On This Day – October 2, 1890

Last week considerable excitement was created at Avoca by the report of a murder at Avoca Lead. George Gonge, a miner, aged about 60, well known in the district, had a quarrel on October 2 with a miner named Frederick Rees over Phoebe Quirk, who describes herself as an actress. She had been living with Gonge, but left him and went to Rees; hence the quarrel. The men fought two or three times during the evening; but about 11 o’clock they seemed to have settled their differences and went to the All Nations Hotel and had drinks together. Coming out at half-past 11 they renewed the quarrel. Eventually Rees, Quirk, and another woman went away together. Gonge shortly afterwards started for home in the same direction. Nothing more was seen of Gonge till October 3, when he was found dead in a bush. He had been most brutally ill-used, and had apparently been knocked down and kicked in the stomach. He was black with bruises, and there were kicks on the temple. When found he was bleeding at the nose, and his head was wrapped in a coat. The police proceeded to Rees’s home and found him with a woman. Rees was arrested on suspicion of having committed the murder, and was lodged in gaol.

On Tuesday an inquest was held on the body of George Gonge, who was found dead on Friday morning at Avoca (Vic). The medical evidence showed that death resulted from a blow on the temple. A verdict was returned that the de-ceased met his death while fighting with Frederick Rees, who was found guilty of manslaughter, and committed for trial.



ON THIS DAY…… 1st October 1872

Reports of the public works committee, recommending the purchase of 200 yards
rubble stone to be broken at the Geelong Gaol, and that the damaged flagging opposite the premises destroyed by the recent fire in Ryrie street be removed and replaced by sound material, were adopted.


On this day …….. 1st of October 1917

Amos Renoff, better known as “Chummy White,” a centenarian, died on this day in 1917 at his residence at Storey-street, Parkville. The late Mr Renoff was born on April the 16th, 1817, and arrived at Western Port Bay in a whaleboat, from Tasmania, in 1860.


ON THIS DAY – October 1, 1934

Detectives investigating the murder on Monday night of Herbert Norwood, aged 35, relieving stationmaster at Carnegie, are seeking among other suspects, a racecourse habitue whose description answers that given by witnesses who saw the bandit escape. This man has a small brown “tooth brush” moustache, is said to be hot tempered, and to carry a revolver. The police patrol last night made a search of two seaside suburbs for him, but without success.

August, 1945


Dramatic Arrest

A mechanic, aged 39, of Mildura, was yesterday charged at Russell st with having murdered Herbert Norwood, stationmaster at Carnegie station, on October 1, 1934.

Norwood was found dead, with two shots in his back, by police, who rushed to the station following a dramatic telephone call from the dying man. For many months an intensive search was conducted throughout Australia, but after two years inquiries were dropped.,A few months ago, however, certain information was given to the CIB, and the search was resumed. On Thursday night last Detective Sgt Donelly and Detective Petty, of the homicide squad, were rushed to Mildura, following a conversation with Detective Smedley, who is stationed there. They interviewed a man at Red Cliffs and brought him to Melbourne for further questioning. He was charged at 5am yesterday.  and if they saw that there was a reasonable doubt about the wife’s story they should give the husband the benefit of that doubt. The jury found Caston not guilty on both charges, and he was discharged.



On This Day – October 1, 1915

In the early hours of Tuesday, 1st October, 1915 Constable McGrath and other police went to the Trades Hall in Lygon Street, Carlton in answer to a report and a burglary was in progress. The policemen entered the building, and found that an attempt had been made to open a safe. McGrath then confronted two offenders in a passage-way, one of whom fired a number of shots which fatally wounded the Constable. The offender was later arrested at the scene after further shots had been fired. John Jackson, the man who fired the fatal shot, was convicted of McGrath’s murder, and was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol. He was the last person in Victoria to be executed for the murder of a policeman.

On this day …….. 1st of October 1973

Ray Selkrig had a successful career as a jockey, but he will always be remembered for one race. Selkrig was riding Hot Chestnut at Kembla Grange, New South Wales, on this day in 1973 and was ahead by several length close to the finish line, when the horse was spooked by a patch on the ground, threw it’s rider out of the saddle. Selkrig clung to the reins and was dragged over the finish line by the horse. After an hour long enquiry, Selkrig was awarded the win. It was decided that the horse had carried it’s weight over the finish line.