On this day ………… 28th February 1790

John Irving, was born around 1760. He came to the penal colony of New South Wales with the First Fleet in 1788, after being sentenced in 1784 to seven years for stealing a silver cup. Irving proved an able surgeon’s assistant, both on the voyage to New South Wales, and once the settlement was established. His hard work and “unremitting good conduct and meritorious behaviour” earned him an early reprieve from his sentence. Governor Phillip signed his Warrant of Emancipation on 28 February 1790, making Irving the first convict to be freed. He accompanied surgeon Dennis Considen to Norfolk Island, where he remained as surgeon’s assistant for over a year before returning to Port Jackson in May 1791. He was then awarded 30 acres of land at Parramatta.


On this day ………… 27th February 1891

On the 27th of February 1891, the South Australian Register reported on the death in gaol of the Reverend Dr Keating. It appears he knew beforehand that he would soon die in gaol. The Rev. Dr. Oswald Keating, who was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for assault on a little girl, died in Darlinghurst Gaol, from cerebral apoplexy. After sentence had been passed upon him he asked to be allowed to see his wife for a few moments, and was permitted to have a short interview. During the conversation, Mrs. Keating displayed considerable emotion, and her husband enjoined her to be calm, as it was probably the last opportunity she would have of seeing him. From the time he entered the gaol he seemed to be convinced that he would not live long, and just before he was seized with the fit, which ended in his death, he wrote an affectionate farewell letter to his wife.



On this day ………… 25th February 1938

While fishing for Perch on the Upper Bellinger River near Thora in NSW, on this day in 1938, Mr. Targett accidentally caught a bat in mid air. He was holding up his line to see if his bait of cricket was still intact, when the bat swept down, grabbed the bait. The line ran though the started man’s fingers. By now amused, Targett reeled in his catch and found a large bat with a cricket and hook firmly in its mouth.



On this day ………… 23rd February 1933

George Blyth had a lucky escape from death at Coramba, NSW, on this day in 1933 when trying to guide a heat exhausted bullock onto a road. Blyth suddenly felt the ground give way. He let go of the animal and fell down a disused mine shaft, 27 metres deep. About half way down the shaft, the bullock passed him and crashed to the bottom. Blyth landed on the animal and survived the fall, while the bullock had broken it’s neck and dead. Although he was battered and bruised, Blyth managed to climb out of the mine shaft.



On this day ………… 20th February 1916

It’s so hot here in February that you can wash out your pants, hang them on the line, and run around the house and take them off dry. Henry Lawson write in a letter to a friend in Leeton, New South Wale, on the 20th of February, 1916. Lawson had been commissioned for two guineas a week to write about the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area which came into being after the construction of Burrinjuck Dam from 1908. The town was ‘dry’, but Lawson was accommodated by the regular ‘drunks’ express’ which steamed to nearby Narrandera and Whitton.


On this day ………… 15th February 1929

Mr Robinson had a close shave when he fell overboard from a yacht off Smoky Cape, NSW on this day 1929. Another crew member saw him go over, but by the time the yacht was brought round, Robertson was almost a kilometre astern. The occupants of the yacht could not see him, but Robertson was saved by a flock of seagulls which sighted him and hovered over his head, giving the yacht an indication of his location. Robertson was in the water for more than half an hour before he was fished out.



A sea creature, thought to be a giant pike eel, washed up on the banks of Lake Macquarie at Swansea, NSW on the 15th of February 2016. But is it a terrifying creature from the deep, or is the whole thing a bit fishy? Newcastle dad Ethan Tipper reportedly posted the photo to Facebook asking friends, “what the f—k is this?”, the Daily Telegraph reports. He had reportedly spotted the creature and taken the photo. The post has reportedly been shared more than 1000 times. Australian museum ichthyology manager Mark McGrouther told the newspaper it appeared to be a large pike eel. A NSW Fisheries spokesman from the Hunter region told pike eels were known to grow quite large, but that he had not seen this particular specimen in the flesh. A spokeswoman for the Lake Macquarie Marine Rescue said she had heard of the news on the radio but also didn’t know of anyone who had actually seen the creature washed up on the banks.



On this day ………… 14th February 1948

On this day in 1948, lightweight boxer Mickey Davis knocked himself out in a fight with Tommy Smith at Newcastle, NSW, when he missed his opponent with a wild right, toppled over, and hit the canvas with his head. He was still unconscious when his second dragged him back to his corner. The referee could noted lair Smith the winner because he had not sent Davis to the canvas. Neither could he declare the bout no fight because the men had keenly fought for six rounds. In the end he declared it a no decision fight.



On this day ………… 7th February 1906

A 14 year old mail boy employed on a rural postal run in the Forbes district of NSW had a narrow escape from drowning in a large water tank on this day in 1906. He led his horse, which was attached to a sulky, to a tank. Instead of drinking, the animal plunged in and began to swim pulling the sulky into the water. The boy climbed into the sulky, pulling the reins, impeding it’s movements, with the result that the animal was drowned. The boy could not swim, but saved himself by sitting on the floating animal for seven hours, until travellers came along and rescued him.



On this day …….. 3rd of January 1962

On this day in 1962, Victoria and NSW were connected with a standard gauge rail connection. For over 100 years trains stopped at the Albury NSW, and passengers and goods were moved to a different train. The first Goods train from Sydney arrived in Melbourne on this day.


On this day …….. 3rd of January 1989

Dolphins saved a boys life as a large shark moved in for the kill on the 3rd of January 1989. They chased off the 3.5 metre long tiger shark as it approached the hopeless teenager surfer Adam McGuire. The shark had already attacked Adam twice as he surfed off Evans Head, near Ballina, NSW. First it tore a huge chunk out of this surfboard, plunging Adam into the sea. Then it struck again and ripped his stomach, leaving a 30cm wide gash. Despite his wounds, Adam managed to swim ashore with the help of two friends as the dolphins attacked the shark. Adam survived.


On this day …….. 19th of December 1964

Town relocated

The town of Jindabyne in NSW, resulted from the earliest settlements in Australia’s Snowy Mountains. It is thought to have come about after the Pendergast brothers, sons of an ex-convict, arrived in the area possibly as early as the 1820s. Sheep farming, wheat and a flour mill gave the town its first start, and more impetus came with the goldrush of the high country, in 1859-1860. It is believed that as new settlers arrived in the district, the town sprang up around a popular crossing of the Snowy River. A general store and post office was established in 1862, followed by a school in 1882 and a police station in 1883. Rainbow trout were released into the Snowy River in 1884, starting the popular tradition of trout fishing in the area.

The construction of new buildings in Jindabyne was banned by the Australian Government in 1960, when it was announced that the town, together with the nearby town of Adaminaby, would be flooded to create Jindabyne Lake, a dam that would feed the proposed Snowy Mountain Hydro-Electric Scheme. Between 1962 and 1964, Jindabyne and Adaminaby were gradually relocated onto higher ground. On this day the 19th of December 1964, “new Jindabyne” was officially opened by Sir Eric Woodward, the Governor of NSW. The dam was completed in 1967, and thousands of hectares of land flooded.