Battle Flags of the Nations …

THE REBELLION IN 1854, EUREKA STOCKADE, WAS THE ONLY ARMED INSURRECTION BY FREE MEN IN AUSTRALIA’S HISTORY. THE MINERS HOISTED A BLUE FLAG WITH THE SOUTHERN CROSS ON IT. THEY TOOK AN OATH “TO STAND TRULY BY EACH OTHER AND FIGHT TO DEFEND OUR RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES”.

THIS FLAG WAS FOUND IN TATTERS. IT WAS FRAMED AND PUT ON DISPLAY.

GINGER MEGGS: He’s been around for 100 years!

THWACK! WHAT A TONGUE-BITING SHOT! GINGER MEGGS, THE LITTLE SCOUNDREL, STRIKES BACK.

FRANK MORRIS

SOME EDITORS CAN BE A SHREWD BUNCH, HONESTLY. THEY’LL DO ANYTHING FOR A CARTOON OF THEIR’S TO STEAL ANOTHER PAPER’S THUNDER.

BY THAT I MEAN, IT’S DEADLY. AT LEAST IT WAS WHEN THERE WERE MORE NEWSPAPERS SERVING THE TOWN AND CITIES.

GINGER MEGGS, FOR INSTANCE, HAS BEEN ON THE TROT SINCE US FELLERS ( IT’S NOW CALLED ‘GINGER MEGGS’) IN 1921.


“CARTOON CHARACTERS ARE INFINITELY MALLEABLE BECAUSE THEY AREN’T REAL,” EXPERT COLIN SEEGER SAID. “THEY ARE IMAGES ON THE PAPER … JUST THAT, IMAGES”.

AUSTRALIA’S FAVOURITE RED-HAIRED, SCHOOL- WAGGING AND CRICKET ‘CHAMPEEN’ HAS MOVED ON – HE’S NOW 100 YEARS YOUNG.

IN THE OLD DAYS, ALL THE DAILY NEWSPAPERS HAD DEVELOPED THOUSANDS OF READERS FROM ‘THE FUNNIES’ PAGE,  SO THEY WERE PROTECTIVE OF THEIR WARES.

OLD EDITORS WOULD SAY THAT THERE’S MORE MONEY IN THOSE WIGGLY LINES AND INDIAN INK THAN THERE IS IN ADVERTISING! THAT WAS IN TIMES PAST.

More Ginger Meggs + Lionel Rose to follow.

The Big Fight: A personal letter to a mum who was concerned about her son

JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY WHO WAS SOMEBODY IN THE FIGHT GAME DID THEIR SHARE OF SOUL-SEARCHING AFTER THE FATAL WILBURN-THOMPSON FIGHT.

FRANK MORRIS

After completing my article on the Chuck Wilburn fight in 1976, I drove home. When I arrived at the office the next day, I noticed an envelope on my desk addressed to me. It was hand-delivered.

I studied it in detail. Here’s part of what it said. It was written in relationship to the fight witnessed last night, and her son.

“Our 12-year-old son, Keith, wants to become a professional boxer. His father encourages him. How dangerous is boxing as an occupation?”

When you see somebody like Chuck Wilburn getting savaged in the ring it is not worth thinking about.


IN AMATUER BOXING, GLOVES ARE CUSHIONED SO THAT BOTH WEAR THEM DURING A MATCH AND TRAINING. MODERN BOXING GLOVES ARE NON-LETHAL AND DESIGNED TO PROTECT BOTH THE OPPONENT’S HEAD AND THE FIGHTER’S HANDS DURING A BOUT.

I don’t recommend that any youngster deserves such encouragement.

“Boys will be boys. You could leave it up to him, he’ll either ignore it and it will go away.

“There’s a myriad of things you can do. Think about it. ‘What happens when he gets older?’ I wrote. ‘Wait till he is 15 years and you’ll see if he has changed his mind’.

<< This was part of a syndicated article on The Chuck Wilburn tragedy in 1976.

FRANK MORRIS COMMENT: Keith spent some time at the gym. He was in good physical condition. He had a go as an amateur lightweight and failed each time. He gave the fight game away.

THE BATAVIA TRAGEDY: It was inevitable that there would be bloodshed

GRAND SHIP: THE BATAVIA WAS THE NEWEST AND MOST MAGNIFICENT SHIP OF HER TIME.

AS THE TIDE FELL, SURF POUNDED THE BATAVIA WHICH STARTED TO BREAK UP.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

Francisco Pelseart, a fined-boned, small man, inclined to the arts, whereas Jacobsz was a big, hard-drinking, brawler. Confined as they were for so long, and having to work closely together, it was inevitable there should be clashes.

It has also been suggested that while Jacobsz fancied the beautiful Lucretia van de Mylen, she much preferred the company of Pelsaert.

In any event, while the ships were victualling at Cape Town for the final run to Batavia, Jacobsz and Zwaantie Hendrix went on a drunken orgy which drew complaints from the other captains. Pelsaert threatened Jacobszwith demotion and public disgrace.

In his fury, the skipper sought the company of Jeronimus Cornelisz. From that moment on, the Batavia was doomed to bloodshed.

Cornelisz, a former apothecary in the city of Haarlem, emerges as the ringleader and blood-thirstiest of the murderers. He and his conspirators had already decided to seize the ship and her cargo, which included a considerable sum of money and jewels, and they intended to embark on a career of piracy.

They intended feeding on other ships of the rich Indies fleet. They planned their move for the time when Batavia turned north for the run to Batavia.


OPEN ROAD: 100 YEARS: IN THE ARTICLE, WOMEN AT THE WHEELS, OPEN ROAD SAID, ”WE PUBLISHED OUR SHARE OF THE DIZZY AND HELPNESS FEMALES BEHIND THE WHEEL. HOWEVER, WE HAVE LONG REVERSED THIS POSITION”.

The Dutch by this time found it much quicker after leaving Cape Town to run East with the prevailing winds and currents to the coast of the Southland, as Australia was then called, before turning north.

Inevitably, with navigation as uncertain as it was, and knowledge of Australia’s coastline as skimpy, some ships were wrecked off the coast.

And so, on the morning of June 4, 1629, the Batavia ran aground on the Houtman Abrolhos, or Rocks, at high tide.

As the tide fell, the surf pounded the ship and it started to break up. With the coming of daylight, a number of low, miserable islands were seen and boats were launched.

The scenes that ensued later reflected no credit on anyone.

Men fought and pushed into the boats, trampling underfoot women and children; while below decks soldiers and gunners were looting the cargo and broached the wine. Some boatloads got ashore, others drowned; and still others stayed with the stricken vessel.

This latter group included Cornelisz and Jacobsz; and on one of the islands Pelsaert and a group of seamen were gathering supplies to stock the biggest ship’s boats for the 1500 mile trip to Batavia.


OPEN ROAD: 100 YEARS. “NRMA HAS BEEN CONSCIOUS OF THE FACT THAT THE GOOD ROADS MAGAZINE WAS NOT OF A LITERARY STANDARD. BUT, RATHER, WITH OPEN ROADS IT IS BEFITTING OF THE DIMENSIONS AND INFLUENCE OF THE NRMA”.

Another group of seamen outfitted a second boat for the attempt; while the confusion among the survivors increased.

Forty-eight hours later, after Batavia went aground, Pelsaert and Jacobsz sailed; followed a day later by the second boat, leaving behind a disorganised and ill-equipped group of survivors. It’s hard to believe that their motives were as worthy as Pelsaert later claimed.

He said: “Decided and resolved to do our utmost duty in order to help our poor companions in dire distress. In token of the truth has signed with our hand and have sworn this June 8. 1629.”

In doing their “utmost duty” they left behind 250 people “being in the utmost misery, and likely to perish shortly from thirst and hunger.” Of the 250, seventy were on the wreck; and the 180 on the island had water for two days at the most.

Eventually, the survivors started to die …

<< The “Batavia” tragedy; Australian Studies, Victoria.

Next: Then the killing began. First to die were the strongest, murdered stealthily and at night.

THE NEXT GRAND YEARS WILL BE PUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 22.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 06 October 21

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