Down the years: Fired up by wood

100 years ago

Huge supplies of cut timber were required by the new Mildura colony for use in homes and for the boilers of many paddle steamers that loaded and unloaded cargo at Mildura Wharf.

Huge supplies of cut timber were required by the new Mildura colony for use in homes and for the boilers of many paddle steamers that loaded and unloaded cargo at Mildura Wharf.

REFERENDUM: Public notice is hereby given that a referendum will be taken under the provisions of the Military Service Referendum Act 1916, on Saturday the 28th day of October, 1916, on the following question: Are you in favour of the government having, in this grave emergency, the same compulsory powers over citizens in regard to requiring their military service for the term of the war, outside the Commonwealth, as it now has in regard to military service within the Commonwealth? The poll will open at 8 o’clock in the morning and will not close until all electors in a polling booth at 8 o’clock in the evening, and desiring to vote, have voted. (18.10.1916)

WOOD: Com. Gooch reported on his trip with Messrs Crockett, Lochhead, Ferry and Balmain, inquiring into late timber supplies, found small quantities of wood on the Victorian side close at hand, but bigger supplies at Wickett’s and Buxton’s. He suggested that these two gentlemen should be communicated with and asked whether they would agree to wood being cut there and what royalty they would require. There was a very fine lot on Kulkyne, but for some reason unexplained it was reserved. There was sufficient wood here for several seasons, handling about 7000 to 8000 tons a season, and about 100 miles up there was remarkable fine maiden wood. (18.10.1916)

RAFFLE: Mr W. Wescombe most generously donated a pair of well-bred Jersey calves (bull and heifer) to the Mildura Red Cross Fund. The pupils of Parkerville College (Principal; Miss Tibbits) kindly gave half of the proceeds of their very successful concert – 9 pounds 6 shillings and 3 pence, while Mrs Elliott donated a mangle and 21 canaries that were divided up into several prizes. (21.10.1916)

75 years ago

FILMS: The story will probably shatter a lot of movie illusions, but you should know about it. Hollywood’s most romantic stars aren’t nearly so expert at the art of making love as you’ve been led to believe by watching their passionate embraces. Half or more of these style-setters for Don Cupid actually know little about the fine art of keeping a lady or gentleman interested romantically. Although they make a first-rate pretence of it, few possess more than rudimentary knowledge of how to give or receive a kiss. An embrace usually finds them all arms and confusion. (16.10.1941)

ITEMS: Sunraysia Daily on Wednesday last, October 15, 1941, attained its 21st year of life. The paper was born ambitiously, to the accompaniment of a great flourish of trumpets. Its first few years of life were, it has been said, “romantic”. Personally, I, a foundation member of the staff, have ever felt that during those first few years about everything from a farce to grim tragedy was played in the “front offices”. The true story could be vividly written by me – and never will be. – Steele Blayde.

PARADOX: Never before has the world seen such wonders as are common to the sight of every school child today, and never have there been so many material things to make life happy and contented and yet never before has the world seen such devilish destruction. (17.10.1941)

NEWS: More than two years after the outbreak of war, Melbourne saw the big armoured display parade of 57 bren-gun carriers, one British and one American training tank rumble through the streets and the marching of more than 3000 men of the AIF. The marching men gave a grand display which took 40 minutes to pass by. Britain’s Secretary of the War Office revealed that the total causality to the British Army, including prisoners on all fronts, was 100,000, plus 13,000 Australians, 6000 New Zealanders, 7000 Indians, 600 South Africans and almost 500 African native troops. Velocity, ridden by Jack Purtell and starting at 12/1, won the Caulfield Cup by a head from Reading, with Evergreen the favourite coming third. (20.10.1941)

50 years ago

ARTS CENTRE: The Premier of Victoria Mr Henry Bolte and Lady Bolte will fly to Mildura in a charter plane on the day to attend the opening of the new Arts Centre to which 1000 invitations have been posted out to guests. The Boltes will spend 4½ hours here, also attending other engagements. At Underbool, the Anglican Church of Christ, the worker, was dedicated by the Lord Bishop of St Arnaud, the Rev A. E. Winter, with 100 parishioners­ attending. (18.10.1966)

VISIT: Leaving from Dallas International Airport in nearby Virginia, President L.B.J. Johnson, of the US, is on his way here in his big jet to attend a 50,000-mile round trip for talks on the Vietnam War. (17.10.1966)

PHONE: An improved telephone service between Mildura and Koorlong will be available soon following the installation of carrier wave equipment providing two additional telephone channels. (17.10.1966)

25 years ago

FIRES: Many people mistakenly believe that fire restrictions only come into effect on relatively few days of the year as total fire bans. Fires in the open air are actually restricted – though not prohibited – throughout the Fire Danger Period so check all the rules. The Red Cliffs Fire Brigade has completed a move to new premises just 18 months after being told to find a new home. Brigade members now occupy the old SEC building in Red Cliffs. LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas, is derived from the earth’s crude oils and gases or it is produced during refining processes. The two most common gases are propane and butane. LPG is widely used as a domestic fuel because it is relatively safe and inexpensive, however simple safety precautions must be observed. It is stored as a liquid under pressure and when released into the atmosphere at any temperature above its boiling point, it will change from liquid into vapour and on bare skin can actually cause frostbite. (17.10.1991)

PAY-TV: Australian pay-TV will lag almost four years behind Britain in its introduction here but we should be able to avoid the multi-million dollar problems experienced in the UK. Britain began its pay-TV with its four-channel Sky Television under Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, then Alan Bond was trying to get British Satellite Broadcasting off the ground as a competitor to Sky TV. (17.10.1991)

SHOW: Big crowds flocked to Mildura’s 44th annual show and all the worries of the rural downturn were thrown aside. Groups of school children with their teachers swelled the numbers. Early showgoers were given a taste of entertainment when the roly-poly cars staged an impromptu practice run. Fred Dhu, a former speedway driver and his family, even down to his grandson Trent, a three-year-old, play a part, dressed as a doctor or mechanic. “The act was originally tried with standard Mini Minors, then we chopped them down with a chainsaw and took about a metre out of them, modified and strengthened the brakes and suspension, added special roll cages and a stronger chassis,” Mr Dhu said. “Sometimes the cars roll end for end or sideways but they generally roll back on to their wheels or another car bumps them back to normal. Matilda is a car that breaks into two then ends up in one piece and chases another car around the track.” (18.10.1991)

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