Chasing ‘lady luck’: Australia has always been a nation of gamblers!

THE COINS ARE IN THE AIR, HOW WILL THEY FALL. Below: A ‘SPINNER’ USES A TWO-UP ‘STICK’ TO TOSS THE COINS INTO THE AIR.

WELCOME TO THE TWO-UP GAME! IT’S HERE TO STAY. THE DAY AUSTRALIAN GAMING ALSO HIT THE HIGH STRAPS WAS WHEN PROTESTATIONS LAMENTABLY FAILED TO PENETRATE THE AUSSIE PSYCHE.

FRANK MORRIS

The accursed gambling bug began to get a toe-hold back in the early days of settlement. An intriguing game called pitch-and-toss – a forerunner to two-up – allegedly found its way from England and gained a fanatical following throughout the scattered communities.

By 1809, “the aggressive gambling trait that was to make the Australian character famous” was further stimulated by organised carnivals of horse-racing and trotting.

No doubt impressed by the gaiety and community spirit that had pervaded the colony, Governor Macquarie, a year later, authorised the building of Sydney’s first ‘official’ race track at Hyde Park.

By the turn of the century Australians, well and truly caught in the grip of gambling, were summarily accused of being “incapable of serious work”.

The days when gambling was nothing more than a frivolous pastime are long gone. To be sure, Australians are born gamblers.

The origin of the game has been traced to China and to English provincial sport. It is scarcely necessary, however, to go much farther back in history than our own early days.

In 1804, the Sydney Gazette, in an article on the evils of gambling, recommended “the dispersion of the Little Chuck-farthing mob that generally assembles at one of the wharves in the course of the afternoon”.

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ABOUT AGED CARE/RETIREMENT VILLAGES …
THE WORKING CARER IS RAPIDLY BECOMING A GROWING COHORT IN SOCIETY. THIS IS BECAUSE THE AUSTRALIAN POPULATION IS AGEING. THE PERIOD 2011 TO 2029 WILL EXPERIENCE THE “MOST DRAMATIC GROWTH” AS THE BABY-BOOMERS REACH RETIREMENT AGE. THE “BOOMERS” WERE BORN BETWEEN 1946 AND 1964. THE GROUP ARE READY FOR RETIREMENT. – FM.
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These are normally run, on organised lines and under strict control, in (a thing) called an alley.

Figures in the two-up world are the centre, centre man or ringie, the ringkeeper and the spinner, who tosses the coins – the famous expression, “Come in, spinner”.

The alley clerk, a battler who arranges bets for the player – especially if the latter is inexperienced; the sleeper catcher, a person who picks up bets that have been on the floor too long, this regarded as a legitimate perquisite.

There are alley loafers, moneyless players who are never allowed a seat round a ring, the toe-rag – a hobo or dead beat – a head, a professional gambler, a grouter, a gambler who passes until the chances are in his favour, and, of course the virgin or mug (a non-professional) known among the experts.

The small piece of board, upon which two pennies for spinning are rested, is called the kip, stick, bat or kiley.

Frank Morris comment: In the colonial times right up to 1970s there existed a broad-range of cheating in the two-up game. There were double-tail and double-headed pennies, for example, the spinners palming one of the pennies, and trickery – even while the pennies are in air – were tantamount. A legalised form of two-up was declared in 1989 NSW and 1991 in Victoria on Anzac Day.

<< The Australian: Yarn. Legends. Ballads by Bill Wannan; 1979. The Australian Guide to Poker Machines published by Clubman Books, Sydney; Frank Morris, 1983.

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ABOUT AGED CARE/RETIREMENT VILLAGE …
THE WORKING CARER IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT LINKS IN THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHAIN. A CRISIS CAN HAPPEN AT ANY TIME, AND IT USUALLY DOES. INVARIABLY, IT HAPPENS AT THE WORST TIME IN A WORKING CARER’S LIFE. THE WORKING CARER HAS ALREADY HAD A TASTE OF THIS MISFORTURNE, AND IT WILL CROP UP MANY TIMES IN THIS VITALLY ESSENTIAL UNION OF THEIR TOGETHERNESS. – FM.


FAMOUS WOMEN: Final. The brilliant career of Miles Franklin

FRANK MORRIS

TO ROUND OUT THE CIRCLE, WHEN HER WILL WAS MADE PUBLIC IT SHOWED THAT FRANKLIN LEFT “SUFFICIENT CAPITAL” TO PROVIDE AN “ANNUAL SUM” FOR THE BEST WORK OF FICTION PUBLISHED BY AN AUSTRALIAN WRITER AND NOT NECESSARILY PUBLISHED IN AUSTRALIA.

THE PRESTIGIOUS MILES FRANKLIN PRIZE WAS FIRST AWARDED TO PATRICK WHITE FOR VOSS. IN 1995, DURING THE DEMEDENKO/DARVILLE CONTROVERY, THERE WAS AN OUTCRY OVER THE SEEMING DEBASEMENT OF THE MILES FRANKLIN AWARD FROM THE RANKS OF AUSTRALIAN LITERARY AND INTELLECTUAL CIRCLES.

THE LATE HELEN DANIEL, THE EDITOR OF AUSTRLIAN BOOK REVIEW, ACCUSED THE JUDGES OF MAKING THE AWARD – AND THE MILES FRANKLIN NAME “THE BUTT OF JOKES … THE TARGET OF RIDICULE”.
REGARDLESS OF THIS STAB IN THE BACK, MILES FRANKLIN WOULD BE IN THE PANTHEON OF GREAT AUSTRALIA WRITERS OFF ALL TIME. – FM.
 


SKATEBOARDS: The boom in the sport has given it an Olympics debut

SKATEBOARDER, FROM QUEENSLAND, DISPLAYS THE TALENT THAT MADE HIM AN OLYMPIC SKATEBOARD CONTENDER FOR NEXT YEAR.

SKATEBOARD LEGEND, FROM WESTERN AUSTRALIA, CONCENTRATES ON HIS MOVE IN THE MANNER HE WILL ADOPT FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES. Below: AN AMERICAN DOWN HILL EVENT WHEN ONE COMPETITOR BITES THE DUST.

SKATEBOARDING MAKES ITS DEBUT IN NEXT YEAR’S TOKYO OLYMPICS AS A WORLD COMPETETIVE SPORT. THE AUTHOR WROTE THIS PIECE ON SKATEBOARDING IN 1965 FOR SURFABOUT MAGAZINE. IT WAS BECOMING A BOOM SPORT EVEN THEN. THE SKATEBOARDING CRAZE STARTED IN THE USA AROUND THE MIDDLE OF 1950s. IT HAS BEEN BOOMING EVER SINCE. LEARN HOW THE USA AND AUSTRALIA DEVELOPED THIS METRORIC RISE IN THE NEW FOUND SPORT.
ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS    STORY BY PETER CLIFTON

“One thing is for certain”, I overheard a surfer telling his mate, “the fact that after surfing had been going for five years, there was not as many surfboards as there are skateboards today”.

Skateboards have been around in Australia for twelve months and have sold so fast that even the surfing manufacturers are still shaking their heads.

That’s why board manufacturers are wondering why they never got into the field?

Until recently, no one seemed to take them seriously.

Parents passed it over as a teenage fad; while police looked frowningly upon this and hoped it would be another teenage pastime which would soon be over.

Like the early days of surfing, skateboarding drew a great deal of controversy and criticism. The old adage “all publicity is good publicity” shopkeepers started to look up and say, “Well, I might try one and see how it goes”. And so they did!

The skateboard boom had erupted.

Just by taking an old pair of skates and nailing them to the bottom of a 2 x 4 piece of wood had become an industry.

Many of the first Australian versions, some of which were still around, were not that much better than the original 2 x 4 specimens.

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ABOUT AGED CARE/RETIREMENT VILLAGES …
THE FACT THAT A CRISIS WORKS IN ITS OWN TIME IS ILLUSTRATED BY THIS CASE STUDY: “I WAS OVERSEAS WHEN DAD HAD A BLACKOUT. HE WENT INTO HOSPITAL FOR A CHECK-UP. HIS CONDITION HAD DETERIORATED SO MUCH THAT THE DOCTORS AND SOCIAL WORKERS SUGGESTED HE GO INTO RESPITE CARE”. FM.
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Now, with American influence -- conscious of broken elbows and knees -- skateboarding had become a discerning sport; and more boards – high quality ones, of course – were released.

In California, the city which never closes, the sport had really hit a bullseye.

The biggest selling magazines in America carried articles with captions such as, “Provide the land-locked surfer with another outlet for his frustrations”.

Or, the smaller magazines like Side Walk Surfing, No Room at the Beach, Real Sport, shows why skateboarding had become one of leading sports in the world.

Life and Sports Illustrated, the highbrow magazines of many thousands of readers, claimed it as the fastest growing sport on the West Coast of America.

Several championships, with lucrative prizes, were set up around where iconic skateboarding was a popular activity. It spread throughout the USA.

The Americans John Severson, Joey Cabell and Butch Van Ardstalen, set up a slalom course of beer cans where one started at the top of a hill and was judged on speed, manoeuvrability and style.

“Well, take two slightly longer skateboards”, explained Cabell, “take off the wheels … and wait until it snows … and you’re ready to go skiing”.

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ABOUT AGED CARE/RETIREMENT VILLAGES …
RESPITE CARE ASSISTS CARERS TO TAKE A BREAK FROM THE CARING ROLE. SHORT-TERM RESPITE CARE CAN BEEN ARRANGED IN YOUR OWN HOME, OR IN A RESIDENTIAL CARE FACITLTY. CARING FOR SOMEONE FULL TIME IS PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY DEMANDING. “IN-HOME RESPITE” SERVICE – HALF DAY, OVERNIGHT – PROVIDES HOME CARE AND PERSONAL CARE SERVICES. – FM.
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The appeal of skateboards is extended to a far wider market. People up to age 35 to 40 are pre-eminent in the world of skateboarding. It has spread from coastline to country … with its fast-growing popularity in the US.

A leading Australian spokesperson, says he expects winter to exceed summer in skateboard sales. He adds: “What better way to stay in form than skateboarding”.

In America in 1964, the skateboarding records are more than interesting:

THE fastest time is by George Cooley, in California. The record is 42 miles per hour and was set in July last year in Sunset Boulevard behind a GTO coupe.

THE longest single ride recorded is down the mountain pass separating the East and West Coast of Oahu, Hawaii. From top to bottom is 3 ½ miles.

THE steepest ride in not known in Australian, but many refer to the Gladesville Bridge, that is commonly perceived as “the Waimea Bay”, of skateboarding.

<< Adapted from The Skateboarding Boom by Peter Clifton, Surfabout Vol 3, No 1 1964.

COMING: The Presence of Uluru, once called Ayers Rock, is arguably one of our best-known natural landmarks. Ayers Rock was named Sir Henry Ayers in 1873.

1970 AMERICAN SKATEBOARD RIDER PUTS ON A ‘REAL OLYMPIC’ PERFORMANCE.


INSIDE NEWSPAPERS: Notable newsman starts a flagship-printing empire!

CUMBERLAND PRESS, SIMILAR TO THIS, WAS STARTED IN 1933.

AUSTRALIA’S LOSS OF REGIONAL AND SUBURBAN PRESS OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS HAS BEEN AWSOME. AND THERE ARE MORE ON THE BRINK OF CLOSURE. 
FRANK MORRIS

IN 1843, TWO YEARS AFTER THE SYDNEY HERALD (NOW THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD) WAS IN BUSINESS, THE PARRAMATTA CHRONICLE AND CUMBERLAND GENERAL ADVERTISER BECAME THE FIRST AUSTRALIA COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER MASTHEAD.

IN 1887, CUMBERLAND ARGUS AND FRUITGROWER’S ADVOCATE WAS BORN AND IT WAS THE “RECOGNISED” LOCAL PAPER WITH THE LARGEST CIRULATION IN AUSTRALIA’S ‘SECOND-OLDEST’ CITY. THE ARGUS CONTINUED TO BE THE ‘BIBLE’ OF NORTH-WESTERN SYDNEY.

IN 1933, EARL WHITE CAME ON THE SCENE AND WAS FOUNDER OF CUMBERLAND NEWSPAPER GROUP.

WHITE WAS BORN IN ARMIDALE, NSW, AND ITCHING TO BECOME A NEWSMAN. HE JOINED THE CUMBERLAND ARGUS – ONE OF A HANDFUL OF PENNY NEWSPAPERS – AT AGE 17. HE THEN MOVED TO THE SUN AS A NEWS AND COURT REPORTER. WHITE WAS ONE OF MANY TO BE LAID OFF DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION.

UNDAUNTED, HE LAUNCHED THE PARRAMATTA ADVERTISER, A FREE NEWSPAPER, IN 1933. RUPERT MURDOCH TOOK OVER THE CUMBERLAND GROUP IN FEBRUARY 1960, FOLLOWING “A BIDDING WAR” WITH SIR FRANK PACKER.

<< Frank Morris, Press Box Newsletter, No 1, l99(3); SMH, May 28. 2020. 


Let’s Laugh …

GRAND YEARS WILL APPEAR ON AUGUST 7, 2020.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 23 July 20

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