121 people die when the ship, the ‘Dunbar’, runs aground at The Gap, Sydney

On this day …….. 20th of August 1857 The Dunbar was a first class sailing vessel, and, at 1,320 tonnes, was the largest of the time to be built at Sunderland shipyards in England. The vessel left Plymouth on 31 May 1857, carrying 63 passengers and 59 crew. On the night of 20 August 1857, […]

Escaped Lunatic – D’Arcy Harcourt

On this day …….. 12th of August 1903 On this day in 1903, a fifty pounds reward was given for information regarding the where abouts of D’Arcy Harcourt, who escaped from Yarra Bend Lunatic Asylum Melbourne, on the 19th of May 1902. It was believe the Harcourt caught a steamer to Sydney.  

Convict Transferred from Sydney to Geelong

On This Day ……. 12th of August 1865 The convict Ethridge, who was remanded from Sydney to Geelong, charged with embezzling money from the Bank of New South Wales, in Geelong. He arrived in Melbourne by the steamer Alexandra, and after spending a few hours in the watch house was forwarded on to his destination […]

Religious Revival Crusade

On this day …….. 11th of August 1960 Following a religious revival crusade in Sydney in August 1960, a man who lost his wallet had his drivers licence returned in the mail along with a religious tract, but not his wallet or the money it contained.  

Largest pipe organ in the world

On this day …….. 9th of August 1890 The Grand Organ in the Sydney Town Hall was built by William Hill and Son in London. It was shipped to Sydney and installed in 1890. Having approximately 8,700 pipes, it was the largest organ in the world at the time, and is still the largest ever […]

Australia’s luckiest criminal

Convict Joseph Samuels was sentenced to death for burglary in Sydney in 1803. Whoever on the day of the execution 26th of September 1803, the rope broke 3 times. As Samuels was about to be executed the 4th time, the Governor stopped the proceedings on the grounds of divine intervention. Samuels left the gallows with […]

Australia’s largest anti-Chinese riots

On this day …….. 4th of August 1860 The ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ reports that gold has been found at Lambing Flat, later the scene of Australia’s largest anti-Chinese riots. The region surrounding present-day town of Young in the central southwest of New South Wales was first settled by pioneers seeking good grazing land for their […]

Gentleman Bushranger – Martin Cash

From one moral extreme to another, ‘Gentleman Bushranger’ Martin Cash was easily one of Australia’s most considerate criminals. Cash was originally sent to Sydney from Ireland in 1827 for shooting a rival suitor in the buttocks. After serving seven years, he left for Tasmania as a free man only to be charged shortly after with […]

The “Eternity” Man Dies

On this day …….. 30th of July 1768 Arthur Stace was born in Balmain, Sydney, in 1884. Growing up in a family of alcoholics, he fended for himself most of the time and also turned to drink. He returned from WWI shell-shocked, turning to a life of petty crime and a drinking habit that included […]

‘Bold Jack’ John Donohoe – Bushranger

Another Irish convict-turned-bushranger was ‘Bold Jack’ John Donohoe. He arrived in Sydney from Dublin as an 18-year-old in January 1825 to serve a life sentence on a settler’s farm in Parramatta. Donohoe escaped with two other convicts and together they formed a gang known as ‘The Strippers’ – named after their technique for taking everything […]

The “Talking Clock” Service is Introduced

On this day …….. 24th of July 1936 The world’s first ever “talking clock”, whereby people could ring a telephone number to find out what the time was, commenced operations in Paris in 1933. Australia received its first talking clock on the 24th of July 1936 in Sydney, serviced from the General Post Office. Previously, […]

Two North American Red Indians Lost in Sydney

On this day …….. 22nd of July 1891 On this day in 1891, a bizarre scene on the streets of Sydney wandering in the streets of Kings Cross, looking quite out of place, even in an area noted for its variety of human eccentricity, were two North American Red Indian Chiefs, apparently lost, unable to […]