While cutting up a goose, Roy Stewart from Warooka, South Australia, butcher found a gold nugget in the giblet bag. He brought dozens of others from the same source hoping to repeat the find but he never again found the goose that laid the golden egg………


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!).”

Certainly per European history shows Tasmanian Tigers-Zebra Wolfs (Thylacine) roamed large parts of main land Australia. There is plenty of evidence in fossil remains and Aboriginal cave art. But is it possible they still lived in Victoria as little as 100 years ago. Interesting idea when the last known Thylacine died at the Hobart Zoo on the 7th of September 1936, and Thylacine’s were declared extinct by international standards in 1986. However there are many accounts of wolf-lions-tiger like animals killing live stock through Gippsland, North East and central Victoria and as far as Tantanoola in South Australia. Below is an account of animal killed by a farmer on the 29th June 1916 at Mirboo North, South Gippsland, Victoria.

The sheep-killing animal that was found poisoned in Mr J. Gilfedder’s paddock, close to the Mirboo North township, Victoria recently, does not appear to be either a dingo or a fox. It was two or three times as large as either of those animals. It had the legs, paws and nails of a dog, and the snout and tail of a fox or a dingo. Its mode of killing sheep was to worry their rumps and pull away some of the entrails. Residents who saw-it say that it was a cross between a dingo or a fox and a dog. To ascertain if possible what the animal was, Mr. Gilfedder intends sending the skull, claws and tail to the Director of the Melbourne Zoo, who is recognised as an authority on animals. Some people at Yinnar who had sheep destroyed in the way described poisoned the carcases; but the animal would not take the bait. A successful way to destroy any other of such breed as turn up among sheep is to skin rabbits and put them in a fire, and thus destroy the smell of the hands, and use one as a trail, and cut others, and lay the baits along the trail, without touching them with the hands. This was the method Mr Gilfedder used. Since the death of the animal we have not heard of any sheep being worried around the district. Mr Gilfedder received the following letter from Mr D. Gibson, of the National Bank, Maffra: – “Dear Sir, – I saw in the paper some few days ago that you had poisoned an animal, somewhat like a dingo, but larger, that had been destroying your sheep. I enclose a rough sketch of the Tasmanian zebra wolf, in the hope that it may enable you to identify it with that animal. I and others have seen them up in the mountains; but the fact of their being indigenous to Victoria has never been established by their capture. Probably they are the animal vaguely called the ‘Tantanoola tiger’ and the ‘Morwell lion,’ which has been seen in so many localities. The zebra wolf is a marsupial, coloured from French-grey to russet brown, according to the season, and striped with dark brown to black on back and tail, and less conspicuously on the legs. The coat is short and close, build very strong, pads especially large for its size, powerful hindquarters, progresses either at a trot or by long bounds, height at shoulder 2ft. 6in. to 3ft. I have seen one in captivity which stood on its hind legs over 5ft. high. They are night prowlers, and carry their young in a pouch. They use hollow logs, etc., to camp in, and cover long distances, rarely coming out in the daylight. This is the reason why they have escaped capture so long. The skin or cleaned skeleton would be eagerly purchased by either Melbourne Zoo (D. Le Soeuf), or the National Gallery Museum. Probably they would fetch £20 or so; so they are worth saving.”

On this day …….. 26th of June 1945

While Mr R. Billsborow was delivering bread in Molesworth St, North Adelaide, during a storm on this day in 1945, his horse become scared and bolted. Billsborow gave chase but could not keep up, when suddenly the wind caught him and lifted him of the ground and blew him in front of the horse and cart. Billsborow was blown to the ground, but got up to stop the runaway horse just as it passed him.

On this day …….. 18th of June 1852

A novel occurrence took place at a steeplechase held in Unley, South Australia on this day in 1852. The three horse in the race refused to jump the final fence for over an hour. One of the horse named Sailor Boy was unsaddled, taken away and feed. He was brought back, saddled up, remounted and jumped the fence, winning the race.

A list of Australia’s mass shootings

1628 – 1899
Shipwreck of the Batavia in – 1628 (Western Australia) 110 Dutch
Cape Grim massacre – 10 February 1828 (Tasmania) – 30 Indigenous Australians
Convincing Ground – 1833 Portland (Victoria) – 200 Indigenous Australians
Pinjarra – 28 October 1834, Pinjarra (Western Australia ) – 40 Indigenous Australians
Waterloo Creek – 1838 (New South Wales) – 70 Indigenous Australians
Myall Creek – 10 June 1838 (New South Wales) – 30 Indigenous Australians
Murdering Gully – 1839, Camperdown (Victoria) – 40 Indigenous Australians
Campaspe Plains – June 1839 (Central Victoria) – 40 Indigenous Australians
Gippsland massacres – 1840-1850 (Victoria) – 1000 Indigenous Australians
Cullin-La-Ringo – 17 October 1861 (Central Queensland) – 19 Indigenous Australians
Flying Foam – 1868 Flying Foam (Western Aust)150 – Indigenous Australians
Palmer massacre – 1878 Palmer River (Queensland) – 150 Chine against each other

1900 – 1999
Ching family murders – 16 November 1911 Mackay (Queensland) – 6
Broken Hill – 1 January 1915 Broken Hill (New South Wales) – 4 shooting spree
Mowla Bluff massacre – 1916 Kimberley (Western Aust) – 400 Indigenous Australians
Forrest River massacre – 1926 Kimberley (Western Aust) – 11 Indigenous Australians
Coniston massacre – 1928 (Northern Territory) – 170 Indigenous Australians
Hope Forest massacre – 6 September 1971 (Sth Aust) – 10 Rampage killing
Campsie murders – 24 September 1981 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Wahroonga murders – 1 June 1984 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Milperra – 2 Sept 1984 (New South Wales) – 7 Shootout between two rival gangs
Top End Shootings – 1987 (Northern Territory) – 5 Spree killing
Hoddle Street massacre – 1987 Clifton Hill (Victoria) – 7 Spree shooting
Canley Vale murders – 1987 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Queen Street massacre – 1987 Melbourne (Victoria) – 8 Spree shooting
Oenpelli shootings – 1988 (Northern Territory) – 6 Rampage killing
Surry Hills shootings – 1990 (New South Wales) – 5 Spree shooting
Strathfield massacre – 1991 (New South Wales) – 7 Spree shooting
Central Coast massacre – 1992 Terrigal (New South Wales) 6 – Spree shooting
Cangai siege – 1993 (New South Wales) – 5 Rampage killing
Hillcrest Murders – 1996 Hillcrest (Queensland) – 6 Rampage killing
Port Arthur massacre – 1996 (Tasmania) – 35 Spree shooting

2000 – 2014
Monash University Shooting – 2002 Melbourne (Victoria) – 2 Shooting spree
Hectorville siege – 2011 (South Australia) – 3 Shooting
Hunt family murder – 2014 Lockhart (New South Wales) – 5 Shooting spree
Logan shooting – 2014 Logan (Victoria) – 3 Shooting spree

Photo from 1997, piles of guns in Australia are moved after a landmark law that resulted from a mass shooting. Now, Australians are saying the US could learn their lesson.


On this day …….. 8th of October 1930

Luna Park was opened in Glenelg, South Australia on 8 October 1930. The park grounds were open to the surrounding area, with admission instead charged to the individual rides and attractions. Sadly due to a dispute with the local council it closed in 1935.


On this day …….. 30th September 1939

Strange scenes were witnessed at Victoria Dock, when interstate buyers were so eager to secure pedigreed stud sheep that reached Melbourne from oversea that they wanted an auction sale on the wharf. This effort failed, but a sale was held in the city half an hour after the sheep were unloaded, and the first of them were sold before the sheep reached quarantine less than a mile from the dock. The consignment was brought to Australia by Mr. W. R. Ross, and was due in Melbourne nearly a fortnight earlier. Breeders from New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria stormed the ship. A Dorset Horn that won the championship at the centennial English show was sold to a New South Wales breeder for 250 guineas.



On this day …….. 27th September 1956

Sandra Simpkins is a ventriloquist doll which was used by Merle Blaskett in the test transmission of GTV9 (channel 9) from Mount Dandenong, Melbourne on this day 1956, becoming the first puppet on Australian TV. Today “Sandra Simpkins” is believed to be a very rare Len Insull doll, circa 1948, as female dolls were believed to be undesirable. Merle and her husband Ron Blaskett decided to sell Sandra and subsequently remodelled her into a Male character. As a historical TV artefact the Blaskett’s tried refined the doll to no avail until it was rediscovered in 2013 and restored to the original female character by Gordon Ross in South Australia. Ron Blaskett refers to this doll as the most historical “transgender” ventriloquist doll in Australia.


ON THIS DAY…… 26th September 1853

Elizabeth and Michael Finnessy were married in Burra, South Australia, they had two children who had both died. The couple had moved to Victoria and lived in a small house in Chinatown. A week before Elizabeth was murdered, she had found at that her husband was married to another woman, who was still alive. With this news Elizabeth began to drink heavily and was locked up in the watch house to sober up. On being release she was taken back to her house to speak with her husband. Sitting in the lounge room Michael said “Won’t you speak to me Lizzy” and upon this the man who lived in the house with the couple left the room, thinking they would become reconciled.  Remaining just outside in the street, he heard a pistol shot. Returned to the room he saw Elizabeth stumbling across the room, she returned to the part near where she had been sitting, and falling under the table.

She was raised up and placed upon a sofa in the room, but was barely able to speak. In a soft voice she begged the man who placed her there, to fetch a priest, as she knew she was dying. So didn’t speak again and died within 10 mins.

Her husband, almost immediately after the dreadful deed, rushed into the next room, and proceeded to reload the pistol, but was stopped before he could kill himself. He was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder. Michael was executed on the 25th of October 1853, at the same time as another murderer. After hanging the usual time, one hour, the bodies were taken down and conveyed to their destination at the Melbourne Cemetery.




On this day …….. 25th September 1957

Australia’s relative remoteness from the major populated countries of the world made it a strategic location for testing of British atomic weapons in the 1950s. Initial tests were conducted at the Montebello islands, off north-west Western Australia. In 1953, Britain’s first atomic test on the Australian mainland was carried out at Emu Field, in the Great Victoria Desert of South Australia, about 480 kilometres northwest of Woomera. Several years later, testing was moved to Maralinga, a remote area of South Australia, and the home of the Maralinga Tjarutja, a southern Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal group. “Operation Buffalo” involved four open-air nuclear test explosions at Maralinga, commencing in September 1956, and continuing through to October 22. The next series of tests at Maralinga was codenamed “Operation Antler”. These tests commenced in September 1957, with an explosion of one kiloton on 14 September. The second, much larger explosion took place on 25 September 1957, and yielded six kilotons. A third detonation took place from a balloon at a high altitude. Acid rain fallout was reported from as far away as Adelaide. The tests at Maralinga left a legacy of radioactive contamination. Cleanup operations were insufficient to combat radiation poisoning among Australian servicemen and Aborigines who were at Maralinga during the tests. The site was formally handed back to the Maralinga people under the Maralinga Tjarutja Land Rights Act in 1985. In 1994, the Australian Government made a compensation settlement of $13.5 million with Maralinga Tjarutja, in relation to the nuclear testing.

On this day …….. 25th September 2000

On the 25th of September 2000, 17-year-old Jevan Wright was killed while surfing at Blackfellows Point near Elliston on Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. During an inquest in February 2001 the Coroner stated “All experienced surfers, particularly people who surf on the West Coast of South Australia, must be aware of the risk, however remote, of shark attack.” The coroner’s report also noted that “Mr Geoff Wright, Jevan’s father, also made some very sensible observations about the frequency of shark attacks and ways in which this phenomenon might be minimised.” His observations related to tuna farming in Boston Bay and salmon fishing.