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

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