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Julia Gillard the 27th Prime Minister of Australia immigrated with her family to Adelaide in 1966 as ’£10 poms’. Gillard is the first female Prime Minister to be sworn in by the first female Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Gillard was also the first unmarried Prime Minister.

How well do you really know our Prime Ministers…….. At Twisted History we thought we would share the strange, weird and bizarre facts on our 29 PM’s!

1) Sir Edmond Barton was a cricket umpire when the first ever international cricket riot happened in 1878, against Australia and England at the SCG.

2) Alfred Deakin was almost killed in lift accident in 1887. Melbourne became the fourth city in the world to build power hydraulic lifts. When directors of the Australian Provincial Assurance Association (including future Australian Prime Minister Alfred Deakin), inspected the hydraulic lift in the new APA building on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Flinders Lane, Melbourne, for the first time. The mechanism failed and the lift shot upwards 12 floors, stopped only by some stout springs at the top. Deakin exited the building by the stairs.

3) Chris Watson was born in Chile and never became a British subject, so he was technically not eligible to sit in the Australian parliament let alone become Prime Minister.

4) Sir George Reid was the first PM to be involved in a car accident, breaking his arm and bruising his pride.

5) Andrew Fisher, left school at the age of 10, to work in the coal mines, before immigrating to Australia at the age of 13.

6) Joseph Cook was largely a self-educated man after leaving school at the age of 9 as a miner. Australian artist Tom Roberts, who recorded Cook on canvas many times, noted that Cook was 5 ft 9 ins (175 cm) in height, weighed 12 stone (76 kg) and his hat size was 7.

7) Billy Hughes established the Commonwealth Police Force, after being struck by an egg in the head at a protest. Hughes also holds two distinguished records – As Prime Minister, he had the most secretaries of all PM numbering over 100. Hughes also holds the record as longest serving parliamentarian lasting 58 years, when he died at age 90, while still serving in Parliament.

8) Viscount of Melbourne, Stanley Bruce fought at both Gallipoli and the Western Front. Bruce was the first PM to govern from the newly built Canberra. Bruce died in London and was cremated and his ashes were spread around Canberra. Bruce is the only PM whose remains are in the nation’s capital.

9) James Scullin was the first Prime Minister to choose the Governor-General, not the royal family. Scullin choose Sir Isaac Isaacs, the first born Australian to hold the post.

10) Joseph Lyon’s father lost the family savings at the 1887 Melbourne Cup. Lyon at the age of 9 was forced to leave school and find work.

11) Earle Christmas Page was one of the first Australians to own a car. Serving as Prime minister for only 20 days, he refused to retire at 81, and dying from lung cancer, still contested the 1961 election.

12) Sir Robert Menzies is the longest serving Prime Minister (18 years). Menzies retired on Australia Day in 1966. Menzies was a lifelong supporter of Carlton VFL Football Club. In the 1970s, following a stroke the Carlton Football club made a ramp up onto the committee box at Princes Park Oval so that Menzies’s chauffeur, Peter Pearson could drive his Bentley into the stand to watch games.

13) Arthur Fadden liked socialising, sport, and theatre. He was once a member of an acting group in Mackay called the Nigger Minstrel Troupe. Yes that’s right …..It’s pretty much white people painting on a black face and doing that racist thing.

14) John Curtin’s first job at the age of 14, was as a messenger boy for a magazine edited by artist Norman Lindsay. Curtin was also gaoled for three days in Pentridge Prison Melbourne in 1916 for defying government’s call-up order for military. Although holding such strong beliefs Curtin passed conscription for WWII.

15) Francis Forde holds the records for the shortest term as Prime Minister for a mere 8 days.

16) Ben Chifley graduated as one of the youngest first-class locomotive engine driver at 28. Chifley died of a massive heart attack on the 13th of June 1951 in Canberra, whilst parliamentarians attended State Ball at Parliament House. Once hearing the news Prime Minister Menzies told everyone to go home. Ben Chifley ghost is said to haunt Canberra.

17) Harold Holt’s father married one of his former girlfriends…… So she became his step mother. After going missing while swimming and his body never found, in good Australian humour a local Melbourne swimming pool was named in his honour.

18) Sir John McEwen at the age of 16, worked at a Crown Solicitor’s office under Frederick Whitlam, father of future PM Gough Whitlam. At the age of 67 years McEwen was the oldest ever incoming Prime Minister. Due to only being Prime Minister for two months McEwen, after his death did not want a fancy PM headstone.

19) Sir William McMahon employed young sailors in tight-fitting bell-bottom trousers to caddy for him at golf.

20) Sir John Gorton survived three flying accidents and ship being torpedoed during the Second World War. Gorton was also the only PM to voted himself out of office.

21) Gough Whitlam is only one of two Prime Ministers whose lifetime spanned the lives of all 25 Prime Ministers in Australia’s first century (John Gorton was the other) Whitlam was Australia’s longest-lived Prime Minister, dying at the age of 98 years, sadly 2 years short of receiving a 100th birthday card from Queen Elizabeth II, the woman who sacked him and his government in 1975.

22) Malcolm Fraser’s notorious incident in Memphis, Tennessee, in October 1986 is a night that would never be forgotten. After give a speech to the Memphis Economic Club Fraser decided to go for a drink at the Peabody Hotel. But for Fraser this was only the beginning of the night. He wandered into the foyer of a Memphis hotel frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers at 7am wearing nothing but a towel. He claimed to have no memory of the nights activities or were his pants where.

23) Bob Hawke 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.

24) Paul Keating left school at the age of 14, and managed a rock band called The Ramrods. Keating is the only Australian PM to be on the cover of the Rolling Stones Magazine. As Prime Minister Keating asked journalists to stop photographing his bald patch.

25) John Howard is the only Liberal Party Prime Minister to have been educated in a state school. Howard also lived at his parents’ home until he was 32 years old.

26) Kevin Rudd is a descendent of 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).

27) Julia Gillard immigrated with her family to Adelaide in 1966 as ’£10 poms’. Gillard is the first female Prime Minister to be sworn in by the first female Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Gillard was also the first unmarried Prime Minister.

28) Tony Abbott during his student days, once saved a child who was swept out to sea. Another time, he helped save children from a burning house next to a pub where he was drinking. At the aged 26, he studied to become a Catholic priest.

29) Malcolm Turnbull is 2nd cousin of British actress Angela Lansbury, from Murder She Wrote.

 

On This Day ……. 23rd June 1910

In the Criminal Court before Mr Justice Hood, and a jury, the trial was concluded of Elizabeth Downey, Clara Pennington, and Minnie Long, who were charged with murdering Isabella Nelson McCallum, on the 7th of May last. Mr Maxwell addressed the court on behalf of Mrs Downey, and argued that there was no case against her. No evidence was called on behalf of Mrs Downey, nor did she make a statement. Mr Purves then addressed the court on behalf of Pennington and Long, urging that they were in no part connected with any illegal operation. His Honour, in summing, up, said the Crown did not attempt to bring direct evidence, as such crimes were done in secret. No injustice had been done to Mrs Downey by having her case heard along with the others. If the jury were satisfied that the girl did not die from an illegal operation, then there was an end to the case. Dr. Mollison had said that death was due to a certain cause, and that it was extremely improbable that the girl had done it. As regarded Long the case started with the testimony of witness McCarthy, who in the box, admitted that he committed perjury at the Coroner’s Court. It was necessary for his evidence to be corroborated, and the letters written by accused Long supplied this. The case against Mrs Long rested on the telegrams and letters written and sent by her. Then the statements of the accused Pennington were at variance with her protestations. As regards Mrs Downey, the girl died in her place on the 7th of May. There was no satisfactory explanation for her presence there. According to Mrs Butler, the girl was at Mrs Downey’s house on 5th May, while Mrs Downey said she came the night before her death. Was it credible that she was there without Mrs Downey’s knowledge? On the Friday night, according to Mrs Butler, Mrs Downey wanted to send the girl to a hospital. Why ? Was it because the girl was moribund. Why was a doctor not called sooner ? If the jury decided that Mrs Downey performed the operation, then the other two accused were accomplices, and they were equally guilty. At 1pm the jury retired to consider their verdict, and at 2.30pm returned into Court with a verdict that the three accused had been guilty of murder, and Clara Pennington was recommended to mercy. Asked if they had anything to say a why- they should not be sentenced, each accused said she knew nothing of the illegal operation.

His Honour said:

You three women have been found guilty by the jury on the facts, and have to say that I roughly agree with the verdict. The only conclusion I draw is that you have been carrying on this abominable traffic for some time. Whether the sentence will be carried out or not does not rest with me, but the Governor-General will determine that. I now order that, you be taken to the Melbourne Gaol, and from there to such place as the Governor-in-Council may direct, then be hanged by the neck until you are dead. God have mercy on your souls. On the declaration of the sentence, several women in Court burst into tears and rushed from the Court. The prisoners were then removed back to the Geelong Gaol.

ON THIS DAY…… 11th November 1975

Only Australian Prime Minister sack – Gough Whitlam

Edward Gough Whitlam, born on 11 July 1916, became the 21st Prime Minister of Australia on 2 December 1972. It was the first ALP electoral victory since 1946. The Whitlam government embarked on a massive legislative social reform program which was forward-thinking and progressive in many ways. Whilst initially popular, the fast pace of reform engendered caution amongst the electorate, and the economy was beset by high inflation combined with economic stagnation. These conditions were the catalyst to the Australian constitutional crisis of 1975. The opposition Liberal-National Country Party coalition held a majority in the Senate, the upper house of Parliament. In an unprecedented move, the Senate deferred voting on bills that appropriated funds for government expenditure, attempting to force the Prime Minister to dissolve the House of Representatives and call an election. The Whitlam government ignored the warnings, and sought alternative means of appropriating the funds it needed to repay huge debts. With Whitlam unable to secure the necessary funds, the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, dismissed Whitlam as Prime Minister on 11 November 1975, and appointed Liberal opposition leader Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister. This was done on the condition that Fraser would seek a dissolution of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, thus precipitating a general election.

Julia Gillard the 27th Prime Minister of Australia immigrated with her family to Adelaide in 1966 as ’£10 poms’. Gillard is the first female Prime Minister to be sworn in by the first female Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Gillard was also the first unmarried Prime Minister.

How well do you really know our Prime Ministers…….. At Twisted History we thought we would share the strange, weird and bizarre facts on our 29 PM’s!

1) Sir Edmond Barton was a cricket umpire when the first ever international cricket riot happened in 1878, against Australia and England at the SCG.

2) Alfred Deakin was almost killed in lift accident in 1887. Melbourne became the fourth city in the world to build power hydraulic lifts. When directors of the Australian Provincial Assurance Association (including future Australian Prime Minister Alfred Deakin), inspected the hydraulic lift in the new APA building on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Flinders Lane, Melbourne, for the first time. The mechanism failed and the lift shot upwards 12 floors, stopped only by some stout springs at the top. Deakin exited the building by the stairs.

3) Chris Watson was born in Chile and never became a British subject, so he was technically not eligible to sit in the Australian parliament let alone become Prime Minister.

4) Sir George Reid was the first PM to be involved in a car accident, breaking his arm and bruising his pride.

5) Andrew Fisher, left school at the age of 10, to work in the coal mines, before immigrating to Australia at the age of 13.

6) Joseph Cook was largely a self-educated man after leaving school at the age of 9 as a miner. Australian artist Tom Roberts, who recorded Cook on canvas many times, noted that Cook was 5 ft 9 ins (175 cm) in height, weighed 12 stone (76 kg) and his hat size was 7.

7) Billy Hughes established the Commonwealth Police Force, after being struck by an egg in the head at a protest. Hughes also holds two distinguished records – As Prime Minister, he had the most secretaries of all PM numbering over 100. Hughes also holds the record as longest serving parliamentarian lasting 58 years, when he died at age 90, while still serving in Parliament.

8) Viscount of Melbourne, Stanley Bruce fought at both Gallipoli and the Western Front. Bruce was the first PM to govern from the newly built Canberra. Bruce died in London and was cremated and his ashes were spread around Canberra. Bruce is the only PM whose remains are in the nation’s capital.

9) James Scullin was the first Prime Minister to choose the Governor-General, not the royal family. Scullin choose Sir Isaac Isaacs, the first born Australian to hold the post.

10) Joseph Lyon’s father lost the family savings at the 1887 Melbourne Cup. Lyon at the age of 9 was forced to leave school and find work.

11) Earle Christmas Page was one of the first Australians to own a car. Serving as Prime minister for only 20 days, he refused to retire at 81, and dying from lung cancer, still contested the 1961 election.

12) Sir Robert Menzies is the longest serving Prime Minister (18 years). Menzies retired on Australia Day in 1966. Menzies was a lifelong supporter of Carlton VFL Football Club. In the 1970s, following a stroke the Carlton Football club made a ramp up onto the committee box at Princes Park Oval so that Menzies’s chauffeur, Peter Pearson could drive his Bentley into the stand to watch games.

13) Arthur Fadden liked socialising, sport, and theatre. He was once a member of an acting group in Mackay called the Nigger Minstrel Troupe. Yes that’s right …..It’s pretty much white people painting on a black face and doing that racist thing.

14) John Curtin’s first job at the age of 14, was as a messenger boy for a magazine edited by artist Norman Lindsay. Curtin was also gaoled for three days in Pentridge Prison Melbourne in 1916 for defying government’s call-up order for military. Although holding such strong beliefs Curtin passed conscription for WWII.

15) Francis Forde holds the records for the shortest term as Prime Minister for a mere 8 days.

16) Ben Chifley graduated as one of the youngest first-class locomotive engine driver at 28. Chifley died of a massive heart attack on the 13th of June 1951 in Canberra, whilst parliamentarians attended State Ball at Parliament House. Once hearing the news Prime Minister Menzies told everyone to go home. Ben Chifley ghost is said to haunt Canberra.

17) Harold Holt’s father married one of his former girlfriends…… So she became his step mother. After going missing while swimming and his body never found, in good Australian humour a local Melbourne swimming pool was named in his honour.

18) Sir John McEwen at the age of 16, worked at a Crown Solicitor’s office under Frederick Whitlam, father of future PM Gough Whitlam. At the age of 67 years McEwen was the oldest ever incoming Prime Minister. Due to only being Prime Minister for two months McEwen, after his death did not want a fancy PM headstone.

19) Sir William McMahon employed young sailors in tight-fitting bell-bottom trousers to caddy for him at golf.

20) Sir John Gorton survived three flying accidents and ship being torpedoed during the Second World War. Gorton was also the only PM to voted himself out of office.

21) Gough Whitlam is only one of two Prime Ministers whose lifetime spanned the lives of all 25 Prime Ministers in Australia’s first century (John Gorton was the other) Whitlam was Australia’s longest-lived Prime Minister, dying at the age of 98 years, sadly 2 years short of receiving a 100th birthday card from Queen Elizabeth II, the woman who sacked him and his government in 1975.

22) Malcolm Fraser’s notorious incident in Memphis, Tennessee, in October 1986 is a night that would never be forgotten. After give a speech to the Memphis Economic Club Fraser decided to go for a drink at the Peabody Hotel. But for Fraser this was only the beginning of the night. He wandered into the foyer of a Memphis hotel frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers at 7am wearing nothing but a towel. He claimed to have no memory of the nights activities or were his pants where.

23) Bob Hawke 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.

24) Paul Keating left school at the age of 14, and managed a rock band called The Ramrods. Keating is the only Australian PM to be on the cover of the Rolling Stones Magazine. As Prime Minister Keating asked journalists to stop photographing his bald patch.

25) John Howard is the only Liberal Party Prime Minister to have been educated in a state school. Howard also lived at his parents’ home until he was 32 years old.

26) Kevin Rudd is a descendent of 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).

27) Julia Gillard immigrated with her family to Adelaide in 1966 as ’£10 poms’. Gillard is the first female Prime Minister to be sworn in by the first female Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Gillard was also the first unmarried Prime Minister.

28) Tony Abbott during his student days, once saved a child who was swept out to sea. Another time, he helped save children from a burning house next to a pub where he was drinking. At the aged 26, he studied to become a Catholic priest.

29) Malcolm Turnbull is 2nd cousin of British actress Angela Lansbury, from Murder She Wrote.

 

On This Day ……. 23rd June 1910

In the Criminal Court before Mr Justice Hood, and a jury, the trial was concluded of Elizabeth Downey, Clara Pennington, and Minnie Long, who were charged with murdering Isabella Nelson McCallum, on the 7th of May last. Mr Maxwell addressed the court on behalf of Mrs Downey, and argued that there was no case against her. No evidence was called on behalf of Mrs Downey, nor did she make a statement. Mr Purves then addressed the court on behalf of Pennington and Long, urging that they were in no part connected with any illegal operation. His Honour, in summing, up, said the Crown did not attempt to bring direct evidence, as such crimes were done in secret. No injustice had been done to Mrs Downey by having her case heard along with the others. If the jury were satisfied that the girl did not die from an illegal operation, then there was an end to the case. Dr. Mollison had said that death was due to a certain cause, and that it was extremely improbable that the girl had done it. As regarded Long the case started with the testimony of witness McCarthy, who in the box, admitted that he committed perjury at the Coroner’s Court. It was necessary for his evidence to be corroborated, and the letters written by accused Long supplied this. The case against Mrs Long rested on the telegrams and letters written and sent by her. Then the statements of the accused Pennington were at variance with her protestations. As regards Mrs Downey, the girl died in her place on the 7th of May. There was no satisfactory explanation for her presence there. According to Mrs Butler, the girl was at Mrs Downey’s house on 5th May, while Mrs Downey said she came the night before her death. Was it credible that she was there without Mrs Downey’s knowledge? On the Friday night, according to Mrs Butler, Mrs Downey wanted to send the girl to a hospital. Why ? Was it because the girl was moribund. Why was a doctor not called sooner ? If the jury decided that Mrs Downey performed the operation, then the other two accused were accomplices, and they were equally guilty. At 1pm the jury retired to consider their verdict, and at 2.30pm returned into Court with a verdict that the three accused had been guilty of murder, and Clara Pennington was recommended to mercy. Asked if they had anything to say a why- they should not be sentenced, each accused said she knew nothing of the illegal operation.

His Honour said:

You three women have been found guilty by the jury on the facts, and have to say that I roughly agree with the verdict. The only conclusion I draw is that you have been carrying on this abominable traffic for some time. Whether the sentence will be carried out or not does not rest with me, but the Governor-General will determine that. I now order that, you be taken to the Melbourne Gaol, and from there to such place as the Governor-in-Council may direct, then be hanged by the neck until you are dead. God have mercy on your souls. On the declaration of the sentence, several women in Court burst into tears and rushed from the Court. The prisoners were then removed back to the Geelong Gaol.

ON THIS DAY…… 11th November 1975

Only Australian Prime Minister sack – Gough Whitlam

Edward Gough Whitlam, born on 11 July 1916, became the 21st Prime Minister of Australia on 2 December 1972. It was the first ALP electoral victory since 1946. The Whitlam government embarked on a massive legislative social reform program which was forward-thinking and progressive in many ways. Whilst initially popular, the fast pace of reform engendered caution amongst the electorate, and the economy was beset by high inflation combined with economic stagnation. These conditions were the catalyst to the Australian constitutional crisis of 1975. The opposition Liberal-National Country Party coalition held a majority in the Senate, the upper house of Parliament. In an unprecedented move, the Senate deferred voting on bills that appropriated funds for government expenditure, attempting to force the Prime Minister to dissolve the House of Representatives and call an election. The Whitlam government ignored the warnings, and sought alternative means of appropriating the funds it needed to repay huge debts. With Whitlam unable to secure the necessary funds, the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, dismissed Whitlam as Prime Minister on 11 November 1975, and appointed Liberal opposition leader Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister. This was done on the condition that Fraser would seek a dissolution of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, thus precipitating a general election.

Julia Gillard the 27th Prime Minister of Australia immigrated with her family to Adelaide in 1966 as ’£10 poms’. Gillard is the first female Prime Minister to be sworn in by the first female Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Gillard was also the first unmarried Prime Minister.

Well here we are on Election Day 2016, voting has open, placards are out and the aroma of sausage sizzles fill the air. Labour, Liberal, Democrats and Greens all trying hard to persuade last minute votes.

Since 2013 we have seen four Prime Minister’s in office, and well may we say, the passing of two heavyweights of Australian Politics – Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser.

But how well do you really know our Prime Ministers…….. At Twisted History we thought we would share the strange, weird and bizarre facts on our 29 PM’s!

1) Sir Edmond Barton was a cricket umpire when the first ever international cricket riot happened in 1878, against Australia and England at the SCG.

2) Alfred Deakin was almost killed in lift accident in 1887. Melbourne became the fourth city in the world to build power hydraulic lifts. When directors of the Australian Provincial Assurance Association (including future Australian Prime Minister Alfred Deakin), inspected the hydraulic lift in the new APA building on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Flinders Lane, Melbourne, for the first time. The mechanism failed and the lift shot upwards 12 floors, stopped only by some stout springs at the top. Deakin exited the building by the stairs.

3) Chris Watson was born in Chile and never became a British subject, so he was technically not eligible to sit in the Australian parliament let alone become Prime Minister.

4) Sir George Reid was the first PM to be involved in a car accident, breaking his arm and bruising his pride.

5) Andrew Fisher, left school at the age of 10, to work in the coal mines, before immigrating to Australia at the age of 13.

6) Joseph Cook was largely a self-educated man after leaving school at the age of 9 as a miner. Australian artist Tom Roberts, who recorded Cook on canvas many times, noted that Cook was 5 ft 9 ins (175 cm) in height, weighed 12 stone (76 kg) and his hat size was 7.

7) Billy Hughes established the Commonwealth Police Force, after being struck by an egg in the head at a protest. Hughes also holds two distinguished records – As Prime Minister, he had the most secretaries of all PM numbering over 100. Hughes also holds the record as longest serving parliamentarian lasting 58 years, when he died at age 90, while still serving in Parliament.

8) Viscount of Melbourne, Stanley Bruce fought at both Gallipoli and the Western Front. Bruce was the first PM to govern from the newly built Canberra. Bruce died in London and was cremated and his ashes were spread around Canberra. Bruce is the only PM whose remains are in the nation’s capital.

9) James Scullin was the first Prime Minister to choose the Governor-General, not the royal family. Scullin choose Sir Isaac Isaacs, the first born Australian to hold the post.

10) Joseph Lyon’s father lost the family savings at the 1887 Melbourne Cup. Lyon at the age of 9 was forced to leave school and find work.

11) Earle Christmas Page was one of the first Australians to own a car. Serving as Prime minister for only 20 days, he refused to retire at 81, and dying from lung cancer, still contested the 1961 election.

12) Sir Robert Menzies is the longest serving Prime Minister (18 years). Menzies retired on Australia Day in 1966. Menzies was a lifelong supporter of Carlton VFL Football Club. In the 1970s, following a stroke the Carlton Football club made a ramp up onto the committee box at Princes Park Oval so that Menzies’s chauffeur, Peter Pearson could drive his Bentley into the stand to watch games.

13) Arthur Fadden liked socialising, sport, and theatre. He was once a member of an acting group in Mackay called the Nigger Minstrel Troupe. Yes that’s right …..It’s pretty much white people painting on a black face and doing that racist thing.

14) John Curtin’s first job at the age of 14, was as a messenger boy for a magazine edited by artist Norman Lindsay. Curtin was also gaoled for three days in Pentridge Prison Melbourne in 1916 for defying government’s call-up order for military. Although holding such strong beliefs Curtin passed conscription for WWII.

15) Francis Forde holds the records for the shortest term as Prime Minister for a mere 8 days.

16) Ben Chifley graduated as one of the youngest first-class locomotive engine driver at 28. Chifley died of a massive heart attack on the 13th of June 1951 in Canberra, whilst parliamentarians attended State Ball at Parliament House. Once hearing the news Prime Minister Menzies told everyone to go home. Ben Chifley ghost is said to haunt Canberra.

17) Harold Holt’s father married one of his former girlfriends…… So she became his step mother. After going missing while swimming and his body never found, in good Australian humour a local Melbourne swimming pool was named in his honour.

18) Sir John McEwen at the age of 16, worked at a Crown Solicitor’s office under Frederick Whitlam, father of future PM Gough Whitlam. At the age of 67 years McEwen was the oldest ever incoming Prime Minister. Due to only being Prime Minister for two months McEwen, after his death did not want a fancy PM headstone.

19) Sir William McMahon employed young sailors in tight-fitting bell-bottom trousers to caddy for him at golf.

20) Sir John Gorton survived three flying accidents and ship being torpedoed during the Second World War. Gorton was also the only PM to voted himself out of office.

21) Gough Whitlam is only one of two Prime Ministers whose lifetime spanned the lives of all 25 Prime Ministers in Australia’s first century (John Gorton was the other) Whitlam was Australia’s longest-lived Prime Minister, dying at the age of 98 years, sadly 2 years short of receiving a 100th birthday card from Queen Elizabeth II, the woman who sacked him and his government in 1975.

22) Malcolm Fraser’s notorious incident in Memphis, Tennessee, in October 1986 is a night that would never be forgotten. After give a speech to the Memphis Economic Club Fraser decided to go for a drink at the Peabody Hotel. But for Fraser this was only the beginning of the night. He wandered into the foyer of a Memphis hotel frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers at 7am wearing nothing but a towel. He claimed to have no memory of the nights activities or were his pants where.

23) Bob Hawke 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.

24) Paul Keating left school at the age of 14, and managed a rock band called The Ramrods. Keating is the only Australian PM to be on the cover of the Rolling Stones Magazine. As Prime Minister Keating asked journalists to stop photographing his bald patch.

25) John Howard is the only Liberal Party Prime Minister to have been educated in a state school. Howard also lived at his parents’ home until he was 32 years old.

26) Kevin Rudd is a descendent of 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).

27) Julia Gillard immigrated with her family to Adelaide in 1966 as ’£10 poms’. Gillard is the first female Prime Minister to be sworn in by the first female Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Gillard was also the first unmarried Prime Minister.

28) Tony Abbott during his student days, once saved a child who was swept out to sea. Another time, he helped save children from a burning house next to a pub where he was drinking. At the aged 26, he studied to become a Catholic priest.

29) Malcolm Turnbull is 2nd cousin of British actress Angela Lansbury, from Murder She Wrote.

 

On This Day ……. 23rd June 1910

In the Criminal Court before Mr Justice Hood, and a jury, the trial was concluded of Elizabeth Downey, Clara Pennington, and Minnie Long, who were charged with murdering Isabella Nelson McCallum, on the 7th of May last. Mr Maxwell addressed the court on behalf of Mrs Downey, and argued that there was no case against her. No evidence was called on behalf of Mrs Downey, nor did she make a statement. Mr Purves then addressed the court on behalf of Pennington and Long, urging that they were in no part connected with any illegal operation. His Honour, in summing, up, said the Crown did not attempt to bring direct evidence, as such crimes were done in secret. No injustice had been done to Mrs Downey by having her case heard along with the others. If the jury were satisfied that the girl did not die from an illegal operation, then there was an end to the case. Dr. Mollison had said that death was due to a certain cause, and that it was extremely improbable that the girl had done it. As regarded Long the case started with the testimony of witness McCarthy, who in the box, admitted that he committed perjury at the Coroner’s Court. It was necessary for his evidence to be corroborated, and the letters written by accused Long supplied this. The case against Mrs Long rested on the telegrams and letters written and sent by her. Then the statements of the accused Pennington were at variance with her protestations. As regards Mrs Downey, the girl died in her place on the 7th of May. There was no satisfactory explanation for her presence there. According to Mrs Butler, the girl was at Mrs Downey’s house on 5th May, while Mrs Downey said she came the night before her death. Was it credible that she was there without Mrs Downey’s knowledge? On the Friday night, according to Mrs Butler, Mrs Downey wanted to send the girl to a hospital. Why ? Was it because the girl was moribund. Why was a doctor not called sooner ? If the jury decided that Mrs Downey performed the operation, then the other two accused were accomplices, and they were equally guilty. At 1pm the jury retired to consider their verdict, and at 2.30pm returned into Court with a verdict that the three accused had been guilty of murder, and Clara Pennington was recommended to mercy. Asked if they had anything to say a why- they should not be sentenced, each accused said she knew nothing of the illegal operation.

His Honour said:

You three women have been found guilty by the jury on the facts, and have to say that I roughly agree with the verdict. The only conclusion I draw is that you have been carrying on this abominable traffic for some time. Whether the sentence will be carried out or not does not rest with me, but the Governor-General will determine that. I now order that, you be taken to the Melbourne Gaol, and from there to such place as the Governor-in-Council may direct, then be hanged by the neck until you are dead. God have mercy on your souls. On the declaration of the sentence, several women in Court burst into tears and rushed from the Court. The prisoners were then removed back to the Geelong Gaol.