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Come on? Taste the dried fruits of Australia! Part 1.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

THERE ARE MANY DRIED FRUITS GROWN THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA, AND THEIR VARIETY IS A MAIN ATTRACTION.

DRIED GRAPES ARE THE MOST DELECTABLE FRUIT YOU’LL FIND ON ANY MENU.

A PERSON WAS MUNCHING INTO A VITAMIN LADEN PEACH, AND I SAID “WHAT DO YOU THINK OF AUSTRALIAN DRIED FRUITS?” AND THE PERSON REPLIED, “I DON’T KNOW, I HAVEN’T TRIED ANY!”

SEEDED RAISIN

Raisins, together, with apricots, are probably the oldest dried fruits known to humankind and have been enjoyed since ancient times.

Acinatisius was a raisin wine esteemed by the Romans. This fruit was also used at their banquets. Raisin cakes are mentioned in the Old Testament.

Raisins being a dried grape of the large berried Waltham cross or Muscat Gordo Blanco varieties contain seeds. With the help of modern technology, the dried grape can be mechanically seeded; which is of great benefit to the modern cook.

Raisins are a valuable source of dietary fibre and potassium and contain small amounts of iron, calcium, carotene and B complex vitamins.

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GREAT KIWI FIRST …
ALLAN SUTHERLAND, NEARLY 60 YEARS AGO, WROTE: “FIRST EVENTS MAY BE REGARDED AS THE MILESTONE … OF ACHIEVEMENT AND PROGRESS OF A COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE. WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF CHANGE. NOTHING HAS CHANGED…”
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CURRANT

Currants were cultivated in Greece. From early times they were dried quickly in the sun due to their size. As this particular grape grew near Corinth, they were given the name ‘currants’.

One of the first accounts of fruit drying in Western Europe was given by the Greek poet Homer, during the period 900-800 BC.

Currants were not generally used in Europe until the Crusades, when they became popular as a valuable alternative to honey.

These tiny purple grapes are related to the sultana and the raisin, coming from the small seedless Zante currant, also known as Black Corinth and the Carina, the new product of Australian vine breeding.

Currants are an excellent source of dietary fibre, as are all dried fruits. They contribute valuable potassium, calcium, carotene, iron and B complex vitamins.

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GREAT KIWI FIRST …
OSCARS GALORE! IN 1993, JANE CAMPION’S THE PIANO WON FOUR OSCARS AND THE COVETED PALME D’OR AT CANNES. SHE WAS THE FIRST WOMAN DIRECTOR TO DO SO. RUSSELL CROWE AND HIS FILM, GLADIATOR, SCOOPED THE OSCAR POOL IN 2001.
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SULTANA

Traditionally, the grape was cultivated in Europe and has been with us a long time.

Vines grew wild in the forests of Asia Minor and the Caucasus regions, and were cultivated in the Middle East and North Africa for thousands of years.

In Europe fossils vines have been found, as well as seeds in Central Europe, that show the grape was used as food by early humankind.

Grape culture spread to the Mediterranean countries of Spain, Italy and France; and from there to the rest of world.

Today, in Australia, the sultana grape is cultivated in rows of special trellises, awaiting picking and sun-drying on racks to become a plump, golden dried fruit.

Sultanas are an important source of dietary fibre and provide potassium, iron and small amounts of calcium, carotene and B complex vitamins.

SOURCE: Australian Studies Magazine.


LET’S LAUGH! …

 


SPACE RACE: It’s been 50 years since Apollo 11 touched down on the moon!

FRANK MORRIS

MAN’S GREAT LEAP: NEIL ARMSTRONG’S GHOSTLY FIGURE EMERGED FROM THE SPACECRAFT, HIS LEFT FOOT HOVERED ABOVE THE MOON SURFACE AS HE SPOKE THE WORDS FROM A WORLD AFAR. PICTURE FROM NASA.

IT’S BEEN HALF A CENTURY SINCE BUZZ ALDRIN ADDRESSED THE WORLD FROM THE MOON, MARKING HUMANKIND’S GREATEST FEAT IN FLIGHT.

On July 21, 1969, at 12.56 pm, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to put his footprint on the moon.

That’s 50 years ago. Time waits for no man.

Watched by more than 600 million people around the world, Armstrong’s ghostly figure emerged from the spacecraft.

Armstrong’s first words as he gingerly slithered his feet across the moon’s surface were: “That’s one step for man but a giant leap for mankind.”

Twenty minutes later he was joined by his space companion Buzz Aldrin.

 


YOUR DOG: I’m a Leo see, and sometimes I feel I could reach the sky!

“SUE” AND FRANK MORRIS

ENOUGH OF TALKING ABOUT MYSELF. I’M GOING TO GET SOME SHUT-EYE.

Harvey the Leo! Harvey the Leo! I like it.

That’s what I’m called on the home-front! Ever since the boss lady discovered I was a Leo. I knew I was generous, energetic and assertive. They’re ok.

And proud. That’s ok too.

I remember when I young I got my boss lady into panic mode.

I was at the vet. I didn’t know why. The man and woman in their coats gazed at me with a sad look on their faces.

But, silly me, I kept up my jumping, my hiding, thumping my tail, and my usual run-a-muck antics. Then something bizarre -- quite strange, it was -- took place. I chased my tail around the room for hours!

It seemed like hours, until the boss lady picked me up. I was in her arms only a couple of minutes when she uttered the word … operation. The alarm bells started ringing; the word of dread. I nearly died. Me. Going under the knife …

My stimulation did something wrong to my tummy. Even now, I still do it – only it’s more exciting. But it safer. My personality features just lean back and laugh.
Ah well, I was only young then.

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GREAT KIWI FIRST …
IN 1919, EARNEST RUTHERFORD, BORN IN 1871, HAILED AS THE ‘FATHER OF NUCLEAR PHYSICS’ SPLITS ATOMIC NUCLEUS BY ALPHA-RAY BOMBARDMENT. “WHATEVER HE TOUCHED TURNED TO GOLD,” COMMENTED A FORMER COLLEAGUE. RUTHERFORD DIED IN 1937.
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Here comes the boss lady.

Harvey is a Leo at heart! says Sue.

The Leo personality is a natural born leader with a flair for the dramatic. Harvey never does anything by halves. He is ruled by the fiery sun, Leos can’t help but shine; and be larger than life.

And Harvey is a classic example!

He IS charismatic. He charms women and children alike every-time he sets foot outside the door. So much so the 30 minute walk can often take up over an hour. He stops and takes all the attention dished up to him.

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ON ITS WAY …
WALT DISNEY DOESN’T HAVE DEPRESSED MOODS, HE SAYS. THIS ENLIGHTENING YARN TELLS HOW IT IS: I’M GOING TO THE TOP! HIS FIRST SUCCESS WAS MICKEY MOUSE. WALT HAD TO TAKE THE MORTIMER OUT OF MICKEY -- SO WALT AND HIS WIFE LILLIAN PUT ON THEIR THINKING CAPS! SOON.
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He’s proud. You can tell. His tail points to the sky and gives something of a “Royal Wave” when he passes other dogs. He has absolutely no concept of his smallness compared to other dog species. Just as well they don’t eat him for breakfast!

He’s powerful. He know what he wants and how to get it! He also exerts his strength but in one direction only – the café. He loves a Puppa-chino!

He’s dramatic. Well, what can I say? All I can say is he takes after his owners. Just ask any of our friends – they adore him; everything about him. He get abundant love and gives it back tenfold.

Harvey: I agree with everything!


FILMBIZ: 60th Anniversary of the Gidget movie!

MRS MOVIES

SANDRA DEE PLAYED KATHY KOHNER, THE REAL-LIFE GIDGET.

YES, IT’S BEEN 60 YEARS SINCE GROMMET KATHY “GIDGET” KOHNER TOLD HER SCREENWRITER DAD ABOUT HER ADVENTURES ON THE BEACH AND THE WATER WITH A CREW DOWN FROM MALIBU. INADVENENTLY, SHE LAUNCHED HER SURFING TO THE MASSES WORLDWIDE.

Two movies were made of the original Gidget, the first being released in 1959. The calibre of actors selected for the part made this possible.

The Who? Who? includes James Darren, Sandra Dee, Cliff Roberton, Doug McClure, Arthur O’Connell and many others.

The reviewer at the time said a “fluffy teenage comedy-adventure” with Sandra Dee in the title role.

“She makes goo-goo eyes at a surfer, played by James Darren – but mum and dad are sceptical of the romance”.

All the actors are first class.

SOURCE: Adapted from PLD News Wire.

KATHY KOHNER WHO LAUNCHED HER SURFING TO A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE.

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YOUR HEALTH …
NATIONAL DIABETES WEEK, JULY 13 TO JULY 20. DISCUSSED FULLY IS LIVING WITH DIABETES 1 AND 2 AND THE FOOD THAT IS REQUIRED. CONTACT DIABETES ASSOCIATION IN YOUR STATE.
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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 19 July 19

THE VIETNAM WAR: Final. The battle of Long Khan and Operation Overlord

BOB FRESHFIELD

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

TANKS WERE READY FOR THE ASSAULT.

THE MAIN ENEMY POSITION IDENTIFIED, BUT THEY APPEARED TO BE AVOIDING OPEN COMBAT WITH THE AUSTRALIANS.

B Company landed about 1000 metres into their designated landing zone and took firing from nearly in front of A Company’s position.

The firing eased after a short while, allowing the remainder of the 3 RAR force to land.

Aggressive patrolling and a company sized sweep of the area led to the discovery that 3 RAR had been dropped to within 500 metres of a major enemy bunker system.

It became apparent that there was a strong presence of large Viet Cong and NVA troops moving away from 3 RAR, and a few contacts had been reported by the blocking forces.

The enemy, it appeared, seemed to be avoiding open combat with the Australians.

The main enemy position had been identified by nightfall on June 6; and at dawn on June 7 a heavy Artillery bombardment began for almost an hour.

Then 5 Platoon, B Company (3RAR), began to advance – but had only gone 100 metres. It was pinned down by volleys of firing from its front and both flanks.

They had stumbled onto the edge of well concealed and strongly defended bunkers, and called in helicopter gunships rather that run the risk of receiving more casualties by withdrawing.

With the rest of B Company trying to link up with its beleaguered 5 Platoon, D Company, with tanks and APCs, began an assault to what was thought to be the rear and flank of the bunker system.

However, they began to realise that the system was much larger anyone expected. The tanks were forced to halt while the infantry troops were brought up to begin an assault.

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST...
IN 1933, DOROTHY JORDON BECAME THE FIRST WOMAN RADIO ANNOUNCER IN AUSTRALIA. JORDON TOLD HOUSEWIFE MAGAZINE: “I DIDN’T KNOW HOW IT WOULD TURN OUT FOR ME. BUT IT TURNED OUT TRUMPS”. –FM.
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By mid-afternoon, the B Company had stabilised its position with 5 Platoon survivors; and D Company had been repositioned to commence another assault.

Pushing through the dense jungle from the north-east, with Centurion tanks in close support, it was slow going.

Each bunker, at first located by troops was then crushed by the tanks, along with any occupants.

Therefore, D Company painstakingly searched each bunker systematically. It was later found that the area of bunkers covered almost a square kilometre.

During this final assault, C Company, which had been deployed to the south, located and captured a second bunker system that had been hastily abandoned with weapons and ammunition left behind by the fleeing Viet Cong.

Australia lost 3 killed and six wounded. Although official records show that only 5 bodies of the Viet Cong and NVA regulars were recovered; it is believe that many more lay in the crushed bunkers.

American Pioneers and Australian Engineers later demolished both bunkers sites, depriving the Viet Cong of a major resource.

SOURCES: Adapted from The Vietnam Veterans Federation, March 2017. Written by Bob Freshfield.

Next: The Vietnam War: By 1972, all Australian combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam, the “unwinnable” war.

Below: Ready for the occasion.

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ON ITS WAY …
MEN’S HEALTH: YOU’RE STILL EMBARRASSED ABOUT GOING TO THE FAMILY DOCTOR? WHAT OLDER MEN SHOULD CONSIDER IS THAT EMBARRASSMENT CAN KILL OLDER AND WELL AS YOUNGER MEN. SOON.
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Great Aussie First: Good heavens, Doctor Balmain!

FRANK MORRIS

TRANSPORTER ALEXANDER ON WHICH BALMAIN SERVED.

DR BALMAIN WAS AN ASSISTANT SURGEON IN THE FIRST FLEET. HE WAS ALSO A NORFOLK ISLAND MAGISTRATE.

The Russians sold Alaska to the Americans; the Indians sold most of the land on which New York stands. They were both regrettable transactions, to be sure.

But Dr William Balmain’s bizarre land sale in 1801 is certainly one for the books.

Balmain was an assistant surgeon in the First Fleet transporter, Alexander. He served the colony in this role for three years. The proficient Balmain soon got transferred to Norfolk Island to take charge of medical services there, under the administration of Lieut-Governor Philip King.

Balmain also served as the island’s magistrate. As such, in 1793, he signed a proclamation by King “fixing prices for labour and foods, and providing the duty on spirits to be spent on schools.”

Indeed, it was a landmark edict for, not only Norfolk Island but for Australia. As one historian pointed out: “This was the first case of price-fixing … and the first time public money was devoted to education.”

Two years later Balmain returned to Sydney as principal surgeon. Aside from his medical responsibilities, he also continued in his position as a magistrate.

In 1800, he donned a naval uniform and was appointed registrar of imports and exports. He did the job expected of him, and for that was rewarded handsomely.

That year, Balmain was given several grants of prime land by Governor Hunter – 172 hectares at Field of Mars (now Marsfield), 110 hectares at Windsor and 222 hectares at what is now Balmain.

It is said that apart from conferring his name upon the district, his connection with the latter “was slight.” Located on a peninsular west of Sydney, this area was one of the earliest settled sections of the colony.

“It has always been a mixed community, with the early merchants’ and industrialists’ mansions on the foreshore and their workers’ cottages behind,” says The Oxford Literary Guide.

About twelve months after receiving the grants he sold up everything and headed back to England.

The land at Balmain was sold to a friend for a “token” amount of five shillings ($1)! There were no questions asked; no reasons given. When he left Sydney, Balmain was wracked by failing health.

He died in London in 1803.

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ON THE WAY …
IN 1937, THE MYSTERY OF AMELIA EARHART DEEPENED! LEADING SEARCHERS COVERED A GREAT PORTION OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN THEIR EFFORT TO TRACK THE WHERE-ABOUTS OF THE PIONEER PILOT AND HER CREW MEMBER. SOON.
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SOURCE: Grand Years, 2008.

Below: Dr William Balmain.


IN THE 1970s: The call for plastic film to replace glass, metal in packaging

FRANK MORRIS

THE PRINTING OF FLEXIBLE FILM DID REPLACE OTHER MATERIALS IN PACKAGING.

AUSTRALIA WILL ALSO BE CONSCIOUS OF THE PACKAGING APPEAL OF PLASTIC!, SAID DON AUSTIN.

“It is not science fiction,” said Don Austin, “to predict that by the end of the century plastic flexible films may have eventually replaced glass and metal in packaging.”

This is the way Austin, an expert on flexible film production, penned the article in GO Creative in Packaging, a newspaper which ear-marked a well-known packaging companies on how they would tackle the 70s.

Austin said that this will be brought about by “development of other versatile plastic films with suitable physical and chemical properties to meet the demands of the food processing industries throughout the world”.

He pointed out that the extension of the range of plastic films “will lend far more scope to pouches, packs and containers”.

He stressed that the permeability of a certain pack can be varied … according to the type of product it contains and its intended life”.

Austin said that a unique breakthrough for the 1970s “will be the ‘cook in pouch’ packaging concept for pre-cooked meals if it can be economically produced!”

He said its ideal for Australia conditions and will almost certainly find its own level of consumer acceptance.

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ON ITS WAY …
JOHN FROST COLLECTS NEWSPAPER WHICH WILL BECOME HISTORY. HIS NEWSPAPERS RECORD EVERYTHING LIKE WHEN A COMEDIAN WAS ACCUSED OF EATING A HAMSTER TO THE DEATH OF KINGS AND QUEENS. SOON.
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“It is understandable that the flexible packaging industry in Australia will never be able to use all the flexible materials on the market today.

“This, in my opinion, suggests that we must be more selective … always conscious of product protection and package sales appeal.”

He said this will allow the producer “to main a sensible pricing structure”.

Frank Morris comments: Mr Don Austin knew the flexible packaging industry when it comes down to plastic film. I know his name and that his reputation spread far and wide. His article explains all the things that were to happen – from glass bottles, dishes, and other utensils, to pouches, packs, straws and containers and plastic bags. Now, fifty years later, we’re endeavouring to REPLACE plastic. It might be cheaper BUT notable scientist are concerned about the environment. Plus, it is menacing our wide-spread oceans too.

Below: Go Creative in Packaging newspaper.


BACKTRACK: Plastic in peril or perils of plastic – the 1962 and 2010 special reports

FRANK MORRIS and TIME MAGAZINE

In Plastic Retailer, a trade magazine, in the 1961 edition, I wrote an article titled “plastic in peril”. It read in part: “Housewives are using plastic for a variety of reasons and grossly over-estimating their durability.

“For instance, pouring boiling fat into a plastic bowl; or putting hubby’s dinner on a plastic plate and putting it into the oven to heat it up were unexaggerated examples, which aptly illustrated the maltreatment of plastics’ houseware.

“Consumer plastics are in dire peril. Someone is slipping.”

In 2010, TIME had to say in a Special Report on the ‘peril of plastic’: Chemicals in plastics and other products seem

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST …
LOLA MONTEZ, WHO HAD BEEN MISTRESS TO COMPOSER FRANZ LISZT, AND THE NOVELIST ALEXANDRE DUMAS AND OTHERS, WAS THE FIRST TO PERFORM THE SPIDER DANCE IN AUSTRALIA IN 1856. MINERS WERE THRILLED.
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harmless, but mounting evidence links them to health problems – and Washington lacks the power to protect us.

Recycling codes can help to identify problematic chemicals.

Some examples … reports TIME, were shampoo bottles, cups, containers and water bottles.

Type of plastic used was PVC, among others.

SOURCE: Plastic Retailer, August 1961.

Below: The Plastic Retailer magazine which a story the maltreatment of plastic homewares. Those were the days!


ON ITS WAY …
CCCCCCCCCRASH CRISES! TWO IMPORTAN INSTANT PROBLEMS THAT CAUSE CAR CRASHES ARE COMPLACENCY AND DRIVER DISTRACTION. PEOPLE WHO HAVE DEMENTIA – ARE THEY FIT TO DRIVE. SOON.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 12 July 19

THE VIETNAM WAR: The battle of Long Khan and Operation Overlord

BOB FRESHFIELD

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

BRAVERY WAS PUT TO THE TEST AS DIGGER DRAGS A WOUNDED MATE BACK TO THE COMPANY POSITION.

OPERATION OVERLORD WAS PUT INTO EFFECT WITH SOME TREPIDATION AMONG THE LOWER RANKS.

The Australian government began reducing troops at the end of 1970. Left were 2 battalions at 1ATF Nui Dat, along with substantial support of armour, artillery and RAAF air support.

By the end of 1970 Phuoc Tuy province was almost free of NVA and Viet Cong large scale movements, and a lot of the security of the provincial towns went to the South Vietnamese ARVN troops to administer.

With 8RAR going home, and not replaced, 3RAR arrived for its second tour to join 7RAR, who were also in the process of returning to Australia.

And 4RAR/NZ, with a contingent of a Company from New Zealand, arrived in March 1971 as the last elements of 7RAR departed.

Thus, Phuoc Tuy province became the responsibility of just 2 battalions for the remainder of the war.

Patrolling was by Australian Special Air Service, (SAS), in the north of Phuoc Tuy province, near the border with Long Khan province.

It began to show signs of the presence of large numbers of Viet Cong D445 Regiment in the vicinity of the Courtenay rubber plantation.

Indeed, when given permission to extend patrolling 4 kilometres into Long Khan province, intelligence … found D445 and the 33NVA regiment were attempting to disrupt local security, using the area to refit and retrain.

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HEALTH MATTERS …
NATIONAL DIABETES WEEK JULY 13-20 – GET INFORMATION ON HEALTHLY EATING TIPS, HOW OTHERS MANAGE THEIR DIABETES, DIABETES EDUCATORS AND MANY OTHERS. 1300 136 588.
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Operation Overlord was put into effect with some trepidation from among the lower ranks.

They realised the name and loading zones as well as the date of commencement, were the same as those used during the WW2 Normandy D-day landings; this might telegraph Australia’s intentions.

However, the operation was launched on June 6, 1971, with 3RAR and C Squadron Centurion Tanks given the task of driving the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese into a blocking combination of 4RAR/NZ, A Squadron 3 Cav Regiment, and 8th Battalion 3rd US Cavalry Regiment.

Next: There was a large group of enemy troops hidden in a bunker system. They had been avoiding open combat with the Australians.

SOURCE: Adapted from Vietnam Veterans Journal from a series by Bob Freshfield.
Below: A digger urges his mates to take cover.


GREAT AUSSIE FIRST: Election stood in the way of the monorail!

FRANK MORRIS

BRITISH INVENTOR BRENNAN’S MONORAIL.

BRENNAN WAS A DEAD ISSUE POLITICALLY.

Australia’s first monorail system could have been up and running in the early 1900s had it not been
for an untimely federal election.

British inventor Louis Brennan, who lived in Australia from 1861 to 1880, designed the first gyroscopic monorail system which he offered to the Australian Government in 1907.

But before Brennan’s unique transportation system could be discussed with the other states, the then Prime Minister Alfred Deakin was voted out of office.

Deakin’s successor, Labour’s Andrew Fisher, was keen to press on with the idea but nothing came of it.
By 1909, when Deakin was re-elected Prime Minister for yet a third time, Brennan’s monorail was a dead issue politically.

That same year Brennan held public demonstrations of his monorail in London with spectacular success.

GREAT AUSSIE FIRST: Going to the “flicks” and the death of the cinema

FRANK MORRIS

THE MOVIES WERE AN EXPERIENCE THAT BELONGED TO A GREAT MASS OF CINEMAGOERS.

“The flicks” was short for “the flickers”. It peterer out in the mid 1950.

It’s a hangover from those magical early days when the movies were black and white images that flickered on cinema screens in the city, suburbs or the back of the beyond.

It is an appellation that obviously came from the pages of the movie fan magazines like Silver Screen, Photoplay, Modern Screen, Screenland, and dozens of others, which were around when Tinseltown was America’s dreamland.
The movies were an experience that appealed to a great mass of people. In pre-television days tens of thousands of families would pile into the roadster and head for the nearest cinema.

By the 1920s there were over 750 cinemas in Australia -- that’s not counting halls, tents, and former live theatres. The bulk of cinemas, invariably in the art deco style, was built in the 1920s and 1930s, particularly when the ‘talkies’ came on the scene.

In the first year of sound, theatre attendances went through the roof. “Every amusement except film recorded a drop in patronage,” writes one leading historian. It is safe to claim that almost every suburb and country town in Australia had a cinema.

The Depression years 1929 to 1933, movie patronage took a severe tumble as unemployment hit the 30 percent mark. By the late 1930s attendances doubled to over 126,000,000, and kept soaring.

In 1955, twelve months before the introduction of television, there were over 1700 theatres and 166 other “film showing” venues.

When television sank its teeth into the film market, audiences plunged overnight and many theatres were unceremoniously closed. By 1960 there were only about 1590 theatres; and by 1970 only 970-odd, which included 230 drive-ins.


SHAPES & SIZES: Viking Ships -- How yester-year crafts grew to become to giants of the sea!

LONGSHIPS WERE SLEEK WOODEN CRAFTS WITH A SINGLE SQUARE SAIL, USED FOR EXPLORING AND LAUNCHING RAIDS. ABOUT 1000 YEARS AGO, VIKING WARRIORS ROWED THEIR LONGSHIPS WHEN THE WIND BLEW FROM THE WRONG DIRECTION; OR STOPPED BLOWING ALL TOGETHER.
SOURCE: Mighty Machines Parragon, Bath, UK.

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST DAYLIGHT SAVING WAS FIRST TRIED IN 1917; AND THEN IN 1942. TASMANIA’S DAYLIGHT SAVING HAPPENED IN 1968. IN 1971, NSW, SA, AND CANBERRA FOLLOWED TASMANIA. WESTERN AUSTRALIA, QUEENSLAND AND NORTHERN TERRITORY DON’T OBSERVE DAYLIGHT SAVING. – FM.
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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 04 July 19

WALTZING MATILDA: A story of a film that was never made!

BY A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

PASTORALIST LEADER, McLAGAN, WAS A DETERMINED AND UNCOMPROMISING SQUATTER. WALTZING MATILDA WAS THE EPIC TITLE OF THE SONG THAT FOUNDED A NATION.

The story begins …

When the squatters, or the landed aristocracy, were caught treating their shearers working for a pittance under extreme hardship and dreadful living conditions all hell was going to break loose.

During 1894, this conflict between the squatters and shearers reached its climax.

The central character in this rebellion was Jock Burns, son of a union shearer. Burns is good-looking, of hard-working Scottish stock who doesn’t care for his father’s union ideology.

Jock starts on his journey through the outback primarily to view the plight of how the shearers and their families lived.

The Pastoralists Association leader, McLagan, who, for 30 years of sticking to the grind and risk, has carved out three large pastoral holdings in three different colonies.

All three of the holdings were set in the lush rich of the prosperous western district of Victoria, up to the harsh and tough, unforgiving outback of NSW and Queensland.

McLagan was a determined and uncompromising squatter who was not going to give into the union demands.

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST …
WHO WAS THE CARTOON CHARACTER TO FIRST ATTAIN THE CELEBRITY OF THE HUMAN STAR?
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There are a hard and strongly cohesive bunch of characters on both sides of this conflict and neither was used to giving up without a fight; the outback moves closer to armed insurrection.

With these events, Jock was thrust into a situation where his sense of a “fair go” compels him to take part and join the union side.

His own leadership qualities force him to take on, reluctantly, the role of a hero.

FINAL PART: Jock pals up with a top-gun shearer, the great Dave Grant, and with him develops a special mateship.

Below: Policemen were everywhere during the height of the battle.


AUSSIE CARTOONS: Images from the arrival of the First Fleet up until now!

FRANK MORRIS


A STOUCH TAKES PLACE IN A FIRST FLEET CARTOON.

INKED: AUSTRALIAN CARTOONS IS ON EXHIBITION AT THE NATIONAL LIBRARY, CANBERRA. TO CLOSE ON JULY 21, 2019.

Cartoons, it’s said, capture the moments. This is history truly in a memorable way.  The declaration of war, the dismissal of a prime minister, or a crash in the economy.

All of these can be frozen in time in several brush strokes.

As managing editor of a magazine, I attempted to join that elite bunch of people that have contributed over 14,000 cartoons for public consumption.

It all started when Prime Minister Whitlam was sacked from office by the Governor-General Sir John Kerr. The Prime Minister had even recommended him for the job as G-G.

I was at work when the news broke. I immediately told the editor to drop the cover and prepare to receive a replacement early in the morning.

The magazine was ready to go to press, when a telephone from the ‘boss’ simply said “don’t print that cover”.

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AUSSIE CARTOON …
A SMART LADY DROPPED INTO A MOVIE HOUSE WHILE THE NEWSREEL WAS PLAYING. THEN SUDDENLY SHE SAID TO THE GENTLEMAN NEXT TO HER, “THERE’S JOHN! AT THE RACES! AND HE SAID HE WAS BUSY IN THE CITY.” YEAR 1923 (CIRCA).
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The intended cover portrayed Whitlam as a statue, in a room with other statues of prime ministers, with Kerr racing towards Whitlam holding an evil-looking sword that was about looped his head off.

It was a scintillating cover. All of the office agreed. The editorial remained as well comment from the 12 main morning newspapers.

On show, are over 14,000 cartoons from before the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 until now.

It showcases the work of some of Australia’s most famous cartoonists – Will Dyson, David Low, Phil May, Judy Horacek, Bruce Petty, Alan Moir, Cathy Wilcox and others.

For me: I wanted to purloin the artwork and have it framed. But it wasn’t to be found.

Below: The Australian Stock Exchange Journal, November 1975, missed out its cover of the century.


VALE: The “one and only” Bill Collins dies at home but his great knowledge of the movies lives on!

FRANK MORRIS

“MR MOVIES”, BILL COLLINS, WAS APPLAUDED FOR HIS INDEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF THE MOVIE SCENE.  HE GOES OVERBOARD ON THE FOUNTAINHEAD AS IT MANAGES TO FIND ITS WAY INTO COLLINS’ “ALL TIME” GREAT MOVIES.

Bill Collins, “Mr Movies”, died at home on Friday, June 21, aged 84. Collins favourite saying during his tenure of his much-loved Golden Years of Hollywood for Channel Seven (1966 – 1975) was to “sit and relax.”

He worked as a movie commentator for Channel Nine, 1975-1979; and Channel Ten from 1980-1993. Collins moved to Foxtel in October 1995.

He was a film critic with a vast knowledge of his subject.

A profile on Collins’ “undiscriminating admiration” of Hollywood didn’t pass without notice. A fellow commentator, David Stratton, considered him “a national treasure.”

He wrote hundreds of magazine columns and articles on the movie scene around the world.

Collins went berserk every time he had the honour to present The Fountainhead on television. Here is the full article which was published in 2011 or thereabouts:

Professional movie buff Bill Collins tends to go overboard every time he presents The Fountainhead on his Golden Years of Hollywood.

He never fails to wax lyrical about the story, the script and the stars – Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal –- in his usual profound fashion.

Although the film, which is an uneven adaptation of Ayd Rand’s novel (she did it herself) of the name, was released in 1949. The film is somewhat ‘campy’ these days but it still manages to find its way into Collins’ ten “all-time” great movies.

But that’s another story.

However, Mr Collins will be pleased to learn last that at last negotiations are under way in Hollywood to produce a television mini-series based on Rand’s block-buster novel Atlas Shrugged.

(It was eventually made into a 3-part film and released on September, 2011.)

Rand was one-quarter into the script when she died in March, 1982.

In the course of her 77 years, Ayn (pronounced Ein) Rand was acclaimed as “the most creative thinker alive”.  Although her elephantine novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged were deprecated by most critics, they sold millions of copies.

The capstone of Rand’s literary career was Atlas Shrugged published in 1957. It’s a “apocalyptic fantasy”, which takes place in America a generation or two hence.

“Combining elements of Buck Rogers, Mickey Spillane and the Rover Boy, it pre-visions the horrors awaiting humanity unless it mends its ways,” was how John Kobler described Altas Shrugged in a 1960s profile of Rand.

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST …
THE FIRST RADIO MAGAZINE IN AUSTRALIA WAS IN 1923. WHAT WAS IT CALLED?
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He moved to Foxtel in 2013 and, at same time, marked his own 50 years in television. “It was pleasure to work with our longest serving commentator on air from our launch date,” said a Foxtel spokesperson.

“Those who worked alongside of him learnt so much from his rich catalogue of movie history.”

Collins top ten are: Gone With the Wind, 1939; The Band Wagon, 1953; The Wizard of Oz, 1939; Vertigo, 1958; All About Eve, 1950; The Voice of the Turtle, 1947; The Razor’s Edge, 1946; The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1945; Brief Encounter, 1945; Waterloo Bridge, 1940.

SOURCE: From Grand Years online in 2011.

Below: “Mr Movies” gets a plug!


WATZLING MATILDA: Final. A story of a film that was never made!

BY SPECIAL CORRESSPONDENT

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

LIZ BATHES IN THE GROWING ATTACTION WITH JOCK’S BURNS.

Within this big canvas, is the growing attraction between Jock and McLagan’s daughter Liz. She is a woman ahead of her time. She see Jock’s unique talents and care were something to be regarded.

The chemistry between them was often stormy and is played out against the historic event which was about to be unfurled.

Jock and his travels would bring increased mateship with the great Dave Grant. Grant was a top-gun shearer and past hero of the union movement.

This is to be Dave’s last season as a shearer. He had promised his wife, Mary, to make the first payment on their own land.

Though, within the shearer’s camp, Dave’s is the voice of reason when it comes to violence. He is a counter-weight to the heavily armed radicals who want nothing less than revolution.

While trying to dissuade a certain group of scabs into coming over, Dave is shot down by hired gunmen and dies in Jock’s arms.

Jock realises at that moment that he must tread a path in Dave’s footsteps and begins organising to find a solution to this over-bearing conflict.

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GREAT AUSSIE FIRST …
SHE WAS CROWNED THE FIRST MISS AUSTRALIA IN 1926. ALTHOUGH SHE WAS 19, SHE WAS A RANK OUTSIDER. WHAT WAS HER NAME?
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His meeting with Banjo Paterson restores his distant dreams of being something else other than a shearer.

Against big scenes of burning river boats, woolshed fires and attacks in trains loaded with scabs and other armed hangers-on, the night certainly turns into a crazy emotional coaster ride.

Strong as the love affair is, Waltzing Matilda is not light on humour and the mateship which sustained men in a hard country like Australia.

The shearers, who were born independent and stubborn people, were democrats to the final core, with an instinctive feel for what constituted a “fair go”.

Jock and the leaders forge an agreement with the rich and powerful which will change society forever.

LATER: These ideals were carried over into Federation in 1901. Which means, simply, the establishment and formation of the first Labor Government in the world. They were passed into law, and many innovations towards a fairer, more just society, were achieved.

SOUCED: The contents have been adapted from the Waltzing Matilda Film Presentation Booklet produced in 2001.

Below: Shearers versus the police.

Next: More language you don’t often see.


GREAT AUSSIE FIRST …

THE FIRST BOOK TO USE THE WORD ‘AUSTRALIA’ WAS IN THE TEXT OF ZOOLOGY OF NEW HOLLAND.

WHAT DATE WAS IT PUBLISHED?

THE ANSWERS: FELIX, WIRELESS WEEKLY, BERYL MILLS, 1794.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 28 June 19

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

WALTZING MATILDA: Part 1. It was a simple ditty that roamed round the world!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

WALTZING MATILDA WAS WRITTEN FOR THE ITINERANT WORKER. BUT IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG FOR THE REST OF WORLD TO CATCH ON!

AUSSIES DIDN’T KNOW WHEN THEY SANG THE SONG IT WAS ABOUT THE SWAGMAN … BUT, NEVERTHELESS, THEY LEFT US WITH A LEGACY.

The swagman, sundowner, bagman, battler and whaler were itinerant Australians of varying kinds who roamed the tracks of the bush either in search of work; or merely seeking enough food and nutriment to keep themselves alive.

Usually, the whaler kept to the banks of the larger rivers like the Darling and Murrumbidgee. Most of these outback types have almost disappeared.

There were considerable numbers of them from the time of the sixties. After the alluvial gold had petered out in the main fields and onwards until the First World War period.

They had a common bond that associated this group: they carried a “swag”, “drum” or “matilda”.

To “hump the bluey”, “hump the drum” or “waltz matilda” meant simply to carry a swag.

Matilda, as an expression, was not coined by Banjo Paterson for his famous song, Waltzing Matilda, but it does not seen to have had a wide currency before that song really made it nationally known.

Of the song itself, much has been written.

Banjo Paterson, the Australian troubadour who wrote the words, died in 1941. He had no knowledge he had written one of the celebrated ballads sweeping through bombed Britain.

We didn’t know about the defiant swagman at the “local” …  whether the minstrel boy of the bush country had just passed on and left us a legacy, a drinking song, that went as well with old and mild as it does with Australian ale.

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ON THE WAY …
WAVE RIDER: IN 1963, PEARL TURTON BLITZED TO FAME BY WINNING A NATIONAL TITLE AT AVALON. HOW THE PRETTY 16 YEAR OLD BECAME A NAME. JULY.
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All we knew was that we couldn’t sing Waltzing Matilda … without thinking of … the wide-brimmed Digger hats of Tobruk “Rats” and … the aircrews of RAAF.

For many of us, this wryly excitable, sadly rollicking Australian song was the first stimulus to a new curiosity about the far-flung land.

To the un-Australian or pre-Australian ear, Waltzing Matilda is strange and fascinating; for migrants, it is the Excelsior of their great adventure.

SOURCE: Read the full version of Larry Boys in Bill Wannan’s The Australian, page 133.

Below: Waltzing Matilda swept the world.


HUGGING: There’s a bear in there, but some adults are collecting them too!

FRANK MORRIS

HOW DO YOU FIND THAT SPECIAL BEAR?

Teddy Bears come in all shapes and sizes!

Children love them, and so do adults. There’re big bears and little bears, tall bears and short bears, soft and cuddly bears, firm-jointed bears and “dignified” growler bears.

Although there are about 270 varieties of teddies, says one toy show owner, “pink teddies are the most popular. Usually, these are bought for little girls.”

How do you find that special bear?

“Teddy bear collectors love to find Australian-made bears from old family collections,” said a spokesman for the Dolls Collectors Club. “At the same time, a wonderful selection of choices of early German, English, French and American teddies are on offer.”

LITERARY BEARS POPULAR

Currently popular, are bears from the German firm Shuco renowned for their “small mechanical teddies and toys.” The spokesman said the key-wind bears can walk and roller skate; and there are other bears with two faces, others nod ‘yes/no’.

“While others hide ladies’ compacts or perfume bottles.”

Among the great bears are the German-made Steiffs which are in high demand. They are made in all sizes. Literary bears such as Winnie-the-Pooh and Rupert, according to the spokesman, “are popular.”

A large array of bears are very hard to pass by.

Why not hug a bear?

There’s nothing like a quick cuddle from a teddy bear that makes you feel good.

The Teddy Bears were named after Theodore Roosevelt, who was the US President at the beginning of the 20th century. People called him “Teddy”. Everyone knew who you were talking about.

Archaeologists believe that ancient Egyptians had a similar theory.

Below: Have a bear hug, it’s something you won’t forget.


D-DAY: The 75th Anniversary -- Australia too was in the campaign and suffered severe losses

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

TWO AIRMEN, LOOKING WORN OUT, BROUGHT THEIR BOMBER BACK AFTER AN EXHAUSTING RAID ON D-DAY.

Few people today realise that Australians were a part of D-Day. They were, predominantly, members of the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy, and actively contributed to the operation. By 1944, Australian forces and personnel were fighting the war on multiple fronts. The stories of Australians of both sexes who participated in the Normandy battle aren’t well-known. Yet more than 3,300 Australians were active in the D-Day landings; while thousands more served during the subsequent Normandy campaign. Thirteen Aussies were killed on June 6, but the campaign lasted beyond that one day. On June 7, twenty Australian airmen were killed; on June 8, another 22 died –and the losses continued until August.

SOURCE: Background for the article came from Lachlan Grant, a senior historian at the Australian War Memorial, “The Australian contribution at D-Day.” Shapes & Sizes, next week.


Galvanise the Nation: The glory days of the steam locomotives

FRANK MORRIS

ALL THAT’S LEFT IS A MANGLE OF STEEL AFTER THE TRAGIC COOTAMUNDRA TRAIN CRASH IN 1885.

EPIC NEW RAILWAY BOOK WILL CERTAINLY BRING SOOT TO THE READERS EYE!

Tim Fischer, former Federal MP and railway enthusiast, has written a new railway book, Steam Australia – Locomotives That Galvanised the Nation, that will no doubt stir childhood memories.

This book will crystallise one’s thoughts about how steam used to dominate the Australian railway system.

At age 10, Fischer remembers witnessing a locomotive zooming toward him.

Fischer, in the strikingly illustrated book, writes: “It appeared as a tiny speck way off to the east, coming over the big hill on the horizon.

“Gradually, it grew in size until it could be made out as a hard-working steam locomotive, hauling the South West Mail passenger train into Narrandera station.

“The train was a sight to behold.

“Smoke and steam billowing as it click-clacked along this key regional standard-gauge line of the NSW Government Railways …”

This event was to take part in Tim’s school holidays in 1956. He was doing some trainspotting and was standing on the Newell Highway overbridge.

“I craned my neck to observe all the colour, action and movement. From my vantage point I could look down directly onto the footplate where the fireman was hanging up his shovel.

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BACK TRACK …
WHO IS THE “FATHER” OF AUSTRALIAN JOURALISM? CAPTAIN GILDLEY KING OR GEORGE HOWE? BOTH. THEY WERE ASSOCIATED WITH THE PUBLICATION OF THE FIRST NEWAPAPER, THE SYDNEY GAZETTE, OF WHICH GEORGE HOWE WAS EDITOR.…………………………………………………………………………………….....................................……………………..

“The hard work is done now as the driver applied the brakes.”

This event for a ten year-old youngster is a memory of a lifetime.

For Tim Fischer, though, it is a clear, incisive and graphic picture he dishes up when discussing these mighty behemoths.

Steam Australia covers the start of the iron monsters in the 20th century, to the diesel and electric complex system of the networks.

SOURCE: Tim Fischer’s Steam Australia – Locomotives That Galvanised the Nation, NLA Publishing. RRP $39.99.

COMING: Crashes, changes, VIP’s and Mark Twain.

BELOW: Dame Nellie Melba steams to its destination billowing, literally, reams of smoke.


HISTORY LIVES ON …
WORLD WAR 1 NURSE, EDITH BLAKE, IS TO GET A RESERVE NAMED AFTER HER IN SOUTH STREET, KOGARAH, OPPOSITE ST GEORGE PRIVATE HOSPITAL, NSW. BLAKE IS BELIEVED TO HAVE LIVED IN BLAKEHUST, ABOUT 8KM AWAY. BLAKE WAS KILLED AS A DIRECT RESULT OF ENEMY ACTION. SHE WAS SERVING ON THE HMHS GLENART CASTLE WHEN IT WAS TORPEDOED BY A GERMAN SUB ON FEBRUARY 26, 1918. –FM.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 14 June 19

Waltzing Matilda: It became a song to remember

FRANK MORRIS

THE OLD TIN SHEARING SHED WHERE CLANCY WAS BORN.

PASTORALISTS BEGAN TO MUSTER THEIR FORCES.

In 1894, the Shearers Strike came to end after four years on the trot.

The bard of Australia, Banjo Patterson, brought to the Australian idiom Waltzing Matilda, which has become our own “unofficial” anthem.

Paterson was a mediator hired to bring the warring sides of the Shearers Strike in Queensland together.
In 1890, the powerful and wealth pastoralists began to muster their forces against the fractious shearers. The pastoralists were abetted by the colonial governments.

The last property to suffer was Dagwood Station in Winton, Queensland.

Out of this vortex came Banjo Paterson’s Waltzing Matilda.

At the Overflow Station, in the outback of NSW, is an old shearing shed where Banjo Paterson partly penned Clancy of the Overflow.

Who was the Clancy that Paterson immortalised in verse?

After much discussion, it turned out to be Glancy McNamara, a well-known drover in the north of the state who lived to the ripe old age of 95.

Glancy had been yarning about the “good old days” and says that the Overflow was a tributary of the Lachlan River.
The ballad was published by the Bulletin in 1889.

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ON ITS WAY …
THE WALTZING MATILDA STORY -- THE EPIC SOJURN THAT FOUNDED A NATION. PLUS – THE FILM STORY, WALTZING MATILDA. NEXT.
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Below: Sarah Riley – she and Banjo were together in Queensland during the strike.

PART 1. Waltzing Matilda – It was coined by Paterson for his famous song, but, nevertheless, it has wide appeal. Next week.


SHAPES & SIZES: How yester-year boats grew to become the giants of today!

It was a simple chore, indeed, for people who wanted to venture afar. Ancient people made dug-out canoes by hollowing out tree trunks. The scraped and chipped the wood out with simple tools. The dug-out canoes were among the first types of boat. Dug-out canoes are still used today.


Flashback 2008: Vale. Michael Pate dies and leaves behind thousands of fans

FRANK MORRIS    Questions by Karen Nixon

MICHAEL PATE AS VITTORIA.

AS FOR MY BEST PART, THE BEST PART WAS DEFINTELY THE ROLE OF VITTORIA, THE INDIAN, IN THE MOVIE HONDO, SAYS PATE.

From 1946, after his return from World War II, he starred in radio plays and serials; he also got a call to do major films and these include Forty Thousand Horsemen, Sons of Matthew and Bitter Springs.

Later, in the 50s, Pate went to Hollywood to do Bonaventure (released as Thunder on the Hill) and over 50 feature films and more than 300 TV shows as guest-star.

In 1970, he starred in Matlock Police and Power without Glory; and produced the films, the Mango Tree and Colleen McCullough’s Tim, which he adapted and directed, winning the Australia Writers Guild award for the Best screenplay.

From 1982 he starred in the film The Return of Captain Invincible and two plays, one with his son Christopher; and the other, The Wild Duck, featuring Liv Ullman.

Pate was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1990.

Actor, writer and director, Michael Pate had died September 1, 2008.  He was 88.

He was working on a film script before he died and it was likely his son would finish off his father’s work.

GREATEST INSPIRATION

You have done some amazing work, which would you say was most memorable?

In radio it would be The Eagle has Two Heads, in theatre, I would say Dark of the Moon and in film Sons of Matthew.  As for the best parts, the best part was definitely the role of Vittoria, the Indian, in the movie Hondo.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

In acting I was influenced by Spencer Tracy and by Paul Newman’s work.  Cagney was very good but overall I found Olivier with a meticulous approach to his craft my greatest inspiration.

You have had a challenging and exciting life, do you have any regrets?

No, I haven’t regrets about my professional life.  I started fairly early doing things of an amateur sense at school and then got my start professionally with a break during the war, but that time wasn’t wasted when you are defending your country.

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ON ITS WAY …
FANTASTIC VOYAGE: IN 1973, LAS BALAS CHARTS ITS LONG VOYAGE FROM ECUADOR TO BRISBANE, IS NOW AT THE BALLINA NAVAL MUSEUM. JUNE/JULY.
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The only thing I would say is a shame, is that older people are ignored not adored.  The problem is that there aren’t many acting roles for older folk and I honestly feel that the older actors could be utilised to master classes in our craft.

I think that it would be wonderful to be able to share the great experiences and skills.  That way they are not lost and the community and industry could all benefit.  That would be my only regret, a personal regret only.

What made you decide to live here on the Central Coast?

In the later stages of my career, I was starting to do more narration and documentary roles.  We were living in Bellevue Hill and thought we could get an apartment in the city from the sale of Bellevue Hill, even a small place on the Central Coast – and Id just live between the two places.

My wife and I both enjoy fishing and we both like the ocean.  Basically I’ve always visited the Central Coast, even as a boy I would visit Woy Woy to fish and prawn with my uncle.

SOURCE: From Grand Years, 2008.


SHARK ATTACK! Final. The dangers lurking in Australian waters!

ALAN LUCAS             Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

LEGALLY KILLED, THESE BULL SHARKS ARE ONLY PUPS OF AROUND 0NE METRE LONG. SEE PANEL.

A TEN-FOOT SHARK ATTACKED A GIRL WHO WAS WAIST-DEEP IN WATER AND ONLY METRES OFF A MACKAY BEACH.

In 1962, the pearling lugger Sari Ritzah, owned by Bert Cummings and skippered by travel writer Peter Pinney, won the Mackay district contract for shark meshing.

Statistics showed that 38 people had died from shark attacks in Queensland waters during the previous 60 years.
Conviction that meshing was necessary may have finally come after a ten-foot shark snatched the girl in waist-deep water five metres of a Mackay beach in 1961.

The shark tore off both her arms and savaged her right thigh, then bit off her companion’s hand as he fought to drive the shark away from his fatally wounded girlfriend.

During the same year that Peter Pinney started shark meshing with Sari Ritzah, I anchored outside the Lockhart River, far north Queensland, and rowed upstream close to the mangroves trailing a line for an evening meal.

On the way back, while crossing the shallow entrance, I saw a huge mud crab standing like an angry praying mantis on the sandy bottom.

Reaching under water to pick up the crab without losing a finger was a heck of a gamble.

While pondering this dilemma I became aware of an express train coming out of nowhere. It knocked the oar out from under me before zooming off with most of my crab.

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THE BULL SHARK, ONCE THEY LATCH ONTO A VICTIM THEY DON’T LET GO, RANKING THEM AMONG THE WORLD’S FOUR MOST DEADLY SHARKS. MORE THAN ANY OTHER SPECIES, BULL SHARKS TEND TO TURN PINK AS THEY DIE.

Source: Bulls Shark illustration from Shark Attack by Mike Edmonds; Five Miles Press, Victoria.
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The train was, of course, a shark, probably around two metres long. The abrasion of its rough skin leaving me with bloodied shins.

My immediate horror was not that the shark might circle back to attack me, but that I was now lying face down in shallow water looking point-blank at a still-articulating giant crab claw.

Since that day outside the Lockhart River I have dived (but never swum) … hundreds of times despite never really feeling comfortable in the water; the anticipation of suddenly being torn apart by a shark dulling its pleasure.

SOURCE:  Shark Attack by Alan Lucas, AFLOAT January 2019. This article was edited. Please read fuller version in the magazine.

Below: A dangerous way to test your metal is by swimming in open water.


ON ITS WAY …
HISTORIC HOTELS: BUILT IN 1918, ADELAIDE CAN REALLY BOAST A HOTEL IN 1976 THAT’S REALLY INTERNATIONAL IN CHARACTER. JUNE/JULY.
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ON ITS WAY …
ARTBEAT: MRS MAMIE EISENHOWER SAID THE BEGINNING OF IKE’S PAINTING AS A HOBBY MAKES QUITE A STORY. NEXT.
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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 07 June 19

ELLY: My true story of how my miracles helped me survive

ELLY GROSS     Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

A SYMBOL OF DESTRUCTION AS THE NAZIS TIGHTENED THEIR GRIP ON EUROPE.

IT WAS COLD. WE HAD CLOGS ON OUR FEET, OUR BODIES WERE COVERED ONLY WITH RAGS. WE STOOD FIVE IN A ROW UNTIL IT GOT DARK. IT RAINED AS IF THE SKY WAS CRYING FOR ALL OF US.

(Elly Gross was born in Hungary in 1929. At that early age, she began encountering anti-Semitism; at adolescence it became a nightmare as the Nazis tightened their grip on Europe. She was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. She was liberated in 1945. Please read this book from cover to cover.)

I am convinced that my survival in the Holocaust is because of a chain of miracles. I do not consider myself special. But without those miracles, I would not have survived.

I would have perished with all the other children of my age. I survived by these miracles.

I was blonde, with blue eyes and white skin. Hungarian law forbade Jews to travel. But every Sunday, I secretly travelled by train to Marghita to pick up food from an aunt and returned him to Simleu Silvaniei at night.

No one ever asked me, “Why are you traveling?”

In the ghetto of Cehei, which held more the more seven thousand inhabitants, four were ordered to peel potatoes. I was one of them. I had plenty of raw or boiled potatoes to eat.

ANGEL HELP

Whenever we left the ghetto, we were strip-searched. I would hold my pocket-knife. Tightly. I was never caught.
On arrival to Auschwitz-ll/Birkenau, Dr Mengele directed me to the right at the last second. Tragically, my mother and brother were not directed to the right.

In Auschwitz-ll/Birkenau Block 20, my group stood in knee-high rainwater. Assisted by luck, I was transferred to Block 18 to be with my cousins. I passed out the next day at roll call, but an angel held out her wings.

Dr Mengele did not notice me. I was taken inside.

I ate potato peels mixed with sand from a garbage pile. It filled my empty stomach, but I did not get sick. My tummy was enlarged. At the next selection, Dr Mengele pointed it out, but he let me go with the others whose lives has been spared.

In the factory, a German Meister (supervisor) risked his freedom and brought me salt to stop my gums from bleeding. When I coughed and was ill with high fever, another miracle happened.

I WAS BLONDE

Although I had a blanket on my back, a German officer didn’t beat me for not obeying orders. I was sick and yet not shipped away. Because I was blonde?

While on the train returning home, a Russian soldier tried to drag me away. To him, I looked German. Because I was blonde? I got away, and I hid under a bench, behind others’ legs.

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BACK TRACK …
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD WAS THE FIRST NEWSPAPER TO SELL THOUSANDS MORE COPIES FOR ITS CELEBRATORY 100TH EDITION IN 1931.
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No one on the train betrayed me. I escaped.

By a chain of miracles, my life had been spared. One of the last miracles should have come, but it did not – if only another member of my family would have survived.

I was alone.

Both my parents and my brother had perished. There was no one to love and protect me, no one to provide a home for me.

When the war ended in 1945, and I learned that my family had perished, I made a firm vow to myself to always write and talk about my tragic past; the Holocaust that I had witnessed and lived through.

Below: The only photograph of me, at the age of two, which survived the tortures.

ELLY: Her daughter, says her mother was a champion

AGNETA WEISZ

AS HER ONLY DAUGHTER, I WAS HER RAY OF SUNSHINE.

My mother is “not only a survivor but an achiever”. My mother had me soon after she returned from the oncentration camp.

She was fifteen when the Hungarians and the Germans took her away.

She came home after the terrible ordeal to find her parents and brother gone. She returned to her home to find it occupied by strangers, who proceed to chase her away.

She met my dad, who was eight years older; she got married. She skipped her teenage years; she never had time to develop into an adult.

She struggled together with her husband, also a survivor, to forget and to start a new life.

My father was a farmer before the war. But when the Communists took over, he had to give his land to the collective … He was always at work. Mom was lonely … I was her ray of sunshine.

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ON ITS WAY …
VICTORIA WAS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE RICHEST PLACES IN THE WORLD DURING THE 19TH CENTURY. MOST COUPLES HAD TO FALL ON CHARITY. JUNE/JULY.
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I don’t remember at what age I became aware of the horrible ordeal my parents had gone through during the Holocaust … they were horrible (times).

There was always the shadow of anti-Semitism around us. Later my family moved to the United States. Mother got a high school education … her children went to college and started successful careers.

Mother got a college degree the age of sixty-nine. She was the oldest in her classes.

FRANK MORRIS: Tiberin, Elly’s son, closes his mother book with a chapter dealing with “Elly Berkovits Gross, My Mother”. His ended the piece with the simple words, “My mother is a special woman”.

Below: This is my mom’s college graduation photo – she was the oldest in the classroom.

SOURCE: Elly: My True Story; Elly Gross; Scholastic Press, New York.


BUSHRANGERS: Early films tell of plight of the ‘wild men’

FRANK MORRIS

“NO HANGMAN NOOSE FOR ME,” THE NOTORIOUS BEN HALL CRIED OUT.

In 1910, there was a spate of bushranging films to add to the drama already on display. Both in television and movies the spectacle has never stopped.

In The Life and Adventurers of John Vane, which premiered in Melbourne, was the first of the bushranger’s type movie ever screened.

The newspaper critics highly praised the film and the fact that a record number of spectators, and the “inclement” weather, didn’t stop them attending.

One critic said that a man, despite the fact that he may have led an evil life, “may nevertheless … be possessed of sterling qualities.”

For John Vane, he did not lack exciting incidents, despite its conventional ending. Here is synopsis of the story:
Beginning a downward career, John Vane bails up a Chinaman. Vane captured by police.

Vane is then released by his sweetheart. Vane, after robbing banks, joins Ben (“You’ll never take me alive”) Hall for the raid on the Keightley homestead. Vane suffered from remorse and leaves the gang. Vane surrenders to Father McCarthy and is sentenced to 15 years. When he’s released, he mutters, “Thank God, free at last.” Who was it who said, “Often from evil cometh good.”

Among the early films to open in 1910 was one that would have the bushranger mutter “Thank God … free at last” and the curtain comes down.

Again, in the 1910 film, Ben Hall was determined to get revenge on the police for what happened to his family a few years ago. So he met up with bushranger Frank Gardiner.

Gardiner was known to all and sundry as “King of the Road”.

Hall took part in the Eugowra Mail robbery and several other heists before a section of the gang broke up. The remainder went with Hall.

“Hall was nearest thing to ‘real life’,” said Captain Justice to a colleague. Monty Wedd, who wrote and drew the fictional Captain Justice comic book in the l950s, covering the Hall period, is a bushranger authority.

“There was no speculation, just fact”, said Monty Wedd.

At one point, Hall said, “Ha! There’ll be no hangman’s noose for me.” He laughed. “Is that clear”.

Out they tumbled, starting with Moonlight, King of the Road, Starlight, Thunderbolt, Captain Midnight and Ben Hall. With Ben Hall, the producer says “thanks” to his production team for their “down to earth” work in playing and photographing the Ben Hall production.

....................................................................................................................................................................................... FRED SHOENBERG, AUTHOR, SAYS …
MY MOTHER, WHO TOLD ME AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME IN HER LIFE THAT SHE WAS TOO BUSY TO BE MIDDLE-AGED.
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In Ben Hall and His Gang, while there was scant attention that the film was Australia but, nevertheless, the publicity for the picture was “colourful and intriguing.”

The career of Hall covers his escape from prison, the sticking up of the Eugowra Mail and his “death by 30 bullets.”
Two days later, at the Glaciarium, a large audience witnessed the first production of an Australia Biograph film. The picture presented a seamy side to the life of Ben Hall – the Notorious Bushranger.

Unlike the usual bushranging films, which glorified the villainy of the criminal of the bush, this one recorded a “triumph of the law over lawlessness.”

Below: Captain Moonlight, Andrew George Scott, was a church minister preaching the word of God before he took up bushranging.

SOURCE: Combination of three articles from Grand Years, late 2010.


SHARK ATTACK! Part 2. The dangers lurking in Australian waters!

ALAN LUCAS

NBC, VERY SIMILAR IN SIZE AND TYPE TO THE ONE ILLUSTRATED, WAS SUNK BY A SHIP ENTERING THE BAY.

THE LAUNCH WAS 8-METRES LONG WITH A BEAM OF 2.5-METRES AND A DRAFT OF 0.8-METRES. THE CRAFT WAS CAUGHT IN A MODERATE HEADWIND UNDER A DARK OVERCAST SKY.

On March 11, 1977, a shark tragedy began to unfold on Friday night when a small recreational launch named NBC was entering Moreton Bay.

There were three men aboard going on a weekend fishing trip.

She was motoring into the bay against a moderate southwest headwind, under a dark overcast sky.

Considering the craft’s small size and the miserable head sea, it’s probable that the occupants were spending as much time sheltering behind the half-cabin as they were watching for traffic.

It was failure on their part to see or hear the 22,600-ton ship Shun Oh coming up behind them. Equally, Shun Oh’s officers on watch with a Brisbane Pilot aboard, failed to see NBC dead ahead.

The resultant collision broke up and sank the launch that went straight to the bottom, along with her life jackets and dinghy. The three men found themselves miraculously unhurt, clinging desperately to the only flotsam that escaped their sinking launch – which was a large icebox.

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THE BIG CATCH

FIGURES ARE FROM 1950 TO THE FIRST HALF OF 2017. TARGET SHARKS: 649 GREAT WHITE. 374 TIGER AND 3740 BULL SHARK/WHALERS. PRIOR TO THE SECOND HALF OF 2010, BULL SHARK WERE GROUPED TOGETHER WITH WHALERS. PART OF A CHART, PUBLISHED IN SUN-HERALD, MAY 27, 2018.
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The three men went unnoticed for the rest of the night – as well as all Saturday and Saturday night. It wasn’t until Sunday morning when sharks attacked and killed two of the hapless fishermen.

The other man frantically clambered into the ice-box and remained there until he was rescued later by a passing trawler.

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ON ITS WAY …
FILMBIZ: ‘MRS MOVIE’ IS BACK WITH MORE REVIEWS OF TOP INTERNATIONAL FILMS OF THEIR DAY – FROM THE START OF CINEMATOGRAPHY TO 1980. COMING.
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At the official inquiry into the accident, and in the absence of any of the ship’s officers being totally aware that they had run over a small boat; scratches and paint marks on Shun Oh’s port bow, near the waterline, proved that she was the culprit.

However, no blame was apportioned owing to the fact that the launch was not seen despite responsible lookouts and her tiny wooden hull did not register on the ship’s radar.

NEXT: The girl was waist-deep in the water when a ten-footer tore off both her arms and savaged her right thigh.

SOURCE: Shark Attack by Alan Lucas. AFLOAT January 2019.


THE QUEEN: Final! Meeting the Presidents of the United States

PRESIDENT TRUMP, REPORTS TOWN & COUNTRY MAGAZINE, WILL CATCH UP WITH THE 92-YEAR-OLD QUEEN ON A STATE VISIT TO THE UK IN JUNE. THE DUKE OF SUSSEX WILL JOIN THE QUEEN AS SHE HOSTS LUNCH FOR THE PRESIDENT AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE. THE SHOT ABOVE WAS FROM APRIL 23, 2019, WHEN THE QUEEN AND PRESIDENT TRUMP INSPECTED THE REGIMENT AT THE PALACE.

NOT ILLUSRATED: IT WAS A BUSY TIME FOR THE QUEEN WHEN SHE WAS INTRODUCED TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AT A GALA FUNCTION AT THE PALACE. WHILE HE WAS OVERSEAS, PRESIDENT OBAMA STOPPED AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE AND SAID HELLO TO THE QUEEN.
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ON ITS WAY …
HISTORY BOX IS COMING. SO IS AUSTRALIA WIDE. BOTH COLUMNS DEAL WITH ART, WINES, OPALS AND DIAMONDS, HENRY LAWSON, SHEEP DOGS, TWO-UP GAMES, ETC. COMING.
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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 31 May 19

SHARK ATTACK: The dangers lurking in Australian waters

ALAN LUCAS

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

THE SHARK HEADING FOR ITS PREY IN FULL ATTACK MODE.

“GO FOR YOUR LIVES, FOR GOD’S SAKE – SHARK!”

Despite it being a cloudy day, February 4, 1922 saw dozens of swimmers at Coogee Beach. Well beyond them was a young board rider named Milton/Michael Coughlan who was waiting for a break.

Coughlan cracked a wave that was too small to carry him very far; so he dropped off to wait for a more suitable wave.

That’s when he saw a shark coming straight at him. He yelled a warning to other surfers telling them to “Go for your lives, for God’s sake – shark!”

Swimmers swarmed ashore leaving young Coughlan alone with a shark that was by then in full attack mode. He wildly flailed the water and punched at the shark.

But he could not discourage it from tearing one arm off below his elbow and stripping the flesh off his other arm from shoulder to wrist.

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THE WHITE POINTER, THE ONLY ONE THEY MAKE MOVIES ABOUT. SO IT’S LABELLED THE GREAT WHITE, THE WHITE POINTER OR WHITE DEATH, AND SITS RIGHT AT THE VERY TOP OF THE UNDERWATER FOOD CHAIN. IT IS NOT THE BIGGEST SHARK IN AUSTRALIAN WATERS, BUT THE MOST DANGEROUS.

THE TIGER SHARK IS ACTUALLY A FAIRLY FRIENDLY-LOOKING FELLOW – BUT THEN SO WAS NED KELLY. SO DON’T BE FOOLED. KNOWN ONLY AS THE TIGER SHARK, THERE’S NO NEED FOR ANY OTHER NAME. THEY WON’T (GIVE UP) ONCE THEY GET A GRIP ON WHATEVER TASTY MORSEL TAKES THEIR FANCY.

SOURCE: Shark in our waters from Shark Attack by Mike Edmonds; Five Mile Press, Victoria; 2003.

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Milton Coughlan, according to reports, somehow kept fighting, despite his appalling injuries in a crimson sea.

Coogee lifesaver James Hanley was the first to respond. But another lifesaver, Jack Chalmers, beat him to it by slipping into the water closer to the victim.

Chalmers, unhesitatingly, swam for nearly forty metres to reach the bloody melee where critically injured Coughlan was still fighting for his life.

He dragged him towards the beach, embracing him with one arm while fending off the shark with the other. Interestingly, another lifesaver ran into the surf to assist Chalmers in getting the victim onto the beach.

AWARDS FOR BRAVERY

He was Australia’s champion swimmer who was later knighted for a variety of reasons. For his fortitude in Milton Coughlan’s rescue he was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Gold Medal plus 500 pounds that he used to start an automobile tyre company.

His name was Frank Beaurepaire.

Jack Chalmers fearless response ranks as one of the bravest acts in surfing history for which he was awarded the Albert Medal for bravery, the Surf Lifesaving Association’s first bravery award called the Meritorious Award in Silver.

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ON ITS WAY …
HOME CARE A-Z: A MULTI DOSE OF SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDES DEPRESSION, SLEEP AND YOUR ROLE AS A GRANDMOTHER. COMING.

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And a Gold Medal from the Royal Humane and Shipwreck Society.

The people of Australia were so impressed, that they sent Chalmers thousands of pounds.

As for the mutilated shark victim, Milton Coughlan was taken to Sydney Hospital where he died five minutes after being admitted.

Next: The collision between a motor launch and a 26,000-ton ship off the coast of Brisbane.

Source: Shark Attack by Alan Lucas; AFLOAT Magazine, January 2019.


REAL MURDER: George Reeves, the first TV Superman. Was it natural, or was it a killing!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

GEORGE REEVES WAS LAST MAN IN THE WORLD TO BUMP HIMSELF OFF, SAY THE EXPERTS.

In Benedict Canyon, Hollywood, the pallbearers at the funeral of husky, but handsome George Reeves, TV’s durable Superman and happy-go-lucky man about town, were still chatting about it.

Reeves was still a major talking point.

A .30-caliber Luger bullet through the brain had killed Reeves and the LA police called it “suicide”. One of the pallbearers, actor Alan Ladd, immediately replied: “George was the last man alive to bump himself off.”

Reeves, who was ambitious and an achiever, didn’t have the gumption to do this.

A self-proclaimed health-addict, he was young at 45 and rich. He was collecting residuals from 105 episodes of Superman, which had made him an idol to a world of kids.

In a few days he was to marry an ex-New York show girl and fly off to a honeymoon in Spain. Reeves purchased $5000 in traveller’s cheques for the trip.

His 190-pound body was found sprawled across a bed in an upper room of his home and a Luger beside it. Although Superman had ended its run some 18 months earlier, “the Man of Steel” was about to be revived.

Coroner’s finding of “indicated suicide” set off hoots and jeers by those who cried murder. They theorised that a gunman had entered the house and did the deed.

The shot was heard by Reeves’ fiancée, Lenore Lemmon. Police finally speculated that Reeves was arguing with two of the guests and he asked them to leave.

Within hours, the well-to-do mother of Reeves, Helen Lecher Bessel, walked into the Nick Harris Detectives agency and said: “I want his killer found. George would never do it. My God, I’d just talked to him and he was perfectly happy.”

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ON ITS WAY …
CAN YOU NAME AT LEAST ONE OF THE DRIED FRUITS OF AUSTRALIA? YOU EAT THEM EVERY DAY. COME ON, WHAT IS IT? JULY.

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The manhunt cost $50,000. “But we never turned up a solid name,” said Milo Seraglio of the detective agency. My feeling remains that it was homicide.”

Deputy attorney Noel Slipsager was “hounding” the wife of a top film-industry executive, but Slipsager eventually announced that the woman wasn’t guilty. The lead petered out.

In 27 years in Hollywood, Reeves made enemies. Women went wild about him, and he got a lot of loving in places where he didn’t belong.

To honour her son, Bessel converted part of her Pasadena estate into a Superman shrine packed with hundreds of items of the “Man of the Steel” memorabilia.

Below: George Reeves, just about when he becomes air-borne.

SOURCE: From Under Cover, No 1.

Real Murders is an on-going series to be published regularly.


VIETNAM WAR: The battle of Long Tan, a Viet Cong hotspot!

BOB FRESHFIELD        

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

THEY FOUGHT THEIR WAY AS DARKNESS FELL AND FORCED THE VIET CONG TO WITHDRAW.

The Australians forces, in strength the next day, returned to the battle site and located a large number of Viet Cong dead.

They believed they had suffered a major a major defeat, as the scale of the Viet Cong’s losses were revealed, the Australians realised that they has actually won a major victory.

D Company 6RAR lost 17, and 1 more Australian from 1APC Squadron were also killed, and 24 were wounded.
The Viet Cong lost at least 245 killed, with blood trails as dead and wounded were carried away by the enemy.

DOMINANCE

It was a decisive Australian victory. But Long Tan proved a major local setback for the Viet Cong, indefinitely forestalling any further movement against Nui Dat.

Although there were other largescale encounters in later years, 1ATF was not fundamentally challenged again.

The battle established the task force’s dominance over the province, and lowed it to pursue operations to restore government authority. A Presidential Unit Citation, from the USA, was awarded to the men of D Company 6RAR.

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ON ITS WAY …
WHERE DOES THE EASTER BUNNY COME FROM? CASSIE COOPER ASKED. IT WAS THE TURNING POINT IN HER JOURNEY TO FAITH. JUNE/JULY.

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What should not be forgotten is the continual close-in and accurate bombardment of the enemy throughout the battle by American, New Zealand and Australian Artillery; nor the heroism of the RAAF crew that flew in the ammunition re-supply in weather that would normally have grounded them.

FULLEST CAPACITIES

By April 1967, 5 RAR was replaced by 7 RAR, and 2 RAR, with a New Zealand contingent of Infantry and Artillery, forming 2RAR/NZ, arrived in April and May 1967.

This move would bring 1 ATF to one of its fullest capacities of the ten year, with 3 battalions and sundry other units.
Below: A well-camouflaged Viet Cong force illustrated for Time magazine.

JUNE: The Tet offensive ’68! Was this to fuel the growing protest against the war in the US and other allied countries?

SOURCE: Part of the Vietnam War is from an Australian perspective. Bob Freshfield, Vietnam veteran Federation, March 2017.


THE QUEEN: Meeting the Presidents of United States

President Bill Clinton, and the Queen, stand silent, ready for her entrance to a major function.

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ON ITS WAY …
THE KING OF BISCUITS! WILLIAM ARNOTT, WHO CAME TO AUSTRALIA AND WORKED FOR 25 CENTS, BECAME SYNONYMOUS WITH BISCUITS. COMING.

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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 24 May 19

VIETNAM WAR: Part 1. The battle of Long Tan, Viet Cong hotspot

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

BOB FRESHFIELD

WHILE THE MONSOON RAIN PELTED DOWN, THE FIGTHING CONTINUED.

ENEMY’S WEAPON PITS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY FOUND BY AUSTRALIAN D COMPANY.

Australian radio signallers had tracked 275 Viet Cong Regiment transmissions as they moved west to a position just north of the old Long Tan village site. But earlier patrols by the Australians had failed to locate the Viet Cong unit.

On the morning of August 18, 1966, B Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), departed Nui Dat to locate the firing points and the direction of the Viet Cong withdrawal.

A number of weapon pits were subsequently found, as were the positions of the mortars and RCLs.
Around midday, D company 6RAR took over from B Company and began an active pursuit of a Viet Cong squad that had withdrawn in the late afternoon.

MONSOON

One of D Company’s platoons were then engaged by small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire. Numbering only 108 men, D Company was facing a much larger force, and they were pinned down.

Then, D Company, called for artillery support as a monsoon rain began, reducing visibility.
In all, heavy fighting ensued.

The attacking battalions of the Viet Cong 257th Regiment attempted to encircle and destroy the Australians. After several hours D Company was nearly out of ammunition, when 2 ‘Hueys’ from No 9 Sqandron RAAF arrived overhead to resupply D Company.

DARKNESS FELL

Heavily outnumbered, but supported by very close, accurate artillery fire, D Company held off a regimental assault before a relief force of APCs from 3 Troop 1 APC Squadron, carrying Infantry from A Company 6RAR fought their way through as darkness fell.

This forced the Viet Cong to withdraw just as they appeared to be preparing for a final assault.

Withdrawing to establish a landing zone to evacuate their casualties, the Australians formed a defensive position overnight.

Below: Machine gun operators keep their eyes peel.

Next week: Final! The part that the American, New Zealand, Australian Artillery and RAAF played should “not be forgotten”.

Source: Part of Vietnam War from an Australian perspective; Bob Freshfield; Vietnam Veterans Federation, March 2017.


YOUR DOG: Gemini just loves the fresh air -- night and day!

FRANK MORRIS

AGNO DOING HIS STUFF.

There’s nothing better than rolling hills and a lake, and clean fresh air. My name is, wait for it, Agno, and I am head of sheep dogs at Weatherly Property out west.

You know, there nothing in a horoscope that says anything about a dog’s name. Pity.

When there is nothing in my way, I head for ‘rolling’ hills and plateaus out where we reside. That is where Gemini get their restless nature from.

After a solid chasing of bloody sheep, non-Gemini animals just eat their tucker and go to sleep. Some Geminis come alive.

But hold on. They’re classic watch-dogs, too. Like me. We take on a non-animalist attitude when it comes to a bout. When there are two and three of the blighters, well, be prepared for the outcome.   

Anyway, back to rolling hills.

GODDAMM!

Gemini are like me. We tend to see it and want it as soon we see it! I wanted to explore that territory from the day I opened my eyes. Dream. Dream.

I go to the base of the hill and just gaze at it; I go to the top and just look at it -- I like rolling in it; I go asleep on it; I do anything with it – I admire their picturesque presence that much.

When the boss-man is not rounding up sheep, he and the Mrs motor out to the second paddock and together they play archery. They love the game.

An arrow spiralling in the air. Then splat. The arrow hits the target. At the end of day, they both hold each other, look at each deeply, and kiss. It’s great fun!

On the radio, they both play different kinds of music. As head sheep dog, l jump into the utility and listen to the soft drawl of country music.

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ON ITS WAY …
SHARK ATTACK! SWIMMERS SWARMED ASHORE LEAVING YOUNG COUGHLAN WITH A SHARK IN FULL MODE. NEXT.

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Mrs boss-lady does the same – her music is mostly an orchestra – big or small -- or a concert. Goddamm! It’s an exciting sound.

Really, I wish I could talk more about a Gemini sheep dog. But we are all the same, really. To wrap up I am going say I’m clever, I’m versatile and I’m expressive. I know these traits. I could go on. Ding! Ding! Ding!

There’s the afternoon sheep called. I’d better skedaddle. (May 20-June 2l).

Below: Agno, in full glary, walking on the sheep’s back.


FLASHBACK: Aussie actor Judith Anderson becomes a “great tragedian” on stage, in films!

FRANK MORRIS

JUDITH ANDERSON IN MACBETH.

THE STAGE AND SCREEN WERE RADIATED BY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN. “AH, WHAT THE HECK”, SAID JUDITH.

In 1918, a young Australian actor packed her suitcase and sailed for America. Her name was Francee Anderson. Francee was to make her name as “a great tragedian,” Judith Anderson.

In 1960, she was made a Dame of the British Empire.

Born Margaret Frances Anderson in Adelaide, February 10, 1898, the stage struck Francee played ingénues in dozens of amateur productions. She was 17 when she made her professional debut opposite the matinee idol of the day, Julius Knight, in A Royal Divorce at Sydney Theatre Royal.

Over the next five years Francee appeared with her mentor, Knight, in several plays, including The Silver King, all of which were “favourably received”.

The perceptive drama critic of the Lone Hand Magazine, Zora Cross, wrote in 1918 that “Francee Anderson was graceful, dainty and pink with youth, had made much progress … and was still improving.”

Later that year she turned down the lead role in Turn to the Right and headed for New York.

Wrote Australian playwright and theatre historian, Hal Porter: “She … cold-bloodedly broke the pattern, usual to even exquisitely beautiful, intelligent and gifted young actresses.

FACIAL IMPERFECTIONS

Although Sydney critics described Francee in her ingénue days as “pretty”, she was not beautiful. Her nose was long and not straight, her eyes too small.

“I wish I had a beautiful face,” Judith Anderson said after she had begun to make some headway in New York. “An ugly woman has to work doubly hard.”

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ON ITS WAY …
WALTZING MATILDA, THE MOVIE THAT WAS NEVER MADE. THE EPIC STORY THAT FOUNDED A NATION. EXCLUSIVE. JUNE.

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But she made up for her facial imperfections in other ways: she was fearless to the point of being callous, gifted and shrewd.

In New York she failed several times to gain the interest of American producer, David Belasco. She had to survive months of hardship and despair “on very little money.” By the time she returned to Australia for the first time in 1927 aged 29, Judith Anderson was “hard-boiled and famous.”

For her roles in theatre, particularly in Medea and Lady Macbeth, television and movies, she has been acclaimed all over the world.

“Her Medea … maybe the greatest tragic performance by an actress of out time,” wrote American critic, Cecil Smith in 1961.

Although she has played some memorable roles in movies and television plays, her first and last love is the stage – “I seem to be always looking for a play.”

Anderson said: “Movies are so cold, so cold, and so is television. Indeed, the warmth of an audience keeps the play going.

“I want to delineate them all. I want to portray the unfolding of one woman’s entire life with the whole gamut of emotions. I love emotional roles. Lady Macbeth is my favourite part.”

Dame Judith Anderson proved her greatness over and over again – for decades -- even though the stages were crowded with radiantly beautiful women.

She was the most industrious actor of her day. Although she prefers plays – “I can’t get enough of them” – she starred in many films, including Rebecca, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and NBC soap opera, Santa Barbara.

Judith Anderson died in 1992, aged 93.

[Judith Anderson was a syndicated story back in 1988.]

 

Below: Judith Anderson out of usual garb.

SOURCE: Grand Hotel, 2014.


Famous Movie Stars: Felix was modelled on Charlie Chaplin!

FRANK MORRIS

FELIX THE CAT IN HIS TAKE-0FF OF CHAPLIN.

ONCE WAS A LITTLE CAT, WITH A TUMMY NICE AND FAT, AND HE HAD NO NAME; FELIX WAS HIS NAME.

Michael Anglo, the author of many books, says the cinema’s animated cartoons and documentaries made their debut in place of the popularity of the stage and music hall.

In his book, Nostalgia: Spotlight on the Twenties, “my mother said that the first cartoons I saw were based on Aesop’s Fables.” He remembers them “only vaguely”.

Later came Felix the Cat cartoon, which was to achieve world-wide popularity. He writes: “Anybody who had a black cat … called its Felix. I know at home, over the years, one Felix succeeded another.

FELIX WAS AN AUSSIE

“Our female cat had a litter of three kittens, which we kept. When we called ‘Felix’ all four cats used to come running.”

The cartoon, Felix the Cat, was created by Australian animator, Pat Sullivan, who was the world’s cartoon celebrity – long before Mickey Mouse hit the movie screens.

Felix’s mannerisms as well as his general behaviour was modelled on Charlie Chaplin. In fact, by 1926, Felix was recognised to be as popular as Chaplin.

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ON ITS WAY …
GIVE ME A HUG. SAYS AUTHOR KATHLEEN KEATING, HUGGING IS A JOYFUL AND LOVING INSTINCT. COMING.

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Australian veteran film-maker, Ken Hall, said Felix’s animation was better than anything that been done previously anywhere on this globe.

Born in Sydney in 1887, Sullivan, a former prize-fighter, worked in London as a commercial artist before settling in America. Once there, he received further training from the renowned craftsman and animator Raoul Barre.

Sullivan died a millionaire in 1933 of pneumonia.

Below: Pat Sullivan and Felix the Cat.


QUEEN: Meeting the 11 Presidents of the United States

The Queen, chatting away with President George H. W. Bush.

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VALE: ACTOR DORIS DAY, AGED 97, WAS THE CHEERY FRECKLED-FACE PERSONALITY OF HER TIME. SHE BECAME A THE TOP- BOX OFFICE ATTRACTION FOR YEARS.

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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 17 May 19

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