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While being transported to Australia in 1843, a Convict secretly stowed himself away in the hold of the Maitland. He had planned to arrive in Sydney unsuspected and then assume the role of a free settler. Having been missed, it was presumed he had just fallen over board and drowned. Six weeks after his disappearance, the captain suspected his champagne stores had been tampered with. During a search to ascertain whether there was a hidden entrance to the stores, the lost Convict was discovered. Later, the man was transported to Tasmania and again he made a dash for freedom. He was last seen paddling across the ocean in a stolen washing tub.

 

On this day …….. 7th of January 1814

The first recorded fight in Australia happened on this day on the 7th of January 1814, at Hyde Park, Sydney. When John Berringer defeated Charles Lifton. The bout lasted two hours, with over 58 rounds. One of the conditions of the contest was that the me had to run half a mile (800m) before the fight began.

 

Not many Australians know the Australia – Chilean connection. John Christian Watson, third Prime Minister of Australia and first Labor Prime Minister, was born in Valparaiso, a port in Chile, in 1867. In 1886, he migrated from New Zealand where he grew up, to Sydney, and took work as a stable-hand at Government House. Michelle Bachelet, the first woman to become President of Chile, an office she held from 2006 to 2010, lived in Australia during 1975, after the Pinochet regime came to power in Chile.

 

On this day …….. 6th of January 1992

A Trojan horse was used to regain possession of a transport and earth moving site run by the Bryant group in St Mary’s, Sydney, which had been repossessed by the Commonwealth Bank over a mortgage dispute that was still before the courts. On the morning of the 6th of January 1992, managing director Joe Bryant arrived at the site with a semi trailer carrying a 4m long cylindrical horse used by farmers during a demonstration against President George Bush in Canberra the week before. Security guards let Bryant in, thinking he was returning the horse to the site. Once inside that gates, the 30 workers hiding inside the horse spilled out, and the outnumbered security guards withdrew, allowing the workers to open the gates and let more supports inside.

 

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 …….. 30th of December 1934

A strong trouser belt saved a boy from falling beneath the wheels of a fast moving tram on this day in 1934. Jumping on the tram in George Street West, Sydney, the youngster slipped and fell on the coupling ripped through his trousers and caught his belt. He was dragged along for some distance before the tram was stopped. The boy was unharmed.

 

A Trojan horse was used to regain possession of a transport and earth moving site run by the Bryant group in St Mary’s, Sydney, which had been repossessed by the Commonwealth Bank over a mortgage dispute that was still before the courts. On the morning of the 6th of January 1992, managing director Joe Bryant arrived at the site with a semi trailer carrying a 4m long cylindrical horse used by farmers during a demonstration against President George Bush in Canberra the week before. Security guards let Bryant in, thinking he was returning the horse to the site. Once inside that gates, the 30 workers hiding inside the horse spilled out, and the outnumbered security guards withdrew, allowing the workers to open the gates and let more supports inside.

On this day …….. 20th of December 1971

Four young men wearing only shorts and sports shirts were discovered inside packing case at the Sydney Airport on the 20th of December 1971, only hours before the create was to be boarded for England. The men were arrested. Officers said that they would have faced death if the crate and it’s occupants had been put aboard the unheated, up pressurised hold the 30 hour flight.

 

playbill.previewThe first theatre built in Australia opened on the 16th of January 1796, in Sydney and became incredibly popular. Those who did not have the price of admission stole it. The level of crime increased so dramatically that the governor was forced to take the drastic step of ordering the theatre to be demolished in 1798. Admission to the theatre was paid in cash or goods such as rum, sugar, flour or meat. The price of a seat in the fashionable gallery was one shilling or the equivalent in goods. One crime committed by a theatre lover to get the price of admission was particularly heartless. He killed a fine greyhound belonging to an officer, skinned it and succeeded in palming it’s joints off as kangaroo flesh at the price of ninepence a pound.

femaleFactoryIllustrationOn the 27th of December 1832, Charlotte Welsh, a convict woman working as a servant in a Sydney house, was sent to the female workhouse for six weeks for being insolent to her mistress. She had complained that her Christmas pudding had no brandy in it.

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On this day …….. 13th of December 1858

The first balloon flight in Sydney, Australia, takes place on this day in 1858. The hot air balloon was developed in the 1700s by Frenchman Jacques Étienne Montgolfier, together with his brother Joseph-Michel. Montgolfier progressed to untethered flights until 1783 when he tested the first balloon to carry passengers, using a duck, a sheep and a rooster as his subjects. The demonstration occurred in Paris and was witnessed by King Louis XVI. The first manned, untethered balloon flight occurred on the 21st of November of that year, and carried two men. The first balloon flight in Melbourne occurred on the 1st of February 1858. Constructed in the UK, the balloon was imported into Australia by the manager of Melbourne’s Theatre Royal, George Coppin. The launch took place at Cremorne Gardens near Richmond. William Dean lifted off at 5:52pm and landed near Heidelberg at around 6:30pm. Two weeks later, Dean again lifted off, this time reaching an estimated altitude of 10,000 feet before decending onto the road between Collingwood and Brunswick Stockade. William Dean was also the first to fly in a balloon from Sydney. Together with his companion, Brown, they launched at 5:00pm on the 13th December 1858, witnessed by 7,000 people. The balloon drifted north across Sydney Harbour and landed in Neutral Bay. However, it was not until the 1870s that balloon flights became more commonplace in Australia.