Maria Venuti in hospital: Flashback - on her career!

TEA FOR THE CHILDREN: A KITCHEN SET UP THAT WAS SIMILAR IN STYLE TO THE ONE MANAGED BY RUTH AND HER MATES.

Ruth’s Reminiscences, Part 5: My husband, Jack sailed for Australia and a “new life”

A cable has reached Jack. It said, “I am on my way, Ruth.”

FRANK MORRIS

Ruth never forgot the General Strike of 1926. Then there was a transport strike and it hit hard. Then came the depression. In 1928 the British government gave women over the age of 21 the right to vote. At 26, she was engaged. Ruth continued:

In July, 1928, my intended husband, Jack, who had been unemployed for over four years, had sailed for a “new life” in Australia.

Emigration was being encouraged as a means of, I believe, getting rid of the many angry returned men who were disenchanted with the harsh treatment they were experiencing.

Jack sailed in the Moreton Bay on  one of the Commonwealth Line ships which was sold to Britain in 1928. After a few weeks in Sydney he got a temporary job.

Among Ruth’s papers was a letter she sent to Jack shortly after his departure. He never received it. Apparently, the letter had been returned to her months later.  In his quest for work, Jack had to change his address several times. The letter, which is now among her papers and documents in the National Library, is a moving testament of two young people separated by the difficulties of unemployment and poverty.

LANG'S SACKED

In 1929, soon after the election, Ruth cabled Jack that she “on her way to Sydney.” Ruth continued:

When I arrived in Sydney from the UK we were both involved, like so many others, in the problem of existing. We realised that the depression was settling in, and during the ensuing four and a half years, both of us were employed.

Needless to say, we were aware of the causes of the economic problems and we were always part of the working class movement. My husband’s job in Sydney petered out so we went to Corrimal, on the South Coast, to stay with relatives.

In no time both of us were caught up in local activities.

Seemingly, when Ruth and Jack left the UK for Australia, they had jumped from the frying pan into the fire. In 1930 Prime Minister Scullin’s budget was described as “the most crushing in the history of Australia.”

As a result, two major events were to happen: the State Savings Bank was closed “until further notice”. Then the NSW Governor Sir Philip Game sacked the Lang Ministry.

Thousands of workers gathered at the Sydney Morning Herald office in Hunter Street to catch the latest news concerning “the Federal Government’s attitude toward the State Government’s Mortgagee Taxation Bill.” In l932 Australia was in the depths of economic depression.

WE SET UP KITCHENS

Writes F.K. Crowley, an economics guru: “Thousands of farmers faced imminent bankruptry, profits fell and unemployment rose rapidly.” Ruth continued:

Not long after moving to Corrimal I joined the Cooperative Women’s Guild movement which was prominent in the industrial areas of the South Coast. Later, some of the women (the miners’ wives) became active in the Women’s International Relief Organisation (WIR), which was formed up and down the coast.

We set up soup kitchens. Our menfolk did the heavy duties of chopping fire wood and carrying soup to the school to make sure no child went hungry. The women did the vegetables and generally supervised the soup-making.

We had a system of daily shifts so that the work was evenly shared.

A generous landowner lent us a block of land so the unemployed could grow potatoes and other vegetables for the soup kitchens. We held evening dances in a local hall and managed to raise money to buy material for children’s clothes and women’s dresses”.

As the depression deepened so did the anger of those that were affected. There were increasing demands for action. The Council decided to ban all meetings. But the meetings continued in defiance and summons were issued.

My sister-in-law and another woman were summoned to attend court. They refused to be bound over and they both received ten days for their trouble. They were held-over in a lock-up in Wollongong and then taken to Sydney. Apart from the hard beds they did not mind. The WIR supplied them with food.

November: Conclusion – Australia was told that it was war. Footnote: Ruth and Jack “lived a happy life.”

Pictures: The Big Fella. Jack Lang – the scourge of banks, he was loved or reviled. Down, down. When James Scullin became Prime Minister, he faced rising unemployment and decreasing exports.


RACE OF THE CENTURY: NED TRICKETT PUTS HIS 6FT 4INS OF MUSCLE INTO DEFEATING ENGLISHMAN JAMES SADLER AND BECOMING THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN TO WIN A WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN ANY SPORT.

THE CHAMPS: “ARE YOU READY” – ONE SCULLER WILL BE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD! 

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Sculler Edward “Ned” Trickett is acknowledged as the first Australian to win a World Championship in any sport.

On June 27, 1876, he defeated Englishman, James H. Sadler, on London’s the River Thames which was lined by hundreds of thousands of spectators; ferries and smaller craft were swarming the river.

After trailing early, Ned a 2 to 1 outsider, shocked the local crowd with a decisive victory by four lengths in 24 min. 36 sec. Some 25,000 people gave him a hero’s reception upon his return to Sydney. There he stood, Ned Trickett, ‘the first Champion of World’.

Ned stood 193 centimetres, or 6ft 4in, tall and 77 kg when he retained his title against top sculler Michael Rush, on the Parramatta River, in NSW, in June 1877. A newspaper reported that when Trickett went back to his hotel in Pitt Street the band struck up See the conquering hero comes which could be heard from miles away.

DEVASTATING LOSS

In August, 1879, he would outdo his arch rival Elias Laycock in a masterly style for the massive purse of 200 pounds. “More than 40,000 people lined the banks of the rivers to watch the race,” said Ian Heads in Australia’s Greatest Sporting Moments.

“An armada of boats followed the event … Pressman were aboard the launch Prince of Wales where the working arrangements made for them were described as being of the ‘most meagre description’.
In 1880, he accepted a challenge from Canadian Ned Hanlan on the Thames course; but his challenge turned to a devastating loss. He failed to regain the Championship in Ottawa, Canada in July the following year.

He returned to Australia after the Ottawa loss and competed in several races against the subsequent World Champion, William Beach. Ned later moved to Rockhampton, Queensland. He was born in 1851 and died in 1916.

<< Adapted from Hall of the Champions, Sydney; Ian Heads; Frank Morris.

Picture: All sports. Ned Trickett, champion!


C FOR CHRISTIE: IF YOU HAVE A PEN NAME WHICH ENDS IN THE NAME CHRISTIE, AND YOU’RE A WOMEN’S THRILLER WRITER, YOUR BOUND TO BE CALLED ‘AGATHA CHRISTIE’.

AUSTRALIA’S “AGATHA CHRISTIE”, PATRICIA CARLON, HONED HER DRAMA FOR OVERSEAS

Adapted and written by FRANK MORRIS

Patricia Carlon was one of our leading crime writers who was known as “Australia’s Agatha Christie” – because one her pseudonyms was the lyrical Barbara Christie.

Carlon, who wrote her novels between 1961 and 1970, was regarded by the community as an “Australian Ace” thriller writer who is in the league of Highsmith and Rendell.

She resided next door to her parents in Bexley, NSW. At age 11, she was profoundly deaf and her literary success was a measure of her talent in communication through the written word.

In later years, she was referred to as the cat lady by providing a home for a large number of domestic cats.

POPULAR OVERSEAS

“This reclusive and rather secretive author knew her work was more appreciated overseas that in her home country,” said a well-known book reviewer. “Although Carlon did not writer explicitly of deafness, her books are often set in small, isolated towns or empty houses.”

The local residents of Bexley suggested they rename a reserve to commemorate Patricia Carlon. The new name was gazetted in February 2015 and the reserve was officially opened last September.

A colourful new mural at Bexley recognises the life and work of crime writer Patricia Carlon. Said the newspaper: “It was decided to enhance the reserve with a mural on the existing factory wall which dominates the reserve.”

Carlon was born 1927 and died in 2002. She was 75.

<< Adapted from the St George Leader; Frank Morris.

Picture: A string of novels. Patricia Carlon … she’s back!
Some of Patricia Carlon’s novels: The Whispering Wall, The Unquiet Night, Hush, It’s a game and Death by Demonstration. All her books are published by Text Media, Sydney.


DOG OF THE MOMENT: WHILE I LIVED IN A KENNEL A CANINE FRIEND GAVE US A DOG WHO LIKED MOTORCYCLES. ONE SUNDAY, WHEN THE TRAFFIC WAS HEAVY HE DID A LOAD OF DAMAGE. READ THE ARTICLE IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.

EL GAURDO … AND THE DOGS IN HIS LIFE!

He can’t be all bad because he likes dogs.

RING LARDNER           Adapted by Frank Morris

“A man can’t be all bad when he is so kind to dogs.”

That is what they generally always say; that is the reason you see so many men stop … when they see a dog and pet it because they figure that may be somebody will be looking at them do it; and the next time they are getting panned; why whoever seen it will speak up and say: “He can’t be all bad because he likes dogs.”

Well friends, when you come right down to cases they’s about as much sense to this as a good many other delusions that we got here in this country; like for inst. the one about nobody wanting to win the first pot and the one about the whole lot of authors not being able to do their best work unless they are half pickled.

But wile I was raised in a kennel, you might say, and some of my most intimate childhood friends was one of the canine gender, still in all I believe dogs is better in some climates than others …

The people that lived 3 houses away … moved to England where it seems like you can’t take dogs no more, so they asked us did we want the dog as it very nice around the children; and we took it and sure enough it was OK in regards to children; but it shared this new owners feeling towards motorcycles.

SUNDAY TRAFFIC

And every time one went past the house the dog would run out … on Sundays when the traffic was heavy they would sometimes be as many as 4 to 5 motorcycles riders standing on their heads in the middle of the road.

One of them finely took offence and told … and the justice of the peace called he up and said I would have to kill it within 24 hours, and the only way I could think of to do same was drown it in the bath tub; and if you done that, why the bath tub wouldn’t be no good no more because it was a good sized dog …

And no matter how often you pulled the stopper it would still be there.

<< El Gaurdo by Ring Lardner; Berkley Publishing Corporation, New York.

Coming: El Gaurdo and some more dogs!

Picture: Reaching out. On the hill top …


HERE IS AN ENTERTAINER: “MARIA BURST ON TO THE STAGE AND LEFT EVERYONE ENTHRALLED,” SAID THE REVIEWER.

FLASHBACK: EVEN A CAMEL CAN’T UPSTAGE MARIA VENUTI

Last Tuesday: News! One of Australia’s most outstanding singer Maria Venuti, 75, has regained consciousness after spending nearly two and a half days in an induced coma. Ms Venuti, who was treated at Royal North Hospital, was suspected to have suffered from a massive stroke. Police have yet to question Ms Venuti about the ‘stalking incident’ at her home at Gladesville.

This article was written in 1986:

FRANK MORRIS

Show stopping singer Maria Venuti is one performer who decided long ago that if she ever was to make it she had to give her best at all times and under all circumstances. And that simple, homespun philosophy stood her in good stead many years later when she appeared on the Mike Walsh show.

“I’ll never forget it,” says Maria, who still manages to crack a smile as she recalls the performance.

Maria was singing the love song If You Go Away, to all things, a camel, “The camel obviously took some of the lyrics to heart,” said Maria. It became very excited and went galloping around the studio. Eventually, it came back and began nibbling me on the cheek – the audience went berserk.”

Not to be upstaged, Maria told the audience that she would do anything to get on television. Maria hit the scene in 1960s ay Sydney’s Skylounge. Later, when she was featured on the late show at the famed Chequers, she was hailed as one of Australia’s most outstanding singers.

25,000 LOVED HER

Up until that time, Maria was employed as a secretary. It wasn’t long before the strain began to show.

After a short holiday in Queensland, she returned to Sydney and joined Two Plus One, which became one of the hottest combos in town. Some months later she was advised to go solo – and has never regretted it.

“Maria toured the Asia circuit and from “hopping from one small spot to another” and was doing hour-long shows in Tokyo, Jakarta, Taiwan and Manilla. “The audiences were superb and the experience was invaluable, “she said.

Commenting on her performance at the Hong Kong Hilton, the Standard’s columnist Noel Perrot wrote: “Here is an entertainer you can’t ignore. Maria exploded on to the scene with a burst of song and a blast of personality that envelops you and keeps you enthralled.”

Picture: Show-stopping. Maria Venuti … loads of personality.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 11 November 16

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