COOK’S ENLIGHTENMENT: Raise the Endeavour -- his famous voyages!

IN AUSTRALIA, CAPTAIN COOK HAS GONE DOWN IN HISTORY AS THE MAN WHO DISCOVERED THE EAST COAST OF OUR NATION. IT’S CAPTAIN COOK’S 290TH BIRTHDAY AND HE IS PROBABLY GRINNING LIKE A CHESHIRE CAT THAT THEY’VE DISCOVERED THE ‘BLUE-RIBBON’ ENDEAVOUR.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS 

REMARKABLE FEATS: THE THIRD SMALLEST SHIP THAT CAPTAIN COOK SAILED IN ON HIS FANTASTIC VOYAGE, WAS ONLY 97 FEET LONG. Below: SIR T.O.M. SOPWITH, AN AVIATION PIONEER, SAILED IN TWO AMERICA’S CUP RACES AND LOST THEM IN ENDEAVOUR (1934i AND ENDEAVOUR II (1937). Below: COOK WAS STRUCK DOWN AND KILLED.

When Captain Cook returned to England in 1771 from his greatest voyages, the Endeavour sank into obscurity until some Massachusetts whalers bought her, with several other English ships, writes Australian Marjorie Hutton-Neve.
Hutton-Neve is a recognised expert on Cook.

The present search is led by American archaeologist, Dr Kathy Abbass, Director of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project.

Dr Abbass said that “research of the Endeavour shows, the she was “renamed Lord Sandwich and used by the British Board of Transport to carry troops to North America during the American War of Independence. In August, 1778 she was scuttled.”

“Some time later, when the identity of the old hulk became public knowledge, she was practically torn apart by souvenir hunters. The rescued sternpost and a quadrant, (at the time of writing) were now in the Maritime Museum of the Newport Historical Society.

COOK WAS REMARKABLE

“The carved oak crown and some stern ornaments were held for safety in a Newport library. T.O.M Sopworth failed to win America’s Cup in 1934 with his yacht Endeavour; he was attending dinner given in his honour and presented with the old Endeavour Crown.

Lieutenant James Cook, RN, aged 34, the second child of James and Grace Cook of Great Ayton, Yorkshire, was married at St Margaret’s, Barking, Essex, to Elizabeth Batts, age 21, on December 21, 1762.
There were six children of the marriage.

Cook took command of the Endeavour in 1768. As well as an expert navigator and hydrographic surveyor Cook was a competent astronomer.

The three journeys he performed ran from 1768 and 1780; and although he is most remembered for the first, all three were remarkable feats of navigation and discovery. The first voyage in the HMS Endeavour was performed without any escorting ship.

Endeavour’s most notable achievements were the observation of the transit of Venus, the charting of the coast of New Zealand and Australia.

Cook kept his ship at sea for nearly three years without losing a single man to scurvy.

DEATH OF COOK

Endeavour was a “bark” of 370 tons, 97 feet long, 29 feet at its widest arc, was bought for 2500 pounds by the navy, refitted and armed with 10 carriage and 12 swivel guns for the voyage to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus.

Endeavour’s journey lasted 2 years, 9 months and 14 days during which she was wrecked, and repaired by her crew on the Australian coast. This was at the present site of Cooktown, on the shores of what is now called the Endeavour River.

The reef on which she was wrecked, 24 miles from the shore, is now called Endeavour Reef.

Cook and his men spent six weeks making repairs to the ship, a far longer time than they had stayed at Botany Bay.

Captain Phillip Park King, who also lost a ship here, said he moored in the same location as Cook and even found a heap of coal left behind by him on which to operate his forge.

On his third voyage on the HMS Resolution to Hawaii, fighting broke out between white and native men over the theft of a small boat. Cook was struck down and knifed in the back. He was killed on February 14. The two ships were returned to England on October 4, 1780.

Dr Abbass’ date/figures have also been use in the article.

<< Marjorie Hutton-Neve in Captain James Cook, Historic Australian, Issue 4, 1987; The Sydney Morning Herald, September 20, 2018; Australian Pathways, Spring, 1998; The Pacific Ocean of Captain Cook, W.C. Penfold & Co Publishing, Sydney, NSW.


VALE: RON CASEY … FORMER 2KY BREAKFAST HOST AND CHANNEL 10’S LEAGUE ANNOUNCER DIED LAST TUESDAY. NEXT WEEK, I PRESENT SHORT CLIPS FROM HIS RADIO SHOWS.


Johnny O’ Keefe: He died 40 years ago as the “king of Australian rock”

I PENNED THIS STORY IN OCTOBER, 1978, THE YEAR HE DIED, FOR A SERIES OF NEWSPAPERS.

FRANK MORRIS

ON STAGE: HE WAS A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW. Below: DOING WHAT HE’S DOING, THAT WHERE HE BELONGED.

There is a subtle similarity between the late American actor Humphrey Bogart and Australia’s “Mr Showbiz”, Johnny O’Keefe, who died suddenly last month, aged 43, of a massive heart attack in St.Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.

When Bogart started on the road to becoming a box-office legend, Otis Ferguson, one of the most gifted and erudite film critics of the 1940s, wrote that “You had the feeling that he was writing his own parts.”

Jazz saxophonist Bob Bertles, who played in one of O’Keefe’s famous bands in the late 50s, was quoted recently as saying: “When he was on stage he definitely looked as though he belonged there.”

Johnny O’Keefe will be a hard act to follow.

Like Bogart, O’Keefe was an original.  In the past twenty years, there has been no other all-round entertainer to match him for his sheer will to entertain.

O’Keefe’s career, which spanned over 26 years, oscillated between success and failure so many times that even he lost count.

Wedged in somewhere between those hectic, roller-coaster years, were several attempts to crack the big-time in America and Britain.

He came close…

LIKE A PRIZE-FIGHTER

In recent years, O’Keefe spent most of his time promoting his “Johnny O’Keefe Show” to clubs all over NSW.

It was three hours of high-powered frenzy, and as John Clare wrote in an issue of the National Times last month, “He was…bounding on like a well-worn prize-fighter, hurling himself into it and urging the crowd to clap and sing along.”

And they did – time and time again.

In 1976, O’Keefe launched his famous “Door Deal” package to clubs – and played to packed houses.

In an interview I did with O’Keefe last year, he said: “It’s top shelf entertainment.  We have a team of entertainers who know what the business is all about.

We go into clubs and say that if you can’t afford to pay us then we’ll take the risk and help you to promote the show.

“If the show draws a good crowd we make money or, at the very worst break-even. If it fails we’ve taken the risk and the club is not out of pocket.”

O’Keefe said nostalgia played an important role in the success of his “Door Deal” shows.

HARD WORKER

“It’s only natural that it would,” he said, “mainly because some of the early songs I recorded became popular hits.”
Andrew Urban, editor of Encore, the variety industry’s news-magazine, said: “O’Keefe had deep-seated ideas about the entertainment business and was concerned about the industry.

“He was a hard worker, a dynamic promoter and would never let you down, he always delivered the goods.
Urban said that in the short time he knew him, O’Keefe was never afraid to back his own talent.

“His ‘Door Deals’ were largely responsible for increasing mid-week crowds in clubs,” Urban said.

“But O’Keefe isolated the club from any risk and stacked his confidence up against the income.”

O’Keefe knew he’d be right – nine times out of ten, because he worked at it.


JOHN LAWS: He was “resplendent” in his white suit

On the cover for Open Road’s first colour magazine in 1986, was none other than John Laws the prominent radio personality and car collector looking okay. But it doesn’t stopped there! Laws looks resplendent in a white suit with a typical serious look on his face.

“I’ve always been a sucker for MG’s,” Laws said. “You get a marvellous exaggerated sense of speed. Looking back, the first MG I ever bought was far more important to me than any car I own now.”

RESTYLED

Open Road was relaunched as a ‘quality colour magazine’ after 56 years being published as a newspaper” said a spokesperson.

According to Jim Millner, the then President of the NRMA, it was “biggest change in Open Road’s history.

Good Roads was launched in 1921. It was renamed The Open Road with colours on the cover and improved layout in 1927. The newsprint versions of The Open Road in 1971. The Open Road was back as a colour magazine in 1986.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 05 October 18

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