Posts

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 …….. 27th of April 1806

Moehanga Ngāpuhi, became the first recorded Māori visitor to England when the Ferret berthed in London on the 27th of April 1806. Moehanga had boarded the Ferret when it visited the Bay of Islands late in 1805. While Māori had travelled as far as Tahiti and Australia in the late 18th century, Moehanga was the first to make it to the other side of the globe. While in England he met King George III and Queen Charlotte. He sailed with the Ferret when it left for Port Jackson, Sydney, New South Wales, in June. After spending the summer in Port Jackson he returned to his home in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand in March 1807.

 

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 ……. 26th March 1910

John William Crabtree, a grocer who’s premises were destroyed by an explosion on this day in 1910. Crabtree was taken to the Melbourne Hospital where he died. During the inquest to his death, Crabtree was found to be an escaped prison. In 1885, Crabtree had been sentenced to 10 years in gaol from stealing horse in Christchurch, New Zealand, but escaped Mount Cook Gaol before arriving in Melbourne.

 

 

On this day ………… 20th February 1903

The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed on 1 January 1901. Shortly after this, in April of that year, the Commonwealth Government announced a Federal Flag design competition. There were 32,823 entries in the competition, and most featured the Union Jack, the Southern Cross, or native animals. Five almost identical entries were selected to share the 200 pound prize. The entries belonged to Ivor Evans, a fourteen-year-old schoolboy from Melbourne; Leslie John Hawkins, a teenager apprenticed to an optician from Sydney; Egbert John Nuttall, an architect from Melbourne; Annie Dorrington, an artist from Perth; and William Stevens, a ship’s officer from Auckland, New Zealand. The first design of the flag was very similar to the current design, with differences being that the Federation Star, also known as the Commonwealth Star, had six points instead of seven, while the Southern Cross stars had between five and nine points according to their brightness in the night sky. Originally, the blue field was reserved for Government use only, so the main background of the flag was red. The new Australian flag flew for the first time from the top of the Exhibition Building in Melbourne in September 1901, well before it was formally approved by the Imperial Authorities in England. The Australian Government was formally notified that the flag had been approved by King Edward VII late in 1902, and this approval was officially Gazetted on 20 February 1903.

 

After the official closure of the penal settlement on Sarah Island, twelve Convicts, under the supervision of several soldiers and Master Shipwright David Hoy, remained behind to complete the fitting out of the brig, Frederick. Although the specific orders concerning the fit-out had been mysteriously mislaid, the men dutifully carried out their tasks with ‘great propriety, executing Mr. Hoys’ orders with promptitude and alacrity’. The Frederick was launched in January 1834 and ten of the Convicts celebrated the occasion by seizing control. They sailed it to New Zealand and then onto South America. It was abandoned off coast of Chile and the Convicts rowed the ship’s whaleboat the remaining 80 km to shore. Passing themselves off as shipwrecked sailors, they assumed positions as shipwrights and became respected members of the community. Several married local women, while six of the men made a further escape to America and Jamaica. The four who remained in Chile were eventually caught and brought back to Hobart for trial as pirates. As the boat was seized from the harbour rather than the high seas, they escaped the charge but had to live out their days on Norfolk Island.

 

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.

 

On this day …….. 23rd September 1923

Quite a stir was created at the Kew Asylum when it became known that Charles Joseph Potter, alias “William M. Maxted, a criminal lunatic, had escaped from the institution. Potter, who has been convicted in New Zealand and New South Wales, was serving a sentence of two years’ imprisonment for an offence at the Garden, Vale railway station, and had been placed in the refractory ward. He lifted himself to the unbarred window, and eluding, the warder patrols, soon made his escape. The police were informed at a later hour, and a search was made without result, Potter, who is 28 years of age and of medium build, is believed to be wearing; a light grey cap and a dark overcoat. ‘He has a scar on the left ear.

 

On this day …….. 16th September 1770

Captain Cook, the first European to chart Australia’s eastern coast, was hired in 1766 by the Royal Society to travel to the Pacific Ocean to observe and record the transit of Venus across the Sun in mid-1769. Following this, Cook’s next orders were to search the south Pacific for Terra Australis Incognita, the great southern continent. Cook came across New Zealand, which Abel Tasman had discovered in 1642, and spent some months there, charting the coastline. Nearly a year later, Cook set sail west for New Holland, which was later to become Australia. Some time after beginning his journey up the eastern coast of the continent, Cook became the first European to note the appearance of the Aurora Australis. On 16 September 1770, Cook described a phenomenon which was similar in some ways to the Aurora Borealis, but different in other ways: they had “a dull reddish light” with other “rays of a brighter coloured light” passing between them, and “entirely without the trembling or vibratory motion” he had seen in the Aurora Borealis. By this time, Cook was as far north as Timor, and the Aurora Australis is not usually seen at that latitude. However, considerable solar activity in September 1770 is believed to have contributed to the appearance of the phenomenon.

 

On this day …….. 3rd September 1901

Following the proclamation of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901, the Commonwealth government held a design competition for a new national flag. There were 32,000 entries in the competition, and most featured the Union Jack, the Southern Cross, or native animals. Five almost identical entries were selected to share the 200 pound prize. The entries belonged to Ivor Evans, a fourteen-year-old schoolboy from Melbourne; Leslie John Hawkins, a teenager apprenticed to an optician from Sydney; Egbert John Nuttall, an architect from Melbourne; Annie Dorrington, an artist from Perth; and William Stevens, a ship’s officer from Auckland, New Zealand. On 3 September 1901, the new Australian flag flew for the first time from the top of the Exhibition Building in Melbourne. The flag was simplified, and approved by King Edward VII in 1902.