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On this day …….. 30th of June 1834

Explorer Matthew Flinders was the first European to investigate the possibilities for settlement on South Australia’s coast, doing so in 1802. The exploration of Charles Sturt to chart the Murray River was a further catalyst to the establishment of a colony on the southern coast. Consequently, the British authorities moved to establish an official colony, which would be known as South Australia. On 30 June 1834, a meeting was held at Exeter Hall at The Strand in London, England, to advise the public of the principles, objects, plan and prospects of the new colony of South Australia. The meeting, organised by the founding members of The South Australian Association, was attended by around 2500 people, including many members of Parliament. One of the speakers was Daniel Wakefield, brother of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who helped his brother draft the speech. EG Wakefield was a strong advocate for the establishment of a free colony, rather than one based on convict labour, and he lobbied heavily for Parliament to pass the bill to enable the colonisation of the province of South Australia. During his speech, Daniel Wakefield stated: “It was proposed to make the colony independent, from the first, of the mother country. This the Right Hon. Gentleman declined to do; and the consequence was, that we were obliged to modify the plan to meet his views. Therefore it is that the measure appears before you in its present shape; but it still has my cordial approbation and concurrence, because the Commissioners are to be only temporary, and after a time the government of the new nation is to be confided to the inhabitants themselves (hear, hear!).”

On this day …….. 27th September 1851

Sir Thomas Mitchell was Surveyor-General of New South Wales and the explorer who discovered “Australia Felix”, or “Happy Australia”, which was the rich land of western Victoria. As well as being well-known for his immense contribution to exploration, Mitchell is less-known for fighting the last known duel in Australia. It was fought between Mitchell and one of New England’s well-known early settlers, Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson. The duel occurred on 27 September 1851 in Centennial Park, Sydney, and it is believed to have been over land – Tenterfield Station – which was a crown grant to Donaldson. As Surveyor-General, Mitchell had gazetted a town to be built on part of Donaldson’s Tenterfield Station. The enraged Donaldson challenged Mitchell to a duel. Three shots were fired, and the last one of Mitchell’s found its mark, blowing Donaldson’s hat off. Donaldson was not injured, and later went on to become the first Premier of New South Wales.

 

On this day …….. 30th of June 1834

Explorer Matthew Flinders was the first European to investigate the possibilities for settlement on South Australia’s coast, doing so in 1802. The exploration of Charles Sturt to chart the Murray River was a further catalyst to the establishment of a colony on the southern coast. Consequently, the British authorities moved to establish an official colony, which would be known as South Australia. On 30 June 1834, a meeting was held at Exeter Hall at The Strand in London, England, to advise the public of the principles, objects, plan and prospects of the new colony of South Australia. The meeting, organised by the founding members of The South Australian Association, was attended by around 2500 people, including many members of Parliament. One of the speakers was Daniel Wakefield, brother of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who helped his brother draft the speech. EG Wakefield was a strong advocate for the establishment of a free colony, rather than one based on convict labour, and he lobbied heavily for Parliament to pass the bill to enable the colonisation of the province of South Australia. During his speech, Daniel Wakefield stated: “It was proposed to make the colony independent, from the first, of the mother country. This the Right Hon. Gentleman declined to do; and the consequence was, that we were obliged to modify the plan to meet his views. Therefore it is that the measure appears before you in its present shape; but it still has my cordial approbation and concurrence, because the Commissioners are to be only temporary, and after a time the government of the new nation is to be confided to the inhabitants themselves (hear, hear!).”

On this day …….. 5th May 1851

Mr F. Gerstacker an early explorer of North East Victoria, set sail on this day in 1851, in a gum tree canoe from Albury, heading for the sea. The intrepid mariner managed to cover about 30 miles before he sank, somewhat short of his goal. It would be three years before the first river boat would make it up the Murray River from South Australia.

 

On this day …….. 24th April 1858

On this day in 1858, the infamous Spider Dance arrived in Beechworth. However not pre formed by the notorious creator Lola Montez. For some reason, Lola was unable to keep her engagement in Beechworth, and the miners had to content themselves with reading about Lola’s exploits in other parts of the colony. It was not untill this day in 1858, that the Spiter Dance arrived, and danced by a beautiful young entertainer named Julia Matthews. Matthews enchanted her audiences, particularly the towns police commander and explorer Robert O’Hara Burke.

 

On this day ………… 18th February 1874

Explorer Ernest Giles was born on the 7th of July 1835 in England. He emigrated to Australia in 1850 and was employed at various cattle and sheep stations, allowing him to develop good bush skills. Giles made several expeditions into the Australian desert. The first, lasting four months, commenced in August 1872 and resulted in the discovery of an unusual oasis in the desert, the Glen of Palms, now called Palm Valley, as well as Gosse’s Bluff. On this first journey he discovered Lake Amadeus, a huge saltpan in central Australia, which he named after the King of Spain, and he sighted the Olgas, named after the king’s wife. Giles commenced his next expedition in August 1873. On this expedition, he was able to approach closer to the Olgas, but his attempts to continue further west were thwarted by interminable sand, dust, biting ants and lack of water. After a two month recovery period at Fort Mueller, Giles set out north towards the Rawlinson Range, from which he again tried to penetrate westwards. On the 18th February 1874, he was thrown by one of his horses and dragged along, only narrowly escaping being killed.

On this day …….. 30th of January 1774

On this day in 1774, Captain Cook sails closer to the South Pole than any known person has previously sailed. He met with thick pack ice that prevented further progression. This was the furthest south and closest to the South Pole that any known person had ever been.

 

 

On this day …….. 27th September 1851

Sir Thomas Mitchell was Surveyor-General of New South Wales and the explorer who discovered “Australia Felix”, or “Happy Australia”, which was the rich land of western Victoria. As well as being well-known for his immense contribution to exploration, Mitchell is less-known for fighting the last known duel in Australia. It was fought between Mitchell and one of New England’s well-known early settlers, Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson. The duel occurred on 27 September 1851 in Centennial Park, Sydney, and it is believed to have been over land – Tenterfield Station – which was a crown grant to Donaldson. As Surveyor-General, Mitchell had gazetted a town to be built on part of Donaldson’s Tenterfield Station. The enraged Donaldson challenged Mitchell to a duel. Three shots were fired, and the last one of Mitchell’s found its mark, blowing Donaldson’s hat off. Donaldson was not injured, and later went on to become the first Premier of New South Wales.

 

On this day …….. 30th of June 1834

Explorer Matthew Flinders was the first European to investigate the possibilities for settlement on South Australia’s coast, doing so in 1802. The exploration of Charles Sturt to chart the Murray River was a further catalyst to the establishment of a colony on the southern coast. Consequently, the British authorities moved to establish an official colony, which would be known as South Australia. On 30 June 1834, a meeting was held at Exeter Hall at The Strand in London, England, to advise the public of the principles, objects, plan and prospects of the new colony of South Australia. The meeting, organised by the founding members of The South Australian Association, was attended by around 2500 people, including many members of Parliament. One of the speakers was Daniel Wakefield, brother of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who helped his brother draft the speech. EG Wakefield was a strong advocate for the establishment of a free colony, rather than one based on convict labour, and he lobbied heavily for Parliament to pass the bill to enable the colonisation of the province of South Australia. During his speech, Daniel Wakefield stated: “It was proposed to make the colony independent, from the first, of the mother country. This the Right Hon. Gentleman declined to do; and the consequence was, that we were obliged to modify the plan to meet his views. Therefore it is that the measure appears before you in its present shape; but it still has my cordial approbation and concurrence, because the Commissioners are to be only temporary, and after a time the government of the new nation is to be confided to the inhabitants themselves (hear, hear!).”

On this day …….. 5th May 1851

Mr F. Gerstacker an early explorer of North East Victoria, set sail on this day in 1851, in a gum tree canoe from Albury, heading for the sea. The intrepid mariner managed to cover about 30 miles before he sank, somewhat short of his goal. It would be three years before the first river boat would make it up the Murray River from South Australia.

 

On this day …….. 24th April 1858

On this day in 1858, the infamous Spider Dance arrived in Beechworth. However not pre formed by the notorious creator Lola Montez. For some reason, Lola was unable to keep her engagement in Beechworth, and the miners had to content themselves with reading about Lola’s exploits in other parts of the colony. It was not untill this day in 1858, that the Spiter Dance arrived, and danced by a beautiful young entertainer named Julia Matthews. Matthews enchanted her audiences, particularly the towns police commander and explorer Robert O’Hara Burke.

 

On this day ………… 18th February 1874

Explorer Ernest Giles was born on the 7th of July 1835 in England. He emigrated to Australia in 1850 and was employed at various cattle and sheep stations, allowing him to develop good bush skills. Giles made several expeditions into the Australian desert. The first, lasting four months, commenced in August 1872 and resulted in the discovery of an unusual oasis in the desert, the Glen of Palms, now called Palm Valley, as well as Gosse’s Bluff. On this first journey he discovered Lake Amadeus, a huge saltpan in central Australia, which he named after the King of Spain, and he sighted the Olgas, named after the king’s wife. Giles commenced his next expedition in August 1873. On this expedition, he was able to approach closer to the Olgas, but his attempts to continue further west were thwarted by interminable sand, dust, biting ants and lack of water. After a two month recovery period at Fort Mueller, Giles set out north towards the Rawlinson Range, from which he again tried to penetrate westwards. On the 18th February 1874, he was thrown by one of his horses and dragged along, only narrowly escaping being killed.