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 – 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.

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 …….. 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 …….. 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.


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 – 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 …….. 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…… 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.