On this day …….. 3rd September 1939

Robert Gordon Menzies entered politics in 1928 after being elected to Victoria’s Legislative Council for East Yarra. After six years in Victorian state politics as Attorney-General and Minister for Railways (1928–34), he was elected to federal parliament as member for Kooyong. In 1938, Menzies unsuccessfully challenged Lyons for the leadership of the United Australia Party. After he was defeated, Menzies resigned as a minister and as Deputy leader of the UAP. In April 1939, however, he was elected leader of the party following the death of Joseph Lyons, and became Prime Minister on 26 April 1939, entering into a tumultuous situation on the world stage. Following increased aggression by Hitler’s forces and the German invasion of Poland, Great Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939. Without consulting Cabinet, not all of whom shareed his views, Menzies immediately announced Australia’s support of Britain. The Australian government sent Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircrews and a number of Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships to fight for Britain, as well as raising a volunteer force, the Second Australian Imperial Force (AIF). In the speech he made on 3 September 1939 Robert Gordon Menzies, the Australian Prime Minister, announced: “Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war. No harder task can fall to the lot of a democratic leader than to make such an announcement.”


On this day …….. 3rd September 1894

The Cambus Wallace runs aground off Stradbroke Island in southern Queensland in the first of two events which cause the island to be broken into North and South.

North Stradbroke and South Stradbroke are two islands located in Moreton Bay, off southeast Queensland. In the late 1800s, the two islands were still one, joined by a narrow neck of sand known as Jumpinpin, approximately 100m wide. That changed due to a series of events between 1894 and 1896. The Cambus Wallace was a 75 m iron hulled steamer weighing around 1 650 tonnes, carrying a load of whiskey and dynamite. It ran aground off Jumpinpin in the early morning of 3 September 1894. The ship began to break apart, six crew members were drowned, and much of the cargo was washed up on the sand. During the cleanup afterwards, the explosives were piled in a hollow between the sand dunes and detonated, blowing several craters in the sand and destabilising the dune structure in an explosion that was heard as far away as Cleveland. Over the next two years, natural forces continued to erode the seaward side of the bar. During Autumn 1896, the gale-force winds of a late-season cyclone caused the final breakthrough, creating a passage through Stradbroke Island. By 1898, the passage had increased from about 6 metres to 1500 m in width, although the depositing of sand over time has reduced that. The breakthrough changed the nature of the southern Moreton Bay area permanently. Tidal inundation increased erosion on farmland around the mouth of the Logan River, and farmers were forced to dig canals to prevent land loss, while the oyster industry was heavily affected. Jumpinpin Channel is now a well-used fishing and boating channel, though still precarious to negotiate.


On this day …….. 3rd September 1935

Asylum attendants and the Kew police searched for an inmate of the Kew Asylum who escaped from the Institution late on the 3rd of September 1935, after a number of Inmates had been taken to see a motion picture in the main building, it was found that the man had disappeared. The attendants made a through search of the ground, and police on bicycle patrol on adjoining streets. A description of the man is as follows – aged about 45 years, 5ft 8in in height, thick set, allghtly steeping, wearing grey overcoat, felt hat, and dark trousers.


On this day …….. 3rd September 1901

Following the proclamation of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901, the Commonwealth government held a design competition for a new national flag. There were 32,000 entries in the competition, and most featured the Union Jack, the Southern Cross, or native animals. Five almost identical entries were selected to share the 200 pound prize. The entries belonged to Ivor Evans, a fourteen-year-old schoolboy from Melbourne; Leslie John Hawkins, a teenager apprenticed to an optician from Sydney; Egbert John Nuttall, an architect from Melbourne; Annie Dorrington, an artist from Perth; and William Stevens, a ship’s officer from Auckland, New Zealand. On 3 September 1901, the new Australian flag flew for the first time from the top of the Exhibition Building in Melbourne. The flag was simplified, and approved by King Edward VII in 1902.


On this day …….. 3rd September 1946

A second escape from custody was made on this day by Ivan Charles Magee, 18 years, who has been serving at the Ballarat gaol a sentence for assault. Magee made his first escape from the gaol garden on the evening of August 27, but at 9 p.m. presented him self at the Governor’s house, saying he had thought better of it. Late this afternoon Magee complained of toothache and was escorted by the Governor (Mr. G. Carey) to a local dentist. On his way back to the gaol after the tooth had been extracted, Magee broke from custody in Lydiard street and escaped.


On This Day- September 2,1942


An extraordinary story was told to Essendon court yesterday, when a soldier, Robert Joseph Saxon was committed for trial on a charge of attempted murder.

Police evidence was given that at 2 p.m. on September 2, a man walked into a police station and said to First-Constable Mante, “I have come to give myself up, as I have just murdered my wife. I punched her in the stomach, and when she dropped I poured poison into her mouth.” Detective Sharkey said he took Saxon to a house in Maribyrnong, and through a window they saw Mrs. Saxon on a chair. Saxon said: “She is still alive. I left her for dead.” The witness said Saxon said to him, ‘She was on with another chap, and would have nothing to do with me.”

ON THIS DAY…… 2nd September 1890

The inquest touching the death of Donald M’Donald was resumed, Mr.W.W.Greene, P.M. Dr. Quick appeared for the Crown, the prisoner Rowe being unrepresented. Although a mass of evidence was elicited during the enquiry, no point of importance transpired. The man John M’Donald, a former partner of the deceased, was re-examined, but his evidence was chiefly corroborative. He swore positively that the last time he saw the deceased was on the occasion when he went to his camp to arrange about the settlement of accounts in connection with some fish they had jointly sent to Melbourne. He was afraid to approach too close to the deceased, as he considered him a “shingle short,” and had, moreover, often heard him threaten to shoot persons on whom he had a down. Senior-constable Egglestone and Detective-sergeant Mahony corroborated the prisoner Rowe’s statement as to his route from Tyntyndyer to Terang. Although some of the camp sites are now submerged by the flood waters, they had been able to follow up his track. They produced the barrel of the prisoner’s gun, and also some burnt cartridges, which were found in the place described by Rowe. The police having exhausted all the available evidence, the enquiry was adjourned till Saturday, October 4th. The prisoner stated that he hoped to see the right man brought to task and that he would say nothing until all witnesses were excluded from the court during the hearing of evidence.

On This Day – September 2, 1954
A stolen, 23-passenger bus ploughed into a 22,000-volt power line in the outer suburb of Bundoora at 9.30 p.m. today, blacking out three mental hospitals and plunging 11 towns over 400 square miles into darkness.
The driver narrowly escaped electrocution as power lines fell around the bus after it had capsized.  The impact was so great that the front wheels were ripped off, the engine hurled from the bus and the top four feet of the heavy power pole snapped off.
The thief scrambled from the glass-littered cabin and fled. Doctors and nurses at the Bundoora, Larundel and Mont Park mental hospitals worked by lantern light, candles and torches to sooth and tend frightened patients during the night State Electricity Commission gangs do not expect to restore power until 6 pm tomorrow.
An SEC spokesman said the thief chose the worst possible pole to crash into. The pole carried the main feeder from the Thomastown power station.
Poultry farmers fear heavy losses due to the failure of lights and incubators.

On this day …….. 2nd September 1945

Japan, a major antagonist in WWII, had suffered catastrophic losses following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and conventional attacks upon other major cities, such as the firebombing of Tokyo. The Soviet invasion of Manchuria debilitated the only significant forces the Japanese still had left. The USA had captured the islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, bringing the Japanese homeland within range of naval and air attack. Hundreds of thousands of people had been killed, and millions more were casualties or refugees of war. Japan surrendered on 14 August 1945, on the day known as Victory in the Pacific Day in Australia, and Victory over Japan Day elsewhere. The official surrender papers were signed on 2 September 1945, aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, in the presence of 50 Allied generals and other officials.


On this day …….. 2nd September 1904

Grass seeds blown by the wind onto the back of a sheep at Booroolong near Armidale, New South Wales stuck in the animals fleece and germinated sprouting grass 5cm high.


On This Day – September 1, 1938

Detectives now believe Gunner John Hulston (18), who disappeared on September 1, and whose body was found in the sea yesterday, was murdered.

Medical examination of the body revealed that death was due to a revolver shot wound in the chest. The bullet has been recovered, and will be subjected to expert examination.

Dr. C. H. Mollison, Government Pathologist, was able to trace the course or the bullet through the chest.

The body was in an excellent state of preservation, and a bandolier belt and scabbard were all intact.

On this day …….. 1st September 1936

Claimed to be the world’s largest performing elephant, Cissie, owned by Ashton Brothers travelling circus, nearly ended her career at Buninyong on the morning of the 1st of September 1936. The elephant was entering the circus allotment behind a line of 45 horses, when she fell through a shell of earth covering what appeared to be the subsidence of an old mining shaft, nearly 10 feet deep. The elephant gave a wild bound upward, and scrambled, out of what appeared to be an Impossible predicament. In the sudden fall, the elephant’s rider was tossed 20 feet away, but escaped with abrasions and bruises. Cissie’s tusks were broken in two pieces.