BRING ON SPRING: Heatwave – summer ‘silent enemy’

THE SUN RISES: WHAT’S GOING TO BE THE FINAL TEMPERATURE?

“Mum wasn’t the same after this,” says her daughter.

FRANK MORRIS

Heatstroke is described as summer’s “silent enemy” – especially for people over fifty years.

Thelma, a fairly robust 80-year old, had been out most of the day.  But she decided to walk home, a kilometre or so, after a stint of shopping.

It happened to be one of Sydney’s hottest days – about 38C.  By the time she made it to her front door, Thelma’s body had rapidly overheated and dehydrated.

“Mum was never the same after this,” says her daughter.

“Her doctor believes it was the start of her physical and mental deterioration over the next few years.” Thelma spent the last few years of her life in a nursing home suffering from dementia.

Heatstroke can be fatal because it happens so quickly.  The overheated body can seize up much like a car’s engine.

And you don’t have to be exposed to especially high temperatures either.

Simply walking, mowing the lawn or watering the garden is enough to bring it on.

Because the body loses fluids it’s essential, as any GP will tell you, to drink water – and plenty of it.  Don’t wait until you get thirsty.

HEAT EXHAUSTION

“Summer heatwaves are a discomfort for everyone but pose a great danger to older people,” medical researchers Michael Ballester and Fred Harchelroad in the leading US journal, Geriatrics.

According to the authors, heatstroke can be fatal “because age and other factors such as disease, dehydration and medications diminish the ability of the older body to compensate for increased temperatures.”

Older people can succumb to heat illness even in moderate summer temperatures. The body combats overheating by sweating.

With ageing, say the authors, “sweating loses some of its efficiency as a cooling mechanism.”

Certain medications can also increase the risk of heat-related illness and even death for older people.
The authors single out neuroleptics, beta some leading tranquillisers.

HEAT STROKE

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea and dizziness. Mild shock can follow, which can lead to heatstroke if left untreated.

To treat, move the person to a cool place and remove or loosen tight clothing.  If conscious, give person cool water – half-glass every 15 minutes.

No alcohol or caffeine.

HEATSTROKE SYMPTOMS:

The body’s temperature control system stops working and symptoms include hot, red skin; rapid, weak pulse; shallow breathing and changes in consciousness.  Brain damage and death may result if a person is not cooled down quickly.

If you suspect someone is suffering from heatstroke call 000.  Wrap wet sheets around the person and fan them. Watch for signs of breathing problems.

If a person refuses water, or is vomiting, do not give anything to eat or drink

<< This was a syndicated article.

Pictures: What’s the temperature? Heatwave conditions have been with us since the year dot.


THE ICON: JAKE LAMOTTA, THE MIDDLEWEIGHT WITH A TERRIBLE TEMPER, BECAME A CHAMPION FIGHTER. IN ONE OF HIS BOUTS WITH SUGAR RAY ROBINSON WE SAW ROBINSON FALL THROUGH THE ROPES.

BOXING: JACK LAMOTTA, RAGING BULL, DEAD

Jack LaMotta was described as a “good-for- nothing-bum” with a terrible temper but his courage in the boxing ring saw him become an icon, said Richard Goldstein of The New York Times. He died last week at aged 95. He achieved so much in and out of boxing that he became the subject of the much-talked-about movie, Raging Bull. – FM.
Next week: The Jack LaMotta story.


HE’S DEAD. HUGH HEFNER, AGED 91, HAS DIED IN NEW YORK. HEFNER WAS PUBLISHER OF PLAYBOY.  see video on SBS DEMAND


ASK FRANK: COLLEEN WANTED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT PAUL DALTON, CHAPLIN IMPERSONATOR

This is in response to an article I had written on entertainer Paul Dalton. It was a story for a magazine back in 1984. I, in turn, published it in Grand Years just as a reminder that Paul Dalton used to travel the Australian clubs and other places with his Charlie Chaplin Impersonator show.

His audiences were big, even in the latter period. The show only lasted 25 to 30 minutes. I interviewed Dalton after his performance. What he told me was in the article.

HEARTWARMING

He gave me a photo of him as Chaplin. I had a tape of the interview and several contact names, among which was the editor of a magazine who had put me on to Dalton.

I gave them all to Colleen with the photo, except for the tape which I had mislaid. I received a ‘Thank You’ card with the belief that my “gesture had been heart-warming.” She continues: “Thank you for the photo of Paul. That was certainly one I did not have nor, I believe, my father had seen it.” Colleen L, comes from Sydney.

Ask Frank is a regular column.


HERE’S CHARLES DICKENS – COME, LISTERN TO HOW HE IS COMPARED TO SHAKESPEARE!

FRANK MORRIS

The NSW Dickens Society will hold its bi-monthly talk at City Tattersalls Club on Saturday, October 14. The editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, Susan Butler, will discuss the words that have derived from the work of Charles Dickens and how he compares to Shakespeare. The event costs $5 for NSW Dickens Society members and $10 for others.


SPEND A DAY IN THE GARDEN: A FLORAL DISPLAY AT ROOKWOOD, NSW.

SPECIAL FEATURE! FINAL! BETWEEN THE GRAVESTONES – 20 YEARS OF ORIGINAL THINKING

Learn more about your ancestors. Author Dr Lisa Murray and her book, Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide, which offers huge scope for learning.

SARAH TREVOR

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

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

Seeing his grave in the Presbyterian section and reading his name on the inscription – Francis Xavier Bell – really brought home to me his Catholic origins and piqued my interest in finding out more about his marriage and personal circumstances. It was both moving and satisfying to see his grave, and good to give it a bit of TLC. I swept off the accumulation of leaf debris.

Do you have a favourite cemetery?

Most people’s favourites are Rookwood Necropolis and Waverley Cemetery. They are both spectacular, of course, and highly significant in terms of cemetery design, prominent burials and monuments. But leaving those aside, I would have to say the South Head General Cemetery has as extraordinary selection of headstones, monuments and vaults; including racing car driver Phil Garlick who died in 1927.

I loved scooting along the Hawkesbury River in a tinnie to get to Bar Island Cemetery; that would have to be the remotest cemetery we went to. Gore Hill Cemetery has the most gothic atmosphere, due to its beautiful overgrown landscape; and a quiet stroll is rewarded with many fascinating gravestones.

An early hidden gem of the inner west is St Thomas’ Anglican Cemetery, Enfield. The wrought iron cross and grave surround that marks the grave of local piano manufacturer Octavius Beale, who died in 1930, is unique; and the lych-gate entrance a rarity. You don’t see many of these crosses; there is a much stronger preference for stone memorials in Sydney.

This is a large wrought cross with IHS in the centre painted gold, encircled by a wreath of leaves and ribbon. It also features a palm frond decorating the base of the cross. The grave surround is an elaborate art nouveau which features flowers, leaves and poppy heads – a symbol of sleep.

Beale established Australia’s first piano factory in 1897. I suspect the cross was probably crafted at the factory. They certainly would had the skilled workmen to make it.

My list goes on. I could never have just one favourite cemetery!

What’s something you hope readers of your book come to appreciate about cemeteries?

Cemeteries are not always sad places. They are restful landscapes with artistic memorials and extraordinary stories just waiting to be discovered. I have always had a soft spot for 19th century cemeteries. But visiting all of Sydney’s cemeteries has made me appreciate the colour, movement and the deeply personalised memorials to be found in the late 20th century ones.

I hope by using my guide, readers will come to appreciate all the different elements and stories that make our cemeteries so special; and hopefully they, too, will want to visit more cemeteries.

TOP TIPS FOR FAMILY HISTORIANS WHO WANT TO FIND OUT WHERE ANCESTOR/S WERE BURIED

  • Obtain a copy of the death certificate.
  • Search for funeral notices and death notices, particularly in digitised newspapers.
  • Consider where other relatives are buried; they may have been reunited in death, even if they died a long, long way away.
  • Work out what cemeteries were active in the period you’re interested in.
  • Use Dr Murray’s book as a guide.

<< Between the gravestones; Inside History, Summer 2017.

The book: Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide by Dr Lisa Murray is out now, $34.99.

Picturers: Where there’s one … The Angel stature appear at South Head General Cemetery, NSW. Grandeur. A taste of gothic at Gore Hill, NSW.


THE STYLE: BETTY CUTHBERT WINNING THE 100 METRES FINAL AT THE SYDNEY SPORTS GROUND. SHE WON WITH EASE.

FAMOUS CELEBRITIES: PART 1. BETTY CUTHBERT AND HOW SHE WAS DISCOVERED

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

When she was a 13-year-old schoolgirl, Betty Cuthbert left running marks on myriad racetracks around Australia and eventually overseas. A Home Science High School student from Parramatta, she and her physical education teacher, June Ferguson, steadily progressed through sub-junior and junior ranks to her world title.

(It was as June “Matson” that Ferguson competed in the London Olympic Games in 1948.)

In 1951, Cuthbert was selected to represent NSW at the Australian schoolgirls’ and boys’ championships in Tasmania. Cuthbert was a 13 years old blond and she knew where she was going.

In the ensuing year, she won her first NSW Title, the sub-junior 75 yards; and second in the sub-junior 50 yards. In 1953, 1954 and 1955 she won both the 75 yards and 100 yards NSW junior titles; and, in addition, she won 220 yards junior championship in 1955.

COMPELLING TIMES

Both the 100 yards and 220 yards were Australian Junior records.

In the 1956 NSW championship she ran compelling times – 100 yards, 10.6; 100 metres 11.5; and 220 yards 22.2 – but she was second to Marlene Mathews in all these events.

It was not even certain that Cuthbert could do well enough in the Australian championships to be included in the Olympic training squad.

<< Olympic Saga – The track and field story Melbourne 1956; Keith Donald and Don Selth; 1957; Futurian Press.

Next month: Betty Cuthbert and the Melbourne Olympic Games. She could, very well, become athletics ‘Golden Girl’!

Picture: Almost there. Fifteen year old Betty Cuthbert wins another major title.

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

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