On this day …….. 25th of October 1906

The mysterious disappearance of Mr Frank Banner the schoolmaster of the at the state school in Stieglitz, Victoria. On Saturday the 29th of September Banner court the Stieglitz coach to Meredith for the purpose of catching the Ballarat train. Strangely Banner had not returned home by the late coach on Sunday night,  but not much concern was raised as there was no moon, and if there was few passengers the coach would not run for Meredith.   But when the school was not opened on Monday morning concern was raised.  Word was sent for his brother Mr. H Banner, stationmaster in Shepparton, who came to the district immediately to make enquirers. All efforts to trace the missing gentleman were fruitless, and gave fears that a serious accident may have happened to Mr Banner. His description was given as an average built man, about 5ft 7in high.  He had been in charge of the Steiglitz State School for the past 3 years.

On this day …….. 9th of October 1865

An inquest was held at Stieglitz, on this day in 1865, at the Victoria Hotel, on the body of Thomas Hatch.  The deceased a miner at the Sailor’s Reef shaft, Stieglitz was killed when he was jammed between a large rock and the side of the drive. The rock was about five feet in height, and reached to the upper part of deceased’s chest, pressing him closely to the wall.

Witnesses took pickaxes, and examined the drive, and commenced to take the body out by breaking the stone which held him in the position described.

The drive was about four and a half feet by seven feet in length. The stone was black slate and wedge shape, about a ton and a half in weignt, about eighteen inches at the base, and tapering to a point. The thick edge of the stone lay against the back of the deceased.

The body was removed to the cellar of the Victoria Hotel, Molesworth Street, where an autopsy determined a  verdict “Accidental Death, and no blame attachable to the managers of the mine.”

On this day …….. 25th of September 1861

An inquest was held on this day, at Mr. Goulden’s, the Victoria Hotel, Molesworth Street, Stieglitz on the body of Robert M’Farlane, miner killed at the Portuguese Reef.

Foster Shaw, Esq., the coroner, and a respectable jury, proceeded to a tent at the rear of the hotel where the deceased body had been placed.  On examination it was found that he had received several severe bruises on the back, of the head, the right arm was broken, and the left leg also broken, several severe cuts and bruises in other parts of his person, and fracture of the right arm and left leg.

A verdict “Accidental Death, and no blame attachable to the managers of the mine.” Due to a large sandstone block falling a distance of about eight feet crushing M’Farlane.

A very large and respectable assemblage performed the last duty in attending the deceased to his resting place in the new cemetery, Stieglitz. There being

no Presbyterian minister resident on the field, to which church the unfortunate deceased belonged, the Church of England service was read in a most impressive manner by Mr Lee.

A strange premonition happened in Swan Hill, Victoria to Mr Robert Henry Athorne, farmer aged 47, who was run over by his wagon, and died on 22nd May 1916 at the Swan Hill Hospital.

In March, Athorne dreamt that he would meet with a fatal accident, which he took such notice of the premonition, that he at once insured his life against  accident for between, £4,000 and £5000.

He left a wife and ten children, the eldest of being 21 years and the youngest nine months. ⁣

 

During the morning of May 19, 1905, Mrs. Tierney, who lived with her husband at his farm at Gymbowen, complained of a feeling of weakness and the loss of the use of her legs. Not much importance was attached to the attack, as in a few hours, Mrs. Tierney was well again, and performed her household duties as usual. During the afternoon the same feeling came over her, this time accompanied by twitchings of the body. ⁣

Her husband drove her to Dr R. K. Bird, of Natimuk, who examined her. When questioned by the doctor she stated that she had partaken of some tart for breakfast. Portions of the tart had a bitter taste, and the tea she had at that meal also had a bitter taste. The doctor suggested that some poison was in the tart and advised her not to eat anymore of it. Mrs. Tierney by this time had quite recovered, and with her husband drove home the following morning. ⁣

In the evening Mr. Tierney killed a sheep, and his wife, who had been watching him, went towards the house, but when she had gone about 50 yards she collapsed. Her husband ran to her assistance, and she died in his arms. Miss Bertram, who was employed as a domestic servant in the Tierney family, also complained of feeling ill after breakfast, but after vomiting she recovered.⁣

Mrs Tierney had only been married for 2 months and was a well loved teacher in the area.  Her friend and domestic, Mary Bertram was arrested for the death but was later discharged due to no evidence indiciating she was involved. ⁣

 

Former prime minister and world beer dinking record breaker, Bob Hawke has died at the age of 89.

The Labor legend died in his Sydney home today just two days before the May 18 federal election.

Hawke, arguably one of the most popular prime ministers in Australian history, is survived by his wife Blanche d’Alpuget, and children Susan, Stephen and Rosslyn.

Hawke was the third longest running Prime Minister in Australian history behind Sir Robert Menzies and John Howard.

A down to earth, approachable Prme Minister who was immortalised by the Guinness Book of Records in 1954 for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds.

This record was at the same English Hotel where President Bill Clinton smoked a joint.

Donald Maxfield was reported missing from Colac on the 13th of May, 1953. On the 1st of August 1953, the torso of a man was pulled from the Barwon River. Divers would eventually find the rest of Maxfield’s body, which had been dismembered and placed in kerosene tins and sunk in the Barwon River. ⁣

It was believed the Maxfield was attacked and bashed in a garage in Colac by two men. The men had placed the unconscious body of Maxfield in the boot of a car and had driven to Geelong. Maxfield regained consciousness and was again bashed to death on the banks of the Barwon. It was reported that this was a payback as it was believed that Maxfield had been a police informant against one of the men.⁣

The two men would later be arrested and information from them would lead to finding the rest of Maxfields body by divers recovering the torso after a 5 hour search of the river. The torso had been covered in an oat sack, wrapped in wire and weighed down with stone weights so that it was roughly 100lbs. The head and hands were later discovered in kerosene tins in the river. ⁣

Both men were charged with murder and sentenced to life imprisonment and 20 years respectively.⁣

Marjorie Hemmerde, 106, Enjoys ‘Living In Sin’ With 73-year-old Boy Toy, Gavin Crawford.

Marjorie Hemmerde is dating a man 33 years younger, but no one is accusing her of robbing the cradle.  Hemmerde is 106 and her “boy toy,” Gavin Crawford, is 73. The two have managed to find love despite their massive age difference.

The two met three years ago at Kew Gardens, an old folks home in the Australian town of Kew, Victoria, and are now inseparable.⁣

There are many New Years Day traditions from around the world! How many of these did you and your friends celebrate?! What are some of your traditions? Twisted History would love to hear!

Make Some Noise

Making a lot of noise—from fireworks to gun shots to church bells—seems to be a favorite pastime around the world.

  • In ancient Thailand, guns were fired to frighten off demons.
  • In China, firecrackers routed the forces of darkness.
  • In the early American colonies, the sound of pistol shots rang through the air.
  • Italians let their church bells peal
  • the Swiss beat drums
  • North Americans sound sirens and party horns to bid the old year farewell.

Eat Lucky Food

Many New Year’s traditions surround food

  • The tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight comes from Spain. Revelers stuff their mouths with 12 grapes in the final moments of the year—one grape for every chime of the clock!
  • In the southern US, black-eyed peas and pork foretell good fortune
  • In Scotland people parade down the streets swinging balls of fire.
  • Eating any ring-shaped treat (such as a donut) symbolises “coming full circle” and leads to good fortune. In Dutch homes, fritters called olie bollen are served.
  • The Irish enjoy pastries called bannocks.
  • In India and Pakistan, rice promises prosperity.
  • Apples dipped in honey are a Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) tradition.
  • In Swiss homes, dollops of whipped cream, symbolising the richness of the year to come, are dropped on the floors—and allowed to remain there!

Have a Drink

Although the pop of a champagne cork signals the arrival of the New Year around the world, some countries have their own beverage-based traditions.

  • Wassail, a punch-like drink named after the Gaelic term for “good health,” is served in some parts of England.
  • Spiced “hot pint” is the Scottish version of Wassail. Traditionally, the Scots drank to each others’ prosperity and also offered this warm drink to neighbors along with a small gift.
  • In Holland, toasts are made with hot, spiced wine.

Give a Gift

New Year’s Day was once the time to swap presents.

  • Gifts of gilded nuts or coins marked the start of the new year in Rome.
  • Eggs, the symbol of fertility, were exchanged by the Persians.
  • Early Egyptians traded earthenware flasks.
  • In Scotland, coal, shortbread and silverware were traditionally exchanged for good luck.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

In Scotland, the custom of first-footing is an important part of the celebration of Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve day.

After midnight, family and friends visit each other’s home. The “first foot” to cross a threshold after midnight will predict the next year’s fortune. Although the tradition varies, those deemed especially fortunate as “first footers” are new brides, new mothers, those who are tall and dark (and handsome?) or anyone born on January 1.

Turn Over a New Leaf

The dawn of a new year is an opportune time to take stock of your life.

  • Jews who observe Rosh Hashanah make time for personal introspection and prayer, as well as visiting graves.
  • Christian churches hold “watch-night” services, a custom that began in 1770 at Old St. Georges Methodist Church in Philadelphia.
  • The practice of making New Year’s resolutions, said to have begun with the Babylonians as early as 2600 B.C., is another way to reflect on the past and plan ahead.

New Years Folklore

Some customs and beliefs are simply passed down through the ages. Here are some of our favorite age-old sayings and proverbs.

  • On New Year’s Eve, kiss the person you hope to keep kissing.
  • If New Year’s Eve night wind blow south, It betokeneth warmth and growth.
  • For abundance in the new year, fill your pockets and cupboards today.
  • If the old year goes out like a lion, the new year will come in like a lamb
  • the darkest person would renter the house first – a tradition relating to coal mining days
  •  No washing clothes on the last day of the year as you will wash someone out of your life! 

 

Some Information courtesy of www.almanac.com

 On This Day – August 7, 1913

When going through the many statements taken for the information of the coroner in connection with the murder, on August 7 last, of the old woodcutter, Richard Knight, outside his hut in the bush between Lilydale and Coldstream (says the Melbourne ‘Argus’). Detective-Sergeant Arthur and Detective Keily discovered certain discrepancies in the stories of several boys living in Coldstream. Information concerning their movements around the time of the murder was proffered in such a manner that many possibilities were presented, and in order to satisfy themselves that the boys were not purposely withholding certain facts, the two detectives yesterday returned from Melbourne to Coldstream. Each of the boys was seen, and though they all presisted in their previous statements, they were not able to explain whether certain of their actions were, due to a coincidence or otherwise. They could not be shaken in their first statement that they had not seen the old man after he was shot at, though one of them admitted having been at his hut just previous to the time when two residents of the neighbouring bush heard two shots fired in the direction of the hut. The boys were questioned separately, but they showed no signs of wavering, neither did their statements contradict each other. In view of this, the detectives came to the conclusion that it was useless prolonging the examination.  Unless something unforseen happens nothing more will now be done until the inquest, the date of which the coronor (Dr. Cole) will probably fix within the next few days.  Altogether, about 20 witnesses will be subpoenaed, as the police intend having everyone present who may possibly be able to assist the coroner in determining when, how, and by whom Knight was killed.

On this day …….. 6th of August 1906

A lunatic by the name Thomas Parker Ewing, whilst being transferred from Dr. Mailer’s home in Ballarat to the Ararat Asylum, escaped on the 6th of August 1906, from his attendant at the railway station. Ewig was found the next morning hiding in a railway carriage in the yards. On making his escape Ewing travelled as far as Warrenheip, and when darkness set in he returned to Ballarat and pawned his watch. It is said that this was the second occasion on which he had escaped from custody, Ewing was taken back to Ararat Asylum.

 

ON THIS DAY …….6th August 1938

After a retirement of four hours a jury in the Criminal Court found Edward Allan May aged 30, laborer, not guilty of having murdered Mrs. Yoland Joan Shirley Bordin aged 21, of Carlton, but guilty of manslaughter. He was remanded for sentence after having admitted to prior convictions, including a gaol sentence of five years for armed assault with intent to rob. Mrs. Bordin, who was living apart from her Italian husband, was found bleeding to death from a knife wound at Carlton early on this day in 1938. Some distance away was a long-bladed hunting knife.