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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

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

FRANK MORRIS

GRIFFO ENTERTAINS A BUNCH 0F ENTHUSIASTIC FIGHT FANS.

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

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

It was September 3, 1890.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BELOW: TORPEDO BILLY MURPHY.

SOURCE: Grand Years, 2007.


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

FRANK MORRIS

OUR VERY BEST: BY YOUR THOUSANDS OF FRIENDS

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

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

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

WHERE HE DIED

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

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

BELOW: DEATH NOTICE FOR GRIFFO.

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


DO YOU KNOW? Parkinson changes Essay on Shaking Palsy!

FRANK MORRIS

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

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

Parkinson recognised the features immediately.

IT’S PARKINSON’S

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

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


GEELONG ADVERTISER: Oldest newspaper in Victoria still going strong!

FRANK MORRIS

THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE GEELONG ADVERTISER.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Fawkner’s Geelong Advertiser is still going strong …

MODERN STYLE, A RECENT COPY OF AN ISSUE.

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


THE QUEEN: Meeting the 11 presidents of the United States

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

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

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

PARKINSON’S: Advice and specialist support is mandatory

FRANK MORRIS

FOLLOW THE PARKINSON’S LAW.

TAKE PARKINSON’S MEDICATION ON TIME, EVERY TIME!

PEOPLE WITH PARKINSON’S SOMETIMES LEAD NORMAL REWARDING LIVES.

A study in Australia recently discovered that Parkinson’s is rapidly growing. Official figures show that 37 new cases are diagnosed “every day”, with three of those in people under 40.

It’s believed by Parkinson’s that approximately four people per 1000 – roughly 80,000 --- are living with Parkinson’s disease.

“With this incidence increasing to one in l00 over the age of 60,” says Jo-Anne Reeves, CEO of Parkinson’s NSW.

Throughout the world, more the 5 million people have Parkinson’s.

Early Onset Parkinson’s is when the symptoms of the disease appear before the age of 40. (See above).

Parkinson’s is a “progressive” neuroglial disorder that results from a loss in the brain of the chemical “messenger” called dopamine.

And therein, say medicos, lies the “basic fault” of Parkinson’s disease: with the basal ganglia – the part of the nervous system that sits in the centre of the brain and the cells that coordinates movement – the cells that produce dopamine “die off”.

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ON THE WAY …
Former deputy prime minister, Tim Fischer, writes about Steam Locomotives that Galvanised the Nation. Early June.

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ON THE WAY …
INSIDE NEWSPAPERS: Age is no matter, said a bunch of ‘skiers on Grand Targhee Resort, USA. Next June.

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This will, eventually, cause difficulties in initiation of and control of physical action: walking, talking, swallowing and writing.

Other “early symptoms” can include mild depression, restlessness and sometimes a softer voice, says Reeves.
Reeves says, “Two of the most important considerations are medications and regular exercise.

“And here something which cannot stressed enough: It is essential the medication be properly prescribed, monitored and regularly assessed as to its effectiveness in controlling prevailing symptoms.”

Like most medical conditions, Parkinson’s does not discriminate. It is equally common in men and women from all walks of life. For instance, my friend has Parkinson’s and so does the actor, Michael J. Fox, the star of the wonderful Back to the Future series.

They both have it in varying stages of the disease.

SOURCE: Chart and comment from SMH; Study: Does it affect all people? A feature on Parkinson’s for Best Years newsletter, and syndicated.


The Great War Tribute:  HMAS Australia steamed into Sydney Harbour

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

A CREDIT: “LIKE THE NATION IT SERVES, THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY IS STILL YOUNG.” WROTE PETER SMARK. “IT’S SURVIVED TO MOULD ITSELF INTO ONE OF THE FINEST, BEST-TRAINED NAVIES OF ITS SIZE IN THE WORLD.” THE PAINTING, AT TOP, SHOWS THE BATTLE-CRUISER HMAS AUSTRALIA LEADING THE AUSSIE FLEET INTO SYDNEY HARBOUR ON OCTOBER 4, 1913. SOURCE: 75 YEARS GUIDE, A TRIBUTE TO THE RAN, A SUN-HERALD FEATURE 1986.

THE FIRST CRUISER IS A MEMORABLE EVENT TO THE ADVENT OF THE AUSTRALIAN FLEET, SAID THE PRIME MINISTER, SIR JOSEPH COOK.

The dreadnought battle cruiser HMAS Australia, the nation’s first flag ship, stole the show as it steamed into Sydney Harbour. - Ahead were a squadron of ships which comprised the newly-found Australian Fleet. For this historic occasion, the day was perfect.

It was October 4, 1913.

With HMAS Australia, came the light cruisers Melbourne, Sydney and Encounter – on loan from the Admiralty pending the completion of the Brisbane – and the torpedo destroyers Warrego, Parramatta and Yarra.

Thousands of people line the cliffs and along the shores of Port Jackson watching this fulfilment of many years of hopes, dreams and endeavour.

“Since Captain Cook’s arrival, no more memorable event has happened than the advent of the Australian Fleet,” the Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Cook said.

BUT IT WAS AGREED

In 1909, Britain became alarmed by the rapid growth of German naval power. The Admiralty requested Parliament to take exceptional measures to secure the safety of the Empire. An Imperial Conference met in London on July 28, 1909.

The Conference led to Australia and Canada forming independent navies, over which they exercised full control. But

it was agreed that they should operate as an integral part of the Royal Navy in time of war.

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ON ITS WAY …
DO YOU KNOW? Doctor changes it to Parkinson’s disease. In 1817, he called it Shaking Palsy. Then changes it to Parkinson’s. Next.

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In discussions, it was recommended that the whole system of Pacific Ocean defence should be remodelled by the creation of three Fleet Units: one on the Australian Station, one on the East Indies Station and the one on the China Station.

HMAS Australia was built at Clydebank and launched on October 25, 1911. She weight 18,800 tons and cost $3,700,000 and could attain a speed of 26 knots, and had convey off about 800 crewmembers. Her length was 590 feet overall, beam 80 feet and mean draught 26.5 feet.

The original armament were eight 12-inch, sixteen 4-inch guns, and two 21-inch torpedo tubes. Her armour belt was 6-inch amidships and 4-inch at the ends.

PRETTY SIGHT

The presence of HMAS Australia and her squadron put the nation’s mind at ease. In those times of mounting international tension and, especially when World War 1 was breathing down our necks, the Australia Fleet arrival was a pretty sight.

HMAS Australia escorted several expeditions which annexed German inlands and patrolled the Western Pacific. In early 1915 she went to European waters where she sank a German auxiliary – a German East African liner – and captured 100 prisoners, including many Negroes.

When she joined the British Fleet, HMAS Australia was honoured with the position of flagship of the second battle cruiser squadron. She never saw the thick of action. She missed taking part in the Battle of Jutland , off the mainland of Denmark, which took place on May 31, 1916, because at the time she was in dock for repairs of collision damage.

SOURCE: Adapted by Frank Morris from Historical Firsts produced by Tucker & Company, Sydney.


The Great War Tribute: What happened to the HMAS Australia?

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

IN 1924, THE BATTLESHIP HMAS AUSTRALIA WAS SUNK OFF SYDNEY HEAD.

HMAS Australia returned to Sydney in 1919. She was to await her fate from obsolescence. Under a world disarmament agreement she was sold for $6000 to be dismantled, and sunk off Sydney Heads in 1924.

This was a sentimental occasion which prompted many people to pile wreaths on Man-o’-War Steps, Farm Cove.

A naval party of 15 petty officers and stokers with long service in the battle cruiser accompanied her to her final place of sinking.

Patsy Adam-Smith, who wrote several books and articles on the ANZACS, said: “My mother told me of the end of HMAS Australia. It was April 12, 1924. We’d read about it in the papers. Under the terms of the Washington Treaty the nations were to disarm.”

I WAS PROUD – THE SHIP GOES DOWN

My father, Albert Smith told me, ‘Of course we were proud that HMAS Australia was flagship of the Second Battle-cruiser Squadron but I can’t recall any of us admitting it.’

As her mother, Adam-Smith continued: “This day they towed the HMAS Australia out through Sydney Heads and sank her. Your father didn’t say anything. I don’t know what he thought. We all thought it was awfully sad.

“Even though I hadn’t known him during the war I was proud of the HMAS Australia like everyone else. But he said nothing.”

SOURCE: Patsy Adam-Smith’s THE ANZACS, Thomas Nelson, 1978.


The Great War Tribute: Some amazing war-like scene. But are they true?

FRANK MORRIS

THE GERMAN BIPLANE IS SPOTTED NOSE-DIVING TOWARDS EARTH.

At a height of 600 feet in the air, the biplane, with flames pouring from the fuselage, appeared to out control. Suddenly, the shocked pilot was tipped out was seen spearing towards mother earth. 

This was a World War 1 photograph which showed a dogfight between a German and British aircraft; the British pilot appeared to let his plane twist and turn in the last phase of avoiding a stunning mid-air collision.

Were these incidents true or false?

According to the journalist who wrote the story, they were “audacious publishing hoaxes.” The journalist said “the pictures had been sold to a publisher for the equivalent of $20,000, a considerable sum in 1933.”

DEFINITIVELY DEBUNKED

The journalist said: “Gladys Cockburn-Lange claimed to be the widow of the British pilot who had taken the photographs.”

It turned out that in 1984 they were “definitively debunked” by the Smithsonian Institutes in Washington. Archivists there realised that Cockburn-Lange was none other than Betty Archer “wife of Wesley David Archer, a model maker in the film industry.”

The journalist said “he had painstakingly made models of all the aircraft and superimposed them on aerial backgrounds.”

Below: Hoax or not? The British does some fancy flying in an effort to avoid a remarkable air collision.

SOURCE: Idea from Sun-Herald newspaper, 2013.


THE QUEEN: Meeting 11 presidents of the Unite States

The Queen, with the demure look she often acquired after she hears a story she cannot impart to anyone else, tells President Jimmy Carter “Oh, Mr President, that’s pleases me terribly.” 

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ON THE WAY …
KJELD KRISTIANSEN: Master builder and his Wall of Lego. Today you’ve got mini-cities, Marvel Men and much more. Starts June.

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Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 02 May 19

SHADOW KING: He was the bridesmaid of the top event!

MELBOURNE CUP, 1930. FIRST PAST THE POST WAS THE MIGHTY PHAP LAP WITH SHADOW KING RUNNING THIRD. Bottom: Another angle of shot.

“THE FOLKLORE OF HORSE RACING CHIEFLY REVOLVED AROUND THE WINNER AND FAIRLY TALE SUCCESSES, SAID RACING WRITER, DARREN ELIAS IN THE PORFILE OF SHADOW KING. THE CHAMP WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.

DARREN ELIAS        Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

“Some of the more interesting stories, however, go on to concern the perennial losers, the ‘could-have-beens’”.

Shadow King was a bay colt by Comedy King, a Melbourne Cup winning stallion, out of the mare Berylium.

There was one problem with his name, Shadow King. “He proved to be a ‘shadow’ by nature” said Elias.

In the time of great racing and great horses, Shadow King stands out as one of the “unluckiest horses ever” to race in the Cup.

His starts in the Melbourne Cup make Shadow King far from forgotten. He raced in the Cup six times for 2 seconds, 2 thirds, fourth and sixth.

It all started in 1929.

THE MIGHTY PHAR LAP

The flashy Kiwi, Nightmarch, came with a withering run in the final 400 metres to win the Melbourne Cup by three lengths. The mighty Phar Lap ran poorly throughout the race finishing third. Shadow King came in sixth.

In the 1930 Shadow King ran third, resoundingly beaten by the then legendary Phar Lap, unbeatable at the time. In 1931 he was unlucky not to beat White Nose. Hampered several times in the run Shadow King was charging to the finish line, but he was too late.

There was only one horse that was compared to Phar Lap – Peter Pan.

In 1932, Shadow King met the awesome Peter Pan, a rising star. A striking, loose-limbed colt “with plenty of pace to develop” Peter Pan put in an amazing performance in the two-miler that he nearly fell 800m from home.  The “Shadow”— that was his nom de plume – weaved his way through the field to miss at the finish.

A TORRID RUN

Probably his most hapless run came in the 1933. In this Shadow King was only beaten by inches by the great 3 year old, Hall Mark. After a torrid run, Shadow King had again struck interference at the top of straight and was forced to come wide. He was actually in front past the winning post.

The reason Shadow King did not run in 1934 was because of the bog track. The great Peter Pan, the delight of the near-record breaking crowd, won the race.

In was not until 1935 did an ageing Shadow King contest the Cup. He finished a creditable fourth to Marabou.

Shadow King had the honour of leading the field out that day in recognition of his efforts.

AS A POLICE HORSE

A funny thing did happen. Peter Pan, who was unplaced in the Cup, played second fiddle to the ‘old stager’. Shadow King retired with his name firmly etched in Cup lore. By today’s standards his Cup pacing’s would have him more than $2 million.

“Folklore remembers that as being the end in the Shadow King story,” said Darren Elias. “But there is another facet to his remarkable tale”. Elias continues: “Despite the fact that he never to race again, Shadow King attended several further Melbourne Cups as a police horse.

In 1943 the 17-year-old Shadow King was in a palsy state. The “Shadow” was put-down not far from where he was standing.

Below: Shadow King, in all its glory, just before running third to Phar Lap in the 1930 Melbourne Cup.
Source: From Grand Years 10 years ago; Historic Australia, Spring, 1997.


Elly Gross (ABOVE) was born in Hungary in 1929. Elly began encountering antisemitism at an early age. And she was brought into a time of terror by the Nazis as they tightened their grip on Europe.

This is the true story – the truth of Elly Cross in a series of miracles that take her from the daily horrors of world she is in – Hungary.

The miracles did come … coming in May.


Special Mention: Television brought to book after it fails due to lack of technology!

FIRST MAN OF AUSTRALIA TELEVISION. HE OPENED THE SERVICE IN 1957.

AFTER SUCCESSFULLY TRANSMITTING A 180-PICTURE, THE SERVER CLOSED BECAUSE OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

FRANK MORRIS

The first book on television could be bought in Australia in 1926. It was called Television: Seeing by Wire or Wireless, by A. Dinsale. It was publicised as the first publication to appear on the subject.

The first book published in Australia to coincide with the launch of regular television transmission in September, 1956, was How Television Works: A Simple Guide by adman Phil MacMahon.MacMahon described television as a delightful toy – a toy which is bringing us a “fascinating new way of living”.

From the early 1920s the daily press, through its overseas cable hook-up, was giving “some prominence” to “the subject of television” much to the chagrin of the fledgling broadcasting industry.

In 1927 the Australian magazine, Wireless Weekly, warned that the public, could be “prone to accept attractive statements … about having televisors or “looking-in” attachments wired to their receivers”.

TELEVISOIN TERROR

The magazine pointed out that there had been two years of speculation about the early advent of television “or radio vision”, but “we have not yet been shown any demonstration of it, nor has any practical application of it to the ordinary user been given in any part of the world.”

It was only a matter of time, in fact, two years, when the “television-terror” was demonstrated on home turf.

In January, 1929, Melbourne’s first commercial radio station, 3UZ, conducted the first public demonstration of TV in its studios, using the mechanical scanning system.

Although it was still experimental, the first regular television transmission, using the 30-line Baird system, began from a building in Wickham Terrace, Brisbane, in 1934. The project, which was successfully transmitting a 180-line picture, was closed down by the Federal Government on the outbreak of the Second World War in 1938.

Below: A group of kids around the television at the Royal Easter Show in 1957.
SOURCE: Television Brought to Book was previously published in Grand Years in 2012 and syndicated to various other media.


The Dog: Things the animal will do that you won’t know about

THE THREE DOGS STRAINED AT THEIR LEASHES.

FRANK MORRIS

Taurus seems to have an acute sense of smell. Generally, if this is the case with your dog, you can bet the animal has detected a group of dogs being taken for a walk a kilometre away.

But that’s not all. The dog was able to meet the animals – a Fox terrier and an Alsatian -- who wanted to get together with the Taurus. Your dog could smell them from a distance.

The three dogs strained at their leashes. And you could see why the owner was becoming a tad nervous. When I moved my dog to the side of the street, I noticed that they had gone back to her.

But Taurus is a funny hound to have around the place. Taurus, no matter what animal there is ahead, the dog frequently proves to be more than a match for any animal at bay.

CONSTANT COMPANION

If your dog is a well-trained veteran, the animal could be cleverer than they realised.

Your Taurus is a useful animal, ever faithful to its owner. The dog is a constant companion to its master. Taurus is quick at its commands, and always prompted to execute them.

The dog is a watchful guardian and will not suffer fools and strangers gladly; the Taurus will impede any intruder. The dog never fails to protect its charges.

When the dog take its stand, the Taurus threatens every known delinquent who wants to get involved.

APRIL 20 TO MAY 20

SOURCE: Frank Morris, after observing many dogs.


THE QUEEN: Meeting 11 presidents of the United States!

The Queen, in her diamond tiara and sash, laughs at one of President Ford’s impromptu stories. The event happened when President Nixon resigned.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 18 April 19

Isabella Bird, Author: She spotted early surf boarding in 1870s!

WHAT THE LADY DID SEE?

THE LADY WAS A BRITISH AUTHOR WHO WAS WRITING ABOUT THE INGENUITY OF NEW IDEAS IN HER COUNTRY.

FRANK MORRIS

Isabella Bird’s book, The Hawaiian Archipelago, written after her tour of the Sandwich Islands in the 1870s, contains what is probably the first account of surfboarding long before it became a national sport.

On this particular day, Ms Bird gathered with “a large party of friends” on the beach to watch “a grand display of surf-bathing…a really most exciting pastime, and in rough sea requires immense nerve”.

She gives a colourful description of the surfboard: “(It) is a tough plank shaped like a coffin, about two feet broad, and from six to nine feet long, well oiled and cared for. It is usually made of the erythrina, or the breadfruit tree”.

The surf this day was very heavy, but favourable. The men, she writes, pushed their boards before them, swam out to the first line of breakers…and reappeared in smooth water half a mile from shore.

DEXTEROUS MOVEMENT

“What they seek is a very high roller, on the top of which they leap from behind, lying face downwards on their boards”, she wrote:

“As the wave speeds on…(they) appeared poising themselves on it highest edge by dexterous movements of their hand and feet, keeping just at the top of the curl, but always apparently coming downhill with a slanting motion. “They rode majestically, always just ahead of the breaker…the more daring riders knelt and even stood on their surfboards, waving their arms and uttering exultant cries.“The great art seems to be to mount the roller precisely at the right time, and to keep exactly on its curl just before it breaks”.

Below: Isabella Bird saw ‘early’ board-riders steal the show.


When you adopt or return a dog you’re in BIG trouble – BIG, BIG trouble!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

See!


ONE IN 8 PERSONS HAS PARKINSON’S

NEXT: Remember Shadow King the racehorse? He was a champion at running places in the august Melbourne Cup from 1929-1935 … FLASHBACK -- The third newspaper in Australia, the Geelong Advertiser, is still going strong! … Wireless at sea marks an epoch of safety … THE CAUSE: Parkinson’s is still unknown. But, warned the Parkinson’s officials, your medication must be taken on time every time. 1t’s estimated that approximately four per 1000 – roughly 80,000 – in Australia have Parkinson’s. COMING: Did you know? A column that puts you in the know.


ROOFTOP GARDENS: Final! The ‘father’ of hydroponic gardening dates from a century and a half ago

BACK IN 1980, THE CASTLE HILL RSL LEAD THE PACK. IT DISCOVERED A NEW ‘MARKETING PLOY’ – A GARDEN DESIGNED WITH A HYDROPONIC ASSORTMENT OF PLANTS.

HYDROPONICS BEGAN TO APPEAR PROMINTENTLY FROM OVERSEAS IN THE 1950s. WHICH, OF COURSE, WAS NOT THE CASE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Sir -- I was an interested reader of your cover story, Hydroponics Hits the Club Scene, on growing plants.

I am quite sure that most people who read it would have gained the impression that your unnamed German horticulturist invented hydroponics in the late 1950s. Which, of course, was not the case. Nor would he have been the first to apply the technique to the growing of indoor plants.

Real water culture dates from 1860d when Knop, a German chemist, and Sachs, a botanist, first added chemicals to water and obtained a nutrient solution. In 1929, W.F. Gericke announced hydroponics, having developed the method along substantial lines in America.

A MERE AMATEUR

In fact, it would be safe to say that hydroponics, as we know it today (first called aquiculture, really had its beginning in that country and Gericke was the "father" of it.

W.F. Gericke wrote a book on the subject, The Complete Guide to Soiless Gardening, which was first published in 1940. As a mere amateur, I established two inground hydroponicums in my backyard in 1946. And, along with other enthusiasts ... experimented and had success with indoor plants.

So, in the light of the foregoing facts, you will forgive me for querying your assertion that a young German horticulturist "came up with the method" in the late 1950s. If he did, there is no way in the world that the gentleman could call it his own!

G.H. TUCKWELL

Secretary

Balgowlah Golf Club, Sydney.

Frank Morris comments: They did quote 1950s as when the young German horticultural wizard came up with a method of growing indoor plants without water, called in hydroponics. Said Club Management magazine: "It involved growing plants in water, impregnated with nutrients." The method was so successful in Europe that it spread to Britain, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United States and, more recently, Australia. In the late 1970s, when I was editor of the same magazine, Club Management, I introduced an article on hydroponics by American writer David Devor. I angled the story towards clubs that wanted new marketing ideas for their establishment. Growing of hydroponic vegetables was the "in thing" then -- and still is.


THE QUEEN: Meeting 11 presidents of the United States!

THE QUEEN ON ENGLAND, INFORMALLY, MET THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, MR RICHARD NIXON, AND THE FIRST LADY. BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, EDWARD HEATH HAD A CONVERSATION WITH THE PRESIDENT. THE YEAR WAS 1971.

SOURCE: “Isabella Bird” by Frank Morris … Adoption of a dog by Shaw Cross, 1960 … Rooftop Gardens by Frank Morris … The Queen from Google.

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

DOGS: Aries -- will you know how to react! But you'd better be quick!

YOUR ARIES WILL RUSH AHEAD AND WILL DRIVE YOU MAD! 

THE IDEAL ACCOMMADATION FOR THE ARIAN WOULD BE A HOUSE THE SIZE OF BUCKINGHAM PALACE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

A dog born under this sign will be full of vitality, well able to run several packs of hounds right off their feet. But they will have only one aim in life, into which they will channel every drop of excess energy, to get to the front, and stay there.

As the Aries is born under the first sign they must be first dog.

The way the dog rushes ahead will drive you mad. The dog will push between your legs when you get up to put the cat out. The animal will be out of the house and sight, before you have taken the lead off its peg.

NOT IMPRESSED

And it will never enter the dog’s head to check which way you were going to go. When you get out of the car, your Aries will be sitting there waiting for you; they will not take kindly to travelling in the back either.

The ideal accommodation for the Aries would be a house the size of Buckingham Palace. If like the majority of us you do not own a palatial residence, a country seat would do in a pinch.

The Aries erratic and demanding manner will soon exhaust you. You must live somewhere where you can escape from the dog occasionally.


 

Grand Years editor is off on holidays. In the meantime, GRAND YEARS, will be packed with features as far as the eye can see. There will be: One of the first accounts of early surfboard riding in the Sandwich Islands in the 1870s written by a woman …  The Big Fight, featuring Albert Griffiths, or “Griffo”, and Torpedo Bill Murphy in a featherweight championship of the world. The fight was fought at the White Horse Hotel in Sydney. Plus, there are many others, of course!

 

Rooftop Gardens: The system that can provide for our nourishing plants!

WHEN YOU PLANT YOUR HYDROPONIC GARDEN, IT COULD LOOK LIKE THIS.

PERCHED ON THE ROOFTOP OF A SKYSCAPER IS ONE THE MOST UNLIKELY SETTINGS YOU’LL EVER SEE. ROOFTOP GARDENS ARE HERE TO STAY.

FRANK MORRIS

Rooftop or market gardens have been around for centuries in one form or another. But in the early 1970s they made a come-back, growing on the roofs of skyscrapers and buildings, home units and clubs.

In fact this system is not as silly as it sounds, I wrote in the 70s. Some of them are perched on the top of buildings – hotel complexes – up to 20 storeys high.

“In the 1970s, I discovered a one acre farm growing a new system called hydroponic vegetables,” said American David Devor, a writer who had studied this type thing of for 40 years.

“Many of the pilot schemes have yielded over l00,000 lbs of vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants and string beans in a six months period.  It was the most unusual setting you’ll ever see -- and it was in 1975.”

HARD TO SEE

The garden “many rows of lush green growth set in perfect symmetry”, Devor said, “was a sight to behold. The system was in parallel lines and is composed of sections of PVC pipe with an opening cut into the top from which the plants grow.”

Today, it has developed into a big business industry.

The other day, when I was at a club, I got the shock of my life. Rooftop gardens are hard to see. They’re near you but camouflaged so you can’t see them. However, this is not exactly on the roof but a fairly sizeable mound, and panelled off into section.

“A market roof-style garden creates enough produce for a restaurant or family,” said the executive chef. “Our market garden, while still in its infancy, will produce the freshest of herbs and heirloom vegetables.

“We really enhance the natural flavours of our dishes. We are very excited to be able to offer our guests the freshest ingredients directly from our market garden.”

Rooftop gardens are here to stay.

Below: A garden will grow in any place – even from the ceiling.

NEXT: Final! The ‘father’ of hydroponic gardens dates back as far as the 1860s and a German chemist.


Trio of disarming bandits: Overseas officials caught snoozing while guarding the coffers

LOOK AT THE THREE DIAGRAMS, ABOVE. YOU COULD HAVE WON THE CASH – NOT IN ONE CLUB OR CASINO, BUT IN ALL!

THE YEAR 1965 PROVIDED A MAJOR EVENT OF THE DAY – BEFUDDLED CLUB AND CASINO OPERATORS WERE BLATANTLY ROBBED ON THE SPOT. BUT HOW?

FRANK MORRIS

Remember the three Australians who in the mid 1960s took on the poker machines in Australia, Las Vegas, Monte Carlo and London and cleaned up? If you can’t recall their names it was Keith Jennings, George Clamped and C. J. Mackenzie.

Their amazing feat was going to be made into a movie 15 years after the event took place, but it never was made.

The system they used, which was all legal and above board, earned the trio almost 100,000 pounds in the first year. In 1965, Time wrote that the “Sydney System, as they call it, only sounds simple.”

ASK TO LEAVE

“It was like having duplicate keys to Fort Knox,” said one of the syndicate in a book written their profitable venture, How to Beat the Bandits. “For one thing it was legal; no risk of being jailed. The worst that could happen was that we would have been asked to leave.”

Like Fort Knox, the syndicate wrote, “there was seemingly no end to the money involved. And it was easier to get at.”

The syndicate’s exploits made headlines all over the world.

“All we had to do was to walk into club, work the bandits over, and walk out with the money. Left alone we could have eventually busted every club in Australia,” the syndicate member wrote.

In a remarkable series of demonstrations, the syndicate showed how a poker machine could be drained in minutes.

FRANK MORRIS COMMENT: The diagrams show three of the six essential moves in the syndicate’s “amazing but simple” system that “broke the bank” in casinos around the world

Below: A 1960s poker machine. These and others like them were in clubs and casinos around the world.


THE QUEEN: Meeting the 11 Presidents of the United States!

The Queen, accompanied by Prince Phillip, met up with President Kennedy and the First Lady, Jackie, at a special function at Buckingham Palace in 1961.                                         

SOURCES: Adapted from Dog Horoscopes by Liz Tresillan, SEP, Spring 1975; Rooftop Gardens by Frank Morris; Cracking the club/casino case by Frank Morris; The Queen, Google.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 05 April 19

BONUS: Australian Chronicle, 1908. The Big Fight … it was the stoush of the century!

JACK JOHNSON STANDS AND WAITS FOR TOMMY BURNS TO LEAD THE ATTACK IN THE TITLE FIGHT AT SYDNEY STADIUM IN 1908. POLICE STOPPED THE FIGHT IN THE 14TH ROUND.  

THIS TITLE FIGHT PUTS SYDNEY STADIUM ON A SCALE NEVER PREVIOUSLY ATTEMPTED. THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BETWEEN JACK JOHNSON, AMERICA’S PREMIER COLOURED FIGHTER AND TOMMY BURNS, IN THE STRUGGLE FOR WHITE SUPREMACY. THE FIGHT WAS ALSO THE CLASH OF THE TITANS.

FRANK MORRIS

Before the stadium became one of the world’s largest outdoor boxing arenas, it was the site of a Chinese vegetable garden at Rushcutters Bay.

Hugh McIntosh surprised everyone when he proposed to promote the world championship fight on a scale never before attempted. On Boxing Day, 1908, more than 60,000 spectators converged on the Sydney Stadium.

Reports of the day claim “there were 20,000 men at ringside and twice twenty thousand lingered outside the stadium.

STOPPED BY POLICE

“A record crowd paid 26 thousand pounds to see the fight in such a venue” reported the Australasian Star, one the papers American author, Jack London, was hired by to cover the fight.

Burns was badly outpointed and horrifically mismatched by Johnson and the police stopped the fight in the 14th round.

“It was not case of too much Johnson, but all of Johnson. Burns never had a show,” reported the newspaper.
Burns was hopelessly outclassed.

“I never had any doubt. I knew I was too good for him,” said Johnson to the newspaper.

Below:  Police charged into the ring and stopped the fight in the 14th round.


BONUS: The clash of the titans boxed as they fought for racial supremacy!

THE PUGILISTS WERE READY FOR THE FIGHT OF THEIR LIVES.

FRANK MORRIS

“How many people in Australia realise that within a very short time an event is to occur on this southern continent that will make history”, penned the correspondent for Australasian Star, “history that will be very interesting, vitally interesting to the Caucasian race – the now dominant people of the world.”

On Boxing Day two men, heavyweights Tommy Burns and Jack Johnson, over 25 rounds, will face each other at the Stadium at Rushcutters Bay, and get ready for the fight of their life!

The correspondent continued: “One of these men is the perfect specimen of the negro race, as physically-attuned as he could be – intelligent, alert, and game.

“He was born and reared in the United States, as many of his ancestors were, yet in him has been preserved the pure racial blood.

GREAT BATTLE

“The other is a most remarkable man in many ways. Acute and superior mentally, and a physical phenomenon; he has indomitable will and a fierce courage – the conqueror of conquerors in ‘fustian’.

“This battle may in the future be looked back upon as the first great battle of an inevitable race war.

“There will be several ranks of dark-hued mortals that will be gazing across the seas toward the land of the Southern Cross on Boxing Day, anxiously awaiting the result.

“A great racial problem may be solved. There is more in this fight to be considered than the mere title of a pugilistic champion of the world.”

[This was a not ‘title’ fight; it never was sanctioned by the North American boxing council. Australasia Star, December 27, l908.]


BONUS: What they said about the “big fight” will amaze you?

JOHNSON: WHEN THE FIGHT WAS FINISHED, I FELT LIKE GOING AGAIN!

FRANK MORRIS

Round 1 – Johnson reached Burns’ head with a flurry of punches

When the gong had sounded the men were at it in a second. Johnson coming up to his man, saying, “All right Tommy.” Johnson suddenly lunged forward and reached his opponent’s body, but the blow was only light … Both men brought their hands to the body; and Johnson reaching Burns for a sharp uppercut; Burns toppled over. The champion was down for eight seconds … he signalled that everything was all right … Though there was a flurry of punches from both fighters … The men were locked together … Burns was finding the body with the left hook, while Johnson brought his right hand down to Burns’ kidneys … Johnson brought a beautifully timed right to the head, staggering Burns temporarily. Up to this time, Johnson was getting decidedly the better of the fight … Johnson worked his man over to the side of the ring and charged with a right lead to the head; but Burns had no difficulty in getting under … Burns was boxing superbly … just as the gong sounded, Johnson reached Burns’ head with a stinging rush (of punches).

Round 5 – Burns went down … but was up again!

At the end of round four, Johnson let a straight left go which Burns dodged. Johnson walked up quietly and he said: “Come right for a couple of seconds” then let loose with his right, reaching Burns under the chin. The champion’s ankle gave away and Burns went down; but he was immediately up again. Johnson placed right and left punches repeatedly to Burns’ head … and his left eye started to swell. Johnson was having the best of the round. Burns was receiving heavy punishment by Johnson but Burns was dancing around. Johnson, however, was surveying him coolly … After several seconds Burns remarked to Johnson: “Are you going to fight, you cur?” Johnson suddenly moved forward and swung a terrific left jab, which found its way to Burns’ stomach … The champion still kept to his work but he was doing very little scoring. His mouth was bleeding … Johnson brought his right jab up, catching Burns under the chin. The gong sounded.

Round 7 – Johnson swung his right across Burns’ head; the eye drew blood

At the end of round six, Johnson bustled Burns into his corner … a terrific left jab just missed
the champion’s chin. The gong sounded. After a few seconds the fighters circled each other; Burns commenced the attack … but Johnson cut around and got both hands severely on his ribs and body … and let in some unmerciful blows … slinging his right across Burns’ head. Burns’ right eye drew blood … Johnson was scoring freely with both hands. It seems at this point Burns was tiring. Then, Johnson turned to the crowd and said: “I thought Tommy was an in-fighter.” … But only a few seconds remained … Johnson took matters very quietly when the opportunity presented itself. The coloured man swung his left on to Burns’ ribs, dropping him. Burns remained down for a few seconds … when the gong sounded.

Round 14 – Burns buckled and fell to the canvas

At the end of round 13, Burns was attacking his opponent’s head. Johnson used both left and right on the face and drew blood from Burns’ eye. In the opening of the 14th round, the last of the fight, the left side of Burns’ face was badly swollen. They sparred and clinched for a few seconds. In the breakaway Johnson sent his right viciously to the jaw. Burns saw it coming, and was quickly out of reach … They stood out again and Johnson looped his left to Burns’ body … and a good right to the ribs. Johnson, who had a big advantage in reach, swung his right and got Burns square on the jaw. The champion buckled and fell to the canvas, where he remained for eight seconds. When he rose … Johnson swung his left which caught Burns on the forehead. Mr McIntosh, the referee, declared Johnson the winner.


BONUS:  Johnson v. Burns … What they said after the BIG fight!

JOHNSON TAKES THE ADVANTAGE.

JUST ABOUT EVERYONE HAD AN OPINION ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BIG FIGHT. EVEN JACK LONDON CAME AWAY WITH THE BIGGEST PRIZE OF ALL!

FRANK MORRIS

Jack Johnson at ringside. “I never had any doubt; I knew I was too good for him. Why, I had forgotten more than he ever learned. You must admit that I punished him severely, and he had to take the punishment. From the start of the fight I was dead sure I would win. It was a good crowd and a fair crowd.

Tommy Burns, before leaving the ring: I did my best. I fought hard but Johnson was too big. His reach was too much for me … I fought as hard as a man could … that’s all I have to say.”

Mr H.D. McIntosh, the referee: “It was a great fight, and I think the best man won.”

Mrs Jack London, wife of the celebrated American novelist, and only woman to witness the fight: “It seems a pity … that it should end as it did, but I think Burns is the grittiest fighter it is possible to be. I was much surprised at Johnson’s fighting. He is a much better fighter than I thought he was; it was too bad to see Burns cut up the way he was.”

Larry Foley, one of 20,000-odd at ringside. “The fight, in my opinion, was not a great scientific display; but was a splendid physical effort -- Johnson’s weight, strength and in-fighting gained him the day. I have not seen any better fights.”

Not that London missed anything between Johnson and Burns as they skirted each other around the ring. Those left hooks, particularly those from Johnson, would have knuckled me for sure.

Not surprisingly, the Burns-Johnson stoush inspired London to pen a short story, a Piece of Steak.

Set in Sydney, its protagonist is an ageing fighter, Tom King, once champion, who at forty, is at the end of his days.

When the book was released, London wrote to the president of the Macmillan Company, George F. Brett, saying that the collection of stories “is the best l have ever written, I believe that the title-story is one of the three best short stories I have written.”


VIETNAM: Part 1.The major battles that involved Australia

FLY IN, FLY OUT.

PROBABLY, THE BEST KNOWN ‘PUBLICISED’ OF THESE WAS THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN. IT WAS NOT THE ONLY MAJOR BATTLE OF THE WAR, NOR EVEN THE LARGEST. BUT IT WAS A VIET CONG HOTSPOT.
BOB FRESHFIELD      

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Australia’s involvement each year seemed to bring with it at least one or two major confrontations that would become known to Australians as ‘battles’.

While the battle details that follow are brief … readers are encouraged to seek further, more descriptive material available throughout the internet and unit histories.

Probably, the best known and publicised of these was The Battle of Long Tan. It was not the only major battle of the war, nor even the largest.

In May 1966, we saw elements of 1RAR and 5RAR deployed with the Americans 173rd Airborne Company, to secure and set up a Task Force Base at Nui Dat near to the centre of the province and alongside a key road route (2), that ran from Vung Tau, via Ba Ria, in the south, north into Long Khan Province.

OCCUPY PERIMETER

By early June the task force base, 1ATF, was complete with Artillery emplacements, Armoured Corps, with their tanks and APCs’, SAS Squadron manning the highest point, at what would become known simply as SAS Hill; and sundry units like Signals Corps and Task Force Headquarters (HQ).

The 5 RAR arrived in during May 1966, and 1 RAR completed its first ‘tour of duty’ in June 1966, to be replaced by 6 RAR.

The 5th and 6th Battalions of the Regiment, each with four rifle companies and support, administration company, as well as their own HQ, took up positions occupying perimeter areas along the base’s extended boundaries.

The exclusion zones were cleared for added security in approaches to the base. This required the relocation of some villages, including Long Tan, a known Viet Cong hotspot.

MORTAR BOMBARMENT

Meanwhile, in response to the threat posed by 1ATF, a force of between 1500 and 2500 men from the Viet Cong 275th Regiment, possibly reinforced by at least one North Vietnamese battalion, was ordered to move against Nui Dat.

On the nights of the August 16 and 17, Viet Cong mortars and recoilless rifles (RCLs) bombarded Nui Dat from a position 2 kilometres (1.2 mi.) to its east, damaging the base and wounding 24 people.

The Viet Cong positions were then engaged by counter-battery fire and the mortaring ceased.

NEXT MAY: Vietnam – the battle of Long Tan: Heavy fighting ensued as the attacking battalions Viet Cong attempted to encircle and destroy the Aussies.

Below: The chopper noise was like machine gun rattle – there was death around, said a soldier. Below: The newspaper headline: LBJ to Menzies – “Thank you.”


THE QUEEN: Meeting the 11 Presidents of America!

The Queen catches up with Ike Eisenhower, when he became president of the United States.

SOURCES: The Big Fight by Frank Morris extracted from various publications … Vietnam series adapted from Bob Freshfield, Vietnam Veterans Magazine, March 2017 … Presidents Eisenhower from Google.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 29 March 19

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