Posts

An Australian emu escaped from a farm in the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand’s South Island in November 2010. The local cop was called and when he arrived on the scene he saw the emu chasing a group of kids down the street in Ocean Bay. With the help of a few locals the emu was herded into a paddock until he was taken back to the farm.

 

Plucka Duck is a character on the popular Australian television program Hey Hey It’s Saturday. The character “presented” a segment on the show, along with Daryl Somers, which was a self-titled segment of Plucka Duck. Plucka was on the show until the show ended in 1999. In 2009, Plucka returned to the show when it returned to the screens as “Reunion Specials”. In 2010, the show returned as a series, with Plucka appearing in every episode. According to an interview given by John Blackman in 2009, Plucka was originally played by Mark McGahan, but was replaced by “Sim” for the reunion specials. “Sim” appears to refer to Simon Lefebvre. Also, Plucka Duck had its own show, Plucka’s Place. This show aired in 1997, with Livinia Nixon and Daniel Kowalski as co-hosts. The show lasted one season. In 2005, Plucka appeared with Daryl Somers at Carols by Candlelight. In 2008, Plucka made a long awaited return to television. Plucka (along with Dickie Knee and Daryl Somers) did a skit at the Logies. In early 2016, Plucka Duck appeared in an ad campaign for KFC riding a skateboard down a mountainous road in New Zealand.

 

Two origins have been suggested for the name of New Zealand’s rugby team, the All Blacks. One theory is based on the fact that Maoris have been included in the team since the first overseas tour in the late 1880s. The other suggestion origin goes back to 1905 when an English journalist cabled that the team played like “All Backs” and a transmission error resulted in the letter L being inserted.

 

Maori chief Hone Heke made a small fortune in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands before William Hobson’s appointment as Lieutenant Governor in 1840. For every whaling ship or trading ship entering a particular bay, Hone Heke levied a tax £10. He also lease wives for sailors during their stay.

 

When a flock of 565 pure white sheep, loaded on to a train at Taihape, New Zealand were brought out at their destination they had all turned black. When the train entered a tunnel thick fumes had brought about the amazing transformation.

 

A drunken gang of seamen were locked in the tiny colonial gaol at Lyttleton, New Zealand, but a few hours latter the gaoler, visiting the town centre, saw the prison walking down the street. The crew had punched holes in the floor for their legs, picked up the whole building and were making for their ship.

 

ON THIS DAY – June 19, 1894

The trial of Cecilia Anderson for the murder of John Fraser at the Southern Cross Hotel, Bourke-street, on 19th June, was held on Thursday at the Criminal Court, Melbourne, before the Chief Justice. Mr. Walsh, QC., stated the case for the Crown. He said that on Mrs. Anderson’s last trip from Sydney, she met Mrs. Healey, of New Zealand, and told her she meant to shoot Fraser in Melbourne. She procured a revolver, and made a pocket to carry it about in. On one occasion, Mrs. Anderson and Mrs. Healey met Fraser, and Mrs. Anderson took him away. Accused afterwards told Mrs. Healey it was a pity that she had not had the revolver with her when she was with Fraser, as she could have of done the trick nicely. The counsel described the scene at the Southern Cross Hotel, and said that accused had apparently been driven almost mad with jealousy, because a man who had promised to marry her three years before had married another woman. The taking of evidence having been concluded, the counsel addressed the jury, and his Honor summed up. The jury, after a short retirement, found the prisoner guilty of the murder of Fraser. The chief Justice in passing sentence of death, said there was no doubt that Mrs. Anderson had suffered severe wrongs at Fraser’s hands through his not paying her what he owed, and perhaps in other ways, but wrongs like these were no reasons for taking human life. The ultimate penalty for the crime did not rest with the Court. She might escape the sentence of death, but he did not wish to hold out any expectations in that direction. In the meantime he begged of her to make preparations for another world. Anderson revived 2 month gaol time.

 

On this day …….. 15th of June 1839

The first Englishman to explore New Zealand was James Cook, who charted and circumnavigated the North and South Islands late in 1769. In November, Cook claimed New Zealand for Great Britain, raising the British flag at Mercury Bay, on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. This signalled the start of British occupation of the islands which had previously been occupied by the Maori. On 15 June 1839, letters patent were issued in London extending the boundaries of New South Wales to include “any territory which is or may be acquired in sovereignty by Her Majesty … within that group of Islands in the Pacific Ocean, commonly called New Zealand”. Also in 1839, the British government appointed William Hobson as consul to New Zealand. Prior to Hobson leaving Sydney for New Zealand, Sir George Gipps, then Governor of New South Wales, issued a proclamation declaring that the boundaries of New South Wales were extended to include “such territory in New Zealand as might be acquired in sovereignty”. New Zealand officially became a dependency of New South Wales when the Legislative Council passed an Act extending to New Zealand the laws of New South Wales, on 16 June 1840. The Council also established customs duties and courts of justice for New Zealand. This arrangement, intended as a temporary measure, lasted just a few months. In November 1840, New Zealand became a separate colony.

4th June 1946

State-wide search for four criminals who are missing from Beechworth gaol was renewed. One of the men disappeared late last year, two in April, and the fourth a week ago. The men sought are: George Albert Wilson, 36, 5ft 6in, auburn hair, brown eyes, fresh complexion, and stout build. He is a native of New Zealand, and an engineer by occupation. Russell Stanley Kirby, 36, 5ft 8in, dark hair, brown eyes, fresh complexion, medium build. He has a big scar on the back of his left hand. Albert Charles Han is. 27, 5ft 10in.l dark brown hair, brown eyes, fresh complexion, and slight build. He is William John Clarke, 42, 5ft 6in. dark hair, blue eyes, fresh complexion, and medium build. He is an Englishman. Wilson, who broke free on December 22, 1945, is believed to have left the country for New Zealand, but, the other three fugitives are considered likely, to be in Victoria still. Because of this there has been a renewal of police raids on houses where the men may be harboured. Police said that any report of the whereabouts or movements of any of the fugitives would be treated as confidential. Kirby and Harris, who escaped together on April 26, are expected to have separated. Clarke, the latest escapee, is believed to have now disappeared from the dense bush surrounding the gaol where he obviously hid immediately after getting clear of the prison.

 

On This Day……… 9th April 1867

John Christian Watson, 3rd Prime Minister of Australia was born on this day. He was the first prime minister from the Australian Labour Party, and the first prime minister from the labour movement in the world. He was of Chilean birth, with German and New Zealand ancestry.

Previously serving in state parliament for seven years, Watson was elected to federal parliament at the inaugural 1901 election, where the state Labour parties received a combined 15.8 percent of the first past the post primary vote against two more dominant parties. The Caucus chose Watson as the inaugural parliamentary leader of the Labour Party on the 8th of May 1901, just in time for the first meeting of parliament. Labour led by Watson increased their vote to 31 percent at the 1903 election and 36.6 percent at the 1906 election. From the first election, Labour held the balance of power, giving support to Protectionist Party legislation in exchange for concessions to enact the Labour Party policy platform. Watson’s term as Prime Minister was brief only four months, between the 27th of April and the 18th of August 1904. He resigned as Labour leader in 1907 and retired from Parliament in 1910. Labour, led by Andrew Fisher would go on to win the 1910 election with 50 percent of the primary vote, ushering in Australia’s first elected majority government, and also the first elected Senate majority. Watson with others were later expelled from the party he helped found over the issue of conscription for World War I.

According to Percival Serle, Watson “left a much greater impression on his time than this would suggest. He came at the right moment for his party, and nothing could have done it more good than the sincerity, courtesy and moderation which he always showed as a leader”. Alfred Deakin wrote of Watson: “The Labour section has much cause for gratitude to Mr Watson, the leader whose tact and judgement have enabled it to achieve many of its Parliamentary successes”.

 

 

ON THIS DAY…… 9th October 1924

A disturbance on board the S.S. Pennyworth at the Railway Pier on October 4, resulted in the appearance of William John Dunlee, a seaman, in the Geelong City Court. He pleaded guilty to two charges, both of which were preferred by Constable P. A. Browne. His first was that he wilfully damaged two doors and two closed ports, the properly of R. S. Dalgleish and Co. Where he was fine £10, in default one months imprisonment, with hard labor, was imposed. On a second charge of being drunk and disorderly he was fined £5, in default 24 hours imprisonment. The fines were not paid, and Dunlee went to gaol. Evidence was given that Dunlee was 22 years of age. It was reported that Dunlee had threatened officers of the ship with a knife. The chief engineer and second officer of the Pennyworth stated that Dunlee had been signed on at New Zealand, and had only been on the ship for a few days. Dunlee had no excuse to make for his conduct.

 

On this day …….. 3rd of October 1935

Possible the most renowned Australian dessert is undoubtedly the pavlova, but which country did it originate from is a hot topic. Consisting of a base made of meringue crust topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits such as kiwi fruit, passionfruit and strawberries. The Australian legend states that the pavlova was created by Herbert Sachse, the chef of the Hotel Esplanade in Perth, Western Australia, on 3 October 1935. It is said to have been given the name “Pavlova” by Harry Naire from the Perth hotel, in honour of the visiting Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. Naire is alleged to have stated that the built up sides of the dessert reminded him of her tutu. New Zealand may have a greater claim to the pavlova, however. Recipes for pavlova appeared in a magazine and a cookery book from 1926. What is clear is that, while the dessert may have been invented in New Zealand, it was undisputedly named in Australia.