Down the years: Steamer gets back to work

100 years ago

The Australmead, similar to the ship pictured, was set to load 6000 tons of rails for Fremantle and wheat for French ports.

The Australmead, similar to the ship pictured, was set to load 6000 tons of rails for Fremantle and wheat for French ports.

SUPPLIES: A block owner on Benetook Avenue sought improvement of the channel, seepage from it was ruining part of his block and he was prepared to assist. Fred Barter sought permission to drain an adjoining channel to grow vegetables – after discussion the Mildura Water Trust agreed to the request, provided the water was not taken till the general irrigation was finished and gave authorization to the supervisor to sell any water left in the channel beds. The press bureau announced that under Lord Devonport’s order light pastries, muffins, crumpets, tea-cakes and ornamental cakes are prohibited. About 6700 tons of dried fruit has been delivered at the packing sheds, there are still a couple of thousand tons still on the racks and trays. (16.4.1917)

BILLYCAN: Private Percy Robbins of the Army Medical Corp, marching through Palestine recently, saw what looked like a billycan. Needing one he approached and found that it was one of the tins in which Mr L.H. Iredale sends out his dried prunes. “Percy” had this tin photographed and acquainted his friends with the peculiarity of his find. (16.4.1917)

NEWS ITEMS: Repairs to the Commonwealth steamer Australmead will be finalized soon. She will then go to Newcastle to load 6000 tons of rails for Fremantle from Broken Hill Co’s steel works and then load wheat for French ports. The American guardship was ordered to leave Constantinople harbor within 24 hours and as it did not it has now been interned. Field-Marshal Haig reports that over 14,000 prisoners and 194 guns have been captured since the 9th. Sergeant-Major G. Harston has returned home still suffering from a shell intrusion concussion, with him is Private B McHune who has lost an index finger. There were other Mildura patients also in the Harefield Hospital and a familiar face also was that of Dr McWilliams and Mrs Jeffery whose husband Major Jeffery, had led the boys over the trenches 9 times. 18.4.1917)

75 years ago

HIGHLIGHTS: A Polish textile worker in Melbourne was sent to goal for three months by the City Court for giving a bribe of 20 pounds to an officer if he would give him alien registration forms and other records relating to his brother and a promise of another 30 pounds after the documents were destroyed to secure escape of his brother from Army service. Luxury U.S.A. airliners are now working for the R.A.A.F. to carry engines, propellers and other requirements. Re-examination of many men rejected as temporarily or permanently unfit will provide large additional numbers for military service. About 2300 men, women and children were unaccounted for after the Japanese bombed and sunk two ships anchored off Pongong Island, 80 miles from Singapore. The Japanese Legation has been ordered to leave Persia. (16.4.1942)

LOCAL NEWS: Excellent weather favoured the garden party held on the lawns of St Mark’s Church of England, Red Cliffs when about 100 parishioners met Bishop James, of St Arnaud. The Mildura branch of the RSL War Services Fund’s President, Mrs A Hampton presented her report that a large consignment of knitted goods was sent to Anzac House regularly. The Wartime function of the Victorian citrus industry’s struggle in getting labour is accepted in times like these as it is of minor importance. (16.4.1942)

STEELE BLAYDE: Just before the earthquake and fire of San Francisco in April 1906, he sat in a conference (on behalf of the Newspaper Enterprise Association) with that able Chinese editor, N.G. Poon Chew and an important Japanese editor. They discussed the possibility of a concrete coalesced East against West, in other words the massing of the Orientals, brown and yellow against the whites. There really was a “yellow peril”. The Jap was a polite and inscrutable – a man he said he instinctively hated and Mr Chow was much more open and I liked him. (16.4.1942)

50 years ago

BADDIES: Convicts in cabbage tree hats, bushrangers and other asserted baddies from the palmy days when these characters could be seen at the old Wentworth Goal will be seen again if the proprietor of the Neath Hotel’s plan near Cessnock comes off. After seeing The Wentworth Goal as a tourist attraction he plans to sell his hotel and move to Wentworth and has asked the Council for a 10 year lease. (18.4.1967)

LUCKY: The driver of a truck miraculously escaped death in Melbourne when a disabled gyrocopter plummeted into his cabin at Essendon Airport crushing the cabin- he climbed free with only minor cuts and bruises. (18.4.1967).

LOCAL: Council is to be linked by Telex to a State-wide computer which will do present arduous tasks in a matter of minutes- leaving the staff free to do other work. Best scores in the Mildura Golf Club’s A Grade monthly medal came from G. Munday, Perc Leighton and Eric Setford, who all recorded 71. Leighton was awarded the medal on a countback. (19.4.1967)

25 years ago

VEHICLES: It’s called “Son of Reamus”. It is powered by a 280 horsepower V8 engine, has rally tuned suspension, mag wheels, is highly couloued yet it sits sedately in the parking bay of Mildura’s Drill Hall. Reamus was built by Army apprentices using a wrecked Army vehicle with parts donated by sponsors, is designed to expose apprentices to the theoretic’s of mechanics. The pioneer journey made 80 years ago when Sydney driver’s Sydney Ferguson and Frank Birtles, made the first motor crossing of this continent, was repeated by Sandy Munro, Bob Lamond and John Simmons in a single-cylinder 1910 American-made Brush car. They covered the 4200 kilometres in 21 days, the original journey took 28 days. (16.4.1992)

ITEMS: Mildura has been described as a sportsman’s mecca and this weekend there will be racing horses, trotters, dogs, hot-rods, speedway cars, sprint cars, supercross, rowing boats or ski boats – it is all here. Victoria will be phasing out of lead shot for duck hunting next year – the decision has attracted a lively debate. (16.4.1992)

TRIBUTE: Ted Hurley was one of the greats in ski racing before he passed away in 1991 and he now rests on the hill at Gol Gol overlooking his favourite river. He was a man who could call everybody he met a friend, always offering assistance and countless times he would dive into the back of the truck to find parts to get a fellow competitor back on the water. For his dedication to the sport this year’s race will be dedicated to Ted. (18.4.1992).

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