Bad Eggs is an Australian comedy movie, written and directed by Tony Martin and Producted by Macquarie Film Corporation with a budget of A$4.5 million. The film was released on the 25th of July 2003.

Ben Kinnear (Mick Molloy) and (Bob Franklin) Mike Paddock are detectives with the Melbourne Police force’s elite Zero Tolerance Unit. When a freak accident involving a dead magistrate  named Poulgrain lands them on the front page of the local paper, Ben and Mike are busted and demoted down to uniformed duties. Things get worse when they pay a visit to the Magistrate’s widow Eleanor (Robyn Nevin) and accidentally burn her house down. Thinkings become more complicated when Julie Bale (Judith Lucy), a journalist and a former police-officer and onetime partner of Kinnear’s, is arrested on a charge of blackmailing the Magistrate. But when Ben discovers a strange link between the accident and the business affairs of a shady casino boss he and Mike have been investigating, the pair decide they can no longer turn a blind eye to the corruption rife amongst their own colleagues.

Interesting filming fact about Bad Eggs, Peter Aanensen is playing “Arthur Ferris”, the same character he played in the classic Aussie police television drama Bluey (1976). Ferris, who was Bluey Hills’ superior in the third series, is in this film seen working as a security guard at Victoria’s Parliament House.

April 23rd, 1894

A reduction In the staff at the Geelong Gaol has been effected through the adoption by the Penal department of new
arrangements in regard to the disposal of female prisoners of the vagrant class, for whom special accommodation has been provided at Pentridge.

All the enfeebled women will be transferred to the Coburg penitentiary, only female prisoners of vigorous type being retained at the local gaol in order to do the laundry work furnished for then by the military authorities at Queenscliff. Hitherto between 60 and 70 women have been quartered at the local gaol, but the accomodations in the female division will be limited to that required far 30 inmates.

This alteration of the prison arrangements will enable Mr Cody to make provision for the reception of an additional number of male prisoners, chiefly of the invalid class, for whom relaxed discipline is necessary.

The female division will in future be under the control of Mrs Purbrick, who succeeds Miss Fleming, the latter having now transferred to the position of sub-matron at Pentridge while Miss Kilmartin, another of the female warders at the local gaol has received orders to proceed to the Melbourne Gaol. She will leave with a number of the female prisoners under her charge at the end of the week.  Miss Fleming, who has been in charge of the female arrangements at the local gaol for several years past, has been more than a quarter of a century in the service, but her promotion to the position of sub matron only carries with it increased responsibility without a corresponding
advance of remuneration.

The average number of prisoners in the men’s division will in future be about 170, and they will be under the control of nine warders, the proportion being much less than that in other gaols throughout the colony.  If the suggestion by the governor was carried out for the construction of radiating yards for the exercise of a number of separate treatment prisoners under the supervision of one warder, instead of the three posted in the turrets as at present the services of the staff could be utilised to much better advantage.

 

William John O’Meally was a career criminal who was convicted of the murder of Constable George Howell at Caulfield in 1952

O’Meally was born in 1920 as Joseph Thompson in Young, NSW.  The family moved to Sydney when he was 11 but his parents marriage dissolved not long after, and up to 14 years of age, O’Meally was a ward of the state.  O’Meally claimed to be the grandson of Johnie O’Meally, a member of the infamous Ben Hall gang.

O’Meally began his life of crime early and by 16 years had recorded his first assault against a police officer.  He was labelled as uncontrollable and sentenced to the Gosford Reformatory.  He made his first escape from here and became lost in the mangroves for a week before being recaptured.

By the time of Constable Howell’s murder in 1952, O’Meally had racked up 42 convictions including 5 for assault against police.

O’Meally claimed to be innocent of the policeman’s murder claiming he had been home with his wife at Bonbeach, a claim his wife supported.  He also claimed that Howell knew him and so would be able to identify him.  Despite these claims, O’Meally was found guilty and initially sentenced to be executed for the murder.  The newspapers reported that he cried when the verdict was read and again declared his innocence.

O’Meally would have his sentence commuted to life imprisonment without the benefit of parole.  He would be taken to Pentridge prison where he would escape in 1955 from H Division.  He would only be at large for a day before being recaptured in Coburg.

In 1957, O’Meally again attempted to escape from Pentridge, this time with an accomplice John Taylor.  Armed with a .38 pistol, the two men ran out of the main gates, shooting a warden in the process breaking his leg.  A gun battle ensued with other warders an the two men were recaptured just 13 minutes after escaping.

At the trial, the Judge stated “You are both clearly beyond hope of reform. Simply to sentence you to a further term of imprisonment would be to impose a totally inadequate form of punishment, and would provide no real deterrent against further attacks of a like character.”

Both had a further 10 years added to their sentences and were ordered to be given 12 strokes of the cat o nine tails in one session, the first flogging in Victoria since 1943.  On April 1st, 1958 the flogging sentence was carried out with O’Meally becoming the final man to be flogged in Victoria.  He would claim it had taken him 3 months to recover and no medical assistance was given.

O’Meally would become Victoria’s longest serving prisoner, serving 27 years before being released on parole on 5th July 1979.

 

 

January 30th 1952

On the night of January 30th, Constable George Howell rode his police bicycle to the Crystal Palace Theatre, Dandenong Road, Caulfield.

He had been assigned to investigate and prevent numerous thefts from cars which had recently occurred in the vicinity. At about 10.35 pm, Constable Howell intercepted a man interfering with a Morris Minor. According to witnesses, after a struggle the Constable ran after the offender to the far side of a viaduct. The Constable was then shot in the stomach at point blank range with a sawn-off .22 calibre rifle. Although unarmed and mortally wounded, Constable Howell continued to chase the offender. He collapsed in the centre of Normanby Road, and the offender escaped. Although in shock and terrible pain as well as lapsing in and out of consciousness, he was able to give a description of his assailant to citizens who assisted him and to other police who arrived shortly after. Crucially to the later trial, he identified a hat and other items as belonging to the offender.

Rushed to the Alfred Hospital for emergency surgery, Constable George Howell died in the early hours of 1st February, 1952 at just 26 years of age. Even at the hospital he attempted to look at a line-up of men and identify his attacker. A skilful investigation primarily based on articles found at the crime scene and information from Constable Howell, led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of a well known and active criminal, William O’Meally aged 28 years.

Constable George Howell was appointed to the Victorian Police Force in May, 1948. He served at Russell Street, Malvern and since 1949, was stationed at East Malvern.

The funeral was attended by over 400 people and was held at the Ewing Memorial Church in Malvern before Constable Howell was buried in the Cheltenham cemetery.

The perpertrator of this crime William O’Meally was eventually sentenced to death of the murder of Constable Howell, however this would be commuted to life imprisonment without parole.

 

Melbourne – February 1st, 1946

The recent heat wave in Melbourne is thought to have been responsible for the death of ‘three of the quintuplets born to the lioness Jinja at the Zoo.

The births are an Australian and possibly a world record. Zoo officials are now desperately striving to save the lives of the two surviving cubs.

In addition to the three lion cubs, the two platypuses. Hero and Leander were also victims of the heat wave. Like the platypuses at the Healesville sanctuary. Hero and Leander had attracted world-wide interest.

Friday January 13, 1939 would go down in history known as Black Friday.  The day would later be described at the Royal Commission as “it appeared the whole of Victoria was alight”

In the days preceding Black Friday, some of the hottest temperatures to date had been recorded, but it was Friday that recorded a temperature of 45.6 degrees Celsius (114.1 Fahrenheit).  This temperature would remain the hottest on record for 70 years.

That summer had been hot and dry with several smaller fires burning, but on January 13 a strong northerly wind hit the state. This coupled with fires being lit by landowners, campfires, inappropriate sawmill operations and domestic fires,  All these conditions had the catastrophic effect culminating in several smaller fires joining, leading to a massive fire front.

By the time the fires were brought under control, they had led to the deaths of 71 people, several towns, 1300 homes, 69 sawmills and 3700 other buildings were destroyed.  It was estimated the three quarters of the state of Victoria was burning.

The fires would be brought under control with the help of rain that crossed the state on Sunday January 15.

The Royal Commission headed by Judge Stretton was held 3 weeks after the fires and attributed blame for the fires to careless burning, such as for campfires and land clearing. It made a number of recommendations to improve forest management and safety, such as the construction of fire towers and access trails. It also encouraged the creation of a regime of supervised burning, which still exists today.

The fires contributed directly to the passing of the Forests Act, which gave the Forests Commission responsibility for forest fire protection on public land. They were also a key factor in the founding of the Country Fire Authority in 1944.

Some of those killed in the fires included:

  • Forests Commission Overseer Charlie Demby, Toolangi
  • Forester John Hartley Barling, Toolangi
  • Baden Johnston, Rubicon Forest
  • Alfred Neason, Rubicon Forest
  • Peter Murdoch, Rubicon Forest
  • Forests Commission foreman, John West, Rubicon Forest
  • Joseph Cherry, Rubicon Forest
  • George Brundrett, Rubicon Forest
  • Vivian Argent, Rubicon Forest
  • Archibald Payne, Rubicon Forest
  • Geoffrey Wyatt, Rubicon Forest
  • Lemuel Sims, Rubicon Forest
  • James Cain, Rubicon Forest
  • Thomas Le Brun, Rubicon Forest
  • Ken Kerslake, wife Ellen and daughter Ruth, Acheron Way
  • Frank Edwards, Acheron Way
  • Chris Soldaris, Acheron Way
  • Antonio Igoshus and his brother Peter Igoshus, Acheron Way
  • Hugh McKinnon, Loch Valley north of Noojee
  • Ben Saxton, his wife Dorothy Saxton and a young timber worker named Michael Gorey, Tanjil Bren
  • W. J. Loosemore, Hill End
  • Nellie O’Keefe, Woods Point
  • Thomas Rusden, Frenchmens Creek
  • William Bolton, Aberfeldye
  • James Fitzpatrick, Matlock
  • Cecil Fitzpatrick, Matlock
  • George Fitzpatrick, Matlock
  • Joseph Rodgers, Matlock
  • James Knuckey, Matlock
  • James Howitt, Matlock
  • Thomas Crowley, Matlock
  • Walter Gladigau, Matlock
  • John Wallace, Matlock
  • George Osterman, Matlock
  • Kevin Kearns, Matlock
  • Alexander Kent, Matlock
  • Michael Rogers, Matlock
  • Henry Illingworth,  Matlock
  • William Illingworth, Matlock
  • Prospector James Lowry and his nephew Ronald Lowry, near Bright
  • Walter Scammell and his mother Margaret Scammell, Kiewa Valley
  • John Edeny, near Homans Gap
  • Ernest Richards, north of Bairnsdale
  • Theresa (14), Mary (12), Vera (10) and Paul Robinson (8), Barangarook
  • Freda, Eric and Rex Habel, near Stawell
  • Charles Cattenach, Moyston
  • Albert McGinty, Casterton
  • Frederick Topping, Warrandyte
  • Ernest Shafter, Warrandyte
  • Albert Dudley Pentreath, Strathewan
  • William Doig, Black Forest District
  • W, Angus, Black Forest District
  • William House, Drummond

 

The very first execution in the then Port Phillip district was of two aboriginal men Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner, colloquially known as Bob and Jack.

Bob and Jack were part of a group that had been brought over to the mainland by the Protector of the Aborigines, George Robinson.  It was believed that they would be able to help with communications between the local indigenous community and the white settlers.

However after living here for a time and due to the lack of rations for them, Bob and Jack and a number of other aboriginals commenced raids on local settlers and during one of these, two whalers would be murdered near Cape Patterson.  A group led by Captain Powlett and accompanied by nine police, nine members of the 28th Regiment and three blacktrackers would seek out the proposed perpertrators.  Bob and Jack and three aboriginal women were arrested and brought back to Melbourne for trial before Judge John Walpole Willis.

Redmond Barry would be appointed counsel for the indigenous men and questioned the evidence that was mostly circumstantial, and of the witnesses or were unable to identify the accused.  Robinson would testify that all 5 were of good character. Barry questioned the legalities of trying the two aboriginal men and if they understood what the proceedings were.  He also put forward a motion that half of the jury should be made up of those who could speak the language of the defendants.  This was denied.  Judge Willis recommended mercy given the good character of the group prior to these events.  Despite this the two men would be found guilty and sentenced to death while the three women, one of whom was Truganini, would be acquitted.

Preparations would begin for the gallows on the north west side of the New Melbourne Gaol being built on Russell street.  The gallows were quite simple in construction, two upright poles about 20 feet in height with a cross beam to which the ropes were fastened.  A platform was constructed about 6 feet below that on which the prisoners would stand, this was hinged on one end and would drop at the time of execution.

Bob and Jack were brought from the watch house in the Government block in Bourke street to the execution site.  They were dressed completely in white as was customary at the time.  A calico screen had been erected in the wagon to hide the men from the public gaze until they arrived at the gallows.  Nearly the entire population of Melbourne had turned out to witness this first execution and would take up every vantage point from trees to even standing on the coffins waiting to receive the executed men!

A path was cleared by bayonet point to the gallows but they could only accessed by ladders.  Bob and Jack had already had their arms pinioned behind them and were forced to climb the ladder using their chins.  Eventually they reached the platform and the necessary arrangements were made by the hangman.  Once this was done, the platform was released only to be caught up, leaving the two men choking.  Eventually the platform was dislodged sending the men to their deaths.

Once the bodies had hung for an hour, they were cut down and placed in coffins before being buried in the Aboriginal section of the Melbourne Cemetery that now lies beneath the Queen Victoria Market.

 

Blackwood Hotel is a great haunted location in Victoria close to Ballarat. Fantastic meals, and open fireplace for those cold and foggy nights. Three known hauntings ……. will you see the ghost of Laura Dalton.

The cellar also doubled as the town morgue.

Irish Murphy’s Hotel in Ballarat, Victoria is a great venue for a Guinness Pie and a Kilkenny Stout when exploring the amazing goldfields city. Well documented for strange paranormal activity, but no evidence of a connection to historical figures

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The Railway Hotel in Brunswick is a real historical gem from the 1880’s. A lot of its original charm still exists from the hidden guess life, attic accommodation and stables (outside bar). Being so close to the railway and the Brunswick brick work, bodies from accidents were brought and kept in the hotels cellar. Hotel claims to be very haunted.

Shortly after 3 p.m. on Sunday, 9th January 1921, the motor launch “Nestor” sank in the Hopkins River, near Warrnambool

The boat had set out with 80 passengers aboard heading 5 kilometers upstream to Jubilee Park.  The Nestor had only gone about 1700 feet (518 meters) when the first alarm was raised that she was taking on water.  The owner of the boat, Edward Geary made attempts to beach the boat and had sent two boys ashore to fasten it off but it unfortunately did not hold. Ten people would ultimately drown.  Geary would be charged with manslaughter but the charges would later be dropped.

Constable William Sharrock was on duty on board the Nestor to keep order.  However he died a hero saving three people, including his sister in law Eleanor and her child, before succumbing to the water.  He was later found to have died by strangulation caused by the neck on his coat being too tight.  His body was recovered the next day.

Constable William Sharrock had joined the police force in 1901, having been a labourer before he joined.  He had spent his 20 years in the force mostly in South Melbourne and then Warrnambool.  Sharrock was a well respected and liked officer.  In 1921, William was a widower, with his wife having passed away two years before leaving behind 5 children.  The youngest child was just two years old at the time of his fathers death.  The children were taken in and raised by William’s brother Joseph.

Sharrock was awarded a posthumous Valour Badge for his actions on the day of his death.  He lay in an unmarked grave in Warrnambool cemetery until 1998 when a headstone was erected and unveiled by former Chief Commissioner Neil Comrie.

In 2017,  Sharrock was one of the policemen recognised in Warrnambool for losing their lives while on duty with a new memorial behind the Old Courthouse.

Acropolis Now is a cult Australian television sitcom set in a fictional Greek cafe in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

The title of the show being a play on the film Apocalypse Now. Its brand of cross-cultural humour still resonates today in such shows as Pizza and Here Come The Habibs.

The show was produced by Crawford Productions and ran for 63 episodes from 1989 to 1992, airing on the Seven Network. It was created by Nick Giannopoulos, George Kapiniaris and Simon Palomares, who also starred in the series. They were already quite well known for their comedy stage show, Wogs out of Work.

Each episode was 20 minutes in length and was filmed in front of a live audience. Although the Acropolis cafè/hotel was filmed at HSV-7 Studios the exterior is still standing and looks almost identical to the show, being located at 251 Brunswick Street, and corner of Greeves St, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria Australia.

The premise of the show is based around Jim’s father Kostas “Con” Stefanidis (Warren Mitchell) asking Jim to run the family business, the Acropolis café, when he suddenly leaves Australia to return to his homeland of Greece. The series centres on the activities of the cafe staff. Greek Jim Stefanidis (Giannopoulos), is the immature owner and his best friend, Spaniard Ricky Martinez (Palomares) is the sensible manager (seasons 1-2 only). Memo (Kapiniaris) is the traditional Greek waiter, while Liz is the liberated Australian waitress. Skip is the naïve new cook from the bush and Manolis is the stubborn cook from the old cafe. ‘Hilarity’ prevails from the clash of cultures and beliefs. Jim’s hairdresser cousin Effie, played by Mary Coustas, became a hugely popular and enduring character during the run of the show. Coustas later reprised the role for several TV specials and series including Effie, Just Quietly, an SBS comedy/interview show, and Greeks on the Roof, a short-lived Greek Australian version of the British talk Show The Kumars at No. 42.

Although the show itself did not win any awards, Mary Coustas won the 1993 Logie for Most Popular Comedy Performer for her role as Effie. With the ethnic popularity of the show, Acropolis Now helped popularise the term “skippy” or “skip” to refer to Anglo Celtic Australians and others of European but non-Mediterranean descent. This term (inspired by the iconic 60’s TV series Skippy The Bush Kangaroo) became popular with Mediterranean-Australians, and to a lesser extent non-Mediterranean people, especially in Melbourne.