ON THIS DAY – 1 February, 1924

On this day the body of Norman Alfred List was found on the bank of a creek in Pakenham had caused the deaths of the four victims of the shooting tragedy at the Melbourne Botanic Gardens on the evening of January 23rd. His victims were: – Frederick McIlwaine, Miriam Podbury, Eugenie Strohheicker, and John Moxham. After the inquest held at the city morgue, the coroners opinion was that death was due to hemorrhage resulting from a wound in the left arm that he had inflicted with razor. There was nothing to suggest that the man was insane at the time of his death. It was also his opinion that the man had been dead for 4-5 days.



ON THIS DAY – February 1, 1980

Three men were committed for trial for the murder of missing businessman Mr Roger Wilson. After the decision one of the accused, Mr Christopher Dale Flannery, called the coroner’s inquest a “kangaroo court”. The coroner, found that Mr Wilson, 32, was murdered on the 1st of February at Pakenham, outside Melbourne. Mr Hore found that he died of gunshot wounds “unlawfully, maliciously, and feloniously” inflicted by Mr Mark Alfred Clarkson, 29, Mr Christopher Dale Flannery, 31, and Mr Kevin John Henry Williams, 39. Mr Hore agreed with counsel assisting the inquest, Mr John Hassell, that there was insufficient evidence to commit Mrs Kathleen May Flannery, 29, for trial on a charge of murder. The coroner said the six-week-old inquest had sat for 30 days and he was not troubled by his findings. Asked if he had anything to say, Mrs Flannery said: “I have nothing to say, except that I am not guilty of these charges. This has been a kangaroo court and if you want to get me for contempt, away you go”. Photo of Christopher Dale Flannery known as Mr Rent a kill.


On This Day – 1st February 1860

On this day at the Geelong Gaol, James Blackburn was charged with breach of regulations by the Overseer of Labour,  and was given 48 hours in solitary confinement on bread and water by the Governor.

Cooper Dixon was charged with disobedience of orders by Turnkey Staines and was also given 48 hours in solitary confinement on bread and water by the Governor.

On This Day – 1st February 1907

At the central police court Richard Crofts, who was employed by Mr. Thomas M’Lennan, farmer and grazier, as a cook, was presented on two charges of forgery and uttering. Evidence was given that accused forged the signature of his employer to a cheque for £20, and cashed it at the local branch of the Bank of Australasia on 19th January, and that on 20th January be cashed another forged cheque for £40. Crofts, who had nothing to say, was committed for trial at the Geelong Supreme Court on this day in 1907.



On This Day – 1st February 1947

A state government decision was name on this day to reopen the Geelong gaol in Myers-street, which was used as a military detention barracks during the war.



On this day ………… 1st February 1893

On this day in 1893, Brisbane and its surrounds were hit by the worst flood since European settlement. After eight days of solid rain, the Brisbane River rose seven metres above its usual level and caused more than 2 million pounds worth of damage to the city. This photo was taken at the intersection of Market and Mary Streets. A similar but less destructive flood had struck three years before, so fortunately, many locals were prepared for the 1893 disaster. Unfortunately, many who escaped the earlier flood unscathed were complacent, “and watched in disbelief as the waters rose and engulfed their possessions”. Almost three weeks later, the flood waters finally subsided.



On this day ………… 1st February 1858

The first balloon flight in Australia occurred on 1 February 1858. Constructed in the UK, the balloon was imported into Australia by the manager of Melbourne’s Theatre Royal, George Coppin. The launch took place at Cremorne Gardens near Richmond. William Dean lifted off at 5:52pm and landed near Heidelberg at around 6:30pm. Two weeks later, Dean again lifted off, this time reaching an estimated altitude of 10,000 feet before decending onto the road between Collingwood and Brunswick Stockade.