On this day …….. 4th of October 1935

Sydney’s Luna Park opened to the public on this day in 1935. The current Luna Park Face was based on the enormous smiling faces at Luna Park, Melbourne, Australia and Steeplechase Park in the United States, Luna Park’s 9-metre-wide (30 ft) smiling face, as well as its flanking towers, have presided over the main entrance for almost all of the park’s existence. There have been eight distinct faces, installed in 1935, 1938, 1939, 1946, 1950, 1973, 1982, and 1994. The seventh Face was donated to the Powerhouse Museum in May 1994.  The eighth and current Face, completed in 1994 and carved from polyurethane, is based on Arthur Barton’s 1950 “Old King Cole” version.


ON THIS DAY…… 4th October 1920

A man was taken from Birregurra to the Geelong Gaol on this day in 1920 for medical observation. He appeared before the Birregurra Court and as there was some doubt as to his sanity he was remanded and Constable Parmenter was sent up to bring him to Geelong. It is alleged that he obtained a horse, drove it to a standstill, and then flogged it with a heavy piece of wood. He is said to have obtained a second horse and after driving it for some distance cut about two inched off its tongue and almost severed the remaining portion of the tongue. When caught at Birregurra he made a statement that his horse had run into a barbed wire fence and so cut its tongue. An attempt was made by the police to interview him at the gaol, but his condition was too critical to permit questioning. The horse, which was a valuable one, had to be destroyed.


ON This Day – October 4, 1937

Found guilty of murdering Thomas Bowler, 58, a farmer, of Seacombe, at Dutson on October 4, Michael James Joseph O’Brien, 18, a labourer, was to-day sentenced to death.

The Crown Prosecutor read a statement alleged to have been made by the accused, which set out that the trouble arose between Bowler and O’Brien when O’Brien kicked the dead man’s dog. The statement said that Bowler had said to O’Brien after the incident, “You dirty lout. What right have you got kicking a dog like that? If I catch you doing it again I will give you a thrashing you will never forget.”

O’Brien was then alleged to have said that he had made up his mind that he would shoot Bowler, and to disable him in some way, but that he did not intend to kill him.

It continued that later when Bowler and William Cann were entering a car, O’Brien shot Bowler and he fell to the ground groaning. Cann bent down to aid him and he was also shot.

“While Cann was kneeling there, I shot him because he made me wild when he came down and spoke to Bowler,” continued the alleged statement. O’Brien was also alleged to have admitted to the police that he fired another shot at Bowler while Cann was attempting to crawl back to the house.

Judge Gavan Duffy, in passing sentence, said that he concurred with the verdict, which was reached after a retirement of 35 minutes.

After sentence was passed, O’Brien did not show any sign of concern, and walked firmly from the dock.

On This Day – October 4, 1944

On a charge of having murdered Janice Baul at Moonee Ponds on October 4. Ronald Morgan, 24, of Moonee Ponds, was remanded in the City Court today until October 20. The charge that he had carnally known and abused a girl under the age of 10 was withdrawn.


In the Criminal Court to-day, Ronald Morgan (24). of Moonee Ponds, was found guilty of the murder of Janice Marie Baul of Moonee Ponds, with a strong recommendatlon to mercy. He was sentenced to death. The Crown alleged that Morgan, on October 4, took the little girl to his home, struck her with a fragment of an exploded mortar bomb, and committed a further offence in a lane. The child died in hospital on October 6

ON THIS DAY – October 3, 1936

Man Committed for Trial

Four detectives and two police wireless patrol cars investigated a telephone message about a murder on October 3, and they found that the message was a hoax. Eric Dight collector, of Albert road, South Melbourne, was committed for trial yesterday when he appeared at Richmond Court on charge of having created a public nuisance. It was alleged that Dight sent the false message and caused the police to investigate groundless allegations. Constable W. King said that he received a telephone call at the Russell street switch- board at 7 30 p.m. on October 3. A man said, “Is that the patrol? Send down here to Richardson street, Middle Park. A woman has been murdered.” King relayed the message to the wireless transmitting room, and patrol cars were sent out. Dight did not plead, and reserved his defence.




On This Day – October 3, 1907

The circumstances surrounding the shooting of Mr. Samuel Jones, of the Victorian Railways, in Spencer street, 0n October 3, were yesterday inquired into in the City Court, when Joseph Thomas, alais Jos. Thos. Young, was charged with shooting with intent to murder Mr. Jones. The evidence given by Samuel Jones, senior superintendent of transportation, was to the effect that while crossing Spencer street to Collins street at about 5.30 on the evening of October 3, he felt a blow in the back, as if he had been kicked. He also felt a slight sting, hearing at the same time the discharge of a revolver. Another shot was fired and the witness threw himself on the ground. As he rose to his feet he saw a man like the accused with a revolver pointing at him. The man, after placing the revolver in his pocket, walked off in the direction of Flinders street. Though he did not remember seeing the accused before he had seen the papers regarding his dismissal from the department. He was a supernumary porter and was found guilty of insubordination. Wm. Thompson, carrier, of Kyneton, told the bench that when he saw the accused fire the second shot he followed him, when he made off, and saw him arrested. The accused appeared to be silly. Evidence was given by Constable Geelan to the effect that from what he was told when at point duty at the corner of Market and Flinders streets, he went to the Queen’s Wharf, where he stopped the accused. Thompson, who came up, said the accused had shot a man and the accused was then arrested. The accused was then committed for trial.

On this day …….. 3rd of October 1950

Arthur Walder from Narromine in New South Wales, was accidentally shot by his own dog while rabbit shooting on thus day in 1950. Walder, 23 was sitting in his parked truck 10km from town, when his dog jumped into the cabin and hit the trigger of his .22 riffle with his paw, firing it into Walder’s chest. Lucky for Walder’ his father was with him and was able to drive him to hospital, where he was flown to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.


ON THIS DAY…… 3rd October 1962

Two prisoners Robert Leslie Dennis aged 26, and Donald John McCumber aged 29, escaped from the Geelong Gaol on the 3rd of October 1962. After steeling a car in Swanston st, Geelong they headed north to the boarder. An intensive hunt was made for them throughout South-West N.S.W. after sightings of the men crossing the board near Swan Hill were reported. The two men had stolen cars in Moulamein, Goolgowi and Griffith in their attempt to escape the police and road blocks. The escapees gave them selves up on the 4th of October after a 160 Km an hour car chase in which Constables West and Hunt fired shots into the fugitive car. Two shots hit the back of the car and another smashed the rear window. The two men were unarmed when arrested. Denis and McCumber were tired in the Griffith court and found guilty of being four days on the run. Both men where returned to Geelong Gaol.


On this day …….. 3rd of October 1935

Possible the most renowned Australian dessert is undoubtedly the pavlova, but which country did it originate from is a hot topic. Consisting of a base made of meringue crust topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits such as kiwi fruit, passionfruit and strawberries. The Australian legend states that the pavlova was created by Herbert Sachse, the chef of the Hotel Esplanade in Perth, Western Australia, on 3 October 1935. It is said to have been given the name “Pavlova” by Harry Naire from the Perth hotel, in honour of the visiting Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. Naire is alleged to have stated that the built up sides of the dessert reminded him of her tutu. New Zealand may have a greater claim to the pavlova, however. Recipes for pavlova appeared in a magazine and a cookery book from 1926. What is clear is that, while the dessert may have been invented in New Zealand, it was undisputedly named in Australia.


ON THIS DAY…… 2nd October 1903

Tracey Evans was returned to the Geelong gaol from Creswick, where he received a sentence of six months’ imprisonment on the previous day for stealing a watch and chain and some wearing apparel. The sentence is cumulative on a period of 12 months’ imprisonment he is undergoing for larceny at Colac. He was escorted to Geelong by Constable Morgan.


On this day …….. 2nd of October 1917

One of Australians more interesting laws was prohibited swimming in the ocean during daylight hours, specifically between the hours of 6am and 8pm. William Henry Gocher was the proprietor of a local newspaper, who disagreed with the law enough to openly defy it. In his newspaper, the ‘Manly and North Sydney News’, he announced his intention to go bathing in the ocean during the daylight hours on this day in 1902. Gocher flouted the law three times before he was actually arrested. 12 months later on the 3rd of November the law was changed, but neck-to-knee swimwear for anyone over 8 years old was to be worn.


On This Day – October 2, 1897

The trial of Jane Agnes Sutcliffe, an elderly woman, for the murder of Eleanor Mary Gardiner on October 2, took place at the Melbourne Criminal Court before Mr Justice Hood yesterday.  Under the name of Mrs Page, Miss Gardiner, who was 22 years of age, was admitted to the Women’s Hospital in September last.  She appeared to be suffering from the effects of the illegal operation and died on October 2.   When told her death was imminent, she told Dr Chenall her real name was Gardiner and that she had been operated on by Mrs Sutcliffe.  The latter was arrested and her house searched but no instruments were found.  Mr Forlonge, who defended the prisoner, warned the jury against accepting the dying statements of people made behind the backs of accused persons who had no opportunity of cross examination.  He also pointed out that if the woman were guilty she would have hardly have sent the patient to the hospital, as by doing so detection would probably follow.

The jury returned a verdict of murder and Mr Justice Hood passed sentence of death.  The woman showed great firmness in the dock.