On This Day……… 1st April 1873

Creswick

A great All Fools Day Joke was played by some wags at Creswick, on this day in 1873. It appears that in the shire a licence fee of £25 was imposed, which some 15 or 20 publicans refused to pay, and fines for selling without a licence applied. Taking advantage of their dissatisfaction, some unknown wag, well acquainted with the facts conceived an idea, and was so successfully carried out. Writing to nearly every publican in the shire, asking his attendance at a meeting to be held at the British Hotel, Creswick to give evidence before a commission. Never was a bait more eagerly snapped at, from 9am the town was quite alive with buggies and horse men rapidly pouring in, much to the astonishment of the townspeople, who were quite at a loss to account for this sudden eruption. The British did not know, nor did any one else. No one there had heard anything of such a meeting previously, and all seemed wrapt in mystery. When looking at the letters sent again it was noticed in the corner was a mysterious ‘A. F.’ in red ink. – All fools day 1873 was spoken about for years to come.

 

 

On This Day……… 1st April 1927

A novel hoax was played in Melbourne, Victoria on April Fools Day 1927, when a well padded wallet was nailed to the roadway opposite Spencer street Station. Many thousands of people hurrying on their way to work passed it, with some even trying to pick it up. All failed, much to the delight of the hoaxer watching.

 

 

On This Day……… 1st April 1860

Celebrating ancient festivals came easily to new gold rush settlements. Chiltern in North East Victoria, was only a few months old when April Fools Day came around in 1860, but did they forget their ancient customs? Unfortunate doctors and lawyers, whose sleep was disturbed by midnight calls to attend imaginary emergencies, and to take death – bed wills at 3am from soundly sleeping men in robust health, would mutter an emphatic “no”. According to the Chiltern Standard, half the towns business and professional people were got out of bed under one pretext or another.

 

 

On This Day……… April 1933

In April 1933, 68 per cent of West Australians voted in favour of seceding from the Commonwealth of Australia. However, they needed permission from the British Parliament before they could officially become a new country. Meanwhile, Australia’s Federal Parliament under Prime Minister Joseph Lyons was arguing that Britain should not interfere in Australian politics. The end result was that Britain never made a decision. Consequently, Western Australian remained part of the Commonwealth.

 

 

ON THIS DAY …….. 1st April 1901

HEALESVILLE

Catherine and Hester Brown, mother and daughter, were charged with the murder of a newly-born male child on this day in 1901, at Healesville. Hester Brown, in a statement made to the police, and which was read in court, admitted having given birth to an illegitimate male child on the same day. She saw the child after birth on the bed, and then fainted. On returning to consciousness she heard the infant breathing hard. Then she fell asleep. She was afterwards informed by her mother that the baby was dead, and that she and her mother had smothered and buried it. She knew where the child was buried, and so did her daughter Emma. She further said she had wished the infant to live, and that it was not her fault that it was not alive now. The jury found that the accused were guilty of concealment of birth.