On This Day…… 4th July 1857

The Buckland riot was an anti-Chinese race riot that occurred on 4 July 1857, in the goldfields of the Buckland Valley, North East Victoria, Australia, near present-day Porepunkah. At the time approximately 2000 Chinese and 700 European migrants were living in the Buckland area. Anti-Chinese sentiment was widespread during the Victorian gold rush. This resentment manifested on the 4th July 1857 when around 100 European rioters attacked Chinese settlements. The rioters had just left a public meeting at the Buckland Hotel where the riot ringleaders decided they would attempt to expel all the Chinese in the Buckland Valley. Contemporaneous newspaper reports claim that the riot was “led by Americans ‘inflamed by liquor'”. During the riot Chinese miners were beaten and robbed then driven across the Buckland River. At least three Chinese miners died reportedly of ill-health and entire encampments and a recently constructed Joss house were destroyed. Police arrested thirteen European accused rioters, however the empaneled juries acquitted all of major offences “amid the cheers of bystanders”. The verdicts of the juries were later criticized in the press. One of the police involved in the arrests was Robert O’Hara Burke, later of the infamous Burke and Wills expedition.

Aftermath – The Chinese miners were invited to return to the Buckland Valley, however only fifty did so. The Buckland Riot has been compared to the Eureka Stockade uprising in size and intensity, but is not remembered such. A commemorative monument was unveiled in July 2007 to mark the 150th anniversary of the riot.


On This Day ……. 4th of July 1910

A postmortem examination was concluded at the Geelong gaol upon the body of a prisoner named Alexander Dickson, who was sentenced to a months imprisonment about ten days ago by the Camperdown magistrates for insulting behaviour. Death was shown to be due to a compression caused by a tumour on the brain and the coroner (Mr Read Murphy) returned a verdict accordingly.


ON THIS DAY ……. 4th July 1953


A 27 year-old clerk was committed for trial on a double murder charge laid against him after a shooting at a Launching Place Guest House, 39 miles east of Melbourne, on July 4th. The Coroner (Mr Burke, SM) committed the clerk, William Henry Barton, of Melbourne, for trial at the Supreme Court. He was committed on charges of having murdered Edward Silver, 42, a PMG linesman, of Launching Place and Donald Boldt, 30, a timber contractor, of Launching Place. Barton was sentenced to death but was commuted to live in prison.


ON THIS DAY – July 3, 1865

An inquest was held at Sunbury by the district coroner on the body of a man named Henry Junod, who met his death by violence on Sunday night. From the evidence it appeared that the deceased was found on Monday morning last by a teamster named George Hoinville, lying at his garden gate fence. His face was covered with blood, and when found
he was quite dead. A. woman named Diana Walton gave evidence to the effect that on Sunday morning she bad seen three men pass her house, and heard one of them say “I’ll give it him.” One of them had a knife in his hand, and that she saw one of them stoop, and with something he had in his hand strike at the ground. Deceased was not of the party. The three men then went away.
Mr John Shaw Miles, surgeon, made the post mortem examination, and he described the wounds on the man’s face and head, and said the cause of death was fracture of the skull and extravasation of blood on and in the brain and laceration of the brain. Two wounds above and below the right eye were made with a blunt instrument, such as the
rail of a fence, and by the exertion of great strength. Another wound near the ear was caused by a sharp instrument, such as a knife.
The inquest was adjourned till Friday for the analysis of blood on the trousers, and the production of further witnesses.

ON THIS DAY…… 3rd July 1988

A veterinary surgeon convicted of murdering his pregnant wife was gaoled for 18 years by a Supreme Court judge. Justice Nathan said Mark Campbell Neilan was an evil man who committed a cold-blooded execution, inventing an elaborate story to deflect police attention from himself. Neilan had claimed that three armed intruders shot his wife, abducted him and locked him in the boot of his car for 12 hours. A year after the killing, Neilan had used the murder gun to kill the family dog to convince police someone was trying to frighten him, the judge said. “You are a murderer who displayed an evil mind and a wicked capacity to obscure that evil behaviour from the judicial system,” he said. Neilan, 33, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Kathryn Neilan on July 3, 1988. He was convicted by a jury. The judge fixed a minimum non parole term of 15 years – a term which must be served in full under Victorian laws on murder sentences.


On this day …….. 3rd of July 1922

From the time the First Fleet arrived in Australia in 1788, capital punishment was a common form of punishment for both major and minor crimes. The first convict to be hanged in the new colony of New South Wales was seventeen year old Thomas Barrett. Less than a month after the colony was established, Barrett was found stealing “butter, pease and pork” and hanged in a ceremony which all convicts were forced to witness on 27 February. Capital punishment continued to be used as a deterrent to criminals, right up until the last man – Ronald Ryan – was executed in Melbourne in 1967. Two decades after Federation, Queensland became the first state to abolish capital punishment, doing so on the 3rd of July 1922. It was not until 1968 that the next state, Tasmania, abolished capital punishment.


ON THIS DAY – July 3, 1981

Nightclub singer Ms Haroula Kipouridou was found in the half-opened lift of her Richmond Housing Commission block on July 3, 1981. She had been raped and her face was so badly bashed she choked on blood. Prime suspect Barry Harding was killed in a car crash after serving time for the rape and murder of a child in the same flats as Ms Kipouridou. A work boot footprint was left at the scene. Harding wore similar boots. Police say they are “reasonably confident” he was the killer.

Australia’s 29th Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is 2nd cousin of British actress Angela Lansbury, from Murder She Wrote. Turnbull while working for Australian media mogul Kerry Packer, Turnbull visited Hugh Hefner’s Playboy headquarters in Chicago in the 1970s to obtain the rights to bring the controversial adult magazine to Australia.

On This Day ……. 3rd of July 1925

On this day in 1925, a young man, James Walker, alias Juries Lewis Welsh, who was discharged from the Geelong gaol after having served a sentence of six months for vagrancy.


ON THIS DAY – July 2, 1900

John Ferrier, charged with the murder of Alice Elizabeth Aubrey at Dawson on July 2 was before the Sale Supreme Court today. Mr. Maxwell, who appeared for accused, intimated that the defence would be insanity, and asked for an adjournment of the case till September to admit of Ferrier being observed and examined, and other enquiries being made. The application was granted.

Sweet and Sour Pork – Harold holt

Serves 5

2 cups White flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
470 ml Melbourne Bitter Beer

900gms  pork
1 yellow capsicum
440gms tin pinapple pieces

1 cup apple cider vinegar
8 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp garlic salt

1. Mix 2 cups of plain flour, 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Pepper and 470 ml Melbourne Bitter Beer (fresh or stale). Make into a paste gradually adding more beer until you have the consistency of thin cream.

2. Cut pork into 3cm pieces and dip into batter, (without flouring beforehand) covering well.

3. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a large, heavy bottom pot (I used my French oven with nice tall walls to reduce splatterage on the stove).

4. Cook pork in hot oil about 30 seconds per side or until golden. Having very hot oil is key. Cooking the pork through. Transfer pork to a 9×13 baking dish and continue dipping and sautéing remaining pork, adding more oil as necessary. Cooking tip: if you add oil to the pot, let it heat up a little before you add more pork.

5. Cut the top of the capsicum and remove the seeds. Cut in lengths and lightly sautéing with pineapple pieces. Add to pork.

5. In a medium saucepan, stir together 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 8 Tbsp tomato sauce, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tsp garlic salt and gently heat.

7. Pour sauce over sauteed pork, capsicum and pineapple.

Cooking tip: this recipe works well with chicken.

Harold Holt also recommended this batter for fish or apple or banana fritters.

On This Day ……. 2nd of July 1924


Six prisoners were escorted from the metropolis to Geelong by the midday train on this day in 1924. They were taken to the Geelong gaol, where the remainder of their respective sentences will probably be served. Four were from the Melbourne gaol, one from Pentridge, while the other is an indeterminate sentence prisoner. There are now six indeterminate prisoners incarcerated in the Geelong gaol.