GOLD! Victoria and NSW were two of the richest places on the globe until the discovery of the ‘yellow stuff’

Adapted by Frank Morris

LOTS OF GOLD!

WHAT PART DID THE DISCOVERY OF GOLD PLAY? WERE THE REPONSES EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT?

How could such wealth and an acute level of destitution co-exist, particularly in Victoria? The main sources of economic wealth – gold, commercial agriculture and grazing – reinforced the social inequalities in wealth distribution.

On November 11, 1850, it was announced that the long and sometimes bitter struggle by the residents of the Port Phillip District of NSW for separation had at last borne fruit.

The news was greeted with joy in Melbourne.

Major gold discoveries came within a fortnight of Foundation Day in Victoria. Gold created as many problems as it did benefits.

The discovery of gold in Victoria and NSW during the hectic “roaring fifties” ushered in a decade of unparalleled activity and prosperity. The scope and immensity of these boom years is quickly and graphically demonstrated by a few comparative statistics.

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IN 1904, THE OLYMPICS WAS STAGED IN ST LOUIS, MISSOURI, TOGETHER WITH THE WORLD FAIR – BUT IT WAS NOT A SUCCESS. WAS IT THE CASE WHERE THE WORLD EVENTS WON’T MIX?
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The stream of immigration, which poured into Australia, doubled the population in five years; from 400,000 in 1850 to 800,000 in 1855.

Three years later, the million mark was reached.

Imports into Victoria jumped from $2 million to $24 million between 1850 and 1855 tells a vivid story. In Victoria alone, gold to the value of $2 million was produced in 1851, increasing to $28 million in 1856.

The total yield for Australia during 1851-1860 was $210 million, of which $186 million came from Victoria. Banking received a tremendous impetus during these exciting years.

At the beginning of the decade ten banks were operating. But during the next few years eight new ones were established, the most important being the English, Scottish and Australian Bank in 1852 and the National Bank in 1858.

By 1860, there were seventy-one branch offices compared with only nine branches at the same time 10 years ago.
The immediate effect of the gold discoveries upon the banks was that huge sums of money were needed to exchange for the gold bought.

To meet this demand, banks began to issue their own bank notes which, up to this time, had not been issued on any large scale.

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IN 1906, THE OLYMPICS RETURN TO ATHENS. THESE WERE KNOWN AS THE INTERCALATED GAMES – OR INTERIM – BECAUSE THEY WERE CONSIDERED “UNOFFICIAL” BY THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPICS COMMITTEE (I.O.C).…………………………………………………………………………………………...........................................................…

In Victoria, notes in circulation increased from $282,000 in 1851 to more than $4 million three years later. There was also a great demand for small change, but this could not be met.

The supply of the British coins in use was inadequate; and there were no facilities for minting money. The traders, therefore, began to issue their own copper and bronze token coins, instituting a widely accepted currency, which held public favour for many years.

During the main years of the gold rush the pastoral industry and the agricultural sector suffered. Further expansion and investment in land was forestalled by the gold rush; some runs were even lost as a result of gold finds.

NSW pastoral industry had reached its peak capacity during 1860s, due mainly to land restrictions … New land was opened for settlement during the 1870s, and many people took up selection, hoping to become self-sufficient.

In Victoria, by 1881, there was a dramatic structural shift in the economy. Gold mining, the mainstay of economic life in the 1850s, was no longer the major activity …

But after the gold rush had exhausted itself in both colonies, by 1881, Melbourne population was one-third of Victoria, and Melbourne was recognised as the financial capital of Australia.

SOURCE: From Australian Teachers/Eureka Stockade Package; R.A. Gage, Poverty Abounding Charity Aplenty, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney.

Below: Shapes and sizes … who gives a damn. As long as it’s real!

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RAZZLE DAZZLE OLYMPICS …
IT’S 1908, AND THERE WAS BITTER RIVALRY IN STORE BETWEEN BRITISH AND AMERICAN TEAMS AT THE LONDON OLYMPICS. MEANTIME, THE FINNS AND THE RUSSIANS FOUGHT AMONG THEMSELVES. ICE SKATING IS ADDED TO THE GAMES. THE AUSTRALIAN RUGBY FOOTBALL TEAM TOOK OUT AUSSIE’S ONLY GOLD MEDAL.


VALE: Tim Fischer wrote about “an end of steam” in his final book

TIM FISCHER

HUFFING AND PUFFING …

FORMER NATIONAL PARTY POLITICIAN TIM FISCHER, WHO DIED ON AUGUST 22, WILL HAVE A STATE FUNERAL IN ALBURY, NSW.

There is real possibility the ‘through’ steam locomotive operation will end between Brisbane and Toowoomba, with tourist steam trains banned.

Both proposals for the Inland Freight Rail direct from Brisbane to Melbourne, go through a proposed 7.6-kilometre tunnel under the Great Dividing Range near Toowoomba, intended to greatly ease grades and build efficiencies.

It is envisaged this will be a dual-gauge tunnel with plenty of height clearance to allow double stacking of containers.

With this super tunnel opening, the existing steep main line through Helidon and Spring Bluff will most likely close; although there is a strong case to be made for keeping open the section from Toowoomba down as far as Spring Bluff, especially for the annual flower and garden activities each spring.

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FANNY DURACK BECAME AUSTRALIA’S FIRST FEMALE GOLD MEDALLIST AT THE 1912 STOCKHOLM OLYMPICS. THE 800m RELAY TEAM ALSO GAINED GOLD. MORE THAN 2500 ATHLETES FROM 28 NATIONS WERE TAKING PART.…………………………………………………………………………………………...........................................................…

Owing to ventilation problems, trains will not be permitted to operate under steam through any tunnel more than 7 kilometres long, although they could be towed through at middle-range speeds by diesel-electric locomotives.

Essentially, this signals the end of the occasional steam train special travelling up and down the range between Brisbane and Toowoomba.

It reflects progress, but once again, it will come at the expense of the magnificent sight of a steam locomotive chugging up steep grades and trailing a lovely flume of smoke. – Adapted by Frank Morris.

SOURCE: Steam Australia: Locomotives that Galvanised The Nation.

Below: Tim Fischer gives a full hand of thanks to Ghan on a recent journey.

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RAZZLE DAZZLE OLYMICS …
IN 1916, THE GAMES WERE CANCELLED BECAUSE OF WORLD WAR 1. INSTEAD OF NEWS PICTURES OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES, WE HAD FIRST PHOTOGRAPHS OF VICTORY ON THE BATTLEFIELD! – FM.


Ginger Meggs – 97 years young, and is drawing in the fans!

FRANK MORRIS

US FELLERS, THE START OF GINGER MEGGS!

THE INSPIRATION BEHIND GINGER MEGGS’ NAME.

Ross Russell was a social columnist for The Advertiser, and the daughter of Lloyd Dumas and his wife, Daisy Hall.

Russell was once asked by cartoonist Jimmy Bancks, a great friend, what was her name. She told him it was “Rosslyn Ginger Mash”.

Bancks had named the cartoon Ginger Smith. But, after he had detailed conversation with Rosslyn, he changed it to Ginger Meggs.

Ginger Meggs made his debut in the first coloured comic section of the Sunday Sun (Sydney) to appear in an Australian newspaper on November 13, 1921. The strip, known as Us Fellers, was drawn by “a promising young artist” J.C. Bancks.

The strip, currently appearing in Australian papers, is syndicated overseas to more than 120 newspapers in different languages in 34 countries. Featured in the panel is a slightly modified Ginger drawn by James Challfield.

Challfield took over from James Kemsley, who had drawn Ginger since March 18, 1984. Kemsley died of motor neurone disease in 2007. Other artists to have the strip include Vivian (1953-1973) and Piper (1973-1984).

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BELGIUM, 1920, STAGES THE POSTWAR OLYMPICS AT ANTWERP. THE EFFECTS OF THE WORLD WAR MADE PERFORMANCES ONLY FAIR TO MIDDLING. THERE WERE ABOUT 3000 ATHLETES FROM 29 NATIONS. OLYMPIC FLAG AND MOTTO FLEW FOR THE FIRST TIME. – FM.
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Bancks created the strip at the behest of the great editor, Monty Grover.

The early strips featured the adventures of “a beguiling little girl” called Gladsome Gladys. He was tired of the restriction imposed by the character and decided to develop one of the supporting ‘players’ – a tear-away kid called Ginger. Ginger came into prominence in December 1921.

And in 1922, Gladsome Gladys had vanished from the panel.

The comic was renamed Ginger Meggs in November 1939. In 1951, Bancks decamped from the Sunday Sun after 29 years and transferred to the Sunday Telegraph and later to the Sun-Herald (Sydney).

Bancks died in 1952.

SOURCE: Ross Russel died in 2012.

Below: Ginger Meggs and his ‘family’ of Australia artists.

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HEALTH MATTERS …

SEPTEMBER 1 to 30: DEMENTIA MONTH. JOIN IN THE PROMOTIONS THAT’S HELD BY SPECIAL GROUPS. www.fightdementia.org.au

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 30 August 19

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