Down the years: Bibles break war barriers

100 years ago

BIBLES: Mr Donald said that it stood to the credit of every country that not one had attempted to block the distribution of the Bible, no fewer than 11,950,617 in 1916, of which were distributed. In all, the society had distributed 287,000,000 volumes, in 499 languages since it came into existence 112 years ago. This was done in many cases by the aid of 1200 colporteurs and 600 women. (26.11.1916)

CONTENTS: Inside the latest Bibles there were coloured pictures of England, towns Whitby and Scarborough (shelled by the Germans), the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral etc. There were thousands of Bibles given to soldiers whom Great Britain has sent to the front and a considerable distribution also in France. Several views of the French capital city were shown including the Arc de Triomphe and the famous Eiffel Tower from which a searchlight is continuously playing at night time. There were pictures also of the Cathedral at Rheims, the Church at Albert (on the Somme), the Cloth Hall at Ypres – before and after the bombardment – Antwerp (with Belgium refugees) Namur, Mona Church etc. (26.11.1916)

WAR TELEGRAMS: The French brought down an aeroplane containing two naval lieutenants and a large-scale map of London on board. The fact that no battle has been fought between the Romanians and the Germans is regarded that the former are methodically retiring to positions nearer Bucharest to give battle. Bucharest is a first-class fortress of 60 miles circumference, with a belt of 30 forts, each at an average of five miles distance from the city. In England, over 106 bombs were dropped by airships, the damage was insignificant. Athens said the Crown Council, presided over by King Constantine, decided to persist in the refusal to give up arms as demanded by the Allies. (26.11.1916)

75 years ago

OLD-TIMER: Mr William Hopkins, once an Irymple blockholder, came to visit the Irymple Church jubilee celebrations. The family arrived here in 1897, were issued a block on Benetook Avenue at a rent of one pound per acre plus water rates, then to a deserted (wilderness) block on Morpung Avenue. Fruit in those days was picked into anything in the shape of a tin and was dumped into sweats in the rows and dragged away on sleds to the drying greens. Mr W. Plant was the first to finish off the drying on hessian and Mr Hopkins was the first to use perforated picking tins. (29.11.1941)

FAREWELL: The Hesperus sailed with Skipper Hudson at the wheel, the departing editor of the Sunraysia Daily honoured guest of 52 citizens from all corners of the district who said farewell. The worthy Hesperus used numerous times to cut the waters of the Murray for farewelling many of our distinguished citizens, is unlike the wreck of the same name. (1.12.1941)

NEWS: Very few people are aware that the Melbourne Town Hall grand organ ranks among the world’s greatest instruments. It cost 39,000 pounds, occupies a floor space of over 1900sq ft, height being 32ft. There are 7022 pipes, largest is 32ft long and a girth of 9ft 8in. (2.12.1941)

50 years ago

LOCAL: The City of Mildura was officially declared a tourist area under the Labor and Industry Act, meaning that the majority of traders will be permitted to extend weekday trading hours, Saturday afternoons and Sundays. Mr Geoff Preisig and Mr Aldo Ierace were spotlighting on a property when they saw something like a huge green kite, a big green head and long fiery tail that lit up the sky over Merbein for about two seconds, then it seemed to explode, shooting away like a rocket and die out. (28.11.1966)

LORD: In 1898, a British and Egyptian Army of 23,000 men stood face-to-face with 50,000 Dervish warriors a few miles from Omdurman, on the banks of the Nile in the Sudan. As the Dervishes came in waves, a young officer of the 21st Lancers waited his turn to join the battle – he was Winston Churchill. He got his chance and the Lancers made the last great cavalry charge in history. General Sir Herbert Kitchener, the Commander of the British Force, also ensured his fame and became Lord Kitchener and was awarded 30,000 pounds by a grateful nation. He later defeated the Boers with Field Marshall Lord Roberts and this time received 50,000 pounds in gratitude. Later he became Secretary of State for War and raised almost three million volunteers to fight the Germans but they never had sufficient weapons to fight. (29.11.1966)

MEN: Private L. Parker, of Robinvale, expressed his thanks for the parcels, especially the items sent to soldiers in Vietnam. Two Royal Australian Air Force Iroquois helicopter pilots were seen passing the waiting time with a game of chess while on stand-by duty at Vung Tau. A smoke-blinded American pilot leaned out a side window of his blazing aircraft to bring 37 passengers and crew down to a safe crash landing on a runway lined with minefields at Dau Tieng, Vietnam. (29.11.1966)

25 years ago

ROSES: “The young Englishman Gilbert Matthews became a labourer on the construction of Rio Vista, he displayed an aptitude for bricklaying and he gravitated to the enormous task of building the high chimney stacks. It soon became obvious that this was no ordinary home, high on the banks of the Murray River in a sweeping command of the magnificent river as it swung in a graceful course, its escort of magnificent redgums packed along the banks. Gilbert and his mate Charlie would hear a shrill whistle of a paddlewheeler, work would stop and Gilbert’s mind would go sailing along a moon-glittered river with firefly sparks from the chimney stack and he couldn’t wait to get back to it. Then he would think of Mary who was on the other side of the world and he would dream of a little farm, cows and poultry that was in his background. W.B. Chaffey told the men that one day the paddleboats would be forgotten and steam will move the land, steam will crank huge iron wheels on rails, our fruits will reach Melbourne overnight, so I can arrange for you men to establish blocks here should you wish. Everything will eventually become yours. Gilbert went back to his lodgings, a letter from home was there from his Mum who wrote that Dad had sold the shop, he’d been told to go and live where it was dryer, so all were joining Gilbert, tickets were bought and could Gilbert buy them some land there. Gilbert thought of Mary picking him a bloom from his mother’s garden of roses and lavender. That night he wrote two letters and tomorrow he would go and see Mr Chaffey to try to get two blocks of land. The river and the boats seemed distant now to a home with a garden of roses and Mary.” – From the book, Roses For Mary, by Ben Eggleton. (27.11.1991)

CENTENARY: Captain Wiltshire and Lieutenant Twist arrived to establish the Salvation Army in Mildura on November 28, 1891. A pair of women officers were sent to Wentworth to begin a church there a few years prior to this, their zeal found them conducting a street meeting, despite police opposition, so they were arrested for disturbing the peace and placed in a cell in the Wentworth Goal. The first services in Mildura were held in a weatherboard building on the corner of Seventh Street and Lime Avenue, which was later used by the Church of England and, later still, destroyed by fire. An Orange Avenue property was purchased in 1900 and used by Sid Mills Motors for years. In 1910, a mare, a gig and harness were purchased and in 1937 a small shed was constructed upstream from the bridge to serve as a Sunday School and place of worship. (28.11.1991)

LOCAL ITEMS: A garden will be the setting for Mildura’s wedding of the year when Robert Farnsworth marries Noelene Heley. Instead of walking down the aisle, Noelene will drive her motorised wheelchair to be side by side with her husband who is also confined to a wheelchair. Eighty guests from as far away as Brisbane and Perth will attend the ceremony, conducted by Mildura’s Mayor and civil celebrant Mrs Shirley Penny. (2.12.1991).

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