ON THIS DAY…… 24th November 1642

Dutch explorer Abel Tasman

On the 24th of November 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovered a previously unknown island on his voyage past the “Great South Land”, or “New Holland”, as the Dutch called Australia. He named it Van Diemen’s Land after the governor of Batavia. The Dutch, however, did not settle New Holland and Van Diemen’s Land. The First Fleet, which arrived in Port Jackson, New South Wales, in 1788 comprised eleven British ships carrying officers and convicts from England.

ON THIS DAY – November 23, 1914


William Braslin was known by police as a Chinese camp loafer. He first came to their attention in July 1883 when William, his brother Frank, and another man named William Rowe were charged with wilfully setting fire to Sue Wing’s hut at the Chinese Camp. The boys were remanded for 8 days and bail was set at 100 pounds each. In August 1889 William was charged again, this time for throwing stones at a Chinaman’s house and smashing windows. On the 3rd of April 1892, at the Feeding the Dead festival, William was charged with using vile language and fined forty shillings, plus two and six in court fees. It was heard in the camp that William had married Christina Robinson, mistress to Ah Tune.  On the day of William’s murder, Ah Tune had been at the Braslin’s house for most of the day, only leaving to purchase wine. At 6.30 pm Ah Tune returned to the house where he stoked up the kitchen fire and started to cook some meat. William asked him what he was doing, to which Ah Tune replied “making supper”. William then told him to get out of his house. Ah Tune, took the pot off the fire and threw it in to the back yard and left, only to return 15 minutes later. Finding William drunk and lying on the floor, Ah Tune began to kick William violently for 15 minutes. Christina tried to stop Ah Tune only to be punched in the face. After the vicious attack Ah Tune went back outside, collected his meat, washed it and began to cook again. William was put to bed by his wife Christina but spent most of the night groaning in pain, complaining that his ribs were hurting, and by morning William was spitting up blood. His face was black with bruising from his forehead to below his nose, his eyes were blood shot and bleeding from their sockets. Christina dragged William out onto the street where a passerby offered to take him to hospital, however he was dead on arrival.  The post mortem examination of William’s body showed that there were a number of bruises about the face, head, arms and chest. Three ribs were fractured on the left side, puncturing the lung. The wall of the stomach and intestines were congested and inflamed. The liver was very hard, both kidneys were large and pale, and the spleen was ruptured due to the ribs being fractured. The left lung was punctured by a rib and had completely collapsed. Dr Herbert Walker’s opinion was that the cause of death was due to the ruptured spleen.  Ah Tune was found to be guilty of the murder of William Braslin and was sentenced to death. He was then transferred to Melbourne where this sentence was later changed to 10 years hard labour in Pentridge prison. Ah Tune was previously known to the police as a violent person after the murderous assault on William Henry Clifton, a boot maker, on the 17th of May 1910. One particular night Clifton visited Christina’s working house with a bottle of wine which he shared with Christina, William Braslin and Ah Tune. Later that night Ah Tune started a fight with Clifton by kicking him in the chest. He then tried to gouge his eyes out before attacking him with a tomahawk, cutting him on the left side of his forehead, about an inch long and half the thickness of his skull. After the fight Christina tried to stitch his head, before taking him to the hospital. Ah Tune was remanded before the court, and the jury within 15 minutes, had established it was nothing more than a drunken squabble and found him not guilty of grevious bodily harm. Ah Tune was discharged after being remanded in the Beechworth Gaol for seven days.  William’s wife Christina (Cush) Braslin, nee Robinson, was no stranger to the law herself, known by many for running a brothel in the Chinese camp Beechworth. In March 1910, she served 3 months for assaulting her late husband with a bottle, as well as 6 months for vagrancy. In April 1911 she served 3 months for obscene language. Christine died in the Ovens District Hospital on the 25th of April 1915, five months after her husband.

ON THIS DAY…… 23rd November 1930


Two business girls who share a flat in South Yarra were distressed when they found their pet cat dead. As their ‘yard’ consisted of a square or concrete, they could not give the body proper burial, and they did not like consigning it to the dust bin. After much debate, they decided to consign it to the sea, so they wrapped it up and put it in an old suit-case no longer required, together with a couple of bricks. On The 23rd of November 1930, they journeyed to Brighton, but the band was playing on the pier and the place was crowed with people no chance of getting rid of pussy there. So they went back to St. Kilda, determined to drop it off the end of the pier. Halfway along the pier a man spoke to one of them: ‘Excuse me, but are you Miss Jones?’ ‘No, certainly not,’ she replied, and was turning away when he snatched the suitcase and ran. The girls were too surprised to move for a moment, and then they laughed them selves to tears as they watched the man still running hard, disappear into the crowd on the Esplanade with the body.

ON THIS DAY…… 23rd November 1855

world’s longest bare knuckle fight

The world’s longest bare knuckle fight took place at Fiery Creek, near Daylesford, Victoria, on this day in 1855. James Kelly and Jonathan Smith fought for six hours and fifteen minutes before the match was ended in a draw.

ON THIS DAY – November 23, 1909




The negro convict, William King, who recently attacked a warder at Pentridge prison, and stabbed him several times with a knife, is to be charged with attempted murder. King is still very troublesome.



The notorious negro convict William King who, on the 10th inst., attacked Warder A. Curtis at the Pentridge Gaol, is to be charged with attempted murder. King has since been kept in a strait jack, and webbed trousers, but is still very troublesome. Warder James Quirk, who went to Curtis’s assistance, is still ill from the effects of King’s violence.

ON THIS DAY…… 23rd November 1880

Curse of Ned Kelly

After a very short illness Judge Sir Redmond Barry died in East Melbourne on the 23rd November 1880, only twelve days after the execution of Ned Kelly. Once passing the death sentence of the notorious bush ranger Ned Kelly, Kelly stated
“We will both be judged in a higher court room than this, and I will go a little feather and say, I will see you where I go”.

ON THIS DAY – November 23, 1998


42-year-old stand-over man Charles Hegyalji, known as “Mad Charlie”, was killed at his Caulfield home on 23 November. He was an acquaintance of Chopper Read and had been associated with the amphetamine industry. Dino Dibra was linked to the killing, which was believed to be either drug or debt related.

ON THIS DAY…… 23rd November 2009

The world’s oldest sheep on record, dies.

The average life-expectancy of sheep ranges between ten and twenty years. Not so for Lucky, the world’s oldest sheep, who died at the age of 23. Lucky was a hand-reared sheep who lived on a farm at Lake Bolac, west of Ballarat, Victoria. She had been abandoned by her mother at birth, and rescued by farmer Delrae Westgarth who found her out in the paddock. Westgarth and her husband Frank cared for the lamb, feeding her in their house and then moving her to the shed until she was old enough to join the flock. Lucky produced 35 lambs of her own in the following decades. In late Spring of 2009, exceptionally hot weather weakened her and caused her health to deteriorate. Although her owners brought her back to the shed, cooling her down with air conditioners, she died on Monday 23 November 2009, aged 23 years, six months and 28 days. This was a Guinness-certified world record age for a sheep. Lucky was buried under her favourite nectarine tree.

ON THIS DAY…… 22nd November 1899

Born at sea

An old man, named Thomas Joyce, whose ago is stated to be 99 years and 8 months, was brought into the Melbourne Hospital on this day in 1899 from South Morang, in a state of exhaustion. The medical offers discovered, that the old fellow’s condition was duo to starvation. He was in a very low state, and his recovery was doubtful. Joyce was born at sea whilst his mother was on the voyage to Sydney in the year 1801. He is said to have several grown-up sons, but it is not known why thoy do not look after their aged father.

ON THIS DAY – November 22. 1949


Albert Edward Anderson, 27, labourer, of Parwan, near Bacchus Marsh, was further remanded without bail until January 17 when he appeared in the City Court yesterday on a charge of having murdered John James Creeley at the Sir Charles Hotham Hotel, Spencer st, city, on November 22.

ON THIS DAY – November 22, 1919

At the Colac General Sessions, John Rutherford was charged with having on November 22, killed Oscar Johannson at Barongarook. Johannson accused Rutherford of letting his horses out of the yard. Rutherford denied it and picked up a sapling and struck the deceased on the head, inflicting injuries from which he died. The accused was found not guilty.

ON THIS DAY…… 21st November 1789

Convict James Ruse establish first working farm in Australia

James Ruse was born on a farm in Cornwall around 1759. At age 22, he was convicted of burglary and, due to severe over-crowding in British gaols, spent over four years on the prison hulks in Plymouth Harbour. He was one of the convicts who was transported in the First Fleet to New South Wales, sailing on the ‘Scarborough’.
Governor Phillip was aware of the need to build a working, farming colony as soon as possible. Thus, on 21 November 1789, Phillip selected Ruse to go to Rose Hill (now Parramatta), west of Sydney Town, and establish “Experiment Farm”, the colony’s first working farm. Ruse was allocated one and a half acres of already cleared ground and assisted in clearing a further five acres. He was given two sows and six hens and a deal was made for him to be fed and clothed from the public store for 15 months. Within a year, Ruse had successfully farmed the site, proving that it was possible for new settlers to become self-sufficient, and to feed a family with relatively little assistance to begin with. As a result of the success of Ruse’s venture, he was granted another 30 acres in March 1791, in the colony’s first official, permanent land grant. This was in addition to the area he was already occupying.