WALTZING MATILDA: Part 2. Out of this vortex came a remarkable song!

FRANK MORRIS

IT WAS ANOTHER PERIOD OF MAYHEM.

THE SHEARER’S STRIKE WOULD UNFURL THE GREATEST STORM-CENTRE OF AUSTRALIAN HISTORY.

It was the worst of times. Australia was caught up in the depression of the early 1890s, the scar of which had contributed directly to the origins of a political labour movement and Federation.

By the 1880s, Australia was well and truly riding on the sheep’s back.

The country’s burgeoning riches emanated largely from the bales of fine wool which were shipped to the woollen mills in America, Europe and England.

When the depression hit, the pastoralists resolved to reduce wages, starting in the shearing sheds.

This intense antagonism, which had been simmering between capital and labour, finally exploded. Strikes and lockouts were the order of the day.

The Shearers’ Wars had begun.

The powerful and wealthy pastoralists (squatters) mustered their forces; they decided that it was their right to hire anyone they choose – scabs and non-union labour. The pastoralists were aided and abetted by the colonial governments, the military, troopers and police.

In one small Queensland centre alone, Barcaldine, over 1500 troopers with cannons and Gatling guns confronted one thousand armed shearers who were attacking a train loaded with scabs. Over 800 shearers were arrested, twenty of their leaders were sentenced to seven years hard labour.

After several violent clashes between shearers, police and unionists, seven woolsheds were burned to the ground. The last property in Queensland to suffer was Dagworth Station at Kynuna. A band of militant shearers torched the woolshed incinerating up to 140 lambs.

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BACK TRACK …
FELIX, A CARTOON CREATED BY PAT SULLIVAN, AN AUSTRALIAN RESIDING IN AMERICA. BUT EVEN THOUGH HE DREW FELIX FOR THE FLICKS, THE STRIP WAS DRAWN BY OTTO MESSMER AND APPEARED IN MANY PUBLICATION.
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The lawyer and bush poet Banjo Paterson was in Winton at the time visiting the fiancé he never married, Sarah Riley. He visited Dagworth Station.

For two years, from 1892, Paterson and Henry Lawson staged a “rhyming match” in the bushman’s newspaper. They regarded it as a bit of a lark, and both poets “slam-banged” away at each other until, says Paterson, “they ran out of material.”

During this historic literary fray Lawson, who was also touched by the plight of the shearers, wrote Freedom on the
Wallaby, which heralded the call for mass resistance, brotherhood and the struggle against greed.

Paterson became involved in the Queensland conflict as a mediator. He composed Waltzing Matilda, its pure and captivating verses signalling the fundamental shift in the romantic rhetoric and ethos of the bush workers.

One hundred years on the song Waltzing Matilda has transcended the war-cry of the shearers, pastoralists, unionists and rebels, to become one of the best remembered songs -- Australia’s unofficial anthem.

BAGS OF WOOL BEING WHISKED AWAY. Below: “I WONDER IF THE WOOL WILL ARRIVE,” SAID THE SHEARERS.

WALTZING MATILDA: Glossary of terms that crop up in this project

FRANK MORRIS

A fair go: Giving a person an equitable opportunity; a fair choice

Billabong: An arm of a river, made by water flowing from the main stream, after rain or a flood; a pool or lagoon is formed when the water level falls.

Federation: The formation of the colonies into the commonwealth of Australia on January 1, 1901.

Jumbuck: A sheep

Labor Party: Formed out of the continuing defeats of the big strikes in 1890s, led union officials to press for the forming of a labour party “as an additional means of seeking union objectives.” The first Federal Labor Party was elected in 1904, but it could not pass its own legislation; the Ministry resigned four months later.

Mate: A comrade, fellow-worker; habitual companion.

Mateship: A bond between equal partners; an inviolable mateship is regarded a characteristic Australian virtue.

Swagman: An itinerant worker, carrying a swag, in search of employment.

Tucker bag: A bag to carry food and drink; usually carried by swagmen/women.

Waltzing Matilda: To carry one’s swag; to travel the road.

MORE AUSTRALIA SLANGUAGE! IMAGINE THESE TERMS BEING EXPRESSED IN A BROAD, AUSSIE DRAWL!

Akubra: A brand of bushman’s hat made from rabbit skins. It is widely used now to describe any form of bushman’s hat.

Bag: To knock or disparage.

Banker: Overflowing river.

Barney: Fight or brawl.

Battler: Someone who keeps trying and deserves better of life.

Bitser: Mongrel dog.

Bloke: A male; also “The Boss” in a shearing shed.

Blue Heeler: Australian cattle dog renowned for its quick reflexes.

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BACK TRACK …THE FIRST FEDERAL NEWSPAPER CORRESPONDENT WAS REG LEONARD … THE SUN WAS FIRST DAILY NEWSPAPER IN AUSTRALIA TO CARRY NEWS ON ITS FRONT PAGE … FIRST ABC POLITICAL COMMENTATOR WAS E.A. MANN -- OR “THE WATCHMAN”.………………………………………………………………………………………..................................................................

Bluey: A blanket; also a parking fine.

Hump a bluey: Carry the swag.

Boggi: Shearer’s handpiece.

Bowyang: String that bush workers have tied around their trouser legs.

Brumby: A wild horse named from either booramby, native for horse; or from James Brumby, an early settler, known for his horses.

Next: More names you may know, or not know!

SOURCE: Adapted from the book, Australian Folklore.


YOUR DOG: Cancer -- wherever the dingo goes, I will. “Oh, my god!”

FRANK MORRIS

THAT YAPPY, MY BROTHER.

AM I THAT DIFFERENT FROM A DOG? EVEN PEOPLE SKIRT AROUND ME. AFTER ALL, I AM REFERRED TO AS “OUR NATIVE DOG.” HOW’S THAT FOR A LAUGH!

I was bred by a fellow who loved dingoes. My mother and father were bred by the fellow. So was grand-dad and gramma too. In fact, all my family was for the last 25 years.

He wanted to domesticate the dingo.

In the hundreds of kilometres around us he was simply called, “there’s the guy who loves dingoes!”

I am a dingo through and through. I love being a dingo. It suits me. Being a dingo matches all the qualities that I possess.

I am a tenacious sort of beast — all dingoes are; I love that word because it shows what we really are about. If dingoes weren’t, they would have starved. They don’t give up. When their family haven’t eaten for a few days, I’m told, the pack of them would hunt down a kangaroo* or some other marsupial.

I’m patient – it’s another trait. I am told that dingoes will sit for a long time hidden away by undergrowth until the prey returns. There is usually a protracted fight but, by and large, the dingoes are the victors.

I’m very sympathetic: that is because I am privately bred. When I was small people used the pick me up and play with me as if I were their ‘native’ dog.

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ON THE WAY …
IN THE 1840s THE DINGO WAS DECRIBED AS AN “UNPLEASANT NEIGHBOUR”. THESE CREATURES WERE ROAMING IN VAST NUMBERS. JULY.
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Whereas, my ancestors would eat the person alive; and look for more.

Even today, I feel influential. But my ancestors – they would yell or howl in an unearthly kind of tone; and be dangerous to anyone and anything in sight. Being influential for a wild dingo had a serious outcome – live or die.

Let’s say this before I go: the dingo came to Australia about 4000 years ago as an Asiatic Wolfe or Indian Wolfe dog.

Most of the dingo breeds roam wild country, especially in the Northern Territory. Today it’s different. Most of the dingoes are roaming near the cities where there is no drought.

That’s when people attempted to raise them as a fully-fledged dingo. (June 20 – July 20.)

*The pack of dingoes only attacked a large kangaroo when they were starving; otherwise, on a normal day, they would concentrate on the joey.

Below: Looking for prey: A wild dingo, and its cub.


ARTBEAT: Ike referred to his painting as “daubs – nothing else”

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

IKE ADMITTED THAT HE WAS A ‘RAINY DAY PAINTER’.

The nearest Ike ever came to an art course was mechanical drawing at West Point. In Ike’s paintings, you would see a deep love of colour, beauty, and most of all, life itself.

“The beginning of Ike’s painting as a hobby is really quite a story”, said Mamie Eisenhower. “It was in 1947.”

On the thirty-second anniversary of their engagement, Mamie gave Ike a set of paint equipment. “He painted everything.

“He painted landscapes and portraits. He’d make up things and paint them.

“It didn’t make any difference to him at all.  He loved to mix colours.

“I never dreamed that he would start painting as a hobby. It was a gift and joy to him”.

IKE PAINTED EVERYTHING. HE EVEN MADE THINGS UP.

CAMP DAVID – THEY HAD UPROARIOUS TIMES

Everybody loved Camp David. It was hard to understand why anybody would not like up it up there. It was far away from all the hubbub and executive life.

Ike used it for fun. He would have his own groups of friends come up play to golf and bridge. He would drive a ball from the back of the yard … up to a putting green near the main cabin.

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ON ITS WAY …
CHANGING MEN: PUTTING AN END TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. ANDREW IS JUST ONE OF THOSE MEN WHO SEEK DESPERATELY TO CHANGE. JUNE.
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They’d have uproarious times   you never heard such laughter and carrying on. In the evening, Ike would go out in the backyard and cook all the steaks.

It was always a good time. When Ike left office after eight years as president, the only thing I missed about those years was Camp David.

THE RED BARN WAS USED ON A CHRISTMAS CARD

The Red Barn was one of Ike’s favourite paintings. As a boy in Kansas, he remembered barns like this. Unlike some of his paintings, The Red Barn was something that he dreamed up in his mind; it was not a copy. He used The Red Barn as a Christmas card one year for the White House staff. But, in order to print the Christmas cards, the painting has be borrowed from Chief West, a Navy gardener at Camp David. He admired the painting on Ike’s easel one day, next it was his! Mrs Eisenhower said, “I have a print of The Red Barn hanging on the sunporch at the farm.”

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HAVE A LAUGH …
FATHERS MUST NOT GET TOO DISCOURGED IF THEIR SONS REJECT THEIR ADVICE. IT WILL NOT BE WASTED. YEARS LATER, THE SONS WILL BE OFFERING THEIR OWN OFFSPRING THEIR ADVICE.
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DAVID EISENHOWER AT FORT BENNING, GEORGIA

Anytime Ike painted David, it was one of his favourites! And the fact is, if he liked a certain picture he would paint it several times. There are two painting of David playing golf: one hangs in Eisenhower son’s house; the other is in Mamie Eisenhower’s cabin at the Augusta National Country Club.

SOURCE: Adapted from Ike’s Paintings: The ones I love the most, SEPost, March 1974.

COMING: The Art Warriors: George W. Bush and his paintings.


HISTORY LIVES:

IT’S BEEN 100 YEARS SINCE THE SS TUGGERAH SANK OFF WATTAMOLLA, NSW, IN MAY 1919. ON BOARD WERE THE CAPTAIN AND FIVE CREW MEMBERS. THE 56 METRE LONG COASTAL COLLIER LEFT FROM BULLI JETTY, THERE WAS A SLIGHT LIST TO PORT, INDICTATING THE COAL WASN’T EVENLY DISTRIBUTED. THE COLLIER “TURNED TURTLE” IN ROUGH SEAS, SAID ONE NEWSPAPER. REPORTING THE TRAGEDY, OFFICALS SAID THAT JUST AFTER 4PM, OFF MARLEY BEACH, THE SHIP WAS HIT BY A SIX METRE HIGH WAVE. WITHIN MINUTES, THE TUGGERAH HAS VANISHED. – FM.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 21 June 19

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