but they will linger. He expected to die; he was willing to die for the dear England whose beauty and majesty he knew.”

<< Adapted from Rupert Brooke’s War and Rupert Brooke: Biographical Notes.

MOMORIES:  Mud – a sinister, vile, murderous slime it pays no heed to soldiers!

“FOR MOST OF US THESE DAYS, MUD IS A MINOR INCONVENIENCE. THIS WAS NOT JUST WET SOIL … THE STENCH OF DEATH WAS EVERYWHERE,” Steve Waterson, Editor of the Australian. Australian troops on their way to the front line in October, 1917. They trudge through the mud along the track -- from Bellewaarde Lake and Chateauwood to Westhoek – surrounded by the debris of wagons and trees shattered by the relentless shellfire. The Great War, The Darkest Day, 2017.


CLASSIC REPEAT: OZ Spot: The lady in the pale house on the hill

THE AUTHOR, SUSAN DUNCAN, SAID TARRANGAUA IS AN ABORIGINAL WORD WHICH MEANS HIGH ROUGH HILL.

FRANK MORRIS

One of Australia’s most famous poets, Dorothea Mackeller, who died in 1968 at the age of 83, is credited with writing the two most quoted lines of Australian literature – “I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains …” which come from her poem, My Country.

Tarrangaua, the home of Miss Mackellar, built on the shores of Lovett Bay, is dated from 1925. Dorothea was, said Susan Duncan in her biography, “wealthy, single, forty years old and already involved in a love affair with the brandy bottle.”

Duncan said: “I cannot ask how the name came about. Perhaps she sat around the dinner table with a group of guests and … they played a game to invent the best title. The name is certainly grand, and so was she.”

Only by boat can you make contact with Lovett Bay … “or walk along … the escarpment the … down into the valleys of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park … and take about an hour and half … with steep rocky tracks where you can easily lose your footing … In contrast, the boat trip trip is five minutes …”

LONELY CHILD

Explained Susan Duncan, “Tarrangaua, the pale yellow house with the corridor of columns and the long veranda,” was perched “on the high, rough hill.”

Australian author Di Morrissey, “who grew up in a house just beyond Frog Hollow”, was invited to open an art exhibition in a boatshed built by a friend. That day, Di talked the about time she crossed paths with Dorothea Mackellar. Di was nine years old and a “lonely child”.

It was an evocative speech. Here is a part it.

“Dorothea, or Miss Mackellar – she was only ever known as Miss Mackellar – asked me what I was doing,” Di explained, standing in the long, beamed sitting room in a misty pink suit, her bright blonde hair piled high on her head. “I told her I was looking for fairies.”

I WANT TO WRITE

Dorothea asked Di: “Have you found any? May I help you?”

”And so we set off looking for fairies together,” Di continues. Dorothea asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. ‘”I want to be a writer,” I told her, wide-eyed and innocent of her fame. “” Do you?” she replied. “Well, I write a little, too. Would you like me to recite a poem I’ve written?”

“Oh yes, please,” I said.

Dorothea, spoke with a Scottish burr, recited every verse of her iconic poem, My Country.

“After her speech to open the art exhibition ended, I asked Di what Dorothea Mackellar wore that day she met her.”
“A long, dark dress and a hat, I think. Yes, that was it. A rather dull coloured dress, navy and black, in a heavy fabric. The hat was quite big. Straw, I think.”

“I wish Barbara, who was writing in life about Dorothea Mackeller, had been able to hear Di’s words.” Barbara occupied Tarrangaua before I did.

<< The House at Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan; Penguin Books; 2012.

May: Towards the end of Barbara’s document on the life of Dorothea Mackellar, she touched on the history of Tarrangaua.

Dorothea or Miss Mackellar? Dorothea, circa 1926, photograph at home, Tarrangaua. Di. “What you want to be?” Said Di, “I want to be a writer!”


Queen Victoria Building: A major facelift, and Queen Victoria reigns again!

DURING 1984 AND FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS, THE QVB UNDERWENT AN INTENSIVE SERIES OF MODERNISATION, RESTORING IT TO ITS FORMER ELEGANCE AND GRANDEUR!

FRANCIS ROLLEY

DOORS OPENED: THE QUEEN VICTORIA , RESTORED TO IT’S FORMER ELEGANCE AND GRANDEUR, REIGNS. Below: THE RESTORED STAINED GLASS WINDOWS. Below: ORNATE COLUMNS, DOMES AND FIGUREHEADS, WHICH GAVE THE AURA OF A BYZANTINE PALACE.

In the business heart of Sydney recently, a massive sandstone edifice covering the entire city block and rising two levels above traffic-snarled streets, opened its elegant solid timber doors to the shoppers.

The grand Queen Victoria Building, first opened in 1898 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the then reigning British Monarch, had been reborn. After an illustrious history which, in recent years before its refurbishment, had seen it fall a state of disrepair.

It was originally built in five years at a cost of 261,000 pounds to resemble a Byzantine Palace with exteriors of finely dressed Waverley sandstone and a spacious interior of superb arches, vast intricate tile patterns and miles of stained glass.

At the turn of the century, the stately building was incongruously used as the city’s produce markets; the upper two gallery levels contained shops and cafes.

PARTLY EMPTY

The impressive roof took the form of a half barrel made of glass and gave rise to the comment at the time that the gallery walks were “streets within streets flooded with natural light”. The building remained the Sydney City Markets until 1910.

They moved to the Haymarket, and the magnificent Queen Victoria edifice began a period of neglect; interspersed regularly by the authorities to upgrade it.

In 1917, the City Council altered and refurnished the interior of the partly empty building in an attempt to make it economically successful. In the 1930s, it was transformed to house the Sydney City Library.

During this “modernisation” much of the ornate plasterwork, stained glass windows, grand columns, sweeping arches, were stripped from the building and its ground floor and galleries were converted in to a rabbit-warren of offices.

For 50 years, the once elegant Queen Victoria Building, sank to its lowest depths, thanks to the lack of maintenance and damage. The building assumed the appearance of a sleazy, aging, dirty stone monolith in the centre of the city.

BEST IN THE WORLD

Then from March 1984 to November 1986, the QVB – as it had become known – underwent a major facelift which restored it to its former elegance and grandeur. The cost? $75 million.

The Queen Victoria Building is what now can be described as an up-market shopping centre. It houses over 200 shops, cafes and restaurants; and an underground entrance to QVB from Town Hall station. But the outstanding feature of the new shops in the proliferation of fashion boutiques which boast the best in fashion from head to toe, from both Australia and overseas.

The building is linked to both Town Hall Railway Station and Grace Brothers by arcades designed in the original Victoria era character. There is parking for over 720 cars. It is open seven days a week for visitors to stroll through the building, window-shopping.

It’s an experience unparalleled in a building that people like Pierre Cardin have called it as “the most beautiful shopping centre in the world”. Adapted by Frank Morris.

<< Expressions Magazine. Vol 1, No 1, 1987.

COMING: QVB – Celebrating 120 glorious years. Also, dates to remember.


LET’S LAUGH! It’s moments like these you need Minties!

From Sun Books, Melbourne. Artist: Syd Nicholls. He was associated with Minties since cartoons began being used behind the nation’s catch-cry in 1927.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 02 August 18

NATION REBORN: Australian Chronicle reports – He dared to surf by day

EDITOR DEFIED THE LAW!

FRANK MORRIS

DEFIANCE: WHEN W.T. GOTCHER REFUSED TO OBEY A “CENTURY LAW” TO WEAR A “PROPER COSTUME”, IT INSPIRED MEN AND WOMEN TO WEAR THE RIGHT SORT OF COSTUME OF THE TIME. Below: LADIES, TIMES ARE A-CHANGING. Below: A BEACH INSPECTOR STUDIES THE NEWLY MADE COSTUME.

1902

A defiant swimmer this year took action that was to result in a big change in Australia’s way of life!

Although the beaches had seen old-style English “bathing boxes” as early as 1870, by the end of the century laws prohibited bathing during daylight hours within sight of the public.

But W.H. Gotcher, editor and owner of the Manly Daily defied the law.

He advertised in his paper that he intended surfing at noon – and did so. He bathed in the sea often, and without prosecution. Others joined in.

******

FEDERATION: SOLDIERS BACK FROM WAR; MANY DEATHS

Australians were fighting the Boers in Imperial troops at the time of Federation.

Units saw action in the drawn-out campaigning throughout the country before the war ended on May 31. Australia contributed a total of 848 officers, 15,327 other ranks and 16,314 horses to the war.

The 518 deaths included almost as many from disease, as from battle wounds.

Another 735 Australians were wounded and 147 missing.

******

HIGH COURT SET UP; AUSTRALIA BOUND DECISIONS

The Commonwealth created the High Court of Australia and it was seen as a wonderful break-through for the law.

This was a most significant move. The High Court was subordinate only to the Privy Council. All other courts in Australia were bound by decisions of the High Court.

******

ELECTORAL ROLL IS FOR WHITES ONLY

The Commonwealth’s determination to keep Australia “white” was emphasised when new laws prohibited non-Europeans – including Australian Aborigines but not Maoris – from having their names on an electoral roll.

GOVT DROPS PRICE: Water on tap in Western Australia’s gold towns

1903

DIGGER: “PADDY” HANNAN WAS A PROUD MAN. Below: HANNAN’S GRAVE.

The piping of water to the goldfields towns was an important development in Western Australia.

After “Paddy” Hannan’s discovery of gold in 1893, crowds of miners had flocked to Hannan’s Find. The discovery was perched on a desert area where a common growth was the shrub called “galgurli” by the Aborigines.

Soon the settlement took the name Kalgoorlie. In 1895, it became a municipality.

Water was precious because it had to be hauled in and sold at prices fluctuating between one and two shillings a gallon.

Later the condensing of water from the salt lakes dropped the price to a penny to fourpence a gallon.

Eventually, the State Government bowed to pressure from the goldfields towns to build a 2.5 million pound 350 mile pipeline from the Darling Ranges near Perth to Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie.

Previous governments has been wary of the project in case the gold boom was short-lived.

The great undertaking took seven years to build. On January 23, the pipeline was opened.

******

MOVE TO SETTLE DISPUTES

The wisdom of a Government in creating the High Court led to further sound legal developments and the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration was set up.

Its purpose was to deal with disputes between workers and their employers affecting several States.

<< The Making of a Nation by Frank Morris, Sun, 1975.

Continued in two weeks.


LES MISERABLES: The world’s heart was broken, thanks to the daily press at the time. Victor Hugo wrote this ground-swelling saga of the social uprising and bloody fighting, and striking the barricades, which took place in the streets of Paris in 1832. What’s the meaning of Les Miserables? Norman Denny, translator of Victor Hugo’s fine piece of story-telling, said “Hugo’s miserables are not merely the poor and wretched -- they are the outcasts -- the underdogs, the rejected of society and the rebels against society.” The series start in two week time.


CARTOONIST: AUBREY COLLETTE IN 1965 WAS EARNING WIDESPREAD PRAISE

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

CARTOON MAGIC: HERE IS ONE OF COLLETTE'S HUMEROUS CARTOON ON THE CONSENUS.

In an abstract way, the majority of Australians are solidly against any form of Press censorship. But, with comparatively rare exceptions, the reality of censorship of daily newspapers never touches them.

Not, so, however, for Aubrey Collette, staff cartoonist of The Australian. Government censorship forced him to resign his job, leave his home, and eventually his country.

Ceylon-born of Dutch descent, Collette was working on the Times of Ceylon and Ceylon Observer when bitter political upheavals led to the introduction of Press censorship by the government.

“The life of a newspaper cartoonist under censorship has more than its share of difficulties,” Collette said of this period, “so I decided to leave.” He had already spent six months in the US where his cartoons, published in newspapers such as the New York Times and the Saturday Evening Post, attracted notice.

So it was with some confidence that he left Ceylon for England.

A RARE HONOUR

But breaking into the established British cartooning field proved difficult, so Collette worked as a freelance in the cartoon and illustration scene.

After eight months -- “I was caught in the worst winter in living memory” – he decided to come to Australia, and found employment as an illustrator with the NSW Department of Education.

Then, in June 1965, he joined the staff of The Australian in Canberra, replacing Bruce Petty, now overseas. Within a few months, Collette’s cartoons were earning widespread praise. Dozens of prominent political and government figures have asked for his originals.

He has also been elected an honorary member of the Cartoonists’ Society of America – a rare honour.

The wheel has now turned full circle for Collette. From being censored he is now fighting censorship with a newspaper noted for its vigorous stand on the issue.

”There couldn’t be a better paper to work for,” he says. “The Australian’s viewpoint is impartial, and I’m quite free to say what I want. And it’s only under these conditions that a cartoonist can do his best work.”

<< inFOCUS, 1965, a newsletter produced by The Australian.

lIIustation: Cartoon creation: Aubrey Collette at work.


Small Screen Success: Garry McDonald as Norman Gunston, his most famous role

FRANK MORRIS

LEGAL: NORMAN GUNSTON AS THE DEADPAN INTERVIEWER. Below: A PHOTOGRAPH FOR HIS MOTHER.

Good actors never stand still. They are, or mostly, on the move to a new discovery. Take Norman Gunston, for instance. The hapless comic, Gunston, The Little Bleeder, who came over as a dim witted ponce.

Garry McDonald, actually, had the temerity to present “the most naïve television interviewer in Australia”.
Yes. Gunston burst upon as “unsuspecting” Aussie landscape in the 1970s. As a member of Aunty Jack’s team

Garry McDonald/Norman Gunston won the TV audience with inane facial gestures, and questions to Australian and overseas stars.               

Meantime, Aunty Jack folded and went to TV limbo. “The Gunston character survived and Garry won a Gold Logie and, for three years, he was reportedly one of the highest paid performers on television.”

GUNSTON’S BOOST

Gunston was not a character to do continuously, said McDonald. But showing Gunston every week the public eventually grew tired of it. “I was pressured into making the show,” said McDonald. “This is not the magic of the show’s formula.”

Here’s a taste of Norman Gunston:

On November 11, 1975, Gunston wound up on the steps of the old Parliament House with former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who was just going to address the crowd over his dismissal. “Is the moment an affront to democracy?” TV interviewer, Norman Gunston, yelled out over the angry crowd.

“Yes!” the crowd shout back. He asked, “Is it just good luck for Fraser?

“No!” they shouted. “Thank you very much, just wanted to know,” Gunston deadpans.

He had no regrets about creating Norman Gunston. He thanks the boost it gave to his career. McDonald went on to star in TV comedy and serious acting roles.

<< Background from Garry McDonald’s profile.


60 YEARS AGO: We watched man’s great leap on the moon surface!

FRANK MORRIS

MADE IT! NEIL ARMSTRONG SAYS: WE ARE HERE!

Doesn’t time fly! On the July day, 60 years ago, at 12.56pm, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to put his footprint on the moon. Watched by more than 600 million people around the world, Armstrong’s ghostly figure emerged from the spacecraft. Armstrong’s initial words as he gingerly slithered his feet across the moon’s surface were: “That’s one small step for man but a giant leap for mankind.” Twenty minutes later he was joined by his space companion, Buzz Aldrin.

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

A NATION REBORN: Australian Chronicle reports on the 20th century!

A new century is born when Queen Victoria signs the document by which Australia was formed.  Queen Victoria, sadly ended her reign after 64 years as Queen of England. She died on January 22.  Amid basking sunshine, at Centennial Park, Sydney, on January 1, 1901, six separate British colonies came to together as one continent. Australia’s new federal parliament was set up. When the Boer War ended, we were a nation; World War 1 erupted; decades of internal progress took place; the Royal visit to the new Federal Parliament; the gloom of Australia in World War 11; followed by development of world feats in aviation and Olympic victories. From 1945, Australia continued to live off the sheep’s back, increased in population; the development of national resources and the new techniques and new ambitions that have changed and enlarged Australia’s role in the world. – FM.   

FRANK MORRIS

PARADE OF PARADES: THE STREETS OF SYDNEY WERE OVERWHELMED WITH PEOPLE ON JANUARY 1, 1901. IT WAS OUR DAY! Below:  A SOUVENIR CERTIFICATE, WHICH HAS QUEEN VICTORIA  AND MONOGRAMS OF THE SIX STATES. Below: THE CROWD SPILLS OVER TO THE CENTENNIAL BUILDING, AT CENTENNIAL PARK.

1901

GREAT CELEBRATIONS TO MARK OUR NATIONHOOD

Federation was greeted with a day of jubilant and enthusiastic festivities on January 1. The elaborately decorated streets were thronged with excited and good-humoured people.

At Centennial Park, the colonies were proclaimed a Commonwealth under the Governor-General ship of Lord Hopetoun with Edmund Barton as the first Prime Minister.

Magnificent weather showed the Harbour in unsurpassed beauty, the parks were ablaze with flowers.

A five-mile long procession passed through the streets and this was followed at night by a Harbour display with fireworks and illuminations.

The first official action was the establishment of a Commonwealth Gazette. The first issue was hand-written and delivered to the printer by Mr R.R. (later Sir Robert) Garran, the first Commonwealth Attorney-General.

EDMUND BARTON, PM

Queen Victoria, who signed the Constitution Act by which the Commonwealth was formed, died on January 22.

The Act accepted a written constitution drawn up by leading statesmen of each Australian colony. It provided for two Houses of Parliament for the Commonwealth, a House of Representatives and a Senate.

The initial Federal election, held on March 29 and 30, returned Mr Edmund Barton as Prime Minister.

In an editorial, The Sydney Morning Herald said: “The result, so far as it goes, may be regarded as satisfactory …”

******

TEMPORARY POSTS CHOSEN

Melbourne was chosen as a temporary seat of government and the Victorian Parliament House became the first home of the Commonwealth Parliament.

The Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V) arrived in Port Phillip Bay on May 5 to open the first Parliament.

Some 12,000 people attended the ceremony in the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings.

BUBONIC SCARE: A plague hit the nation

1901
When the bubonic plague hit Sydney in 1900, an advertisement for Dr Morse’s Indian Root Pills, the only medicine to fight pandemic, was widely publicised in the Sydney Morning Herald. It said: “The Plague. Black Death. The scourge of the past – grim bubonic plague.”

The advertisement added: “Stands alone as a perfect blood purifier.”

In part, the copy read: “The grim bubonic plague is marching with stealthy but steady strides to these shores. The foe is at our door. Sanitary science, with powerful disinfectants, fumigations and rigid quarantine regulations, stands guarding our ports.”

THIRD OF VICTIMS DIE

When Dr Morse had completed dubbing our conscience about his products, the Government “quarantined the rat-infested area and began rat-catching, fumigating, hosing and white-washing feverishly.”

The press detailed the symptoms of the first victim with relish: “seizures of giddiness, headache, and stomach pain followed by fever, thirst and a bounding pulse.”

When the last attack had occurred in August 1900, the stringent measures dictated by the government did not stop a further outbreak striking our shores – of which Circular Quay bore the brunt – between 1901 and 1902 “with 130 victims, of whom 39 died. Occasional outbreaks took place until 1909.”

In all, 1121 persons were infected, of whom a third died.

NEXT WEEK: To be continued.

<< The making of a Nation; by Frank Morris in the Sun newspaper 1975.


AUTHORS: Zane Grey, US novelist, knew who all the bad men were

GOOD GUYS, BAD GUYS! HE KNEW BOTH KINDS AND LIVED TO TELL THE TALE.

FRANK MORRIS

GO FOR YOUR GUNS: ZANE GREY FILMING RIDER OF THE PURPLE SAGE IN 1918. GREY WASTED LITTLE TIME UNTIL HE BECAME QUITE FAMILIAR WITH THE WILD WEST.

Zane Grey actually stood face-to-face with gunslingers, gamblers and lawmen which were passed on to him by men in the know. He hunted mountain lions with Indians and outlaws with the Texas Rangers. He knew the good guys and the bad guys of the West – Grey knew both kinds. And he lived to tell about it.

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

He would play poker with Arizona card sharks. He would talk and walk with the dance-hall girls until there their pretty lips would say, “I’ve told you everything”; and cowboys, who had looked into the icy eyes of William Bonney, Billy the Kid. He got the fair-dinkum facts about the most gruelling episodes in the history of the West, firsthand.

Take a novel like The Border Legion, for instance. It is based on eye witness accounts of how an outlaw army, led by Henry Plummer and Boone Helm, robbed, murdered and terrorised the town of Alder Gulch on the Idaho-Montana border.

In the end, Plummer and Helm were captured and hanged by a group of vigilantes who took the law into their own hands.

VIVID DETAIL

Lassiter, from Riders of the Purple Sage, was one of the most feared guns in the West and gambled his life, and the woman he loved, for one last chance at freedom. This has been perhaps the most popular Western ever written.
The book captured the drama and the nuances of the Mormon struggle for existence that ever took place in the bleak and hostile Utah territory.

Hide-hunter Tom Doan, the figure head of the novel The Thundering Herd, rides to rescue a kidnapped girl, but Doan is trapped between rampaging Comanches and miles of stampeding buffalo.

Grey describes in vivid detail the methods used by hide-hunters as well as virtually every aspect of their lives; his realistic accounts of the killing and skinning of the buffalo have never been surpassed.

There also Wildfire, Arizona Ames, Maverick Queen, The Vanishing American and The Hash Knife Outfit, and many others, each written with the hell-for-leather realism that makes Grey one of the most popular of all Western scribes.

In his lifetime, Grey originated more than 90 Western novels. His last abode in Pennsylvania has been taken over by the National Parks Service and turned into a museum.

Grey died in 1939. He was 67.

Illustration: Zane Grey at the peak of his career. 

<< Written from the material of The Grey Zane Library, 1976.


COMING: HOW THE PRINTING INDUSTRY WAS BORN … ARTBEAT -- amateur painters who made a fortune … THE AGEING SOCIETY … MR ETERNITY: THE STORY OF ARTHUR STACE AN UNLIKELY AUSTRALIAN ICON … EDITOR TOM MEAD, BREAKING THE NEWS … THE ARGUS – A ROMANCE OF THE NEWSPAPERS. AND THERE ARE MORE. GEORGE HOWE, AN AUSTRALIAN AESOP … MILES FRANKLIN. HER OWN STORY.


CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM: Final. Welcome to where the great author lived!

FIRES WERE LEFT BURNING ALL DAY. THERE WERE DUST AND SOOT EVERYWHERE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

THE ENTRANCE: CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM IS OPEN SEVEN DAYS IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE GREAT AUTHOR. Below: THE SCULLERY AND WASH-ROOM (ILLUST) CONSUME MUCH OF THE HOUSEHOLD WORK.

The kitchen had many uses in the Victorian home. It was not only where the meals were cooked, but also the centre of the servants’ social life.

It often served as bedroom and sitting room as well as a dining area for the household staff; and was not unusual for one of the servants to keep an armchair to relax in; or even a rolled up mattress which would be unfolded before going to bed.

BUSIEST ROOM

Contrary to the uses it had, the kitchen was often one of the least pleasant rooms in a Victorian house. There was little natural light, or fresh air, and the fire was burning all day, leaving dust and soot everywhere.

Coals for the fires were dropped into the vault just outside the front door of the kitchen, and food deliveries arrived regularly. It was the busiest room in the house. The result was a dark and overheated basement infested with vermin and pests.

Next, into the Scullery and Wash-house.

DOWN IN BASEMENT

Much of the general household work was carried out in the scullery and wash-house. It easy to assume that this was the second most zealous room in the house; it was.

The maid would wash clothes and dishes, boil water, iron and occasionally prepare food for cooking.

From the scullery, she would work her way around the house making sure she kept up with the weekly cleaning schedule.

Dickens frequently described servants at work in his writing and so forth. Unlike most Victorian authors, he took an interest in the lives of people who come from all walks of life. His sympathetic portrayal of servants endeared him to household staff around the country.

Next, upstairs, to Dickens’ Bedroom.

THE 10 CHILDREN FACTOR

This bedroom has been created to evoke an ambience of privacy and personal space. When Dickens moved into 48 Doughty Street, his appearance and lifestyle were greatly influenced by the Regency period.

His long hair and brightly coloured waist-coast help Dickens to blend in with the dandies of the time.

His contemporary Thomas Carlyle observes: “He is a fine little fellow … clear, blue, intelligent eyes, eyebrows that arched amazingly, and a large protrusive rather loose mouth. Surmount this with a loose coil of common-coloured hair, and set it on a small compact figure, very small.”

In this room, which has privacy and personal space aplenty, Catherine gave birth to two baby girls. By 1852, she had given birth to 10 children, offer suffering from post-natal depression. In the 1850s, the marriage became increasing unhappy. In 1858, Dickens separated from Catherine.

The dressing room, which was mainly for Dickens’ preparations, is room 10; Catherine carried out her daily dressing routine in the Bedroom.

Frank Morris comments: The rest of the rooms are wine cellar, drawing room, study, Mary Hogarth room, nursery and the servants’ bedroom.

<< Charles Dickens Museum, London; Plan and Visitor Guide; 2018.


Time Magazine: The imperfect crime

A Florida man had a sheriff’s office test whether he’d been sold fake meth. It was real, so they arrested him. Here, one criminal who accidentally gave himself up – Abigail Abrams.

DRUNK DRIVING. An Australian man with a suspended license allegedly drove drunk into to a Sydney police station in April. Police said he told them he had come to check in, per the terms for his bail on earlier drunk-driving charges.

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

Charles Dickens Museum: Entrance Hall, dining room and morning room

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

APPARITIONS: YOU’LL NOTICE CHARLES DICKENS’ PRESENCE IN EVERY ROOM. Below: ONE OF DICKENS’ ENGRAVINGS FROM A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Below: THE ENTRANCE HALL WAS A BUSY AREA  WITH THE AUTHOR CONSTANTLY ON THE MOVE.

The entrance hall to 48 Doughty Street was a busy area in Dickens’s time. The author was constantly on the move. Although he was a keen walker, he would often order a carriage to the front door for rides with friends and family outings. He also kept a horse in stables around the corner.

Framed on the wall are documents that represent each of Dickens’s homes from 1837:

Nicholas Nickleby was written at here at Doughty Street; The Old Curiosity Shop, watercolour by George Cattermole, comes from Devonshire Terrace where Dickens lived from 1839 until 1851; Tavistock House, referred to in the theatre playbill, was the family home until 1858.

Dickens moved to Gad’s Hill Place, the only house he ever owned, and was very proud of this building with, as the gilded inscription shows, its literary connection to Shakespeare. The wall also has letters in Dickens’s hand-writing dating from his time at Doughty Street.

Next, in the Dining Room.

LITERARY WORLD

This room featuring an elegant curved wall well and truly central to Dickens’s lifestyle in the late 1830s.

As a rising author enjoying his first rush of success, he liked to entertain the friends he had made in the literary and artistic world, as well as his relations.

“Can you come and take a cutlet with us today at 5?” wrote Dicken’s to a friend. “Let me know and we’ll add a bit of fish.” An invitation to dine with the 25-year-old author of The Pickwick Papers was irresistible. On one occasion, fourteen dinner guests had to be squeezed into this room.

Next, in the Morning Room.

HOUSE MATTERS

This would have been the family room and, mainly, the domain of Dickens’ wife, Catherine, and their children. The Dickens were married in 1836. By the time Dickens and Catherine had moved to Doughty Street their first son, Charles Junior had been born.

While living here Catherine gave birth to two girls, Mary and Katey.

The Morning room was a space for Catherine to arrange household matters, welcome visitors during the day, and write letters. As Dickens travelled a great deal, much of their daily correspondence was in writing.

Many letters that still survived, show the happiness of the young couple during their Doughty Street days.

Next: You’ll make your way to the kitchen, scullery, washhouse, and the wine cellar – all as Dickens left them.


COMING: JOHN PAINE’S FEDERATION PHOTOGRAPHS: The sum of 20,000 pounds brought heaps of surprises in an effort to create a spectacle that would rival any held in the British Empire.


WILL FOR LIFE: The soldier without a gun!

HEART-WARMING STORIES OF HER FATHER AS A STRETCHER-BEARER IN THE LAST WAR -- ONLY IF HE COULD SAVE PROPLE AND NOT HURT THEM.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

LET’S GO, LADIES AND GENTS: ERLE PLAYED THE ACCORDION AND LEARNT A FLORICKING TUNE OR THREE. Below: MRS SHIRLEY GASH – “HE TALKED ABOUT HIS DAYS AS A STECHCHER-BEARER IN THE THICK OF WAR”. Below: A STILL LIFE – ERLE’S BAG OF MEDICAL GEAR, A PHOTO OF ERLE AND A BROWN COVERED BIBLE.

Throughout Shirley’s life, right up until she buried her father, Erle made her make a pledge that she would remember the Red Cross and “leave a bequest if able”. Erle was not in a position to leave a bequest himself and Shirley was happy to carry out his wishes.

Erle Gash passed away in 2010. He was 93.

He was recruited as a foot soldier in the Second World War but vowed he would only go to war if he was able to save lives rather than hurt people. Erle was firm that he did not want to carry a gun.

That being the case, he trained with Red Cross and became a stretcher-bearer and medic doing his job for nearly four years mainly in El Alamein, in Egypt, and Italy. Shirley says he would talk about how his tent displayed a large Red Cross emblem but it didn’t stop it from being bombed.

There were several medics injured from time to time.

FROLICKING TUNES

When Erle returned from the war, he continued to have a soft spot for Red Cross. He was always thinking about how he could pitch in to help.

Shirley recalled one heart-warming anecdote about her father when he was in his late 80s and decided that he wanted to raise some money for Red Cross. Being on a pension, he was not able to give personally but to inspire others to donate.

Erle could play the piano accordion and during his time in Italy he learned many frolicking tunes. Due to his age, he couldn’t cart around heavy equipment, He bought himself a small amplifier, which he attached to a luggage trolley, and got himself a busking permit for the main streets of Auckland, New Zealand.

MAN ON A MISSION

His sign read: “War veteran raising funds for the Red Cross.” He was hugely successful on his beat, raising approximately $10,000 over a number of years.

“For ‘an old guy’” Shirley says, “he was pretty amazing. He was very passionate and wanted to urge others to give to Red Cross.” Two young members from Red Cross attended to pay their respects at Erle’s funeral.

Says Shirley: “The family were so appreciative of this and thought it was wonderful that her 93-year-old dad had an impact on younger and future generations. I am so happy and proud to carry out my father’s wishes. My Will has been updated to leave a bequest to Red Cross.”

He was like a man on a mission.

<< Wills for Life the seniorsbook.com.au

COMING: Shorty, spring will be in the air. Exercise, gently. They’re are easier that you think.


FILM GREAT: Gone With the Wind – it was a picture for all time

RHETT BENDS SCARLETT BACK AND KISSES HER. NOT ONCE, BUT SEVERAL TIMES!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

PICTURE FOR ALL TIME: GONE WITH THE WIND, AT THIS MOMENT, RHETT AND SCARLETT ARE ON A SMALL SCREEN SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD.  GWTW WENT ON TO MAKE MARGARET MITCHELL  AN INTERNATIONAL PERSONAGE. GWTW TOOK HER TEN YEARS TO WRITE.

“I don’t want the part for money,” said Clark Gable to producer David O. Selznick. Gable was being offered the role of Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind, but happily he ate his words. He accepted $2500 a week and $100,000 bonus.

The handsome, macho ‘King of Hollywood’ was the first choice for Rhett, but almost every female star was considered for the wilful Scarlett O’Hara.

A year later, Selznick made his decision.

When he saw the exquisite, green-eyed, twenty-five years old English actress Vivien Leigh, the search was over. A famous coupling was born.

A huge party at the ball at Twelve Oaks and the evocation of the Old South as represented by “Tara”, the O’Hara’s monolithic white mansion, symbolised the relationship between Rhett and Scarlett. It was a monument to devouring passion brilliantly embodied by Gable and Leigh which lifted the film into the highest category.

"Rhett Don't", I'll Faint!

Both characters were spirited, arrogant, self-centred and amoral. This is in marked contrast to Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland – Ashley and Melanie Wilkes.

Although Scarlett schemes her way to attract the fragile but aristocratic Ashley, she is irresistibly drawn to the virile Captain Butler – roguish black sheep of “the Charleston family.”

The directed sequence which deals with Rhett’s proposal of marriage to the already twice widowed Scarlett, is one of the most skilfully written. Butler is brief and to the point when he says, “I made up my mind that you were the woman for me, Scarlett, the first time I saw you at Twelve Oaks.”

When she objects to this approach, he sinks on one knee and takes her hand.

He said that, “A feeling more beautiful, more pure, more sacred … dare I name it? Can it be love?” Although he was play-acting, there is much truth in what he expresses. When she tells him she will always love another man (Ashley) … he takes her in his arms, bends her head back and kisses her hard on the mouth – again and again.

She struggles for air.

Scarlett: “Rhett don’t, I’ll faint.”

Rhett: “I want you to faint. This is what you were for, Scarlett.”

Naturally, the marriage of two such stubborn and tempestuous people is doomed. In the end, when Rhett decides to leave her, she sobs, “What’s to become of me?”

Turning in the doorway he replies, in one of the cinema’s most famous and well-remembered lines, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

<< Adapted from Great Love Scene by Ronald Bergan; Octopus Books, 1986.

Illustrations: Hands in pockets, a familiar pose, Rhett tells Scarlett that he’s not going to stand around any longer; Rhett gives Scarlett the kiss of life!


A NATION REBORN: Australian Chronicle reports on the second century!

FRANK MORRIS

THE HARD YAKKA: AUSTRALIA BECOMES A COMMONWEALTH.

What must it have been like to witness the jubilant festivities of Federation!

On January 1, 1901, the activities went ahead in Sydney, amid classic sunshine, and six states joined forces. All told, 20,000 pounds were spent in an effort to create a spectacle that would rival any held in the British Empire.
You can read the lot in the first issue of the Australian Chronicle, January 1, 1901.

Australian Chronicle said “there was no better vista than a five-mile long procession that passed through the streets followed at night by a Harbour display with fireworks and illuminations.”

START THIS WEEK.


COMING: How do I cope if I’ve got a gambling problem?

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

FLASHBACK: Lyn Brown -- The poet had a passion about great writing

POET LYN BROWN LIVED IN OATLEY, A TINY SUBURB OF SYDNEY, NSW, WITH HUSBAND FRED FOR 51 OF HER 84 YEARS. THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN AT THE BEHEST OF HER HUSBAND WHO SAID THAT, “LYN CONSIDERS THAT SHE IS NEITHER FAMOUS NOR NOTORIOUS. THE DISTRICT IS THE FREQUENT BACKGROUND OF MANY OF HER POEMS.” SHE TALKS PASSIONATELY ABOUT ALL ASPECTS OF HER WRITING.

FRANK MORRIS

POEM WRITING: WHEN YOU TRAVEL TEN MILES DOWNSTREAM YOU'LL BE SURROUNDED BY THE NEAR TRANQUILITY OF NATURE. BELOW: "MY BOOKS CONTAIN THOUGHTS AND MEMORIES I'D LIKE TO SHARE WHILE I AM STILL ABLE TO," SAYS LYN BROWN.

Lyn’s great passion for writing and reading has not wavered. Her last book, Fire and Water, was published last year (2001) and contains 88 poems, fifty-seven of them were written between 1999 and 2000.

Says Lyn: “I am usually out of bed at the crack of dawn, sitting in my ‘work’ corner, writing or ruminating about a poem. It’s the best time of the day for it. One is fresh and clear of mind.”

Did she mind Fred putting pen to paper?

“No,” she says, “I am, unashamedly, a self-confessed publicity seeker – by not for the obvious reasons. I believe it is important to communicate the fact that people are out there doing things, doing them well and enjoying what they do.

“It gives great encouragement to others who might feel reticent in having a go.”

THE MILES DOWNSTREAM

Lyn’s poems have been published in leading Australian and international literary journals. Many of her poems also appear in anthologies published in 1980 and 1982. Copies of her later collections, Ten Miles Downstream and Fire and Water, are in the local library.

Her favourite poems are contained in Ten Miles Downstream. The fact that she could walk to the Georges River from her parents’ home at ‘rural’ Fairfield (west of Sydney), where she was born, provided a ready-made title.
Says Lyn: “I’ve been here and there in the world, but in a sense it seems than in my eight decades of life I have simply travelled 10 miles downstream.”

POEMS TELL THE STORIES

Many of the 66 poems in this collection first appeared in such journals as Meanjin, Southerly, the Sydney Morning Herald and several others. The poems have been described as being “like the gentle unfolding of the poet’s life,” which has been lived “with keen sensitivity to the events around her.”

Her last book, Fire and Water, was published in 2001.

Says Lyn: “The poems are narrative and reflective, covering my eighty four years of life and containing thoughts and memories I would like to share while I am still able to record them. I have tried to let the poems tell the stories.”
Her other collected works include Late Summer (1970), Jacaranda and Illawarra Flame (1973) and Going Home at Night (1979).

<< Part of an interview adapted from The Poet of Oatley published in Best Years, 2002.

COMING: Beryl Thompson was head buyer at a Sydney department store. She had been a poet for nearly 40 years.


FILM GREAT: Casablanca – Melodrama, flawlessly acted!

BOGART’S FAÇADE OF NEUTRALITY BEGINS TO WEAKEN AS HE RECALLS BITTERSWEET MEMORIES.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

SELECTED: CASABLANCA WAS CHOSEN AS THE MOVIE OF THE 1940S. BOGART WAS HE HEAD OF THE PACK … AND BERGMAN HIS BITTERSWEET EX-LOVER.

Casablanca, released in 1943, has became a recognised screen classic and is considered by many to be the representative picture of the forties. Humphery Bogart played Rick, the owner of Rick’s Café Americain, a night club and focal point for intrigue in Casablanca.

A glossy, star-laden sentimental melodrama it owes it success to a gallery of fine performances and to their almost miraculous interplay with each other.

The plot revolved around an assortment of strongly delineated characters coming into Rick’s night club … as refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe (seek) to gain exit visas to Lisbon. Bogart, playing the café’s owner, is a former soldier of fortune and one who has grown tired of smuggling and fighting …

Even loyalty to a friend doesn’t move him as he refuses to help Ugarte, Peter Lorre, a desperately frightened little courier who is fleeing from the police. Ugarte is shot and killed only moments later, but not before he has given Rick two letters of transit.

Emphatically, Bogart says, “I stick my neck out for nobody.”

Past love affair

But we know he will do just that …with a beautiful woman, Ingrid Bergman; he still loves and bitterly remembers.
Bergman is married to an underground leader, Paul Henreid, and desperatety needs those papers Bogart conveniently now has in his possession. The cynical Bogart’s façade of neutrality begins to weaken as he recalls the bittersweet memories of his past love affair.

(They were memories triggered repeatedly by the theme, As Time Goes By, which comes from Sam, his piano-playing confidante, played by Dooley Wilson.)

Bogart refuses to help her, still resentful of her desertion of him on the eve of their departure from Paris. She explains that she was married to Henreid at the time she fell in love Bogart; she had believed him to have been killed.

But when she found that her husband was alive, she felt obligated to return to him. Bogart is convinced she is telling the truth. He finally sets up an involved plan which succeeds when Bergman and Henreid are safely placed on the plane to Lisbon.

Intermixed with this intrigue are all the fascinating and beautifully acted supporting roles. With his customary skill, Claude Rains as Major Renault, a prefect of police, who is like Bogart in many ways, claims neutrality but is definitely against the Nazis.

Magic! Bogart and Bergman

He is Bogart’s most devoted adversary, tauntingly calling the man a “sentimentalist” and delivering his share of cynical and amusing lines.

Rains shares the final memorable scene of the film: after Bergman’s plane takes off, he and Bogart walk off into the misty night, two men who are sentimentalists and now share the common bond of being patriots.

As Major Strasser, Conrad Veidt was the very essence of German rigidity – unfeeling, unconcerned about life – but firmly believing in the foolish ideology of his Nazi compatriots. Sydney Greenstreet, as Senor Farrari, a black marketeer who is on good terms with Bogart.

The magic that developed from the teaming of Bogart and Bergman was enough to make a new romantic figure out of the former tough guy. He now added the softening traits of tenderness and compassion and a feeling of heroic commitment to the cause.

Casablanca brought Bogart his first Academy Award nomination. He lost to Paul Lukas for Watch On the Rhine. – Adapted by Frank Morris.

<< The adaption of Casablanca came from the book, Humphrey Bogart by Alan G. Barbour, published as The Pictorial Treasury of Film Stars; Galahad Book, New York; 1973.

Illustrations: A line or three: Bogart is unrelenting about what he says to Bergman. Loyalty: “Emphatically, no” said Bogart to Ugarte.


OZ SPOT: Chips Rafferty – “He was fit for the stars”

TALKING ABOUT HIS OWN MOVIE DEBUT IN AUSTRALIA’S FIRST ‘TALKIE’ HE SAID, “I WORKED FOR FIVE WEEKS ON THAT FILM AND IF YOU HAD BLINKED YOU WOULD HAVE MISSED ME.”

FRANK MORRIS

STOOD OUT: TALL AND LEAN CHIPS RAFFERTY (CENTRE) SURROUNDED BY CHARLES TINGWELL, CHARACTER UNIDENTIFIED, AND POPULAR BRITISH ACTOR GORDON JACKSON IN BITTER SPRINGS. FROM THE OVERLANDERS TO WAKE IN FRIGHT, NOBODY WOULD TANGLE WITH CHIPS/* RAFFERTY. BELOW: ILMA ADEY AND CHIP RAFFERTY IN KING OF THE CORAL SEA, THE STORY OF ILLEGAL SMUGGLING ISLAND IMMIGRANTS INTO AUSTRALIA.

In 1971 Chips Rafferty, who was for two decades one of Australia’s top-ranking film stars, died suddenly of a heart attack, aged sixty-one. He was walking near his home when he suffered the attack.

Born John Pilbeam Goffage at Broken Hill, NSW, Rafferty’s life as a young man, according to a reliable biographical profile, was one “of fits and starts.”

A talented artist who at one time studied briefly at the Royal Art Society, Sydney, he had various jobs in and around NSW and Queensland as an apprentice iron moulder, cellarman, kangaroo shooter, drover, opal gouger and gold fossicker.

At 29 years of age the tall, lean awkward looking Rafferty made his film debut in 1938 in a minor part in the Australian talkie, Ants in His Pants. Although it was only a bit part, he said, “I worked for five weeks on the film and if you blinked you would have missed me.”

The following year, he starred with the patriarchal Bert Bailey in Dad Rudd MP as a comical member of a fire brigade crew.

WAS GIVEN PRAISE

He later starred in The Lives of Joanna Godden with Googie Withers, Eureka Stockade, Bitter Springs, The Overlanders, Forty Thousand Horsemen, Smiley, King of the Coral Sea and Walk into Paradise, which was the first Australian movie to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival.

Another film for which was praise was given was the Overlanders. Made in 1946, the British film “was considered an Australian and international success,” said Judith Adamson, who wrote Australian Film Posters 1906-1960.

PROJECT A SUCCESS

Australian Prime Minister, Mr J. B. Chifley, said “the production of the Overlanders on a multilingual basis will help greatly to publicise our country throughout the world … I believe that a production like the Overlanders adds to the dignity and importance of the film industry …”

“Suddenly, feature production ceased in Australia until 1965. Southern International was the last of the old Australian companies left.”

Rafferty’s last feature film role, and probably his best characterisation by far, was the police chief Jock Crawford in Wake in Fright in 1971. Which, of course, was described as a “watershed for the emerging Australian film industry.”
Frank Morris comments: What will the Australian film industry do for Chips Rafferty in three years time – the anniversary of his death? We’ll have to wait and see.


FLASHBACK: Going, going, gone – Stradivari goes for over cool $ million

FRANK MORRIS

MILES AHEAD: THE STRADIVARI VIOLIN, MISSING IN ITS CASE, WAS FOUND IN A CLOSET IN A FRENCH VILLAGE YEARS LATER.

The Stradivari cellos are considered to be one of the sweetest sounds you will hear from such an instrument, that’s why Antonio Stradivari must be spinning in his grave. One of his Stradivarius cellos, circa 1698, was sold for a record for $1.3 million at Southey’s, London, in 1988.

According to the International Herald Tribune, “the previous record for a cellos was $800,000.”

It was also made by the Italian master instrument maker, Stradivari. Apart from the fact that he brought his craft to a high-pitch of perfection, one of the secrets of Stradivari’s cellos and violins and other wood instruments was the varnish.

It’s classical ingredients have never been discovered.

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

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

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

FRANK MORRIS

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

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

He chased money from every nook and cranny.

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

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

STEREOTYPED

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

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

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

SIMPLY FICKLE

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

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

I rest my case.

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

Not ever.

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


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

LET US FACE THE CHALLENGE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

This disorder is call PANIC!

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

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

What causes a Panic Attack?

BECAME ‘HYSTERICAL’

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

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

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

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

THE SYMPTOMS

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

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

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

CHILLS or hot flushes.

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

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


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

FRANK MORRIS

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

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


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

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

FRANK MORRIS AND KIM FROLICH

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

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

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

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

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

WHALERS, TRADESMEN

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

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

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

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

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

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


TIME Magazine: Gaming disorder

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

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

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

HATE WAS PULSATING IN A VERY PECULIAR CIRCLE OF DEATH.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

KENNEDY MUST DIE …

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

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

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

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

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

And die he did.

ONE INCH SEPERATION!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

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

They had ignored the warnings.

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

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

DON’T TALK

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

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

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

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

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

GET A CHECK-UP

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

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

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

CANCER

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

PROSTATE

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

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

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

There are other issues like asthma, diabetes or arthritis.

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


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

Curator DR STEPHEN GAPPS          Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE MAGAZINES EXPLODED

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

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

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

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

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

MUSEUM UNDER THE SEA

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

EILEEN HELLICAR AND FRANK MORRIS

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

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

He knew both sides and lived to tell about it.

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

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

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

SHOWMAN, HUNTER

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

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

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

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

WILD WEST SHOW WENT BROKE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Curator DR STEPHEN GAPPS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BULGING WITH MONEY

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

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

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

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

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

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

SYMBOLS FOR NAMES

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

THE “NUTCOTE CRISIS” IN 1991:

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

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

Where will the rest come from?

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

NUTCOTE’S VISION

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

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

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

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

ICONIC MAY GIBBS

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

HE WAS DIVORCED AND THEN REMARRIED THE SAME WOMAN.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

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

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

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

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

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

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

HE WAS SENTENCED

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

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

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

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

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


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

LYN BROWN

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

At five years old in nineteen-twenty-three,

she watched the midwife hurrying to her mother.

Sent outside, she stood unknowingly

on a flower bed, with her little brother,

crushing the scent from violets. Ears to the wall

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

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

needing a house of somewhat larger size,

left the small weatherboard. It lasted through 

the century. Three times out of sentiment 

she went to look. Then turning eighty-two 

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

Sharply aware of pending demolition, 

she found the fulfilment of her premonition.

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

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


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

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

Stay Informed

Receive eNews & Special Offers

Brochure Request Order

Tour Reviews Read

Last 12 months


Tags