John Field was born in 1949 and grew up at 48 Belgrave Road, East Malvern next door to Denzil Howsons Assistant Programme Manager at GTV9 (Tarax Show). At the age of 9 years old (1959) and in Grade 4, John Field started working as a human stand in for Gerry Gee in a new TV series “The Adventures of Gerry Gee”. Wearing a latex mask to resemble Gerry Gee, Fields was filmed at long distance for action shots. The 5 min episode began on the Tarax Show in 1959 and quickly became a regular and popular segment running for three years. John Field also played Gerry Gee in the 1960 Melbourne Moomba Parade with King Corky.

 

The latex mask worn by John Field as Gerry Gee’s stand in now in the collection at Museum Victoria, Carlton. The mask was fashioned to resemble Gerry with a narrow slit to breath though and two eyes holes. “It was not a fun thing to wear, and would get hot and sweaty, hearing was difficult and worst of all I had difficulty seeing much except what was straight in front of me” Fields stated.

 

Gerry Gee, was a ventriloquist Doll who was brought to life in 1956 by Ron Blaskett, for GTV9’s (channel 9) first live test broadcast from Mt Dandenong, Melbourne Victoria. Gerry was imported from the US at a cost £200 and was named after the station. Ron, wife Merle Blaskett also a ventriloquist and Gerry are the only survivors of the test broadcast (2016). The comedy duo became household names as rich a one as any Aussie entertainer, on radio and TV, on The Tarax Show, IMT (In Melbourne Tonight) and Young Talent Time. And the act travelled the world, playing to millions at the 1975 Toronto Expo, cyclone victims in Darwin and Diggers in Vietnam. Gerry Gee and Ron Blaskett retired together after career of 56 years, Aussie TV’s first and foremost ventriloquist duo.

 

Was Frederick Deeming Jack the Ripper? Or was he just Australia’s first serial killer?
Join us during Law Week for a walking tour around Melbourne CBD as we explore the evidence found by the Victorian police to catch one of the most wanted men in the world.
In 1892 the body of Emily Mather was found buried under the floor of a house in Windsor, sparking an international search for her killer. Hear the antics of the flamboyant Frederick Deeming and his adventures from Whitechapel in London to Melbourne, and his victims that were left behind.
Event date
Sunday 21 May 2017
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Venue
Outside Flinders Street Station
Corner of Flinders Street and Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Wentworth

Will Joan Ferguson (“The Freak”) become Top Dog of Wentworth Correctional Centre tomorrow night, or will Allie Novak take revenge for the death of Bea Smith?

Joan Ferguson’s house in Collingwood

Wentworth
What a great episode of Wentworth on Tuesday night….. the story line for season 5 is shaping up to be the best so far. What will happen between Liz Birdsworth and Sonia Stevens? Will the Freak become Top Dog?
Photo of Sonia Stevens’ house Williamstown.

Sgt Tom Croydon – Blue Heelers
After a day out in Williamstown, it was great to see that Sgt Tom Croydon’s first house from Blue Heelers hasn’t changed. Fans of Blue Heelers, did you know that Croydon’s house is in the same street as Maggie Doyle’s?

Wentworth
Will Franky Doyle escape from Wentworth Correctional Centre this week? Will she head back to Mike Pennisi’s home to look for evidence? Is Franky innocent?
Mike Pennisi’s house in Williamstown.

2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the annual Good Friday Appeal to raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital. It began in 1931 as a sports carnival for charity but has grown into a beloved yearly appeal!

Give That They May Grow!   Donate here

For the history of the appeal visit the following link: Good Friday Appeal History

“On the 3rd of September 1931, a small group of journalists from The Sporting Globe organised a sports carnival for charity.

The afternoon commenced with a Cobb & Co carriage procession followed by the competing jockeys and veterans as they wound their way through the streets of Melbourne to the MCG. In front of a delighted crowd of 20,000 people, the sports carnival began with a football match involving Victorian jockeys – Flemington verses Caulfield, where Flemington came out as the victors.

This was followed by a football game of old Veterans’ representing the North and the South of the Yarra. Any retired players from World War One onwards were encouraged to put their name forward with a call out through The Sporting Globe. North of the Yarra were the clear winners of the Veterans’ match, 10: 6 to South’s 6: 7.

During the intervals The Sporting Globe journalist Dave McNamara, who also held the record for long distance football kicking, gave an exhibition of drop kicking and a fancy dress sprint event was also included as part of the Carnival program. A total of 427 pounds was raised to support the Alfred Hospital Appeal.”

 

ON THIS DAY…… 29th November 1948

Australian Prime minister Ben Chifley launches the first mass-produced Australian car – the Holden FX

“Made in Australia, For Australia”.

These are the words spoken by Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley when he launched the Holden FX on 29 November 1948. The real name of the Holden FX is 48/215. ’48 was the year it started production, and 215 indicated a Standard Sedan. The name “FX” originated as an unofficial designation within Holden after 1953, and was a reference to the updated suspension of that year. The Holden company began as ‘J.A. Holden & Co’, a saddlery business in 1856, and moved into car production in 1908. By 1926, Holden had an assembly plant in each of Australia’s mainland states, but due to the repercussions of the great Depression, production fell dramatically, from 34,000 units annually in 1930 to just 1,651 units in 1931. In that year, it became a subsidiary of the US-based General Motors (GM). Post-World War II Australia was a time when only one in eight people owned an automobile, and many of these were American styled cars. Prior to the close of World War II, the Australian Government put into place initiatives to encourage an Australian automotive industry. Both GM and Ford responded to the government, making proposals for the production of the first Australian designed car. Although Ford’s outline was preferred by the government, the Holden proposal required less financial assistance. Holden’s managing director, Laurence Hartnett, wished to develop a local design, but GM wanted an American design. Compromises were made, and the final design was based on a previously rejected post-war proposed Chevrolet. Thus, in 1948, the Holden was launched – the first mass-produced Australian car. Although the automobile’s official designation was the 48/215, it was marketed as the “Holden”. This was to honour Sir Edward Holden, the company’s first chairman and grandson of J.A. Holden, who established the original Holden saddlery. Other names that were considered included the ‘Austral’, ‘Woomerah’, ‘Boomerang’, ‘Melba’, ‘GeM’, ‘Emu’ and even the ‘Canbra’, a name derived from Australia’s capital city. The original retail price was AU£760.

ON THIS DAY…… 27th November 1937

RELEASED

The State Censor has decided to remove the ban on the exhibition of the Australian film, “The Haunted Barn.” Holding that it was liable to frighten children between the ages of six and 16, the censor previously directed it not to be exhibited to children between these ages.

ON THIS DAY…… 8th November 1906

Melbourne cup arrives in Wangaratta

It was not as fast as modern TV, but it was still fast enough to amaze the locals in Wangaratta, North East Victoria. On this day in 1906 Dan Barry’s World Wide Wonder Show was able to screen the running of the 1906 Melbourne Cup.