ON THIS DAY – June 29, 1905


Dr. R. H. Cole, the district coroner, yesterday concluded the inquest into the death of Emily Eden Lilias Chandler, a waitress, 28 years of age, who died in the Melbourne Hospital on July 3 from septicaemia, the result of a premature birth, which had taken place about fortnight previously. Mrs. Elizabeth Downey, who was arrested on a charge of the wilful murder of the deceased, was present as a witness for the Crown. Mr. E. J. Corr appeared to watch the proceedings on her behalf.

Evidence was given to show that Miss Chandler came to Melbourne in the beginning of June. She was staying with Mrs. Elizabeth Sefton, in Sydney-road, Carlton, and was so ill on June 29 that Mrs. Sefton called in Mr. J. H. Nattrass, M.D. Mr. Nattrass examined the girl, and she told him that she had been operated on by some nurse, but refused to divulge the name. He ordered her removal to the Melbourne Hospital. She was admitted to the Hospital on July 1, and said that she was suffering from a severe cold. She admitted afterwards that an instrument had been used. The police were informed, and Detectives Burvett and Sexton brought Elizabeth Downey to the Hospital. Miss Chandler said that she knew the woman, and the detectives arrested Mrs Downey on a charge of unlawfully using a certain instrument. Then in the presence of Mrs. Downey the dying depositions of Emily Chandler were taken by Mr. J. R. Andrews, J.P. In the depositions she said :— “I am quite certain that the accused is the person who performed the operation on me.” She rambled a good deal in her statements whilst the depositions were being taken, and spoke of having gone to the nurse’s house with her sister “Millie.” The evidence of Mrs. Chandler showed that there was no such person as “Millie.” She was very irritable, and in great pain all the time. Mrs. Downey was called as a witness. She stated:— I have nothing to say. I don’t know the party at all. I never saw her in my life. That is all I have to say.

The Coroner said that it was plain that an infamous crime had been committed. He did not think it likely that deceased performed the operation herself. The depositions were mainly the result of monosyllabic answers given by deceased, and they consisted of a mixture of falsehood and truth, in which the falsehood seemed to predominate. Deceased merely said “Yes” to Detective Burdett when he asked her, “Is this the woman?” This seemed a very slender piece of evidence. He found that Emily Eden Lilias Chandler had died from blood-poisoning, the result of an operation, wilfully caused by some person or persons unknown, and that the said person or persons were guilty of wilful murder.

On This Day ……. 29th June 1911

On this day in 1911, Ah Loy, a Chinese, who resided in Geelong appeared on remand at the City Court on a charge of having in his position four tins opium. Ah Loy was sentenced to Geelong Gaol.

Certainly per European history shows Tasmanian Tigers-Zebra Wolfs (Thylacine) roamed large parts of main land Australia. There is plenty of evidence in fossil remains and Aboriginal cave art. But is it possible they still lived in Victoria as little as 100 years ago. Interesting idea when the last known Thylacine died at the Hobart Zoo on the 7th of September 1936, and Thylacine’s were declared extinct by international standards in 1986. However there are many accounts of wolf-lions-tiger like animals killing live stock through Gippsland, North East and central Victoria and as far as Tantanoola in South Australia. Below is an account of animal killed by a farmer on the 29th June 1916 at Mirboo North, South Gippsland, Victoria.

The sheep-killing animal that was found poisoned in Mr J. Gilfedder’s paddock, close to the Mirboo North township, Victoria recently, does not appear to be either a dingo or a fox. It was two or three times as large as either of those animals. It had the legs, paws and nails of a dog, and the snout and tail of a fox or a dingo. Its mode of killing sheep was to worry their rumps and pull away some of the entrails. Residents who saw-it say that it was a cross between a dingo or a fox and a dog. To ascertain if possible what the animal was, Mr. Gilfedder intends sending the skull, claws and tail to the Director of the Melbourne Zoo, who is recognised as an authority on animals. Some people at Yinnar who had sheep destroyed in the way described poisoned the carcases; but the animal would not take the bait. A successful way to destroy any other of such breed as turn up among sheep is to skin rabbits and put them in a fire, and thus destroy the smell of the hands, and use one as a trail, and cut others, and lay the baits along the trail, without touching them with the hands. This was the method Mr Gilfedder used. Since the death of the animal we have not heard of any sheep being worried around the district. Mr Gilfedder received the following letter from Mr D. Gibson, of the National Bank, Maffra: – “Dear Sir, – I saw in the paper some few days ago that you had poisoned an animal, somewhat like a dingo, but larger, that had been destroying your sheep. I enclose a rough sketch of the Tasmanian zebra wolf, in the hope that it may enable you to identify it with that animal. I and others have seen them up in the mountains; but the fact of their being indigenous to Victoria has never been established by their capture. Probably they are the animal vaguely called the ‘Tantanoola tiger’ and the ‘Morwell lion,’ which has been seen in so many localities. The zebra wolf is a marsupial, coloured from French-grey to russet brown, according to the season, and striped with dark brown to black on back and tail, and less conspicuously on the legs. The coat is short and close, build very strong, pads especially large for its size, powerful hindquarters, progresses either at a trot or by long bounds, height at shoulder 2ft. 6in. to 3ft. I have seen one in captivity which stood on its hind legs over 5ft. high. They are night prowlers, and carry their young in a pouch. They use hollow logs, etc., to camp in, and cover long distances, rarely coming out in the daylight. This is the reason why they have escaped capture so long. The skin or cleaned skeleton would be eagerly purchased by either Melbourne Zoo (D. Le Soeuf), or the National Gallery Museum. Probably they would fetch £20 or so; so they are worth saving.”

On this day …….. 28th of June 1880

Alexander Graham Bell’s demonstration of the first practical telephone in 1876 had ramifications worldwide within a very short period of time. For a continent separated by thousands of kilometres from Bell’s achievements, Australia was very quick to embrace telephony. The concept of one’s voice being carried over long distances, and the fact that a telegraph operator trained in Morse Code was no longer required to decode telegraph signals in order for messages to be relayed promised major benefits to the colonies which had grown up with a sense of isolation from the rest of the world. Experimentation with the telephone commenced in Australia between 1786 and 1788. Early tests were conducted by Charles Todd, South Australian Government Astronomer and Postmaster General, and a leading figure in the development of telegraphy and telephony in Australia. Transmissions enabling the human voice to carry over distances of up to 400 kilometres were successfully trialled. In 1877, Bell published the details of his telephone in the “Scientific American”. Following this publication, people from around the world – including the Australian colonies – were quick to develop their own telephones. Melbourne was the first Australian city to install a commercial telephone. This was undertaken by engineering firm Robison Bros between their office in Melbourne city and their South Melbourne foundry. The first telephone exchange was also opened in Melbourne on 28 June 1880. When the Melbourne Telephone Exchange Company was formed by W.H Masters and T.T. Draper, with 100 lines, line no. 1 was assigned to Robison Bros. Brisbane was the next city to open a telephone exchange, and by 1887 each of the capital cities had its own exchange.

On This Day – June 28, 1975

On June 28, at 4.45pm, Terry left the Avoca post office where he was playing Monopoly with a friend. He was running 15 minutes late for his ride home.  That 15 minutes cost him his life.

Three witnesses, all locals, saw a fawn-coloured panel van that afternoon. One saw the van stopping in front of Terry as he waited on the coroner of Birdport and Barnett streets; another saw the van on the side of the Pyrenees Highway out of town with Terry standing at the back of it.

A third witness, a nurse driving home from work along the highway, saw the van turning into Box Flat Track, the road that leads to a mine shaft where Mr Floyd believes his brother’s body was dumped.

Raymond Jones, a convicted pedophile, who was on bail for indecently assaulting a boy in a Ballarat toilet block at the time, owned a fawn-coloured panel van and has admitted being on the same highway, travelling from Avoca to Maryborough, at the time.

Jones, who is believed to be living in northern Victoria, has previously denied any involvement in the disappearance.

This case is still unsolved


On This Day – June 28, 1938

A jury in the Criminal Court today found Thomas William Loe (40), of Mooroopna, not guilty of the murder of his wife, Amelia Jane Loe (32) on the ground that he was temporarily insane at the time of the commission of the offence on May 4.
The evidence showed that Loe throttled his wife and hit her twice on the head with a hammer at a time when two or
their seven children were sleeping in the room.
Relatives of deceased said that until the tragedy Loe and hid wife had been devoted to each other.

ON THIS DAY – June 28, 1842

Charles Ellis (alias Yanky Jack), Martin Fogarty , Daniel Gepps (Jepps) and Jack Williams, were raiding farm houses and robbing people around the Dandenong area, when it became too hot there they moved over to the Plenty River area. They made a raid on Campbell Hunters house on the Plenty river. They made a mistake and stayed to have breakfast, and the Law caught up with them. Gang member Jack Williams was shot dead by Oliver Gourlay, after a hand to hand fight. After the gun battle that lasted one hour , Ellis, Fogarty and Jepps surrendered and all 3 were hanged on the hill beside the Old Melbourne Gaol north of Melbourne. All  4 buried together.

On this day …….. 28th of June 1836

Regular snow in Australia is restricted to the Snowy Mountains and high country of the southern states. Snowfalls have occurred during unusual weather patterns in southwest Western Australia and southern Queensland, but given the size of the continent, snow is very limited. Of all Australia’s capital cities, the one most likely to receive snowfalls is Canberra. While snow is not uncommon in the Blue Mountains and west to Orange, it rarely hits the New South Wales capital. Sydney recorded its first and only significant snow event on the morning of 28 June 1836. On this day, snow began around 6:00 am and continued through to mid-morning, coating the hills in white. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “the terrified state of the natives indicated the rare nature of such a visitation”. Snow fell again to a lesser degree on 2 July and 5 July, as it was a particularly cold winter.

On This Day……. 28th June 1913


It was reported to the police on the morning of the 28th June 1913, that Michael Coglilan, an inmate of Yarra Bend Asylum, who escaped from the institution. The escaper was described as 40 years of age, 5 feet 16 Inches in height, slight of build, with black whiskers. He was wearing a brown tweed- suit, with long cut coat, and a brown felt hat.


ON THIS DAY – June 28, 1903

An arrest was made to-day in connection with the death of an old man named William Ford in a hut near Dandenong. The suspect gave the name of Charles Sadi Fossard, aged 21, a Frenchman by birth. It was reported that at the time of Ford’s death a man had been seen prowling about the vicinity of  Ford’s hut, and information was received on Sunday by the police that the suspect was in the vicinity of Thomson’s-lane, between Cranbourne and Dandenong roads. Two black trackers were put on to the trail, and as the result of their work the arrest was made. The suspect is charged with vagrancy.

On This Day ……. 28th June 1901

A solicitor named Joseph Henry Grey has been found guilty of fraud at Geelong, and sentenced to five years gaol.

On This Day – June 27, 1943

Beer Party Incident Gives Clue

Clues obtained in the shooting episode at Fitzroy on the night of July 27, when Pearl Oliver (19) was murdered and Joseph Fanesi (26) and Peter Croft, an Allied sailor, were seriously wounded, have led police to a party where several kegs of black market beer had been drunk and where the atmosphere was quarrelsome.

Members of the Melbourne and Sydney underworld were among the guests. It is said that trouble flared up at the party when Sydney gunmen made advances to the dead girl. A Melbourne man who said that Oliver was ‘his girl’ objected. Sydney gunmen left the party, but later returned with automatic pistol. One was heard to say, ‘They’ll learn who’s boss here.’ No violence occurred at the party.

It is believed that gunmen followed the girl Oliver, Fanesi, and Croft, and shot them when they alighted from a car at the corner of Brunswick and Gertrude Streets, Fitzroy. Faneid and Croft were thought to have been shot first, and the girl afterwards, as she ran across the street.  She dropped into the gutter.  The girl was also kicked or struck on the head, as her skull was fractured in two places. An outbreak of underworld gun battles is expected to result from the Fitzroy shooting.