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On This Day ……. 17th of July 1923

A blind man named Columbine was sent to the Geelong gaol on this day in 1923, to awaiting trial. He was to have been tried, at Ballarat the previous week, but the case had been adjourned till August 18. Columbine,who is said to have been a league footballer in pre-war days lost the sight of one eye at the war. After his return, it is alleged, he separated from his wife, who went to live with her parents at Maryborough. Columbine went to his mother-in-law’s house, where a disturbance occurred, as a result of which he was given into custody. Subsequently acute inflammation of the good eye set in, and the eye had to be removed.

 

On This Day ……. 16th of July 1914

Two old men of the Geelong Benevolent Asylum had a disagreement on this day in 1914, over the cleaning up of their dining-room, and one, a recent transfer from the Geelong Gaol, is alleged to have struck a deaf and dumb Chinaman with a stick, injuring his arm. The police have taken up the case, and it is likely that the aggressor will return whence he came.

 

On This Day ……. 15th of July 1911

Five prisoners from Melbourne penal establishments were received on transfer to the Geelong Gaol on this day in 1911. They were all of the harmless class usually
sent to Geelong to recuperate.

 

On This Day ……. 14th of July 1924

Reginald Lewton was remanded at the City Court on this day in 1924, to appear at the Geelong Court of Petty Sessions on a charge of having, in March, broken and entered the tailor’s shop of Deakes and Bowden, Geelong, and stolen a quantity of suiting valued at £200.

 

On This Day ……. 13th of July 1922

An elderly man called James Frederick Baensch was sent to the Geelong Gaol for three years for assault. At the Geelong gaol there are some ten warders and about 70 prisoners.

 

On This Day ……. 12th of July 1913

Governor Dwyer’s death was reported in the Geelong Paper on this day in 1913.  Mr Peter Dwyer of the ‘Bungalow,’ passed away recently at the age of 86 years. Mr Dwyer was well known in the Penal and Military Departments, ana held many leading positions. He came to Australia in 1852, and shortly after arrival entered the public service as a clerk at Pentrldge stockade. From there he was appointed an officer’ in the Volunteer Service, and was Instrumental in forming’ and drilling the Geelong Rifles. Afterwards he was connected with the Collingwood Rifles. In 1862 he was appointed as the first governor of the gaol at Maryborough. After eight years he was transferred to Portland Gaol, where he Superintended the convict labor in the construction of the breakwater. From there he went to Geelong Gaol for eleven years. He then became governor of Melbourne Gaol, which position he held for four and a half years, during which he originated many reforms, and reorganised the staff. He was then specially appointed Governor of Pentridge, a position he held until his, retirement, twenty-one years ago. Since then he has lived in retirement. He had been a widower sixteen years, and one daughter is the sole survivor of the faimily.

 

Kevin Rudd the 26th Prime Minister of Australia is a descendent of the youngest ever transported convict Mary Wade, who had over three hundred relatives when she died and is considered as one of Australia’s ‘matriarchs’. At the age of 15, Rudd wrote to Prime Minister Gough Whitlam asking for advice on how to become involved in a diplomatic career. Whitlam suggested Rudd learn a foreign language, which he did Chinese (Mandarin).

ON THIS DAY….. 10th July 1858

GREEN TENT NEAR MEREDITH

Elizabeth Lowe was buried on the side of the creek, near to where she was murdered. A white picket fence was built around her burial site, which remained until a bush fire in the 1920s. Today nothing is left to suggest that a community once stood here or even a public house where weary travellers would stop. The man Owen McQueeny, charged on suspicion as the murderer of Elizabeth Lowe, at the Green Tent, was examined at the Police-office this morning. The prisoner is rather a forbidding looking man, an Irishman apparently, from his dialect, and is of dark complexion, with dark hair, and a defect in his right eye similar to what among horses is denominated a “wall-eye.” Among the property missing from deceased’s tent, the purse, or portemonnaic, has been fully identified, also the bowie-knife and small flute. The wedding-ring produced is sworn to by her brother as being hers, to the best of his belief, being remarkable for the depth of impression of the Goldsmith’s hall stamp on the inner side. The keeper of the wedding-ring has not yet been found. The two principal links yet wanting to connect the prisoner more fully with the terrible crime are the time when Mrs. Lowe was last seen alive on Friday, 9th July, and the time the prisoner was last seen about her tent. During the examination the prisoner tried frequently to joke on the evidence, and repeatedly laughed at the questions he put; but there can be little doubt, from his efforts, that these were forced. The Inspector of Police applied for a remand for seven days, to enable him to produce the doctor who had attended the inquest, and to collect further evidence. Remand granted. Owen McQueeney was found guilty of the wilful murder of Elizabeth Lowe and was hanged at the Old Geelong Gaol on the 20th October, 1858.

 

On This Day ……. 10th of July 1923

Two prisoners who are undergoing sentences respectively of three months
and 18 months, were on this day in 1923, brought from Pentridge by Constable Slatter to the Geelong gaol, where they are to complete their terms.

 

On This Day ……. 9th of July 1925

A young man named James Walker, alias Juries Lewis Welsh, who had been recently discharged from gaol after having served a sentence of six months for vagrancy, made his reappearance before the magistrates at the Geelong Police court on this day in 1925, on four charges. He stated that he had taken a few glasses of liquor on the previous day, and did not know what happened until he woke up and found himself in the lockup. He was sent to gaol for 12 months on a charge of having solicited arms in the street; and was fined £15, and three months’ imprisonment, for assaulting Constable Bishop, resisting arrest, and using indecent language in a public place.

 

On This Day ……. 9th of July 1921

Sir. Bradley, formerly Governor of the Castlemaine Gaol, has been appointed Governor of the Geelong Gaol on this day in 1921 in succession to Sir. K. J. Burke, who has been promoted to the Deputy Governorship of Pentridge.

 

On This Day ……. 8th of July 1870

Considerable excitement was created in Geelong on this day in 1870 at about 1pm by the cry of “A man over the gaol wall!” The fugitive was said to have effected his escape by scaling the wall and made his way towards the Lagoon Bridge. Horsemen rushed frantically in the direction indicated by the police and preparations where made for a hunt. With great confusion with in the gaol as all prisoners were accounted for. On interviewing the witnesses it was ascertained that some children had seen a workman, who had been employed by the Governor to repair the roof of the lock up. The worker leap down on his lunch break, which raised the cry of “a man over tho wall.”