NATION REBORN: Australian Chronicle reports – He dared to surf by day

EDITOR DEFIED THE LAW!

FRANK MORRIS

DEFIANCE: WHEN W.T. GOTCHER REFUSED TO OBEY A “CENTURY LAW” TO WEAR A “PROPER COSTUME”, IT INSPIRED MEN AND WOMEN TO WEAR THE RIGHT SORT OF COSTUME OF THE TIME. Below: LADIES, TIMES ARE A-CHANGING. Below: A BEACH INSPECTOR STUDIES THE NEWLY MADE COSTUME.

1902

A defiant swimmer this year took action that was to result in a big change in Australia’s way of life!

Although the beaches had seen old-style English “bathing boxes” as early as 1870, by the end of the century laws prohibited bathing during daylight hours within sight of the public.

But W.H. Gotcher, editor and owner of the Manly Daily defied the law.

He advertised in his paper that he intended surfing at noon – and did so. He bathed in the sea often, and without prosecution. Others joined in.

******

FEDERATION: SOLDIERS BACK FROM WAR; MANY DEATHS

Australians were fighting the Boers in Imperial troops at the time of Federation.

Units saw action in the drawn-out campaigning throughout the country before the war ended on May 31. Australia contributed a total of 848 officers, 15,327 other ranks and 16,314 horses to the war.

The 518 deaths included almost as many from disease, as from battle wounds.

Another 735 Australians were wounded and 147 missing.

******

HIGH COURT SET UP; AUSTRALIA BOUND DECISIONS

The Commonwealth created the High Court of Australia and it was seen as a wonderful break-through for the law.

This was a most significant move. The High Court was subordinate only to the Privy Council. All other courts in Australia were bound by decisions of the High Court.

******

ELECTORAL ROLL IS FOR WHITES ONLY

The Commonwealth’s determination to keep Australia “white” was emphasised when new laws prohibited non-Europeans – including Australian Aborigines but not Maoris – from having their names on an electoral roll.

GOVT DROPS PRICE: Water on tap in Western Australia’s gold towns

1903

DIGGER: “PADDY” HANNAN WAS A PROUD MAN. Below: HANNAN’S GRAVE.

The piping of water to the goldfields towns was an important development in Western Australia.

After “Paddy” Hannan’s discovery of gold in 1893, crowds of miners had flocked to Hannan’s Find. The discovery was perched on a desert area where a common growth was the shrub called “galgurli” by the Aborigines.

Soon the settlement took the name Kalgoorlie. In 1895, it became a municipality.

Water was precious because it had to be hauled in and sold at prices fluctuating between one and two shillings a gallon.

Later the condensing of water from the salt lakes dropped the price to a penny to fourpence a gallon.

Eventually, the State Government bowed to pressure from the goldfields towns to build a 2.5 million pound 350 mile pipeline from the Darling Ranges near Perth to Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie.

Previous governments has been wary of the project in case the gold boom was short-lived.

The great undertaking took seven years to build. On January 23, the pipeline was opened.

******

MOVE TO SETTLE DISPUTES

The wisdom of a Government in creating the High Court led to further sound legal developments and the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration was set up.

Its purpose was to deal with disputes between workers and their employers affecting several States.

<< The Making of a Nation by Frank Morris, Sun, 1975.

Continued in two weeks.


LES MISERABLES: The world’s heart was broken, thanks to the daily press at the time. Victor Hugo wrote this ground-swelling saga of the social uprising and bloody fighting, and striking the barricades, which took place in the streets of Paris in 1832. What’s the meaning of Les Miserables? Norman Denny, translator of Victor Hugo’s fine piece of story-telling, said “Hugo’s miserables are not merely the poor and wretched -- they are the outcasts -- the underdogs, the rejected of society and the rebels against society.” The series start in two week time.


CARTOONIST: AUBREY COLLETTE IN 1965 WAS EARNING WIDESPREAD PRAISE

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

CARTOON MAGIC: HERE IS ONE OF COLLETTE'S HUMEROUS CARTOON ON THE CONSENUS.

In an abstract way, the majority of Australians are solidly against any form of Press censorship. But, with comparatively rare exceptions, the reality of censorship of daily newspapers never touches them.

Not, so, however, for Aubrey Collette, staff cartoonist of The Australian. Government censorship forced him to resign his job, leave his home, and eventually his country.

Ceylon-born of Dutch descent, Collette was working on the Times of Ceylon and Ceylon Observer when bitter political upheavals led to the introduction of Press censorship by the government.

“The life of a newspaper cartoonist under censorship has more than its share of difficulties,” Collette said of this period, “so I decided to leave.” He had already spent six months in the US where his cartoons, published in newspapers such as the New York Times and the Saturday Evening Post, attracted notice.

So it was with some confidence that he left Ceylon for England.

A RARE HONOUR

But breaking into the established British cartooning field proved difficult, so Collette worked as a freelance in the cartoon and illustration scene.

After eight months -- “I was caught in the worst winter in living memory” – he decided to come to Australia, and found employment as an illustrator with the NSW Department of Education.

Then, in June 1965, he joined the staff of The Australian in Canberra, replacing Bruce Petty, now overseas. Within a few months, Collette’s cartoons were earning widespread praise. Dozens of prominent political and government figures have asked for his originals.

He has also been elected an honorary member of the Cartoonists’ Society of America – a rare honour.

The wheel has now turned full circle for Collette. From being censored he is now fighting censorship with a newspaper noted for its vigorous stand on the issue.

”There couldn’t be a better paper to work for,” he says. “The Australian’s viewpoint is impartial, and I’m quite free to say what I want. And it’s only under these conditions that a cartoonist can do his best work.”

<< inFOCUS, 1965, a newsletter produced by The Australian.

lIIustation: Cartoon creation: Aubrey Collette at work.


Small Screen Success: Garry McDonald as Norman Gunston, his most famous role

FRANK MORRIS

LEGAL: NORMAN GUNSTON AS THE DEADPAN INTERVIEWER. Below: A PHOTOGRAPH FOR HIS MOTHER.

Good actors never stand still. They are, or mostly, on the move to a new discovery. Take Norman Gunston, for instance. The hapless comic, Gunston, The Little Bleeder, who came over as a dim witted ponce.

Garry McDonald, actually, had the temerity to present “the most naïve television interviewer in Australia”.
Yes. Gunston burst upon as “unsuspecting” Aussie landscape in the 1970s. As a member of Aunty Jack’s team

Garry McDonald/Norman Gunston won the TV audience with inane facial gestures, and questions to Australian and overseas stars.               

Meantime, Aunty Jack folded and went to TV limbo. “The Gunston character survived and Garry won a Gold Logie and, for three years, he was reportedly one of the highest paid performers on television.”

GUNSTON’S BOOST

Gunston was not a character to do continuously, said McDonald. But showing Gunston every week the public eventually grew tired of it. “I was pressured into making the show,” said McDonald. “This is not the magic of the show’s formula.”

Here’s a taste of Norman Gunston:

On November 11, 1975, Gunston wound up on the steps of the old Parliament House with former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam who was just going to address the crowd over his dismissal. “Is the moment an affront to democracy?” TV interviewer, Norman Gunston, yelled out over the angry crowd.

“Yes!” the crowd shout back. He asked, “Is it just good luck for Fraser?

“No!” they shouted. “Thank you very much, just wanted to know,” Gunston deadpans.

He had no regrets about creating Norman Gunston. He thanks the boost it gave to his career. McDonald went on to star in TV comedy and serious acting roles.

<< Background from Garry McDonald’s profile.


60 YEARS AGO: We watched man’s great leap on the moon surface!

FRANK MORRIS

MADE IT! NEIL ARMSTRONG SAYS: WE ARE HERE!

Doesn’t time fly! On the July day, 60 years ago, at 12.56pm, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to put his footprint on the moon. Watched by more than 600 million people around the world, Armstrong’s ghostly figure emerged from the spacecraft. Armstrong’s initial words as he gingerly slithered his feet across the moon’s surface were: “That’s one small step for man but a giant leap for mankind.” Twenty minutes later he was joined by his space companion, Buzz Aldrin.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 27 July 18

Stay Informed

Receive eNews & Special Offers

Brochure Request Order

Tour Reviews Read

Last 12 months


Tags