THE BIG FIGHT: It was claimed to be the first boxing title in Australia

FRANK MORRIS

GRIFFO ENTERTAINS A BUNCH 0F ENTHUSIASTIC FIGHT FANS.

THE FIGHT ANNOUNCER SAID: “I GIVE THE FIGHT TO GRIFFO” AND THE 800 FANS CHEERED.

“Torpedo” Billy Murphy, the world featherweight champion, and Young Griffo step into the ring at Larry Foley’s White Horse Hotel, Sydney, to fight what he described as “one catcher of a match”.

It was September 3, 1890.

Australian boxing authorities had recognised the bout “as the first world boxing championship seen in this land”. This bout met all the championship conditions, a spokesman said.

“The United States boxing officials refused to regard it because at that time they recognised only bouts that took place in North America.”

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ON ITS WAY …
WHAT YOUR DOG HAS BEEN UP TOO? YOUR DOG WAS BORN THIS MONTH, AND ALL GEMINIS ARE VERY CLEVER AND EXPRESSIVE. NEXT.

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Albert Griffiths, or “Griffo”, was born in Bendigo, in Victoria, and grown up in Millers Point and had worked for a time at the Herald office. He became a professional boxer and he beat every good fighter in his Australian division.

Griffo had contested some ninety bouts without defeat. So that encouraged Foley to put up a three hundred pounds ($600) purse for Murphy, a New Zealander, to defend his title against the Australian.

The two fighters met in the corrugated iron and glass annex of the White Horse Hotel. As the stoush progressed, Murphy was the aggressor early in the bout and knocked Griffo down in the third and fifth rounds. But Griffo’s defensive boxing was to give the major points.

Griffo began to attack in the tenth round, and by the twelfth round was gaining the upper hand; until the bell rang to end the 15th round. Murphy pulled off his gloves and said: “I give the fight to Griffo”, and 800 fans went beserserk.
He twice beat Billy Murphy, considered the featherweight champion of the world.

“He went to the US, and fought Jack McAuliffe, the world lightweight champion,” said a commentator. “He was robbed of the decision, after which he lost motivation.”

At age 56, Albert Griffiths was found dead in a lodging house in a run-down part of New York.

BELOW: TORPEDO BILLY MURPHY.

SOURCE: Grand Years, 2007.


THE BIG FIGHT: Griffo’s grave – it was erected by club members

FRANK MORRIS

OUR VERY BEST: BY YOUR THOUSANDS OF FRIENDS

The December 1930 issue of the City Tattersall’s Club Journal carried a scoop photo of Griffo’s grave which was in a New York Cemetery.

But before they had left for America, three members of the club, one of whom was Griffo’s old trainer, Mr Jack Bateman, decided that a suitable monument be erected over Griffo’s last resting place.

According to a club spokesperson, “They agreed to jointly meet the expense.”

WHERE HE DIED

“Unfortunately,” said a member, “the cemetery regulations laid it down that no monument should exceed the dimensions of the headstone subsequently erected and here illustrated. But nevertheless, the memory of Griffo probably the best of Australia’s fistic celebrities, stands perpetuated in America, where he died.”

Albert Griffiths, “Griffo” to all and sundry, was deemed the most brilliant boxer Australia had produced.

BELOW: DEATH NOTICE FOR GRIFFO.

SOURCE: Adapted from the City Tattersall’s Club Journal, 1930.


DO YOU KNOW? Parkinson changes Essay on Shaking Palsy!

FRANK MORRIS

PARKINSON, CENTRE, TELLS THE OTHER DOCTORS WHAT HE INTENDS TO DO.

An English doctor, James Parkinson, who lived between 1755 and 1824, named the illness Parkinson’s disease. In 1817, Parkinson published a small book called Essay on the Shaking Palsy in which he described his own observations on six patients who had involuntary shaking of the arms, legs and body.

Parkinson recognised the features immediately.

IT’S PARKINSON’S

The six patients were all similar and differed from other medical causes of shaking that had been known up to that time. He called this new disease shaking palsy. He later named it Parkinson’s disease.

The French neurologist, Charcot, said it should honour the man who first recognised it and this term has remained ever since.


GEELONG ADVERTISER: Oldest newspaper in Victoria still going strong!

FRANK MORRIS

THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE GEELONG ADVERTISER.

FEW NEWSPAPERS IN AUSTRALIA HAVE REACHED THE RIPE OLD AGE OF 175 YEARS YOUNG.

On November 25, 1840, the four-page Geelong Advertiser unceremoniously became part of the small but bustling Victorian community on Corio Bay, an arm of Port Phillip Bay, appearing thrice weekly.

Over the years it prospered under prudent management, expanded its market and readership, and eventually became a daily.

Another remarkable milestone in the history of the newspaper: it is still published under the same title it was christened with more than 190 years ago.

On its masthead it proudly carries the catchline, “Victoria’s oldest morning newspaper”.

In 1840 George Cavanaugh, a former editor of the first newspaper published in Australia, the Sydney Gazette, launched the Port Phillip Herald.

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ON ITS WAY…
THE VIETNAM WAR – THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN, KNOWN AS A VIET CONG HOTSPOT. AUSSIES WERE ENGAGED BY COUNTER BATTERY FIRE AND MORTARS. NEXT.

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Nine years after, it became the Melbourne Morning Herald; and in 1869 it was transformed into an evening daily, called the Melbourne Herald.

The Geelong Advertiser was born in uncertain times. The colony, which separated from NSW in 1851, was feeling the winds of change. This resulted from a financial depression which began in NSW in the second half of 1840 “and persisted for more than three years”.

In his book on the NSW press from 1803 to 1920, historian Dr R.W. Walker writes that there were “many insolvencies, much unemployment, lower prices and lower wage levels”.

Dr Walked adds: “Compared with the vitality and variety of the previous decade, the Press in the forties was straitened by generally adverse economic circumstances …”.

The Geelong Advertiser was started by John Pascoe Fawkner, one of the founders of  Melbourne. ‘The suburb of Melbourne where he sub-divided and farmed, Pascoe Vale, is named after him; as is another suburb, Fawkner.
In 1838 Fawkner, who had founded the Launceston Advertiser some years before, also produced Victoria’s first newspaper, the Melbourne Advertiser.

The paper was discontinued for 12 months because Fawkner lacked a government licence to produce it.
The Journal reappeared in 1838 as the Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne Advertiser, the first Melbourne daily.

Writes social historian, Alan Finch: “He (Fawkner) took an active and useful interest in all parts of colonial life. People sought his opinion on many things and he has been described as the ‘people’s tribune’”

Fawkner’s Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne Advertiser was later known as the Daily News before it was absorbed by The Argus in 1852.

Founded in 1846, The Argus had a long and feted career before it sadly and mysteriously ceased publication in 1957.

But Fawkner’s Geelong Advertiser is still going strong …

MODERN STYLE, A RECENT COPY OF AN ISSUE.

SOURCE: A version of this article was used for the 150 years of publishing in Geelong.


THE QUEEN: Meeting the 11 presidents of the United States

The Queen, bespeckled in an ultra-pair of glasses, and looking great in her tiara, as she gives her address to President Regan.

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VALE: DEATH OF HUNGRY JACK’S FOUNDER
DODIE STEARNS, AGED 95, DIED PEACEFULLY IN HER SLEEP. DODIE AND HER HUSBAND MOVED TO JACKSON HOLE, AMERICA, IN THE 1950s WHERE THEY FOUNDED HUNGRY JACK’S.

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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 10 May 19

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